Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen

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Overview

*Student edition, with a scholarly introduction by Jane Austen specialist Sylvia Hunt * Lightly annotated * The unabridged text of a great classic * Academic, easy-to-read format * For use in the college classroom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613643238
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date: 07/01/2003
Pages: 409
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Born December 16, 1775, Jane Austen is one of the most celebrated authors of the English language. Her fiction is known for its witty satires on English society. Austen wrote anonymously during her life and wasn't widely recognized as a great English writer until after her death in 1817.

Date of Birth:

December 16, 1775

Date of Death:

July 18, 1817

Place of Birth:

Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England

Place of Death:

Winchester, Hampshire, England

Education:

Taught at home by her father

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Chapter I
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Sense and Sensibility"
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Copyright © 2003 Jane Austen.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Jane Austen
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Textual Notes
Explanatory Notes

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

It is now almost exactly two centuries since the first two of Jane Austen's six completed novels—Sense and Sensibility andPride and Prejudice—were published, and for much of that time writers and critics have passionately disagreed about the true caliber of her work. Austen's books received a few respectful reviews and lively attention from the reading public during her lifetime, but it wasn't until nearly thirty years after her death that some critics began to recognize her enduring artistic accomplishment—and others to debate it.

In 1843, the historian Thomas Macaulay called Austen the writer to "have approached nearest to the manner of the great master" Shakespeare; Charlotte Bronté felt, on the contrary, that "the Passions are perfectly unknown to her.... Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete, and rather insensible (not senseless) woman." Anthony Trollope made up his mind as a young man that "Pride and Prejudice was the best novel in the language," while Mark Twain claimed to feel an "animal repugnance" for Austen's writing.

Austen herself would probably not have disagreed with many of her detractors' objections. She acknowledged that her themes and concerns were limited; she described them as "human nature in the midland counties." "Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on," she wrote in a letter to her niece; and in another, now famous letter to her brother Edward, she described her art as "the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as to produce little effect, after much labour."

It is true that great historical events and political concerns appear only obliquely, if at all, in the background of Austen's stories; that she deals with the spiritual condition of the human soul only insofar as it manifests itself in her characters' manners and taste in spouses; that the intellectual issues of her day appear in her novels primarily as a vehicle for revealing character and spoofing fashion. Even Austen's great early champion, the critic G. H. Lewes, had to admit the truth of Charlotte Bronté's objection that Austen's style lacked poetry, and that her "exquisite" work would appeal only to readers who didn't require "strong lights and shadows." But in spite of these limitations, the particular genius and lasting appeal of Austen's writing has only become clearer and more certain as the decades pass and literary fashions come and go.

What is Austen's particular genius? And what might account for the renaissance of popular interest in her work today—one reflected in the recently acclaimed television and feature film productions of Sense and Sensibility (with an Oscar-winning screenplay by Emma Thompson), Pride and Prejudice (an A&E miniseries), the art house hit Persuasion, and the upcoming release of Emma, as well as the Emma-inspired Clueless, now atop video rental charts?

"Of all great writers," Virginia Woolf said, "she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness." But perhaps Austen herself gave us a clue to the standards for greatness she set herself, and a way to judge her achievement, when in Northanger Abbey she has a character say: "'Oh! it is only a novel!' or, in short, only some work in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusion of wit and humour are to be conveyed to the world in the best chosen language."

Austen's delightful wit is certainly one of the great pleasures of her work. As to "the best chosen language," while her writing conveys none of the lyricism of the Romantics (like Bronté) who would succeed her, it is full of intelligence and precisely crafted to convey its often subtle meaning. But Austen's strongest suit is her thorough knowledge and happy delineation of human nature. We can still, despite the vast differences between her society and our own, recognize ourselves in the ways her characters think and behave. We all know people as cleverly manipulative and outwardly affectionate as Lucy Steele or Miss Bingley; as self-involved as Fanny Dashwood or Lady Catherine de Bourgh; and as charming but as lacking in scruples as John Willoughby or Colonel Wickham. We are in turns impulsive and hyper-responsible like Marianne and Elinor Dashwood; conceal ourselves with arrogance like Mr. Darcy; assume we understand more than we do like Elizabeth Bennet; and revel in gossip, like Mrs. Jennings. And while the great events and philosophical movements of history play themselves out around us, it is our own nature and actions, and the nature and actions of the people around us, that most influence our lives.

In her own day, Austen's work signified a break with the Gothic and sentimental novels that had long been fashionable, in which heroines were always virtuous, romance was always sentimentalized, and unlikely but convenient coincidences and acts of God always occurred to bring about the dramatic climax. Instead Austen represented the ordinary world of men and women as it—sometimes mundanely—was, a place where love and romance were constrained by economics and human imperfection; where women had distinct and often sparkling personalities; where characters were never simply good or evil but more complicated amalgams, reflecting both their own moral nature and the virtues and failings of the families and society that shaped them.

In these ways, Austen seems very much in tune with today's sensibilities. We love her strong, unpretentious heroines ("Pictures of perfection as you know make me sick & wicked," Austen said of them), who think for themselves and say what they mean when appropriate and don't take themselves too seriously. They are not, in today's parlance, victims. We are as interested as ever in Austen's favorite subjects of love and marriage, while also identifying with her steadfast refusal to romanticize romance; with her acknowledgment that money, class, and what other people think matter in the real world; that marriage does not result in a happy ending for everyone; and that it is dangerous to let passion blind us to reality. Living amidst the cultural fallout from the self-absorbed, sensibility-prone 1960s, we appreciate Austen's emphasis on reason, moderation, fidelity, and consideration for others.

Austen wrote her books at the dawn of the nineteenth century, when vast social changes were already encroaching on the way of life she so loved and rendered with such exquisite artistry. We read her books today on the cusp of a new century, with an unfathomable world creeping up on us, too—one globally interconnected, technologically complex, economically uncertain. Perhaps we find on Austen's rural estates and in her charming, insular society the same peace and pleasure she found there; and an analogue for the simpler, more circumscribed world of our own childhoods, itself passing quickly away into history.

About the Title

Marianne Dashwood, trusting the evidence of her senses, falls passionately in love with a man who in truth is less good than he seems. Elinor Dashwood quite sensibly "thinks very highly of, greatly esteems, and likes" a man whose worthiness in her eyes only increases when she learns why he cannot marry her. Through the sisters' stories, and the moral dilemmas they raise, Jane Austen explores in the form of a delightful and dramatically satisfying romance the limitations and pitfalls of the Romantic aesthetic in a world where money matters.

Though Northanger Abbey (originally called Lady Susan) was Austen's first novel to be accepted for publication, the publisher never issued it, and by the time Austen bought back the rights in 1816, she didn't think it was good enough to publish. Sense and Sensibility, published in 1811, is considerably more ambitious than Northanger Abbey, both thematically and technically, and is generally considered Austen's first major novel.

 


ABOUT JANE AUSTEN

Jane Austen, seventh of the eight children of Reverend George and Cassandra Leigh Austen, was born on December 16, 1775, in the small village of Steventon in Hampshire, England. Her childhood was happy: her home was full of books and many friends and her parents encouraged both their children's intellectual interests and their passion for producing and performing in amateur theatricals. Austen's closest relationship, one that would endure throughout her life, was with her beloved only sister, Cassandra.

From about the time she was twelve years old, Austen began writing spirited parodies of the popular Gothic and sentimental fiction of the day for the amusement of her family. Chock-full of stock characters, vapid and virtuous heroines, and improbable coincidences, these early works reveal in nascent form many of her literary gifts: particularly her ironic sensibility, wit, and gift for comedy. Attempts at more sustained, serious works began around 1794 with a novel in letters—a popular form at the time—called Lady Susan, and in the years immediately following with two more epistolary novels—one called Elinor and Marianne, the other First Impressions—that would evolve into Sense and Sensibilityand Pride and Prejudice. Lady Susan, later revised and entitled Northanger Abbey, also was begun in that period.

From 1799 to 1809, little is known of Austen's life or literary endeavors, other than that upon her father's retirement she moved unhappily from her beloved home in Steventon to Bath; that he died a few years thereafter and she moved to Southampton; and that she began, but did not complete, a novel called The Watsons. A move back to the country in 1808—to a cottage on one of her brother's properties in Chawton—seems to have revived her interest in writing.

Her revised version of Elinor and Marianne—Sense and Sensibility—was published, like all the work which appeared in print in her lifetime, anonymously, in 1811; and between the time Pride and Prejudice was accepted for publication and the time it actually appeared, she wrote Mansfield Park. Emma appeared in 1816 and was reviewed favorably by the most popular novelist of the day, Sir Walter Scott, who said:

The author's knowledge of the world, and the peculiar tact with which she presents characters that the reader cannot fail to recognize, reminds us something of the merits of the Flemish school of painting. The subjects are not often elegant, and certainly never grand; but they are finished up to nature, and with a precision which delights the reader.

Scott also insightfully pointed out Emma's significance in representing the emergence of a new kind of novel, one concerned with the texture of ordinary life.

Though all her novels were concerned with courtship, love, and marriage, Austen never married. There is some evidence that she had several flirtations with eligible men in her early twenties, and speculation that in 1802 she agreed to marry the heir of a Hampshire family but then changed her mind. Austen rigorously guarded her privacy, and after her death, her family censored and destroyed many of her letters. Little is known of her personal experience or her favorite subjects. However, Austen's reputation as a "dowdy bluestocking," as literary critic Ronald Blythe points out, is far from accurate: "she loved balls, cards, wine, music, country walks, conversation, children, and bad as well as excellent novels."

In 1816, as she worked to complete her novel Persuasion, Austen's health began to fail. She continued to work, preparingNorthanger Abbey for publication, and began a light-hearted, satirical work called Sanditon which she never finished. She died at the age of forty-two on July 18, 1817, in the arms of her beloved sister, Cassandra, of what historians now believe to have been Addison's disease.

The identity of "A Lady" who wrote the popular novels was known in her lifetime only to her family and a few elite readers, among them the Prince Regent, who invited Austen to visit his library and "permitted" her to dedicate Emma to him (unaware, no doubt, that she loathed him). But Austen deliberately avoided literary circles; in Ronald Blythe's words, "literature, not the literary life, was always her intention." It was not until the December following her death, when Northanger Abbey andPersuasion were published, that "a biographical notice of the author" by Austen's brother Henry appeared in the books, revealing to the reading public for the first time the name of Jane Austen.

The time in which Jane Austen wrote her novels was a period of great stability just about to give way to a time of unimagined changes. At that time most of England's population (some thirteen million) were involved in rural and agricultural work: yet within another twenty years, the majority of Englishmen became urban dwellers involved with industry, and the great railway age had begun. Throughout the early years of the century the cities were growing at a great rate; the network of canals was completed, the main roads were being remade. Regency London, in particular, boomed and became, among other things, a great centre of fashion. On the other hand, England in the first decade of the nineteenth century was still predominantly a land of country towns and villages, a land of rural routines which were scarcely touched by the seven campaigns of the Peninsular War against Napoleon.

But if Austen's age was still predominantly one of rural quiet, it was also the age of the French Revolution, the War of American Independence, the start of the Industrial Revolution, and the first generation of the Romantic poets; and Jane Austen was certainly not unaware of what was going on in the world around her. She had two brothers in the Royal Navy and a cousin whose husband was guillotined in the Terror. And although her favourite prose writer was Dr. Samuel Johnson, she clearly knew the works of writers like Goethe, Worsdworth, Scott, Byron, Southey, Godwin and other, very definitely nineteenth-century, authors.

If Jane Austen seems to have lived a life of placid rural seclusion in north Hampshire, she was at the same time very aware of a whole range of new energies and impulses, new ideas and powers, which were changing or about to change England—and indeed the whole western world—with a violence, a suddenness, and a heedlessness, which would soon make Jane Austen's world seem as remote as the Elizabethan Age. It is well to remember that in the early years of the century, when Thomas Arnold saw his first train tearing through the Rugby countryside he said: "Feudality is gone forever." So close was it possible then to feel to the immemorial, static feudal way of life; so quickly was that way of life to vanish as the modern world laboured to be born.

Adapted from the Introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Mansfield Park.

Related Titles

Northanger Abbey

Edited with an Introduction by Marilyn Butler

This lighthearted romance, generally agreed to be Austen's earliest major novel, though it was not published until after her death, is also a high-spirited burlesque of the sentimental and Gothic novels of her day. When the charmingly imperfect heroine, Catherine Morland, visits Northanger Abbey, she meets all the trappings of Gothic horror, and imagines the worst. Fortunately, she has at hand her own fundamental good sense and irresistible but unsentimental hero, Henry Tilney. Real disaster does eventually strike, but doesn't spoil for too long the happy atmosphere of this delightful novel.

0-14-043413-5

Mansfield Park

Edited with an Introduction by Tony Tanner

More varied in scene and conceived on a bigger scale than Austen's earlier books, Mansfield Park (1814) can be seen as an image of quiet resistance at the start of what was to be the most convulsive century of change in English history. In telling the story of Fanny Price, the quiet and sensitive daughter of a lower-middle-class Portsmouth family who is brought up in—and after much suffering eventually becomes mistress of—elegant Mansfield Park, Austen draws on her usual cool irony and psychological insight while also portraying a less immediately winning heroine in a more complex light.

0-14-043016-4

Emma

Edited with an Introduction by Ronald Blythe

Many writers and critics consider Emma (1816), the last of Austen's novels published in her lifetime, the climax of her genius. Dominating the novel is the character of Emma Woodhouse—vital, interesting, complex, and predisposed to playing power games with other people's emotions. Austen called her a heroine "no one but myself would like," but she endures as one of Austen's immortal creations. Charting how Emma's disastrous foray as a matchmaker precipitates a crisis in the small provincial world of Highbury, and in her own heart, this novel of self-deceit and self-discovery sparkles with intelligence, wit, and irony.

0-14-043010-5

Persuasion

Edited with an Introduction by D.W. Harding

Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth had met and separated years before. Their reunion forces a recognition of the false values that drove them apart. The characters who embody those values are the subjects of some of the most withering satire that Austen ever wrote. Like its predecessors, Persuasion (published after her death in 1818) is a tale of love and marriage, told with Austen's distinctive irony and insight. But the heroine—like the author—is more mature; the tone of the writing more somber.

Also included in this edition is the pioneering biography of Austen written fifty years after her death by her nephew, J. E. Austen-Leigh, which outlines the essential facts of Austen's life while also reflecting the Victorian era's limited comprehension of her achievements.

0-14-043005-9

Lady Susan/The Watsons/Sanditon

Edited with an Introduction by Margaret Drabble

These three works—one novel unpublished in her lifetime and two unfinished fragments—reveal Austen's development as a great artist. Lady Susan is a sparkling melodrama, written in epistolary form, featuring a beautiful, intelligent, and wicked heroine. The Watsons, probably written when Austen resided unhappily in Bath and abandoned after her father's death, is a tantalizing fragment centering on the marital prospects of the Watson sisters in a small provincial town. Sanditon, Austen's last fiction, reflects her growing concern with the new speculative consumer society and foreshadows the great social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution.

0-14-043102-0

Also available from Penguin Classics:

The Juvenilia of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronté
Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronté
Edited by Frances Beer

This collection provides the opportunity to discover the first examples of Austen's neoclassical elegance and Bronté's mastery of the romantic spirit.

0-14-043267-1

Available on audiocassette from Penguin Audiobooks:

Emma 0-14-086106-8
Persuasion 0-14-086058-4
Pride and Prejudice 0-14-086060-6
Sense and Sensibility 0-14-086245-5
Boxed Set: Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice 0-14-771107-X

Penguin Classics wishes to thank and credit the following writers and books for information used in creating this Penguin Classics Guide:

Joseph Duffy, "Criticism 1814-70"; Brian Southam, "Criticism 1870-1940" and "Janeites and Anti-Janeites"; A. Walton Litz, "Criticism 1939-83"; J. David Grey, "Life of Jane Austen"; all in The Jane Austen Companion, J. David Grey, Managing Editor; Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1986.

Lloyd W. Brown, "The Business of Marrying and Mothering," and Norman Page, "The Great Tradition Revisited," in Jane Austen's Achievement, edited by Juliet McMaster, Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., Barnes & Noble Import Division, New York, 1976.

W. A. Craik, Jane Austen: The Six Novels, Barnes & Noble, Inc., New York, 1965.

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"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
— Jane Austen (quote from Sense and Sensibility )

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Sense and Sensibility (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 256 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Jim Hart at Bethany House for providing my copy of this classic. I couldn't help but wonder how the classic might have been improved.Historical and cultural details and definitions from England's early 1800s, facts about Austen's life that enhance the storyline, as well as many other notations, conveniently interspersed along the side margins make this an easy-to-use tutorial.I suggest that Homeschoolers, students of all ages and stages would benefit by the read or rereading. As a retired high school English teacher, I would chose this edition to teach.
Cindy Meacham More than 1 year ago
This is a bad copy of a good book.
GottaRead53 More than 1 year ago
I would give it a rating of negative 5 if I could. I' m sure there must be a well transferred version out there, but this is not it. Horrific typos are so prevalent that it was difficult to even determine what some words were supposed to be. Even multiple pages that had half of the manuscript replaced by symbols rather than words. It may be a good classic novel if it were readable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...but not the free Google version...the problem with just scanning and relying on software to "error" check, is that it makes new and different mistakes. It's gotten to the point that I'm going to delete my free version and spend some money on a different copy.
dichosa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What more can you write about any of Austin's books? Wonderfully written with humor, love and sensitivity to the era and characters. This particular edition - Konemann Classics- are small pocket sized hardback books with insightful notes in the back. Paper and binding is beautiful.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WARNING: The following contains spoilers so do not read if you want to be surprised.This is the story of the two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. When their father was dying he made their stepbrother, John, promise to take care of their mother and her daughters (which includes a younger sister, Margaret). Although John promised his father he would do so after his death his wife talked him out of settling a monetary amount on them. So John inherited the entire estate including the house in which the girls had been raised. For a short while the widow and her daughters lived with John and his wife but Mrs. Dashwood was determined to find a place to move to. Meanwhile Elinor and Mrs. John Dashwood's brother, Edward Ferrars, became fond of each other. Mrs. John Dashwood was concerned by this involvement and affronted her mother-in-law by talking of Edward's prospects and "of the danger attending any young woman who attempted to draw him in". Elinor's mother then received an offer of a cottage on an estate owned by a relative, Sir John Middleton. The only difficulty was that the cottage was in Devonshire, far from Sussex where they had been living. But the offer of Barton Cottage was so reasonable that the widow decided to move, sight unseen.At Barton Cottage the family settled in quickly aided by their landlord and neighbour, Sir John, although his wife was less welcoming. Two visitors to the Middleton house, Lady Middleton's mother, Mrs. Jennings, and a friend of Sir John's, Colonel Brandon, helped offset Lady Middleton's coldness. Soon it was apparent that Colonel Brandon was smitten by Marianne even though he was quite a bit older. However, Marianne was soon swept off her feet (literally) by a dashing young man, Willoughby, who rescued her when she fell and hurt her ankle one day. Willoughby was visiting his aunt in the neighbourhood from whom he was expecting to inherit quite a fortune. Elinor and her mother were convinced that Marianne and Willoughby were engaged although Marianne did not say anything. When Willoughby was suddenly called away, Marianne was devastated.Elinor also learned that Edward Ferrars was engaged to another, a young woman who was a relation of Mrs. Jennings, Lucy. Their engagement was a secret but Lucy had divulged it to Elinor during a visit made to Barton. Elinor could not talk of this disappointment to anyone so she kept it bottled up, unlike Marianne who pined for Willoughby quite openly.Mrs. Jennings decided to move to her house in London in January and she invited the two Dashwood girls to stay with her so they could enjoy the season. Although Elinor was reluctant to go, Marianne was wild to accept the invitation because she could then see Willoughby again. Immediately on their arrival in "town" she wrote to Willoughby, unseemly conduct for a young woman unless she was engaged. Despite several other letters Willoughby did not arrive to call and when they finally saw him at a dance he was very cold. It turns out he was about to be married to a young lady with a sizable fortune. Marianne was inconsolable.The engagement between Lucy and Edward became known to his mother who declared she would cut him off if he married Lucy. Edward, a fine young gentleman, insisted on carrying out his promise even though, in his heart, he no longer cared for her. He was offered a "living" by Colonel Brandon, meaning he could serve as minister in the church in the Colonel's area. However, the living was only 200 pounds a year, really not enough to support him and a wife. Edward offered to let Lucy out of her promise but Lucy declared she could make do with any amount (secretly hoping to get assistance from the Colonel) so long as they could be together.However, while Edward was off being confirmed his brother, Robert (who had become the sole beneficiary of his mother's fortune), wooed Lucy and they ran off together to be married. In the meantime Marianne became so ill everyone thought she would die. Colonel Brandon
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm always a little befuddled about why I love Austen so much, since normally I'm not all that enthralled by books about society marriages and romantic manipulation, but I do love her in spite of myself.I got a huge kick out of Elinor's observations of those around her; she clearly loves her sister Marianne, but also finds her somewhat ridiculous. Marianne is not the only one who she deems foolish, either. My favorite line comes after Robert Ferrars has just assured her that he finds cottages completely charming, and then goes on to describe a party held at an abode that clearly was a cottage in name only, being that it contained a dining parlour, drawing-room, library, and saloon. Having listened to this respectfully, "Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition."
bleached on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sense and Sensibility is different from Emma and the other Austen books I have read so far. It showed that love isn't always simple and can often be wrong. It displays humanity's flaws of selfishness and vanity. The character of Willouby was the most realistic villain, in fact, I have dealt with a Willouby character in my own love life. I was grateful to Austen for not having him come back in the end and regain Maryanne and his happiness. The only way this novel could have been better is if Willoughby would have ended more miserable.
JechtShot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finally made it through Sense and Sensibility, but I must say it was quite a struggle. Jane Austen has a wonderful way with words, but I think it is safe to say that I grew to hate just about every character in the novel by the end. Elinor - the sense of the operation, was prim, proper dull and boring. Marianne - aka sensibility, was the extreme opposite of Elinor and I was praying she would be struck by a runaway horse and buggy within moments of being introduced to her, but sadly this was not to occur. The remaining women were primarily gossip junkies stalking the countryside for their next fix. The men of Sense and Sensibility not much better with the exception of Mr. Palmer. Palmer had the good sense to hide in the background and ignore the whole lot. I may give Austen another shot, but this reader needs a little time away.
Letter4No1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Earlier this year I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time and was really looking forward to reading more Austen. Sense and Sensibility did not live up to the high standers I had set for it, but It was a good read. The slow start describing the family situation ruins the race of the story and makes it very had to get into. I had a problem with Marianne as a character, but I can see how she could be endearing to some. In short this was a classic worth reading.
thehistorychic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audiobook version of Sense and Sensibility read by Susannah Harker and it was possibly the best audiobook I have ever heard! Yes better than Jim Dale reading Harry Potter (which I also really enjoyed)! If I am going to review anything in this post that is it. If you get a chance to pick up this audiobook version, you should. She is very good at making each character unique and keeping you engaged the whole book. It is unabridged so 14 hours long but well worth it....more I listened to the audiobook version of Sense and Sensibility read by Susannah Harker and it was possibly the best audiobook I have ever heard! Yes better than Jim Dale reading Harry Potter (which I also really enjoyed)! If I am going to review anything in this post that is it. If you get a chance to pick up this audiobook version, you should. She is very good at making each character unique and keeping you engaged the whole book. It is unabridged so 14 hours long but well worth it.Disclaimer: Yes, I have read Sense and Sensibility a few different times before listening to it on audio. It is my 2nd favorite Jane Austen novel behind Pride and Prejudice. So the story is very comforting and familiar. I have the characters I love, the ones who annoy me, and the ones I would like to throw to the wolves. However, as with all great books, it always leaves me with the the hope that in the end the nice guy does in fact finish with the girl of his dreams. Austen is one of the best at taking flawed characters that come from a place of good and making them find each other.This book particularly appeals to me because out of all of Jane Austen's characters I am probably the most like Elinor. I am a little more open about my opinions but otherwise she is the closest to me personality wise. I would also like to think that out there is an E. Farris for me, as he is exactly the type of guy that I go for. Smart, Off-Beat humor, Loyal, Kind, and good to his word. So reading their rather understated romance always warms my heart. Plus, I love Brandon and his steadfast beautifully portrayed personality. He is the Bingley of this novel but Marianne takes awhile to realize that.(less)(edit)
mbmackay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As the introduction helpfully points out - very few people put S & S at the top of their list of the best Austen novels! (from the 1902 edition available from Project Gutenberg). But this is still a great book. Her characters are so well imagined, finely drawn and believable. While they play out their personalities in a now strange environment, one can readily 'see' people with these same characteristics in ANY environment. Read June 2010 in e-book format.
vandersen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Austen! Highbrow soap - delicious
AngelaRenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Title Sense and Sensibility Insight EditionAuthor Jane Austen Publisher Bethany HouseISBN 978-0-7642-0740-2$14.99 In Sense and Sensibility we meet the Dashwood family, three charming girls and their widowed mother, who are forced to move from their beloved home after the death of their father. Promising his father that he would provided for the needs of his stepmother and sisters, John Dashwood¿s wife Fanny, eager to get her hands on the family fortune, convinces her husband that the sum was too great and it should be extremely lowered. With little money the family is forced to move to a cottage offered by relatives. We then gain a glimpse into the lives of the two eldest sisters, Elinor, who happens to be practical and the very charming Marianne, who lives for the moment. Different as day and night each sister experiences their own version of love. Elinor with the somewhat stuffy Edward Ferrars, brother to the intolerable Mrs. Fanny Dashwood, and Marianne with the enchanting Willoughby who has the ability to charm a snake. All the while the reasonable but slightly older, Colonel Brandon comes calling for the unwilling Marianne. Although the suitors of the Dashwood girls are both hiding enormous secrets, once discovered these secrets could break both of the girls hearts. In the end which will win Sense or Sensibility?Sense and Sensibility was the first novel of Jane Austen¿s to be published, now Bethany House has published the insight edition. The perfect edition to add or start your Austen collection. Complete with notes pertaining to everything from historical/cultural events, definitions during Jane¿s era, to facts and tidbits about Jane¿s life. Also included is comments featuring facts pertaining to the movies and pop culture surround the novel. Readers will be pleased to know that the story of Sense and Sensibility has not been altered from the one the Jane Austen wrote. The Insight edition is exactly what it claims, an insight in the world of Sense and Sensibility and the world in which Jane Austen lived. Once again I will say that this is the perfect edition to either start or add to your Jane Austen collection. This book was provided for review thanks to Bethany House
smilingsally on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Jim Hart at Bethany House for providing my copy of this classic. I couldn't help but wonder how the classic might have been improved.Historical and cultural details and definitions from England's early 1800s, facts about Austen's life that enhance the storyline, as well as many other notations, conveniently interspersed along the side margins make this an easy-to-use tutorial.I suggest that Homeschoolers, students of all ages and stages would benefit by the read or rereading. As a retired high school English teacher, I would chose this edition to teach.
GrazianoRonca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis (Minnesota), 2010I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publisher Sense and Sensibility is the first published book of Jane Austen; next year is the anniversary: 200 years. A book without age and wrinkles; full of wits, surprises, change of scenes and characters described inside their soul (Does Jane Austen describe the psychology of the characters? No, we're lucky, Freud and friends not yet born!). A tale of two sisters opposite until the end of the book. Elinor and Marianne, following different paths, at last find love and happiness. The themes of Sense and Sensibility are the conjectures of the soul and concealed feeling, rational (Elinor) and irrational (Marianne). At the turn of the century, Jane Austen presents old and new cultural movement: classicism and romanticism. The first as Elinor with judgment and moderation, the second as Marianne with extravagance and imagination. Within the other characters I liked Willoughby: he follows the evil's path whom 'had led him likewise to punishment' (p. 295), and Willoughby also is the man who is forgiven by Elinor.This edition comes with notes about historical anecdotes, unscientific ranking of the characters, themes of faith relate to Austen's life and references from Sense and Sensibility's movies (I like these notes!). It seems another book to take to school; I don't think so: Sense and Sensibility is not so boring, take it in your everyday life.Sense and Sensibility is a classic book, or as written by Italo Calvino 'A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say' (the translation in mine).
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two sisters experience the trials and tribulations of love.Sense and Sensibility was Jane Austen's first published novel. It contains all the elements that have made her such an enduring literary figure: well-drawn characters, elegant prose, nice romantic tension and sheer readability. Though not as well-liked as Pride and Prejudice, it's a wonderful novel capable of standing tall on its own merits.Austen employs a fairly standard structure here: she presents the two sisters, Elinor and Marianne, as embodiments of particular worldviews. Elinor has a great deal of sense; she's practical, down-to-earth and considerate of others. Marianne is mostly concerned with what the world can do for her; she's passionate, articulate, and throughly committed to living life her way. Austen uses the novel's events to soften each sister's character, bringing them both to a middle point at which Elinor has gained some passion and Marianne has gained some sense.These events are primarily romantic and, as is Austen's usual wont, there are problems aplenty. The atmosphere is always rife with tension as both sisters discover and deal with terrible truths about their suitors. The book can be read as a simple, literary romance novel, filled with the usual sorts of mistakes and moments of forgiveness.This is far from a one-dimmensional novel, though. One can easily delve deeper. Personally, I found that Austen did some interesting things with the whole idea of self-control. As the characters live in a very formal, polite society, it's often impossible for them to say what they really think. This leads to some wonderful dialogue as each character dances around their true meaning, finding some way to express themselves without breaking any social rules or being untrue to themselves. This results in some absolutely hilarious moments, and not a few heartbreaking ones.Overall, this is most certainly worth your time. Recommended.
elbakerone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As can always be expected from Jane Austen novels, Sense and Sensibility is filled with many memorable multi-dimensional characters. Readers' hearts will go out to the two Dashwood sisters, reasonable Elinor and passionate Marianne; laughs will be shared with the boisterous Mrs. Jennings; and sneers will be passed to the pages about the cad Willoughby. As one of Jane Austen's earliest works, Sense and Sensibility lacks the polish and ease of reading some of her other books (Pride and Prejudice, for example). However, her storytelling ability, fresh dialogue and wonderful characters reamain to leave this book a true classic, beloved by generation after generation.
justabookreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Austen wrote two of my favorite books --- Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice. Each time I re-read them, (yes, I am a serial re-reader) I am overcome by the amount of emotion she can fit on a page. Sense & Sensibility ranks right up there for me with the best of the tearjerkers.Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are incredibly close sisters but could not be more different. Elinor is strong and reserved, Marianne is emotional and prone to outbursts on any opinion she might have. They are opposites in many ways with the exception of their love lives which can be described as nothing more than shambles. Elinor is in love with Edward and she feels, and her family is assured, that she will someday be his wife. Marianne falls for a man named Willoughby . He is dashing, daring, and falls amicably in love with Marianne soon after their first ill-fated meeting. Her happiness is not meant to last and, after leading her on, he leaves her with no warning. When an opportunity arises for the sisters to be in London, Marianne readily agrees much against the more strident arguments of Elinor to stay at the cottage with their mother. It is in London that Willoughby is sited and Marianne¿s hopes rise only to be completely dashed when it is rumored that he is to marry someone very rich, something Marianne is not and has no hope to ever be. The death of their father and the miserly ways of their half brother, John, have left the Dashwood women rather less endowed.While in London, Marianne goes into a stupor on finding out about Willoughby and Elinor does her best to care for her. Unbeknownst to Marianne, Elinor is experiencing much the same torment --- she has heard from an acquaintance, Lucy Steele, that Edward is engaged. In fact, he is engaged to Lucy and Elinor is forced to listen to her drivel about their difficulties in not being able to express their love openly and to marry. Elinor is strong under the strain but somehow, while reading, you just wish she would sit and give in to her emotion but she doesn¿t. That is the beauty in reading Austen, she pulls at the heartstrings but her characters can take it.An illness strands Elinor and Marianne on their way home but thanks to the help, and love, of a family friend, they are reunited with their mother and return home where each has time to recover from their love ordeals. After a few weeks, Elinor is surprised by Edward and an offer of marriage she had convinced herself was impossible and Marianne finds happiness in love in the place she least expected.The one thing I adore about the Austen novels I have read are the characters and this book does not fall short. The Dashwoods¿ sister-in-law, Mrs. John Dashwood (Fanny) is probably one of the most conniving and annoying characters in the book. Her cheap nature, mean spiritedness, and jealously for the sisters is appropriately aggravating. In one scene, she complains about having to give away the good china when she of all people is forcing the Dashwoods from their beloved home now that her husband has inherited it upon of the death of his father. She plays a very small part but is unforgettable for me and one character I cannot stand to come across. She is so conniving she is wonderful and makes you want to hate all sister-in-laws even if you love you own. Why do I re-read this book over and over? Each time I find something new to love. I feel more and more each time for Marianne and the deep depression she falls into over losing Willoughby and what she thought, and was led to believe, would happen between them. Willoughby becomes more and more of a rascal, to use a proper Austen term, and so viciously cruel that Marianne¿s torment becomes even greater. And dear Elinor, the strong sister who seems capable of running the world if given the chance with her calm and cool demeanor, to suffer so in silence almost to the end is just heart wrenching. When the happy ending arrives you almost want to celebrate a
jennmurphy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Austen has been one of my favorite writers since 10th grade English when I was forced to read Pride and Prejudice. This book chronicles the lives of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne, in their quest for love. Each sister is unique and Austen shows us two very different reactions through out the novel. Austen is able to take a mildly predictable story of love and the various trials that lead to happiness and turn it into a classic. Her characters are memorable not only for their strengths but their flaws as well. It feels like an inside look at a typical family, but ends up being so much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much, but would have loved it if the editorial coments did not so often intrude on the body of the writing. There were several places where the 'margin notes' ended up in the middle of the body of work thereby interupting the flow until I could figure out what belonged and what didn't. I would hope that the publishers would care about this classic tale (and the ongoing popularity of Jane Austin) to correct these errors in future editions!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a good book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can't even read this. It has special characters splashed throughout the regular text, and is absolutely impossible to read. :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago