Jane Austen Rankings, Part 1

I promised you way back in this entry about Emma that I would rank all six of Jane Austen’s major novels (once I’ve reread all of them) in order of my favorite to least favorite. I’m probably going to work from the bottom up and only post the bottom 3 today, because right now I’m only certain of this:

  1. Northanger Abbey

I do know that Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility are the top three, and Mansfield Park and Persuasion are fourth and fifth, but I’m not sure what should go where. I started this entry with the intent to find out…so here we go. Pros and cons!

Mansfield Park: Pros

  • I love Fanny and think she’s kind of awesome
  • Clear villains and protagonists
  • Interesting glimpse into lower-class society that we don’t get anywhere else in Jane Austen
  • Edmund! Awww, Edmund.

Mansfield Park: Cons

  • Rather long
  • Some villains are just too detestable (Mrs. Norris! I want to punch her in the face!)
  • As much as I like Fanny, her lack of agency is irritating sometimes
  • Ends rather abruptly, and doesn’t seem quite sincere that Edmund and Fanny actually have their “happy ending”

Persuasion: Pros

  • Very mellow and enjoyable
  • Sir Walter is hilarious, if really annoying
  • Captain Wentworth. YUM.
  • Andrew’s favorite (that has to count for something, right?)
  • Characters are very realistic (more so than Mansfield, I think)

Persuasion: Cons

  • I didn’t find it as engaging as some others (maybe it’s too short? Not enough drama?)
  • …honestly can’t think of anything else…

So based on the above, I’m going to have to say the rankings now look like this:

  1. Persuasion
  2. Mansfield Park
  3. Northanger Abbey
Tomorrow I’ll post the completed list, so be on the lookout!

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