Imagine the scene -- as I'm sitting there reading, I come to a particularly hilarious bit and start cracking up, and my husband looks up from his computer with a most decidedly odd expression. So I have to explain to him exactly why I should find a scene of an Egyptian mummy being raised from the dead hilarious. After all, aren't reanimated mummies usually the stuff of horror movies, tromping about in search of their next victim?
Except Mansfield Park and Mummies is not horror. Not at all. Instead of a monster that's a Menace because it's a Menace, the revivified Pharaoh East Wind, now calling himself Lord Eastwind and enjoying the sartorial splendor of a Regency gentleman, is a witty chap who just happens to have this little problem. Every so often he has to top off his supply of the Breath of Life, and out of deference to the lady of the house under whose roof he is a guest, he is constrained to take only a small portion of the life force of any one of the servants. Which he does with utmost politeness, wooing them with dreams of Egypt and exotic beauty, and leaving them missing a little time and feeling most decidedly odd.
And he's a bit of a romantic, and is certain that Fanny Price must be his long-lost love of thirty centuries gone by. Yes, here we have an undead who is genuinely capable of love, and of having his heart broken upon the steadfast devotion of the object of his affection for the rather dour seminarian Edmund. And thus even the final defeat of the Mummy's Curse has its poignancy, and leaves me thinking, "and seal it with a kiss."