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Mansfield Park is Austens darkest, and most complex novel. In contrast to the confident and vivacious heroines of Emma and Pride and Prejudice, its central character, Fanny Price, is a shy and vulnerable poor relation who finds the courage to stand up for her principles and desires. Fanny comes to live at Mansfield Park, the home of the wealthy Bertram family, and of Fannys aunt, Lady Bertram. Though the family impresses upon Fanny her inferior status, she finds a friend in Edmund, the younger brother.
Mansfield Park explores important issues such as slavery (the source of the Bertrams wealth), the oppressive nature of idealized femininity, and womens education. This edition sheds light on these and other issues through its insightful introduction and wide-ranging appendices of contemporary documents.