Many Austen groups and websites will be holding quite a bit of lively debate and appreciation of the book this month and my humble contribution to this outing will be a very special giveaway of my current e-book, Fanny Price:Slayer of Vampires, to two people who can convince me of their preference for either of the leading men in the story. In other words, are you Team Edmund or Team Henry?
While I most assuredly understand the need that some MP readers have to "Slap Edmund Bertram Upside The Head" for his neglect of Fanny in favor of the dubious charms of Mary Crawford and will concede that he is not the most engaging of Austen's male love interests, I do believe that his heart is in the right place at the end but can easily see how a first time reader would find him repellant:
However, he has seen Fanny in the light of a little sister for most of their lives and in many ways as a best friend,so much more than his own older brother. In fact, Edmund often times has had to be the voice of reason in his family,which makes him seem to be a nag but in truth,he is only doing what Tom should in certain matters and like any follow-the-rules type of person, is guilty of adjusting those standards when it comes to certain people(yes,Mary again!).
Edmund is flawed,much like many of Austen's heroes but he does see the error of his ways in time and learns to appreciate the true virtues of Fanny both as a friend and a romantic counterpart. No, he is not as perfect as he would wish to be but that's one of the things we love about many of Jane Austen's characters, their ability to grow and move beyond their preconceived notions, especially when it comes to love:
I,however, feel that Henry's sudden love for Fanny is really a rebound effort on his part to get over Maria. Henry and Maria are very much alike in that neither one of them wants to be the first one to admit in public how they really feel about each other and Maria mainly marries Mr. Rushworth out of spite due to Henry's non declaration of love.
For me, it is hard to reconcile with Henry's gleeful boast to his sister about "making a hole " in Fanny's heart at first,yet I am willing to give him credit for having some good intentions towards her as their awkward courtship goes on. However, his impatience with winning Fanny's true affections only confirms that she was quite right in seeing Henry's true nature all along:
Yet I do allow that he is quite the charmer,which is the main reason I made him a vampire in my monster mash version. After all, the two Bertram sisters claim not to find him attractive upon their first acquaintance,declaring him "plain" and yet all too soon, they're close to cat fighting over Henry,particularly during the casting sessions of Lovers' Vows.
When it comes to the swoon factor,Henry Crawford has it in abundance and is one of Austen's most memorably lovable rogues. Henry is definitely the bad boy type that every girl wants to party with at least once and it is a sign of Fanny's great resolve that she does not give into his persistent passion:
,Fanny Price, Slayer of Vampires. this month,all you have to do is let me know me which Mansfield Park Man is your decided choice of suitor. I would so very much like to award a copy to a Team Edmund and a Team Henry fan, so don't be shy with your opinions!
You can make your pick either in the comments section of this blog post or at the link to this contest on Facebook at The Austenite Adventures page,where I talk about both of my Jane Austen themed e-books as well as share fun JA related videos.
The contest starts today and ends on May 31st-if you'd like to link a blog post that favors your argument or a video in your response, please feel free to do so. I look forward to hearing from both sides of this delightful debate, which reminds me of such discussions in vampire fandom as well-I've had my fair share of Angel vs. Spike chats( I'm a Spike supporter in BTVS circles) and willing to chime on which Salvatore brother is best for Elena on The Vampire Diaries,too(my heart belongs to Damon, what can I say?):
UPDATE: So far, we've had a most agreeable response from Team Henry but are still awaiting for Team Edmund to rally for their man,so do make haste!
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Due to this being a busy time of year, I am extending the deadline for the Pick Your Mansfield Man contest to July 6(well after the next big holiday weekend), so please stake your claim for either Team Edmund or Team Henry by then.