Friday, 13 December 2013

Friday at Mansfield Park

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt's the last Friday of the Autumn term in my second year and I'm actually quite sad about it because that means that I'm practically halfway through my degree and I am nowhere near ready for the world waiting outside the University gates. But until then, I will continue faithfully reading my assigned texts and hopefully find more time because I have been terribly neglectful! Now, enough procrastinating and on with the Friday memes.

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and this week's question is:

'Bookselling time: Go to your biggest bookcase, the second shelf from the top and pick the sixth book from the left. Handsell that book to us - even if you haven't read it or hated it. 

I am actually really excited to answer this question because the sixth book on the left is one I recently bought and am really excited about. So I'm going to try to not just sell you the book but also the specific edition. Some weeks ago, I bought the American 1943 edition of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. So first, Wuthering Heights. I know it is quite a divisive book, people either love it or hate it and I can't tell you which of the two it will be for you. But one thing I do know is that no one who has read it and given it a chance has been completely unaffected by it. There is a certain uncanny quality about it, about its characters that are too real to be completely good, bad or likeable.

Now, for the edition. It is absolutely stunning because of the Fritz Eichenberg illustrations. He has managed to capture that distinct dark quality that gives Wuthering Height its desperate yet enthralling grip on the reader. Thankfully he didn't try to make the novel or its characters any prettier than Emily wrote them.

I'm not quite sure how else to convince anyone, but then again, I feel that if a novel like Wuthering Heights cannot sell itself, neither can I.

Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice. This week I am using Jane Austen's Mansfield Park which I never really liked until I started studying it. There is so much subtext to it and I'm even starting to find myself appreciate Fanny, to a certain extent that is.

'About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the country of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.'
I think Jane Austen's style is quite recognizable in this opening, although the irony that is always present in her writing seems a bit harsher here and more judgmental, perhaps.

'Fanny's rides recommenced the very next day, and as it was a pleasant fresh-feeling morning, less hot than the weather had lately been, Edmund trusted that her losses both of health and pleasure would be soon made good.'
I think Fanny's occasional horse rides with Edmund are some of the very few instances in the novel where she is actually active. What I have started to appreciate is that Fanny is the single constant in the novel, the only character you can rely on throughout.

So, what about you?


  1. Never been a fan of Classics so I think this one wouldn't appeal to me. I'm sorry but thanks for sharing.

    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

  2. That is an amazing edition of Wuthering Height! I'm really jealous of it. I'm on the "love it" side of the debate though, it's one of my favorite books.


  3. Great book! New follower.

    Here is my FF.

  4. OOoh interesting! Never read that classic myself! Beautiful edition you have there!

    Here's my Follow Friday

    Have a GREAT weekend!

    Old Follower :)

  5. This is one Austen story that I have watched the film but not read the book. Maybe I should.

    Happy weekend!

  6. I haven't read this one, but it's one I've been wanting to read. Sounds great.

    Have a good weekend!

    My Friday post is here.

  7. I haven't read any of these books. Great choices. I have never seen the post about choosing the second shelf and the sixth book on the shelf. Pretty neat.

    THANKS for sharing all of this.

    I didn't have time to post a book beginnings so I am leaving a link to another fun post you may want to check out.

    Silver's Reviews
    What Would You Give Your Book Character For Christmas?

  8. That is one Jane Austin book I have not read. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hmm I've tried reading WH once, but I think I was too young to get into it. I guess I'll try again someday!

    Following via GFC, Bloglovin, and Twitter :)

  10. Sounds.. interesting haha ;D
    New GFC and Bloglovin follower!
    My FF: