JANE AUSTEN’S MANSFIELD PARK: ABRIDGED
Edited by Emma Laybourn
Copyright 2013 Emma Laybourn
This edition of Mansfield Park has been shortened to about two-thirds of its original length, the aim being to preserve the character of the book as far as possible whilst making it more easily approachable. It is designed for those who wish to read Jane Austen but are daunted by the length and density of the full text.
Although there is little in Jane Austen’s writing that is superfluous, this version omits that material which it is hoped will cause least damage to the sense and feeling of the book. No scenes have been removed: however, many sentences have been simplified, and some obscure or ambiguous words have been changed to make the meaning clearer. A very few spellings have been modernised (notably “choose” for “chuse” and “show” for “shew”); and some new paragraph breaks have been introduced.
If you are studying Mansfield Park as a set text and thinking of using this book as an easier option than the original, please think again. You will miss many of Jane Austen’s subtleties, and be at high risk of misquotation. The unabridged book may be downloaded free from Project Gutenberg, whose copy of the 1814 edition was the source text for this version.