Friday Fun: Pop Quiz

May 9, 2014 by

Friday Fun: Pop Quiz

Which Austen hero is Nancy’s least favorite?

If you said Edmund Bertram, pat yourself on the back. Longtime Indie Janeites have heard my rants about Edmund and how Fanny deserves better. The lack of a truly satisfactory ending (in my mind) is why I’ve never actually read Mansfield Park from cover to cover.

But, there is one thing that might make me interested in giving it another go. In 2003, Benedict Cumberbatch played Edmund Bertram in a Radio 4 adaptation of Mansfield Park. Since this is the 200th anniversary of the book’s publication, they will be re-airing the radio drama next Monday.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice is, as Jess said, the one thing that could redeem the character in my eyes. Have a listen to the sample here.

PS: As an added bonus for… well, me, David Tennant also stars in this production. I’m not certain who he played, but this is the first thing I’ve come across with both actors, and I’m slightly excited.


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  1. ooooh omg yes, I need to hear this.

  2. Ceri

    I am definitely going to try and catch this. I know you are not a fan of Edmund, and you have probably posted (or maybe even ranted!) about this before, could you point me in the direction of it? I don’t have a problem with him. I wish their romance had been more fleshed out so that the poor man had a chance to win over the readers.

    • Nancy Kelley

      Of course, Ceri. You saw my post at The Book Rat last summer though. :) I also threw a screaming fit on Twitter and Tumblr when someone–the Salon maybe?–declared him the top Austen hero earlier this spring.

      I would like him and the book so much more if things had been fleshed out better. Jane uses indirect dialogue in all her books, but Edmund’s proposal doesn’t even rate that–it’s just woven into the narrative. He mopes about for a bit over Mary, then one day realises that he’s actually molded Fanny to be his perfect wife so why shouldn’t he marry her? Setting aside the disturbing idea of molding the perfect spouse, it’s so non-romantic.

      *cough* I was trying not to rant again…

      • Ceri

        To say he’s the top Austen hero is just saying something to provoke disagreement I think, nobody can really believe he is the best, and this is coming from somebody who likes him! Thanks for the link, I knew I’d read your reasoning before but I couldn’t remember the details of it…. Haha, I love your lame hero argument. I’d forgotten how good a case you put together!

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