From its sharply satiric opening sentence,
Mansfield Park deals with money and marriage, and how strongly they affect each other.
Shy, fragile Fanny Price is the consummate "poor relation". Sent to live with her wealthy uncle Thomas, she clashes with his spoiled, selfish daughters and falls in love with his son. Their lives are further complicated by the arrival of a pair of witty, sophisticated Londoners, whose flair for flirtation collides with the quiet, conservative country ways of Mansfield Park.
Written several years after the early manuscripts that eventually became Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park retains Jane Austen's familiar compassion and humor but offers a far more complex exploration of moral choices and their emotional consequences.
Fanny Price, one of a dozen children born into a family that can ill afford so many, is sent at the age of 10 to live with her wealthy relatives. In typical Jane Austen form, immutable laws of propriety frame acts both vicious and virtuous, enabling Fanny to find her place in the world. Wanda McCaddon is the ideal choice to present this classic. Her impeccable elocution fits Austen's persnickety style. McCaddon gives a soft, sweet cadence to Fanny's thoughts and words while conveying all the author's derision toward the story's shallow characters. Both story and performance deliver a nineteenth-century "tell-all" just as impossible to resist as the tabloids in the checkout line.
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