Mansfield Park: the value of marginal people

The reason Jane Austen remains popular is the enormous extent to which she is misunderstood. It may be impossible to be popular for the right reasons. If you’re really a truth teller you’d better be funny because otherwise they will kill you. That’s why she’s funny. She’s funny about human nature, which doesn’t change. Any writer who presents human nature as it really is will last.

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