Sense and Sensibility complete illustrated novel. Published by MobileReference (mobi).
Sense and Sensibility complete illustrated novel. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

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Elinor's compassion for him increased, as she had reason to suspect that the misery of disappointed love had already been known to him. This suspicion was given by some words which accidently dropped from him one evening at the park, when they were sitting down together by mutual consent, while the others were dancing. His eyes were fixed on Marianne, and, after a silence of some minutes, he said, with a faint smile, "Your sister, I understand, does not approve of second attachments."


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Customer Reviews:

  • "She Can Never Be More Lost to You than She is Now..."
    One thing needs to be made clear before reading this book; the words "sense" and "sensibility" do not mean the same things today as they did in Jane Austen's time. Though `sense' referred to intelligence and the ability to judge situations well, `sensibility' had connotations to having appropriate sensitivity toward moral and artistic issues, linked with the superiority of a person's aesthetical `senses'. As such, there is room for debate over which sister represents which trait, something seemingly obvious from the outset of the book, but which dramatically changes by its conclusion (which amusingly mirrors the ongoing debate over which traits Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy embody in the title of their story "Pride and Prejudice").

    "Sense and Sensibility" was Austen's first novel, and as such is considered her weakest by the critics, though this also means it is also the most accessible and easy-to-read novel. First novels are almost always the most amateurish, and as such it is a much simpler work, from the storyline to the sentence structure, which leads to an easier reading experience than her more complex novels ("Emma" and the aforementioned "Pride and Prejudice"). Anyone new to the world of Austen is best to start here as the easiest book with which to ease into her range of novels.

    The sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are extreme opposites; oldest sibling Elinor uses her head, whilst the younger Marianne follows her heart; but for all of this, the two are very close. After the death of their father, Elinor and Marianne - along with their mother and younger sister - are forced to give up their comfortable estate to their stepbrother (the product of their father's first marriage) and sister-in-law due to the inheritance law. But before relocating to Barton Cottage, Elinor forms an attachment with Fanny Dashwood's brother Edward Ferrars, a shy and awkward, but good-hearted man. Hoping that her feelings are returned, but unable to make any advances, Elinor travels to Barton Cottage in the hopes that he will return to her there in the near future.

    At Barton Cottage, the girls make many new acquaintances, in particular the loud and bustling matriarch Mrs Jennings who is determined to marry the girls off as quickly as can be, and the quiet and gentlemanly Colonel Brandon. As for the romantic and dreamy Marianne, she's fallen hopelessly in love with the dashing John Willoughby after he rescues her from a rainy day and a twisted ankle whilst out walking in the countryside - much to the dismay of the smitten Colonel Brandon. Already concerned at Marianne's overly romantic disillusions, Elinor is concerned at her rather wanton behaviour in the presence of her new beau, but is then has her attention drastically diverted on being introduced to a Miss Lucy Steele who has a secret to share about Edward Ferrars...

    The story winds its way through the girls' negotiations with the society they live in, the restrictions held upon them and the individuals which hold power over them - not with the same deftness that Austen displays in later novels, but still with much thought-provoking commentary. The family's plight in being reduced to guests in their own home at Norland, at the mercy of their somewhat dim-witted brother is particularly revealing as to the social injustices of the time, and though the frustrations of the girls' status is never explicitly stated, it is readily evident for anyone willing to read between the lines. At the end of the day, all they have is each other and the fervent hope that they will find both happiness and security in marriage. Their trials in love are perhaps the most heart-rending experiences of any other Austen heroines, (where romances are either touched by irony or poignancy) in the fact that a happy ending is not guaranteed for the sisters and that their future happiness depends on a good match - it particular it is hard not to feel your heart break for Marianne, whose unswerving belief in her own feelings and the raptures of her heart are so cruelly put to the test.

    The characters of Elinor and Marianne are utterly irresistible. Elinor is the sort of person you would desperately wish for in your life in order to benefit from her good sense and protective nature, whilst Marianne is utterly charming in her romantic flights of fancy (in fact she's so winsome and dreamy that it's almost a shame when she gains some `sense' at the novel's end - one would have been contented to have her indulge in her dreaming forever). Though the novel is told almost solely through Elinor's eyes, in several ways Marianne is the main protagonist, who goes through the most trials and changes. Whatever your own opinions, the two provide an excellent foil for each other, and at all times the sisterly bond between them is apparent.

    There have been so many adaptations of Jane Austen novels throughout the years, though to my mind none is better than Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. As I was reading the novel, I often found myself switching on the DVD in order to compare the two. It is a beautiful film, loyal to the themes, storyline and characters of the novel and in some cases improve upon it, and so comes very highly recommended as a companion piece to Austen's first novel....more info
  • Wonderful Austen Novel, Despite What Critics Say
    Once criticised as being "least interesting" of Auten's works, I entirely disagree. Sense & Sensibility is one of my favourites, if not favourite Austen novel. Perhaps not as "light, and bright, and sparkling" as Pride & Prejudice, it is still a wonderful and enjoyable read, and definitely not as dense as Mansfield Park. Personally, I could not put this book down, when usually with Austen I read a chapter or two a day.

    The dual heroines is one of the most interesting literary techniques here, interlaced with the usual infuriating members of society (John and Fanny, Lucy Steele), silly women (Charlotte Palmer) and men (Robert Ferrars).

    My only criticism of the plot would be the somewhat rushed ending, but the story goes through regular "ups and downs" and enough changes of scenery to keep interest.

    I often prefer the Penguin Classics versions of the Austen novels. They are easy to carry around and have comprehensive footnotes as well as interesting and thought-provoking introductions and appendices. In this version I prefer the original introduction by Tony Tanner, but the introduction by Ros Ballaster is interesting in its discussion of the opposing themes of the novel i.e. first and second attachments, scream and screen, and of course, sense and sensibility.

    My only criticism of the Penguin Classics version is the cover art, which I don't feel encompasses the true characters of Elinor and Marianne. While I appreciate the use of 19th century art on the Penguin Classics covers, I never feel that they truly embody the character (except for maybe sickly Fanny Price). As a side note, I do like the cover art of the Sense and Sensibility (Oxford World's Classics) edition.

    In ending, if you are an Austen fan, and haven't read this, you must. Furthermore, if you are considering Austen I would recommend either Sense & Sensibility or Pride & Prejudice as first reads. In any case, the Penguin Classics version will not disappoint....more info
  • Intellect and Emotions
    This is the first Jane Austen novel I've read. I have to say that I had a very difficult time getting through that book. I find it extremely slow reading on inane subjects. But I am obviously in the minority with that opinion. I expected wonderful stories like Louisa May Alcott's books, but then maybe I am listening with the wrong "ear". Maybe I was suppose to listen to the sound of the words like a James Joyce novel. I've read a lot of period novels written in that time and place, so it's not a lack of familiarity with the era or the language.

    I will say that it shows a very real contrast between the use of emotion controlled by intellect vs. total emotional immersion in the subject of romance. ...more info
  • Elinor and Marianne....What great sisters!
    The dual natures of these sisters is what truly makes this novel special. Their natural differences and their abilities in the end to overcome their inborn instincts demonstrate Austen's talent in creating interesting and dynamic characters. For me, this is Jane's best novel (I have not read them all). There is so much to learn from these characters! The men in the novel are complex and interesting as well. Recommended reading. (and yes, the 21st century reader will need to be patient with the language, but the novel is well worth it.) ...more info
  • Irrisistable Restrained Prose (As Always) By Austen
    Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" concentrates upon life in the Dashwood family and the relationship of two sisters, particularly in reference to the amorous events in their lives transpiring over the course of a year or so. The younger sister, Marianne, represents "sense," as she views and lives life in a romantic, sensual, and dramatic manner, while Elinor, representing "sensibility," is more reserved in her expressions of feeling, and her pragmatic, moral way of making decisions. While treating one other, at times, with brutal honesty, attacking the other for who they are not, each eventually learns that there is a deep love between them. Additionally, the sisters learn that there is something of value in the dominant characteristics of the other's personality, and this works to positive effect for the love lives of both as time passes.

    Austen paints a picture of early nineteenth century England, especially with a focus on the position of women, who were largely dependent on marriage for their survival. Yet, in spite of this, Austen's characters hunger for their dreams, for love that does not compromise their existence merely to pragmatic ends. In narrative terms, Austen's genius never fails to come through with unseen twists in plot and beautiful, moving dialogue that has been kept at bay to be delivered to the anxiously-waiting reader at just the right moment. ...more info
  • Slow but Steady
    Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, guided respectively by rational sense and passionate sensibility, navigate love and heartbreak together in their own inimitable styles. The plot is simple and straightforward, with only a couple of surprising twists. This is good, though, serving only to clear the stage of contrivances and to give plenty of room for the entertaining and memorable characters to play out their schemes, hopes, follies, and humanity. It's this latter quality that breathes life and interest into characters who could in less capable hands have been reduced to paper-thin archetypes. In Jane's hands, her characters feel like someone you might still meet in a corner of England that time forgot....more info
  • Looks Good
    Haven't had a chance to read the book yet. But, it looks like it will be a great read. The book came as promised. It is a paperback - but a high quality one. If you are looking for this classic, I do recommend this printing....more info
  • 4.5 billion stars
    I have no right to review Jane Austen. I give this book 4.5 billion stars....more info
  • Excellent!
    Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is a classic novel. It's a very entertaining book. A few pages into this book, I already had taken sides for and against the characters. They are wonderfully believable. Some I disliked; some I liked. The ones I didn't like were money grubbing types who must have been pretty common in that period. The one I most liked was Elinor Dashwood, the eldest Miss Dashwood. She was very pretty and had good sense. Throughout the book, I found surprises. These were unexpected events that twisted the plot. Jane Austen uses the English language very well. This book is almost contemporary in language and is eminently readable. In fact, Sense and Sensibility is a classic worth owning.
    I recommend Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to all readers who want a fascinating cast of characters and a good read.
    ...more info
  • Nice..
    Great book! I saw the film before I read the book, but the book didn't let me down one bit. I love how Jane Austin describes the band between the sisters, and how she talks about how they are in love. The chosen words are beautiful too, but you vocabulary has to be in order to understand this book, so that you don't have to grab a dictionary everytime....more info
  • Arguably my favourite Jane Austen.
    The book tells about the remarkable family of Dashwood whose family home was located in Sussex. The book is about two sisters who are as diametrically opposite as two can be. Marianne is the younger sister, and she is eager, imprudent and excitable. Elinor is much more sensible than her young sister, and her voice is always the voice of reason. But it's the world that Ms. Austen always brings to her pages that is so captivating. She more than many others can create a little piece of the world that the reader has the privilege of discovering and then learns to love, just like Ms. Austen's characters do. This is what puts Ms Austen's books so much above the norm in this particular genre. ...more info
  • Elinor and Marianne....What great sisters!
    The dual natures of these sisters is what truly makes this novel special. Their natural differences and their abilities in the end to overcome their inborn instincts demonstrate Austen's talent in creating interesting and dynamic characters. For me, this is Jane's best novel (I have not read them all). There is so much to learn from these characters! The men in the novel are complex and interesting as well. Recommended reading. (and yes, the 21st century reader will need to be patient with the language, but the novel is well worth it.) ...more info
  • The epitome of a perfect novel
    Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility was a wonderful debut from the author who gave us Pride and Prejudice. Here we follow the adventures of the Dashwood sisters as they find love in an class-conscious Regency England.

    The Dashwoods, impoverished when their father dies, are forced to live in a small house in the coutry on 500 pounds a year. With such unfortunate pospects as those, it will be difficult for the elder two, Elinor and Marianne, to find good marriage prospects. Marianne finds herself falling in love with the dashing Willoughby, who ends up being not all that he appears. Elinor, the more sensible of the two, falls for Edward Ferras, a match that seems much more suitable. But again, things are not what they seem, in this delicious tale of love. The young women must use their sense to see what is really there, and their sensibility to see what will be (unfortunately, Marianne uses neither, much to the detriment of the family). Colonel Brandon is the unassuming, unlikely hero who falls in love with Marianne and saves her from death.

    Having read this book several times, I can safely say that it gets better and better with every reading. I also recommend the 1995 film starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and others. ...more info
    I thought that after all these years I might as well pitch in and give my two cents worth in regard to one of my favorite authors. The plot has been well covered with these reviews and others, and even if they had not, you would have had to almost spent your life living under a rock not to be aware, so I certainly will not beat it to death here.

    Briefly though, this is the story of two sisters of the Dashwood family, who find themselves in a state of reduced circumstances upon the death of their father; a plight not uncommon during that era we know as Regency England. This is the story of Emma Dashwood and her sister Marianne, the relationship between the two sisters, their family, friends, neighbors, and most importantly, possible suitors. The story is told mostly through the eyes of Emma (sense?...I wonder), but through her eyes we get a wonderful picture of some very unforgettable characters. Note: If you watch very closely, you will see these same characters amongst us even to this day! More about this later.

    Now, for one of my pet peeves; most of the members of the reading Western World will tell you that this is Austen's first novel and it is not her best work, or one reason or another. Now being something of a semi-cultural barbarian, I have a problem with this statement. While I will admit that Austen's later works are some of the best turned out in the English language, I do strongly feel that it is quite unfair to compare and contrast this work, Sense and Sensibility, with her later works. Had this been the only novel Ms Austen had ever written, she still would have been listed with the literary greats on this work along. It has all of the elements that her later works include; the insight to human nature, the subtle humor, the fantastic dialog, the complicated relationships, the unfortunate conditions many young ladies of that class suffered during this period of time and the raw emotions that are so understated in each and every line of her work. I hate to beat dead horses, but the dialog in this work is along with the read!

    I take my peevishness further in noting that many refer to the situations, manners, mannerisms, attitudes and situations as being typically of those of only this period on English history. As far as I can tell, most, if not all, of the situations encountered by the Dashwood sisters are with us even to this day and are merely cloaked in different clothing. Emotions are emotions are timeless and what was true then, is true now, the truth just manifests itself a bit differently now than it did then. We all want love, security, understanding and companionship; have since time began and I suspect we will until time ends. Not all that much has changed. I also strongly feel that if you feel that there is not a definite class system in existence today, as there was at the time this novel was written, then you well may be missing something. It may no be a blatant now as then, but it certainly is alive and well even to this day.

    Now all that being said, the bottom line is that this one fine bit of writing; a timeless bit of writing and the reader will certainly be much richer for having read it, and as a matter of fact, it does not hurt to give this one, along with Austen's other works, multiple readings over the years. There is much we can learn here. I've often told people that they should read at least one of Jane Austen's books each year just to keep in the front of their minds what writing is all about. And for goodness sakes, I agree fully that there have been some very fine film adaptations of this work over the years and I certainly do recommend that you see them (I personally love several of them), but READ the book also! You are missing out on a real treat if you do not.

    This review was of the Penquin Classic edition, one of quite a number of editions I have laying around the house. Between my wife and myself, the get quite a workout...I do not know what I would do with out good old Penquin. I will review other editions, as there are some that are excellent, while other not so great and it does make a difference you know.

    Don Blankenship
    The Ozarks
    ...more info
  • Boring and Bore-ability
    I have seen many movies and PBS mini series that have been made out of Jane Austin novels and have loved them all. Being an avid reader, I thought I'd LOVE to read the books too since books are so much better than anything put to the screen. Boy was I wrong. I just couldn't get through it. It's written in such a form that it's hard to follow and understand what she is talking about. I've truly had to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs to get what in the world she is talking about. Here's an example: "She was faithful to her word; and when Willoughby called at the cottage, the same day, Elinor heard her express her disappointment to him in a low voice, on being obliged to forego the acceptance of his present. The reasons for this alteration were at the same time related, and they were such as to make further entreaty on his side impossible." OR: "The situation of Barton, in a county so far distant from Sussex as Devonshire, which, but a few hours before, would have been a sufficient objection to outweigh every possible advantage belonging to the place, was now its first recommendation." HUH??? See what I mean? I had to work too hard at understanding much of the book and it was no longer relaxing or fun to read so I gave up. I guess when it comes to these period pieces, I was better off watching the movies. I wanted to return the book...more info
  • Miss Austen's first published novel...
    "Sense and Sensibility" was first published in 1811, although it appears that Jane Austen had worked on various versions of the novel since the 1790's. It is less polished than the later, classic "Pride and Prejudice", but it contains all the familiar elements we expect and enjoy in an Jane Austen novel.

    The novel is built around the two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, whose contrasting styles are the "sense and sensibility" of the title. Elinor is the elder sister, patient, considerate and practical. Marianne, on the other hand, knows no halfway love of anything in life.

    As the story opens, their father has just died, leaving the family estate to his son by a first marriage and his second wife and three daughters in near destitution. The widow and three daughters move to a small cottage on the estate of a distant kinsman in Devonshire. Elinor leaves behind the cherished Mr. Edward Ferres, a shy but loyal and seemingly compatible friend, who has however strangely not offered marriage to Elinor. The beautiful Marianne attracts two suitors soon after their arrival in Devonshire, the older, sober and respectable Colonel Brandon, and the young, handsome, and charming Mr. Willoughby. Willoughby wins Marianne's heart, and an engagement is expected momentarily.

    To Marianne's immense disappointment, Willoughby unexpectedly departs for London without proposing. The two sisters are persuaded to travel with an aunt to London to take part in the social scene. In London, the sisters will learn shocking news about their respect suitors, and each will learn to cope with the help of the other. The journey back to Devonshire will set the stage for dramatic developments for Elinor and Marianne.

    Austen's sense of dialogue and ability to set up scenes staging are less acute in "Sense and Sensibility" than in later novels, but she makes up for it by a more emotional approach to the characters and some savage if indirect commentary on the social customs of the day. Those readers whose introduction to the story is the excellent 1995 movie "Sense and Sensibility" will find a longer, more subtle, and complex story in Austen's novel. This novel is very highly recommended to fans of Jane Austen. ...more info
  • Enjoy 19th century society? Read this book!
    If you are not interested in 19th century society and the roles of women, this story is not for you. The plot is excellent, with many unexpected twists and turns, but the way in which Austen goes about presenting this dramatic story is occasionally hard to follow. Although her descriptions of society in the 19th century are very interesting, they are different than society today, so they are sometimes difficult to understand.
    Austen presents the roles of women in 19th century society in a new and interesting way. In her book, women were expected to stay at home with the children, and they were not even offered the option of working out of the home. The women in the novel longed only to fall in love, get married, and have children. If they did not get married, they employed themselves in matching younger women with eligible men.
    The love stories are very intriguing as well. Elinor loves Edward, but hardly shows it, while Marianne falls in love with Willoughby and, through her actions, announces it to the town. Both eventually reach a happy medium where Elinor learns that, in order to win Edward, she has to show her emotions more. Marianne, on the other hand, realizes that she needs to be a little more reserved with her emotions.
    Overall this is a very interesting book though the language is sometimes hard to follow.
    ...more info
  • what's all the fuss about?
    when my friend read all of jane austen a few years ago and just couldn't stop raving, i thought it was time to give the old girl a test ride around the block and see what all the fuss was about. on first try i fell right off. it was like reading a foreign language. my mind wouldn't stand still long enough to learn it. now, though, with the continued push to read jane austen ever before me (the new book, "the jane austen book club" peeked my interest), i thought i'd strap on my helmut and give her one more try. a few years of meditation under my belt would surely slow me down and give me more of a chance to "get it", i thought.
    she's still out of reach. i was initially teased, even laughed once or twice as i started "sense and sensibility" but's just soooo boring. austen's portrayal of elinor and marianne and the crew are about as shallow as it gets. there is no depth here in these characters. my mother even joined me in this reading endeavor. we started a book club of two, just to accomplish this task... strength in numbers and all that. but, alas, we were both so " monstrous" bored. it was a "sedulous" task at best. we have now named our book club the "anything BUT jane austen book club".
    the reasons for the boredom:
    1)i'm just not entranced by long, long, long sentences. proust gave it a go and did a much better job.
    2)i'm also put off by the confusing use and over use of pronouns..who really is "he" and "she" and "they"...i think if i'd have submitted this work in college, it would have come back with many margin notes on grammar, syntax and style.
    3)i think i got the idea of the social structure and nuances(where there any?) in the first 50 pages.. the rest was just" monstrous insipid ".
    4)and for the storyline.. when austen lovers run out of austen material do they go on to harlequin romances? seems it would be a logical move.

    no more austen for this old girl. life's just too short and there are too many really good books out there....more info
  • My second Austen book!!! Yaayyy!!! I'm so cultured!!!
    I had to read this book for my college novel course. It hooked me on Jane Austen. I am currently reading Persuasions, which is the last book I have to read to have finished all her books! And then I can go around showing off how cultured and well-read I am. Blah blah blah.

    Anyway, this book has a really great heroine, Elinor, who is perhaps my favorite heroine because she's so much like me, introspective and cautious, and carefully controlled. Her sister Marianne, who is said to be the `life of the novel' and `more likeable', is actually a silly, foolishly romantic girl who is passionate and loving. Sure, you love her, but you don't really like her (at least I didn't) and you certainly don't respect her. Elinor however, earns your respect and admiration for her steady character and sense. If you don't know, `sensibility' is the opposite of sense, it means emotionality and imprudence etc. (I learned that in college!!!) It isn't a common word nowadays, so I thought I'd let you in on the plot. Elinor is sense, Marianne sensibility, and you should be more like Elinor etc. It's a story with a moral, you see, like Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth is prejudice and Mr. Darcy pride).

    The mother, Mrs. Dashwood, is really weird; she isn't always after her daughters to marry well. She is looking for romance as much as her girls are, as opposed to Mrs. Burton from Pride and Prejudice, who rejoices even when her daughter marries a good for nothing, simply because she's married. It was a good book, with surprising and unexpected plot twists that are pretty complicated, plus loveable characters and a good romance. It almost had me in tears at the end which is a miracle because I never cry, and almost never am moved to tears by a book or movie. Great book, try it out!!

    ...more info
  • My Favorite Jane Austen Novel
    Though not considered to be her best work, Austen's Sense and Sensibility is definitely my favorite. The novel tells the tale of two sisters: Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Having been left nearly penniless after the death of their father, the Dashwood family moves to a small cottage in the country. Elinor, the more sensible of the two sisters, is concerned with keeping up appearances and not letting her feelings for the object of her affections, Edwards Ferrars, be known. Marianne on the other hand, is the more flighty of the two. She wears her heart on her sleeve, a heart that beats for the charming and alluring Mr. Willoughby. The two sisters struggle with their own love affairs and their social standing in what I would call Austen's finest work.

    I know I go against the majority when I say I prefer this novel to Pride and Prejudice, but I do. Elinor and Marianne are much softer, more endearing characters than the Elizabeth and Jane Bennett. While the plots are similar, I would say that Sense and Sensibility reveals more about the main characters - their emotions, thoughts, etc. - than Pride and Prejudice does with its main characters.

    Either way, I adore this novel. If you have never read Austen, I definitely recommend starting with Sense and Sensibility....more info
  • Love in the 19th century
    Sense and Sensibility is a book that describes the adventures of falling in love in the 19th century. Love back then wasn't as simple a thing as falling in love today is. Women and men had to abide by the rules their society presented- marrying based on money and status- as the main characters of this book had to do.
    The book follows sisters Elinor Dashwood, a sensible young woman who does not let her emotions rule her behavior, and Marianne Dashwood, a person who exaggerates and acts on her many emotions constantly. Their journey starts off when their father dies and they are forced to move out to the country to live on a very small allowance. At their new home, they meet a numerous amount of people who turn their life into a whirlwind. Willoughby, a suave and prominent young man, steals the attention of Marianne and an old love of Elinor's returns. Both of these relationships turn out differently than anyone can expect, through many twists and turns.
    This is a wonderful book that holds your attention through the end. The beginning pages that describe different relations, deaths, and monetary concerns were difficult to follow, as well as some of the different situations throughout the book. But Jane Austins ability to portray the hardships, and results, that both of these sisters had to endure, through different situations of love in the unruly 19th century, was without compare.
    ...more info
  • Still rings with truth
    Sense and Sensibility is more than 200 years old. The world was a dramatically different place in the early 1800s. The culture was different, the language was different, the governments were different. The entire state of mankind was completely different.

    So the question is, does a 200 year old book still pack a punch in 2005? Or has it become an archaic, dusty tome that alienates any reader with its unintelligable prose and mindless story? The answer, I believe, is a little bit of both.

    Clearly, the pre-Victorian writing style varies greatly from the Hemingway-esque brevity that is encountered so often in modern times. Often, Austen's writing is confused and cluttered. It can seem overly pedantic, trivial, and circumlocutious. There are entire paragraphs that can, and should have been, omitted because they are utterly flippant and redundant. The writing style was, for me, a barrier.

    The society in which the story unfolds; that is, the cultural background, is also quite distant from our own. If anything, Sense and Sensibility is a study in history. We see what life was like back then. We hear it from a primary source. And, for the most part, the petty pursuits of the luxurious upper-class, the countless balls and parties, and the mindless squabblings of money grubbing lords are fine. The reader accepts it as part of the history.

    The story itself is where the true beauty of the book is revealed. The story is timeless. It proves, refreshingly, that one does not need a massive war or wrenching poverty to create a good yarn. Yes, Elinor and Marianne live ridiculously priveleged lives (and often complain about their "misfortune"), but we all can identify with the romantic aspects of the tale. We can identify with the characters, the people, who inhabit Austen's world. And the characters are, quite simply, incredibly colorful and richly created. The characterization is where Austen shines.

    So the main drawback to this story is its age. If you can get past the age of the book or even enjoy it intellectually, you will uncover a gem of a novel. Austen's subject (unlike her prose) does not alienate us at all. Instead, it reacquaints us with the yearnings and struggles of love and friendship. If you can slog through some of the more clunky passages, there is a lot of insight and beauty in this book, as well as a fairly good story....more info
  • Jane Austen's First Look at English Society
    Most people who have read Jane Austen will have read Pride and Prejudice. With a title like Sense and Sensibility, most readers will assume that the two books can be interpreted and enjoyed in the same way. Other than having three word titles that employ alliteration in the first and third words, the two novels are more different than similar.

    While Pride and Prejudice is primarily about miscommunication, Sense and Sensibility is about the maturation of two sisters as they find themselves confronted by adversity. The former topic allows Ms. Austen more room to roam, but within the later topic she has plenty of opportunities to display her story telling and comic talents. While maturation is an important sub theme in Pride and Prejudice, you see maturation better developed in Sense and Sensibility.

    When their father dies, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret find themselves in exile from their family home with their mother. The family estate had been left to their half brother whom their father exhorted to take care of them. But that promise is soon diluted into doing almost nothing through the selfishness of his wife and his vacillation. A relative kindly offers them a country cottage near his home and takes obvious pleasure in their company.

    At this modest new home, Elinor found herself entertaining the welcome attentions of Edward Ferrars. Elinor's younger sister, Marianne, is all aflutter over John Willoughby who seems to be committed to her. In fact, everyone assumes that there will soon be wedding bells for Marianne and Willoughby.

    All of these pleasant connections are, however, soon disrupted. Willoughby leaves and ignores Marianne. Elinor finds out an unexpected secret about Ferrars that puts her on her caution in pursuing their relationship. As these complications develop, Marianne soon finds herself distraught despite having attracted another suitor, the reliable, but older, Colonel Brandon. Elinor steps into the breach to try to help her sister regain her equilibrium. Both learn what a broken heart can feel like and adjust in their own separate ways.

    In vintage Jane Austen style, all bets are off near the end of the book as characters take unexpected steps that open up new possibilities. There's no one quite like Jane Austen for pulling great twists in her romantic comedies. These twists will cause your jaw to drop.

    Try not to compare this book to Pride and Prejudice. It's clearly a lesser work, but one that can certainly be enjoyed in its own right. ...more info
  • An enduring classic
    When Mr. Dashwood dies, the family estate passes to his son, John. The widowed Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters are left homeless and with little money. A kind relative offers to rent them a small cottage on his property.

    The two eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, find both romance and heartbreak in their new home. Elinor is sensible and restrained, so that even when she falls in love with Edward, she keeps her feelings to herself because she knows that marriage is not a possibility. She has no money for a dowry.

    Marianne, on the other hand, wears her heart on her sleeve. When she falls in love with handsome playboy Mr. Willoughby, she doesn't care who knows about it.

    Both sisters experience heartbreak before they find love and happiness....more info
  • Excellent Read
    I have read all of Jane Austen's novels and this my second favorite, after Pride and Prejudice. I've heard from others that they found the language used in this book hard to understand. I didn't have any problems but this was not my first J.A. novel. These books aren't for everyone but I definitely recommend at least giving them a try. ...more info
  • Sense and Sensibility Review- Arghavan
    Taking place in Norland, England, in 1811, Jane Austen astounds her wide audience with yet another uplifting and eye-opening novel. Sense and Sensibility explores the life of the Dashwood family, consisting of the new widow Mrs. Dashwood and her two daughters, the composed and affectionate Elinor along with the sensible and spontaneous Marianne. Inheriting all of his father's money, John Dashwood visits his sister Mrs. Dashwood and gives the three devastated ladies a good share of his inherited money. During the visit, John Dashwood's wife, fanny, brings along her sensible older brother, Edward Ferrars, who develops a very close relationship with Elinor Dashwood. Although they are given a hard time by Fanny, Mrs. Dashwood, and the later promiscuous old friend Lucy Steele, Elinor and Edward establish and progress their love throughout the entire novel. As their love grows, Austen compares and contrasts the trait of sensibility, possessed by Marianne, and the trait of sense, possessed by Elinor. She does this through the two sisters' interactions with their significant others.
    Just like almost all of Jane Austen's preceding novels, Sense and Sensibility dives into the themes of love and judgment. The reader learns how the characters in the novel become blind when they are in love, and the effect this has on their judgment.
    Although it is a great read, I do not recommend it to just anybody. Readers must stay attentive to the multiple characters that are introduced throughout the novel; readers must also have strong patience because the novel is written with the old English dialect of the early 1800's. This is one of Jane Austen's best novels, in my opinion. In her novel Mansfield Park, she merely spends the whole novel demonstrating the progression of love in a New England town. In Sense and Sensibility, however, not only is the reader able to explore the development of love in a relationship between two people, but also the progression of individual character qualities, such as those of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. In totality, this novel is one of Jane Austen's best works.
    ...more info
  • Redemption
    This novel may not by Austen's most famous, but it is certainly worth reading.

    In Sense and Sensibility, we are given several characters that appear to be static. You have the good and bad sister and they are destined to remain so for the rest of the story. But are they? I thought the way the so called "bad" sister changed her character by the end of the story was inspiring.

    The catch to this story is you have to read the whole thing in order to get to the good stuff at the end. Don't worry, it is time well spent....more info
  • Loving Tension and a Fine Balance
    Jane Austen's comforting classic is based on the dichotomous relationship between reason (Elinor) and emotion (Marianne). Austen's greatness lies in her backing out of the box of 19th-century literary moralism and seeing the areas of gray in human relationships and within the individual. Over and over again in this "early" work (Austen was only 41 when she died) we see characters acting in unexpected ways, even while social strictures are so much in evidence. The most outstanding characters are those who go against the social grain, and Austen unfailingly creates classic foils against whom these interesting individuals can stand out. Entertaining, existing in a stable social world, clever, and funny, this novel is like "comfort food." If you're in the mood for a diverting stroll into another century, let this book be your guide. I also highly recommend the Penguin Classic that has an introductory section by Tony Tanner (if you can find it). Tony Tanner's brilliant insights into Austen and this work deeply enriched it for me. But this section must be read after you read the book. ...more info
  • "Sense and Sensibility" - a must-read
    One of the best things you can do for yourself is to read or reread one of Jane Austen's books. Any one will do, if it's for the first time or the 25th. It always gives the same energising feeling, like listening to a Beatles song or going on a successful shopping spree.

    "Sense and Sensibility" from 1811 is Jane Austen's first published book and has all the characteristics of her entire authorship: A lively delineation of character and a plot that zooms in on relations between people - and luckily often the most mysterious, satisfying, dramatic and confusing - love in its most exciting phase: falling in love. Language and style are elegant and intelligent and imbued with a deep ironic humour, which comes from a keen eye for tensions between opposites.

    Five stars, always, for Jane....more info
  • Janeites and discerning readers will enjoy Sense and Sensibility
    Sense and Sensibility is about the Dashwood girls Elinor and Marianne.
    The time is the Napoleonic years of the nineteenth century though nothing so sordid as the little Corporal's baleful visage will appear in this novel of domestic romance. The girls are forced to leave their home following the death of their father. The estate they live at is invaded by their dullard half brother John and his insufferable wife. The two girls, their mother and younger sister Margaret are off to the West of England to live at Barton Cottage being supported by John the brother.
    In this novel Miss Jane Austen tells two convoluted love stories. Elinor who is the oldest and most sensible of the girls is in love with Edward Farrars. Farrars is an Oxford man who eventually goes into the ministry. He has been involved in a longterm engagement to the odious but ambitious Lucy Steele. Elinor is heartbroken at this lost love but keeps her stiff upper lip in order to minister to the needs of her younger and more emotional sister Marianne.
    Marianne is in love with the rake Willoughby who has had a torrid affair with Eliza Williams. He jilts Marianne but lives to rue his rejection of her.
    As in all Austen novels all is resolved with a wedding. Elinor will eventually wed Edward Farrars and live in a parsonage. Her sister Marianne will become Mrs. Brandon as she weds an older and wiser man
    Colonel Brandon.
    Along the way we meet the lovable Mrs. Jennings, the fautous Steele sisters and Robert Ferrars the stupid brother of Edward Ferrars. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are also satirically viewed as a dull married couple living in luxury.
    It amazes me that no one in a Jane Austen novel really works! As Emma Thompson who directed the film "Sense and Sensibility" quipped one wonders why these women don't go out and get a job! In an Austen novel there are the inevitable long walks and conversations, mixed romantic signals with mixups aplenty and the occasional dance across the ballroom floor.
    Austen can be tedious and it can be a challenge to keep up with the characters and conversations. She is a great artist with a very narrow focus; a few middle class families living in the country with a love story to be told. Within this baliwick she is peerless, witty and wise. She brings a few hours of quiet where the only sound heard is a bird singing or a carriage rumbling up to the house.
    Sense and Sensibility published in 1811 is a classic of English literature. Jane Austen is unsurpassed in the realm of Regency romance!...more info
  • An Excellent Introduction to Jane Austen's Works
    Although SENSE AND SENSIBILITY is not of one Jane Austen's best novels, it is nonetheless a major novel, with the author's then-young talent in full display. Its publication in 1811 marked Austen as a huge literary talent, and its significance reverberates even today as contemporary readers re-discover the works of this author so adept at uncovering the foibles of nineteenth century aristocracy.

    The title refers to the two eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, one of whom (Elinor) embraces practicality and restraint while the other (Marianne) gives her whole heart to every endeavor. When the Dashwoods - mother Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne, and youngest sister Margaret - are sent, almost impoverished, to a small cottage in Devonshire after the death of their father and the machinations of their brother's wife, they accept their new circumstances with as much cheer as they can muster even though their brother and his wife have taken over the family estate and fortune. Their characters, albeit wildly different in their approaches to life, are impeccably honest and intelligent - and their suitors take notice. Elinor falls in love with the shy, awkward Edward, while Marianne's affections are lavished on the dashing hunter Willoughby. As in all Austen's books, love and marriage don't come easily, as affections aren't always returned and social jockeying sometimes takes precedence to true love. In an interestingly twist, the end of this novel brings into question which sister represents which part of the title.

    SENSE AND SENSIBILITY only hints at the social skewering Austen would use to such great effect in her later novels, and the humor here is only occasional and slight, as this novel adopts a generally serious tone. Parody is largely limited to the gossipy Mrs. Jenkins, who jumps to wild conclusions about situations she knows nothing about. Though arranged marriage and true love figure prominently in all of Austen's novels, this novel focuses almost exclusivity on the prospects of the two main characters, making it less complex than the novels that followed. Reserved Elinor and exuberant Marianne are expertly drawn, with Edward, Willoughby, and Colonel Brandon (whose lovesick hopes for Marianne are dashed again and again) also engaging creations. Except for the first page or two where the circumstances of the Dashwoods are set up through a series of deaths and relations, possibly causing some confusion, this novel is exceedingly easy to follow for contemporary readers.

    This novel is an excellent introduction to Jane Austen's works because of its relative simplicity (though readers should not dismiss it as simple) and the use of typical themes and social situations. Book clubs and students might want to explore the influence of money on nineteenth century British society as well as the meaning of the title as it applies to both the sisters and the other characters. It is also interesting to note both the helplessness and the extraordinary power of women in different circumstances.

    Just because this is not Austen's best novel, I could not take away a single star because it is such a delightful book. I highly recommend this novel for all readers....more info

  • Reading this is like torture
    Seeing how Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen barely makes any sense, I wouldn't even touch this book again, even if you paid me. Extremely long and mundane, Sense and Sensibility is a book that actually requires effort and stamina to go through the entire thing. To me, the three-hundred-and-fifteen-page book translated to absolute gibberish as I did not understand, nor really cared to understand what was going on.

    Seeing how the there was no purpose to the plot, I was left bored from the first word to the very last. I really did not see the point of writing a story about two well-off, high society women court other men. There was absolutely nothing interesting about that in the story. No one really cares if the ladies must suffer through heartbreak because in actuality, everyone does. Jane Austen could have done a much better job in piecing a more attractive and purposeful novel together.

    As I read, the more I learned about the characters, the angrier I got. Why does every character have to be a member of a high social status? To me, everyone was snobby, everyone was self-indulged, and everyone was too one-dimensional. The characters were too well-off to even sympathize with. I did not care or feel emotionally attached to any character whatsoever. Each individual was not self-motivated, and they came off as stuck-up characters. I was just waiting for someone to do something, but no, each character has to wallow in his or her own self-pity. People have worse problems to worry about than worrying about the problems the character has. I kept going through the story and saying, "So what? Who cares? Fix your own problems." The characters were too detached to make me feel interested.

    All in all, the story was just bad. It lacked purpose and meaning. Although you have to admit Jane Austen constructs beautifully crafted sentences, sentence style could only take the story so far. If you have time to actually read this book, I suggest you spend your time doing something worthwhile instead of wasting your life on Sense and Sensibility.
    ...more info
  • How I respond to Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility"
    Several well-spaced readings of this novel during a long life have not yet enabled me to tell what happens in it. There is a superb early chapter in which Elinor and Marianne's sister-in-law pares away the direction expressed by her dying father-in-law that his son share his inheritance with his half-sisters and their mother. Jane Austen manages this almost as well as Shakespeare has Goneril and Regan stripping King Lear of his "retinue of an hundred knights". Then towards the end of the novel, when Elinor keeps vigil at her gravely ill sister's bedside, a horseman arrives who turns out to be the very last person she expected. Between these memorable events, try as I might, I cannot distinguish between most of the numerous female and the few aloof, mysterious and unpredictable male characters, neither can I sort out how they are interacting.

    What delights me, however, on every page is Jane Austen's prose. Every sentence is carefully fitted into its place, every word connotes its precise meaning, every adjective such as "affable" and "agreeable" carrying a specific ranking in a scale of values.

    In today's parlance, I suppose I would say that the plot and the characters lack the edge that is so sharp and memorable in other of Jane Austen's novels.
    ...more info
  • "Sense and Sensibility" - a must-read
    One of the best things you can do for yourself is to read or reread one of Jane Austen's books. Any one will do, if it's for the first time or the 25th. It always gives the same energising feeling, like listening to a Beatles song or going on a successful shopping spree.

    "Sense and Sensibility" from 1811 is Jane Austen's first published book and has all the characteristics of her entire authorship: A lively delineation of character and a plot that zooms in on relations between people - and luckily often the most mysterious, satisfying, dramatic and confusing - love in its most exciting phase: falling in love. Language and style are elegant and intelligent and imbued with a deep ironic humour, which comes from a keen eye for tensions between opposites.

    Five stars, always, for Jane....more info
  • Not Bad for 1811
    Two sisters have come of marrying age. One loves rashly and deeply, the other cautiously and with no little reserve - the sense and the sensibility. The contrast set up, Jane Austen takes the two young women through nearly the same set of events. Through love's introduction, intervening conflict and ultimate disappointment, we observe the impacts and the results of these two disparate manners of dealing with the opposite sex. This being a Jane Austen comedy, don't be surprised if things work out for someone in the end.

    While obviously very well written and full of interesting characters and insights, this, like most of Jane Austen's work, simply "doesn't do it for me." Certainly Ms. Austen is not without her modern relevance, but many of the important ideas running through her novels, including this one, are foreign and even offensive. For example, her casual indifference toward the unmoneyed, her obvious belief in the natural limitations of the female sex and the importance she sets on formality set my teeth a-grinding. She writes, as they say, of a different time. Similarly, her writing style is often, including in this book, tedious and opaque. Economy of words and clarity are not so important as obeisance to formality and avoidance of perceived impropriety. As I said, writing of a different time. As one can likely see, my complaints about Jane Austen are more due to my own predilections than any shortcomings of the famed authoress.

    That said, I do believe that reading this book is good for a person - it will make you more informed and provide material worth thinking on. Several of the characters will stick with you. Ms. Austen has a way of making her characters very distinct despite the smallness of her authorial world. The characters are not Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, but the Dashwood girls are worth remembering. Furthermore, the major themes, while not "big ideas" are relevant to most everyone and persuasively resolved. Sense and sensibility was for me, however, less enjoyable reading than I would prefer. The plot line moved slowly, the ideas seemed dated and the language obscured rather than revealed....more info
  • A Classic Debut Novel from Austen!
    Being a fan of Jane Austen but never having read Sense and Sensibility, I approached this novel both nervously and excitedly. Reading any work by Austen is a delight, but I was worried this one wouldn't be as good as some of the others I'd read. However, I slipped into the language and time period effortlessly as I was introduced to the Miss Dashwoods and their plights of love and friendship. This debut novel by Austen is light, witty, and charming, and a complete joy from beginning to end.

    Both Elinor and Marianne Dashwood have fallen in love, but as the story progresses, we discover that both are going to face unrequited feelings in their relationships. Still, though slightly impoverished, the girls are taken under the wing of several friends who introduce them into London society and further the story with many twists and turns. Elinor becomes entangled in secrets she would rather not know, and Marianne plays into the drama of her love relationship grandly. As both girls come to realize what is really important, the story turns yet again and leads us into unexpected events. This is a truly engaging tale, and a terrific introduction to all of Austen's works. Recommended reading for all lovers of classics....more info
  • Very Similar to Pride but Holds Its Own by the End
    In Sense and Sensible the storyline dwells on the two elder sisters of the Dashwood family, Elinor and Mariane. Elinor is always in control of her emotions and is governed primarily by prudence (sense). Her younger sister, Marianne, is an emotional whirlwind whose sensibilities dictate that those who do not evidence wholly encompassing emotions are without them entirely. As in Pride & Prejudice, the family home of the Dashwoods has been willed to another member of the family not in the immediate nuclear family. In Pride & Prejudice, the home was entailed to Mr. Collins, a distant cousin. Where there was only an overshadowing of the loss of the estate in that book, in Sense & Sensibility, the house is actually lost to the half brother whose wife, a Ferrar, not only talks her husband out of the generous support to his half sisters that he promised (albeit vaguely) his dying father but makes life in general unpleasant for the Dashwood ladies until they find a situation with a cousin, John Middleton. Part of the unpleasantness surrounds an apparent but unprofessed affection of her brother, Edward Ferrars, for the eldest Dashwood, Elinor.

    It would seem that the move has quashed the supposed attraction, leaving Elinor attempting to contain her disappointment. Marianne meanwhile strikes up an intense relationship with equally extroverted Willoughby. When Willoughby suddenly disappears, the two girls come together to support each other emotionally through a storm of discoveries, pleasant and unpleasant.

    Sense and Sensibility develops into its own independent storyline after many similarities with Pride & Prejudice. Although this novel holds its own and is an enjoyable book, I still feel that Pride & Prejudice is its superior in pace, story line and general feel. Sense came out well before Pride and it almost feels that the same idea is being worked out in both - an idea that got clearer and was better communicated in Pride. Pride had a much more natural (believable) feeling to the events where Sense does require a little suspension of disbelief in some of the contrivances to get to a happy ending (specifically referring to the actions of Robert Ferrar). If you liked Pride and want more Austen, this is your book. If you are choosing between the two, choose Pride ... than come back for this one....more info

  • Loving Tension and a Fine Balance
    Jane Austen's comforting classic is based on the dichotomous relationship between reason (Elinor) and emotion (Marianne). Austen's greatness lies in her backing out of the box of 19th-century literary moralism and seeing the areas of gray in human relationships and within the individual. Over and over again in this "early" work (Austen was only 41 when she died) we see characters acting in unexpected ways, even while social strictures are so much in evidence. The most outstanding characters are those who go against the social grain, and Austen unfailingly creates classic foils against whom these interesting individuals can stand out. Entertaining, existing in a stable social world, clever, and funny, this novel is like "comfort food." If you're in the mood for a diverting stroll into another century, let this book be your guide. I also highly recommend the Penguin Classic that has an introductory section by Tony Tanner (if you can find it). Tony Tanner's brilliant insights into Austen and this work deeply enriched it for me. But this section must be read after you read the book. ...more info
  • i'm on board with mark twain on ms austin's work.
    i know that i am going to mangle this quote, but mark twain once said something to the effect that "a library without any books in it would still be a pretty good library, seeing as it lacked any works by jane austin." well, right on mr twain. i read "sense and sensiblity" a few years back and am still trying to recover from the near coma of boredom that it put me in. really awful and dreary stuff. i mean it. now, to be of further help, let me give you directions to the unhelpful voting button. it can be found directly below this review, over to far right hand side. it's the button with the word "no" on it....more info
  • My first Austen Book!
    I read Sense and Sensibility for my English IV Course. This novel was written by Jane Austen. This book is for a romantic person, adult or young adult. If you are someone who is interested in 19th Century society and the roles of women, this story is for you. Sense and Sensibility is a classic novel. The author is well known and the quality of literature is world class, because it is so well known.
    Sense and Sensibility describes the adventures of two young ladies (Marianne and Elinor) falling in love. Elinor is always in control of her emotions and senses. Marianne is an emotional whirlwind whose sensibilities dictate that those who have no evidence of wholly encompassing emotions or are without them entirely. She ultimately marries her long standing admirer, Colonel Brandon. Also Elinor is the heroin of the story. The mother, Mrs. Dashwood, is weird; she is always after her daughters minding their business. She is the opposite of Mrs. Burton from Pride and Prejudice. She has inherited no fortune of her own but wants the best for her daughters and shares Marianne's romantic sensibilities. The love stories are very intriguing as well. Elinor loves Edward and Marianne falls in love with Willoughby.
    The conflict of the ideas about marriage between parents and daughters is the main theme of this book. If the girls were not yet married, their mothers employed themselves in matching the younger women with eligible men.
    I recommend Jane Austen's work to all readers who are fascinated with love. This is an excellent book for those who enjoy 19th Century Literature. Even though I missed some details because of the language, I identified with one the girls in the story.

    ...more info


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