Fanny and Epi-Phany: Renewing the Drifting Church in Mansfield Park

Michael Griffin

Abstract


To insist that Jane Austen was not a theological writer, as several critics do, is to place a caveat upon literary criticism, and one which tries to prevent us from exploring what would have been obvious to her early readers. For as Marilyn Butler reminds us: "The superb draughtsmanship of 'Mansfield Park' makes it easy to forget that they present a set of themes which are entirely commonplace in the period". We cannot subtract theology from those themes without distorting them.

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