How to be a Heroine..

I was going to write about so many things: artichokes and lemons and calendula infusions, and my favourite Canadian novel, but I'm too busy reading Mansfield Park.

Today was cleaning-the-bathroom day, but who can scrub grout when Fanny is being bullied into marriage with the personable but odious Mr Crawford? It's not like I don't know what happens, because I have read it at least half a dozen times, but every time the suspense kills me.

And I like Fanny, though I don't know why, because she cries all the time. Amelia Smedley cries constantly throughout Vanity Fair, and I just want to slap her, because she is so stupid and helpless, but I sympathise with Fanny. Maybe because there are not many heroines who are shy and awkward, who blush at all the wrong moments, and who are unfashionably exhausted after half an hour of walking in the shrubbery. She is the anti-heroine, with only her kind heart to recommend her. But that is enough for her to triumph over the Mean Girls.  Moral integrity, and a fondness for books and gardens. It's all you need...


It has been a while since I read Mansfield Park; perhaps it's time to read it again. It's a good time of year (here, anyway) for reading and re-reading classics. Last night I picked up Little Women for the umpteenth time in my life, and I was thinking about giving Pride and Prejudice another go.

I think a fondness for books and gardens is a very fine thing in a human being indeed.

i have never read mansfield park, i don't know if i could like such a wimpy heroine (you yourself said you wanted to slap her!). i take P&P with me whenever i hop on a plane, i love reading it - even if i never finish it, it gives me such pleasure. i love strong heroines like lizzy.
i read all the phyrne fisher books on the strength of the TV show - she is much better in print! my kind of gal. in contrast, kerry greenwood's other heroine, corinna the baker, is strong but too reliant on the love of her man. phyrne is very much in control of every aspect of her life and i like that! (plus she is super glamourous, which is a wonderful escape from our ordinary lives)
Jo said…
It was Amelia from Vanity Fair I wanted to slap, somehow Fanny is a sympathetic character despite her very retiring nature. Love Pride and Prejudice too, reading that now, because it's hard not to read all of Jane Austen at once. I think Mr Bennett is one of my favourite JA characters...

Frances, I'm also a fan of Little Women. Jo was one of my favourite childhood heroines, for obvious reasons..
GretchenJoanna said…
That's a novel I haven't read - yet. You make me want to, though, with your pleasantly provoking review, which makes me curious to compare various heroines.
Jo said…
Oh, do read it, I'd be interested to see how it strikes you. We could all have a little Mansfield Park book club.

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