Room 10: Add your thoughts to Jane Austen’s list

Mansfield Park has been dividing readers for 210 years. To some readers it is Jane Austen’s ultimate masterpiece. But to others, it is their least favourite of her novels.

After Mansfield Park was published in 1814, Jane began keeping a list of what her friends, family and acquaintances thought of the novel. Her list of their responses recorded their exact thoughts, regardless of whether they liked it or not. As more people read it, she kept adding to the list, gathering responses from more than 50 people.

In the gallery below you can find some of these contemporary responses, as well as those from more recent critics.

Does it seem like opinions about Mansfield Park have changed much over time?

Send us your response!

We invite you to extend Jane’s list by sharing your own thoughts about Mansfield Park. If you have read the book, watched an adaptation or even just browsed some of the exhibits in this exhibition, we would love you to add a contribution of your own.

You could write about:
– Whether Mansfield Park does/doesn’t seem like a controversial novel;
– Whether you do/don’t like Fanny Price as a character;
– Whether you do/don’t prefer Mansfield Park to Austen’s other novels;
– Any other thoughts you have relevant to Mansfield Park.

In the physical version of this exhibition at Jane Austen’s House we have a wall of responses to Mansfield Park. This includes 200 years’ worth of reviews, written by a selection of people from Jane’s family circle all the way until today, written by other visitors.

If you’d like to join in, you can send us your comments by responding to our call-outs on social media and we’ll add your thoughts to the wall too!


You have reached the end of this virtual exhibition! We hope you enjoyed it and your interest in/passion for Mansfield Park has been satisfied – or that you are inspired to read it (again)!

Please let us know us on social media using #JaneAustensHouse

And if you’d like to see these objects up close, why not visit us in Chawton?