Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

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Overview

"I am afraid," replied Elinor, "that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety." —Sense & Sensibility
     Elinor is as prudent as her sister Marianne is impetuous. Each must learn from the other after they are they are forced by their father's death to leave their home and enter into the contests of polite society. The charms of unsuitable men and the schemes of rival ladies mean that their paths to success are thwart with disappointment but together they attempt to find a way to happiness.
 
   • With a new introduction by Francesca Segal

   • Written when she was only seventeen, Sense and Sensibility is the novel that launched Jane Austen's career

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780099589341
Publisher: Random House UK
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Series: Vintage Classics Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 396,565
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

JANE AUSTEN was born in Steventon rectory on December 16, 1775. Her family later moved to Bath, then to Southampton and finally to Chawton in Hampshire. She began writing Pride and Prejudice when she was twenty-two years old. It was originally called First Impressions and was initially rejected by the publishers and only published in 1813 after much revision. She published four of her novels in her lifetime, Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were both published posthumously in 1818.

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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Sense and Sensibility"
by .
Copyright © 2003 Jane Austen.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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

1. Sense and Sensibility begins with a short history of Norland Park, the Dashwood family's estate. We learn that the late owner has bequeathed the property to his nephew, Henry Dashwood, since he himself was unmarried and without children. Describe Henry Dashwood's family. Who are its members? What is the dilemma that Henry's wife and daughters encounter upon his death?

2. The novel tells the story of two sisters who at first appear to be more different than similar. Elinor, the older sister, is governed by her good sense, whereas Marianne, the younger and less experienced sister, is ruled by a romantic sensibility. Compare the personalities of the two sisters further. To what do you attribute these differences? Are their personalities fixed, or do they change over the course of the novel?

3. In Chapter 13, Elinor is shocked to learn that Marianne allowed Willoughby to show her his house without a chaperon. Marianne defends her action by saying, "If there had been any real impropriety in what I did, I should have been sensible of it at the time, for we always know when we are acting wrong." Is this a valid defense? Does the novel, in the end, support or reject Marianne's notion of propriety?

4. Claire Tomalin has argued that Sense and Sensibility acts out a debate about behavior, in which Elinor represents discretion and privacy and Marianne represents emotional openness. Which side do you think wins this debate? Do you think the novel's attempts to resolve this debate are successful? Why or why not?

5. Over the course of the novel, both Elinor and Marianne experience romantic reversals: Elinor when she discovers Edward Ferrars is engaged to Lucy Steele, and Marianne when she discovers Willoughby is to marry Miss Grey. What do these experiences teach Elinor and Marianne? Compare the reactions of each.

6. Sense and Sensibility presents a host of memorable minor characters, such as Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Ferrars, and Mrs. John Dashwood. Discuss the role minor characters play in the novel. What issues or ideas do they help illuminate for the protagonists?

7. In Chapter 17, Elinor says the following with regard to the notion of character: "I have frequently detected myself in such kind of mistakes . . . in a total misapprehension of character in some points or other; fancying other people so much more gay or grave, or ingenious or stupid than they really are, and I can hardly tell why, or in what the deception originated. Sometimes one is guided by what they say of themselves, and very frequently by what others say of them, without giving oneself time to deliberate and judge." Discuss the theme of character in Sense and Sensibility. What does Elinor mean when she uses the word "character"? What, according to her, are good and bad judges of character? Does she follow her own advice? Which sort of character does the novel value?

8. Discuss the character of Lucy Steele. How would you describe her? What does she risk in telling Elinor of her engagement to Edward Ferrars? Does this seem shrewd or foolish to you?

9. At several points in the story, the characters discuss the value of "second attachments." For instance, in Chapter 17, Marianne makes plain that she does not believe a person can be in love more than once in his or her life. She says further, "At my time of life, opinions are tolerably fixed. It is not likely that I should see or hear anything to change them." Discuss the irony implicit in Marianne's statement. Does the novel itself share her views? Which characters come to have second attachments?

10. Discuss the character of Willoughby. How is he punished for his decision to marry for money, in a way that someone like Lucy Steele is not? Why might this be the case?

Interviews

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

Customer Reviews

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Sense and Sensibility (Collins Classics) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 911 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Jane Austen¿s Sense and Sensibility, the classic tale of love and its consequences is told through the lives of the young and beautiful Dashwood sisters. Marianne, an imprudent and impulsive young lady, immediately falls in love with the handsome, yet unpredictable Mr. Willoughby, scandalously displaying her affection for him. Elinor, although always reserved and collected, also falls in love, but unlike her sister, keeps her affection for her admirer concealed even from those she dearly loves. Through the opposite characterization of the two main characters, Austen criticizes the folly of not leading a balanced lifestyle, whether it is cold and distant or spontaneous and brash. The novel also depicts the troubles caused by love in a society where wealth and social standing are top priorities. Through a variety of characters ranging from a frantic, gluttonous sister, to a humble and kind colonel, Austen condemns the social institutions of her time that encouraged the priority of wealth and status when forming an opinion of a person. Throughout the novel, readers are hooked, held in suspense as they eagerly await to discover the results of the Dashwoods¿ adventures with love. Humorous, heartbreaking, and humbling, Austen combines lessons of life, love, and society defining Sense and Sensibility as a classic.
Paige2017 More than 1 year ago
I really love all of Jane Austen's books but Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorites! It is an endearing story of two sisters who finally get their true happiness! If only this happened in real life! If you love the book you will also love the DVD made by BBC Video and shown on Masterpiece Theatre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can't go wrong with Austen but Sense and Sensibility is not nearly as romantic as Pride and Prejudice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was extrememly interesting. I enjoyed the clever love triangles occuring thoughout the book. Jane Austen is a wonderful writer who has a talent of creating complex characters, with very real emotions and problems. The reader is able to relate with the Dashwood girls as they struggle with unrequited love. The reader is never bored with the captivating lives of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first started this book, I was a bit confused, but as I read on I fell in love with the time and setting of the novel. You really fall in love with the characters and get a sense of what marriage and especially money meant in that time and how they where related to one another.
JesusButterfly More than 1 year ago
A charming edition to anyone's Austen library, this story contains wit and stimulating plot that leaves you fascinated with the misshaps and joys of Austen's characters. A must-read!
Shannon Visente More than 1 year ago
With so many grammatical errors, it almost seems purposeful in an effort to force readers to buy it! But .99 for her entire works is worth the price. Save yourself the headache and pass this mess by.
rba More than 1 year ago
The text is very badly scanned. There are plenty of typos and errors. Impossible to read. :(
Bookjunkie40 More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book that I have read from the B&N Classic list, but the first Jane Austin book. Some people have told me that her writing style is difficult to read, but I found that I had no problems. It is a classic tale of love and pain. I find it surreal that people fall in love so quickely! Or maybe the book doesn't give an accurate interpretation of the timeline. It is neither hear nor there, I actually enjoyed the first Austin novel and looking forward to the next one on the B&N list. I am curious to find out if all of her novels are about the trials of love or is there a surprise in store for me?!?!? I am a firm believer in the classics always being a perk in any book club, but reality is that I believe this is a wonderful book for a raining day, curl up with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa:) Stay tuned for my next book review from the classic list: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
AAR More than 1 year ago
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austin is a Historical classic. It is a true classic love story. The Insight Edition has relevant information about England, their customs and Jane Austin's life during the Regency era. It has likable characters, romance, and family. If you enjoy Jane Austin this is a must read. It is one of the all classic books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. It illustrates two types of women that are still very prominent in society today. I like the fact that it showed more than one side to everyone's personality. Great rainy day read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was not one of Jane Austen's best works. It was fairly enjoyable, but the other novels were so much better. The story was very slow. The best parts were the last few chapters. I did like how Elinor became more passionate, and Marianne became more sensible. The love story was very good, but hardly worth the tedious pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After my first reading of this beautifully written romance, I found myself intrigued by Austen's ability to create characters and situations that draw me in and hold me close. I now find myself looking for more novels by her that I have to read. I want find out if these other novels are as captivating and emotional as Sense and Sensibility. I highly recommend this and all other Jane Austen books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good i cant put it down
SilentMute2 More than 1 year ago
Sense and Sensibility was the first book I was forced to read as a young person. At the time, I hated it. I could not understand what people saw in Jane Austen. I read twenty-two chapters before I quit, and to my mind at the time, NOTHING happened. There were no murders, no life-altering circumstances, nothing dramatic. Jane Austen pretty much depicted the petty squabbles, jealousies, and annoyances of backward people. It wasn't really a romance, and yet the whole story seemed to be supported on the disappointments and triumphs in love of the two major characters. Many years later, I have read it--and managed to finish it. I can't believe that I was able to pick up and appreciate the social commentary that I failed to appreciate as a teenager. Though I think Pride and Prejudice is better, Sense and Sensibility has its merits. The characters are well-developed, and some are sympathetic--like Colonel Brandon. However, I do think this is a book that requires a person to reach a certain stage in their life where they can appreciate "people watching." It probably helps if the characters remind you of people that you know or situations you have experienced. Having been disappointed in love myself, I was able to relate to Marianne more than I could as an inexperienced teenager. Of course, sometimes knowing people who remind you of the characters can be a drawback if you really hate the people. However, I would say it is a definite MUST, to appreciate Jane Austen, that you be content with a book that deals with social commentary and doesn't require action or dramatic events. If you need a helicopter crash, an explosion, or someone being brutally murdered to get you through a book...then Jane Austen is definitely not for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of Jane's books, this is my second favorite. Only reason I gave it four stars is because there seems to be something lacking that I can't quite put my finger on it though.
Aaron Cox More than 1 year ago
This book was very poorly transfered into a text format. It makes teading extremely dificult.
iloverochester More than 1 year ago
Sense and Sensibility was written superbly well. The story is rich in details and surprises. Its dramatic, exciting, and most of all hopeful. The characters have real meaning and integrity. This book is for the hopeless romantic. My favorite of the Jane Austen novels. I would highly recommend this read for book clubs because there are many conflicts and twists that make great discussions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was fantastic. Jane Austen is an amazing author, and this is a great book! Everyone should read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great story, great audiobook. Kate Winselt did a tremendous reading. Gets better everytime I listen to it.
Anonymous 3 months ago
least favorite of jane austen's books.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Ytf
Anonymous 11 months ago
faith42love on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy Sense and Sensibility anywhere close to as much as I loved Austen's other works. It must confess that I believe it had to do much more with the person reading the audio-book than it did with Austen's actual writing. It took me 15 chapters to figure out which character was talking, thinking or musing at any given point and it took another 15 chapters for me to even feel sorry for the women who were getting their hearts broken. I have read that this is considered one of Austen's lesser works and I can see why. It is still a solid book and an amusing read, none the less.
dotarvi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little drawn out, but Jane Austen's wit and style highly evident.