Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, May 09, 2014

Happy Mansfield Park Birthday and a Merry Mrs. Bennet Mother's Day!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and many of it's readers still have much to say about after all of these years. For such a mild heroine, Fanny Price does attract quite a bit of diverse opinion regarding her merits and flaws yet to me she is one of the more relatable leading ladies in Austen's literary line-up.

Yes,she's not as lively as Elizabeth Bennet (but very few of us are) or even as emotionally available as Elinor Dashwood or Anne Eliot yet Fanny does prove that slow and steady can win the race to love there.

There will be several discussions taking place online, particularly at Sarah Emley's Invitation To Mansfield Park section of her blog with numerous guest posts from Austen folk such as Laurel Ann Nattress, Syrie James and Deborah Yaffe. I highly recommend checking it out this month long rap session, which should provide plenty of festive food for thought that even Mrs. Norris can not complain about:

Meanwhile, in honor of May being the month of Mansfield Park, I'm holding a very special giveaway(linked right here) of two copies of my Mansfield monster mash-up, Fanny Price: Slayer of Vampires.

The theme of this contest is Pick your Mansfield Man or in other words, are you Team Edmund or Team Henry? I know that Henry Crawford has his defenders while there's a long queue waiting to slap Edmund a good one for his neglect of Fanny during a good long portion of the story but surely, we can agree that the ultimate choice is handed to Fanny herself,a rather emboldening notion that gives this presumed creepmouse quite the upper hand here.

This is a month long contest(deadline is May 31st) so take your time in deciding whether you're truly hot for Henry or eager for Edmund:

 To round things off, I thought that with Mother's Day on the horizon this weekend, a salute to Mrs. Bennet would be fitting.

 For better or worse, she is the most memorable mom in Jane Austen's work and whether or not you love or loathe her, it's fair to say that in her way, she is looking out for her girls.

First up is a tribute to Alison Steadman's portrayal of Mrs. B in the now classic 1995 miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice that captures all of her charm and warmth:

Our next Mrs. Bennet comes from the 1940 Hollywood adaptation of P&P, where this determined lady resorted to a literal horse race in order to get her daughters a decided advantage in making Mr. Bingley's acquaintance.

Mary Boland's high pitched and over the top tones in her performance perfectly matched this stylish straight from the stage play version of the story, not to mention getting extra credit for the overly lavish costumes she(and the rest of the women in the cast) had to wear:

Last yet far from least, is the Lizzie Bennet Diaries impersonation of Mrs. Bennet by leading lady Ashley Clements.

While the actual Mrs. B didn't make an onscreen appearance until the very last episode, the entertaining reenactments that her dear daughter gave us during her vlog journey successfully made her come alive for the online audience.

One wonders what this Mrs. B would think of how she's been showcased into Lizzie's narrative and hopefully not get too peeved, as some of this is clearly laced with love as well as frustration:

 So, Happy Mother's Day to all and what ever Jane Austen themed plans you make this weekend or the rest of this month, I do hope that you get the chance to share your joy with as many friends as possible-how else can you have a proper Jane Austen party this season?:


Unknown said...

Thanks very much for sharing the "Invitation to Mansfield Park"! I'm excited about reading and sharing these guest posts from Laurel Ann, Syrie, and so many other wonderful writers.

lady t said...

You're very welcome,Sarah,and I look forward to attending such an agreeable party:)