Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sense and Sensibility: The Book

Sense and Sensibility was Jane Austen’s first novel to be published, in 1811. The main characters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, are sisters who love each other very much, but are so different they often don’t understand each other. The death of their father sharply reduces their comforts, and along with their mother and younger sister, they must move from the large estate that was their home to a cottage many miles away, as their half-brother and his offensive wife move in.

Elinor’s hopes for happiness in marriage all seem dashed when a certain secret is thrust upon her. She has always been prudent in keeping things to herself and not letting her feelings control her, but the confidence is almost unbearable. Romantic Marianne meets her ideal gentleman whom she was sure could not exist, but he leaves unexpectedly without a promise, or even suggestion, of returning.

I recently finished the book. Sense and Sensibility is delightfully full of heartbreak and drama, has an intricate storyline, and a variety of interesting and amusing characters. Many questions I am left with after watching the movies were answered. I was quite happy to discover the letters Marianne wrote to Willoughby when she was in London. I was wondering what she said to him. One part I found quite funny was when Mrs. Jennings thought Elinor was engaged to Col. Brandon, and I am “monstrous” surprised it isn’t in any of the movies!

The copy I read (pictured) is an “insight edition” published by Bethany House. I bought it because I liked the front cover better than others, and the font was attractive and easy to read. I wasn’t sure I would like having little notes on the pages, but I actually liked it very well. Sometimes they are funny comments, facts about the time & setting or a word definition, there are little tidbits about movies and sequels, and more. They also did one for Pride and Prejudice. I wish they had it at the library…I happen to have two copies of P.&P. already, and I think a third would not be entirely sensible. In short, I liked it very much.

Sense and Sensibility is either my second or third favorite Jane Austen story. I find many similarities between myself and Marianne. 

What about you - where does S.&S. rank on your list? Which characters do you especially like? Who do you have the most in common with? Your comments are most welcome, as always.


Elegance of Fashion said...

Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite book (#1 is Pride and Prejudice). I have found that there are a lot of similarities between P&P and S&S, like the situation that the Dashwoods find themselves in after Mr. Dashwood dies would have been similar to the situation the Bennets would find themselves in if Mr. Bennet dies without any of the daughters married.

I look forward to future S&S posts! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sense and Sensibility is my #1 favorite book out of the Jane Austen series. As for my favorite character it would have to be Colonel Brandon!

Would you rather hear the story...

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