Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park was written 1812-14. I have a hunch that the title picks up some resonance from Lord Mansfield, who had been Chief Justice 1756-88 and whose name is particularly associated with the high importance of habeus corpus as a bulwark of individual liberty. Constructing a reading of the novel from this point of view would be by way of addressing Said's famous reservations about the novel: for it was this jurist who was, practically speaking, responsible for the abolition of slavery in the British realm.

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