Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

'The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!'Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elino...

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Title:Sense and Sensibility
Author:Jane Austen
Rating:
ISBN:0141439661
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:409 pages

Sense and Sensibility Reviews

  • Kerry
    Aug 05, 2008

    This my first Jane Austen.

    Okay, I LOVED this book. I don't even know why. It's about . . . girls who like boys! Who are jerks! Um, the end! But it was funny. But

    funny, which is my favorite kind. And I enjoyed deciphering the late 18th century prose. It made me feel smart, just to figure out what she was saying half the time!

    Also I love all the wacky British society stuff. Like sending notes! And walking places! And having breakfast at other peoples' houses! And I enjoyed figuring out the

    This my first Jane Austen.

    Okay, I LOVED this book. I don't even know why. It's about . . . girls who like boys! Who are jerks! Um, the end! But it was funny. But

    funny, which is my favorite kind. And I enjoyed deciphering the late 18th century prose. It made me feel smart, just to figure out what she was saying half the time!

    Also I love all the wacky British society stuff. Like sending notes! And walking places! And having breakfast at other peoples' houses! And I enjoyed figuring out the etiquette of the day. Like, it's improper to exchange letters with a member of the opposite sex with whom you are not engaged? Crazy! But it's cool to be engaged and not TELL anyone? Insane! I love it.

    I didn't get a chance to return this to the library right away, so I'm currently audio-book free, and instead of listening to music like a normal person, I STARTED IT OVER AGAIN. Seriously, who would think I would like Jane Austen so much?

    The narrator was Donada Peters. I've never heard of her before, but she did a great job. I don't think I'd've enjoyed it nearly as much had I actually had to READ the thing.

    I am now going to listen to every Austen audiobook I can get my hands on, and also a biography. I'm reading Frank Herbert and Jane Austen at once! I love it.

  • Anni
    Dec 22, 2008

    Here is this book in a nutshell:

    Marianne and Elinor: 'O, why are we not married yet?'

    Hot Guy #1: 'Let's get married.'

    Elinor: 'Yes, let's.'

    Hot Guy #1: 'Nah, forget it.'

    Elinor: (pines)

    Old Guy: 'Let's get married.'

    Marianne: 'No, let's not.'

    Hot Guy #2: 'Let's get married.'

    Marianne: 'Yes, let's.'

    Hot Guy #2: 'Nah, forget it.'

    Marianne: (pines)

    Hot Guy #1: 'Hey, let's get married.'

    Elinor: 'Hark! Now I may stop pining!'

    Marianne: 'This sucks. I am way hotter than her.'

    Old Guy: 'Let's get married.'

    Marianne:

    Here is this book in a nutshell:

    Marianne and Elinor: 'O, why are we not married yet?'

    Hot Guy #1: 'Let's get married.'

    Elinor: 'Yes, let's.'

    Hot Guy #1: 'Nah, forget it.'

    Elinor: (pines)

    Old Guy: 'Let's get married.'

    Marianne: 'No, let's not.'

    Hot Guy #2: 'Let's get married.'

    Marianne: 'Yes, let's.'

    Hot Guy #2: 'Nah, forget it.'

    Marianne: (pines)

    Hot Guy #1: 'Hey, let's get married.'

    Elinor: 'Hark! Now I may stop pining!'

    Marianne: 'This sucks. I am way hotter than her.'

    Old Guy: 'Let's get married.'

    Marianne: 'Yeah, I guess.'

  • Stephen
    Apr 23, 2010

    I love Jane Austen.

    I LOVE Jane Austen.

    I LOVE JANE AUSTEN!!

    I still twitch a bit, but I'm getting more and more man-comfortable saying that because there no denying that it’s true. Normally, I am not much of a soapy, chick-flick, mani-pedi kinda guy. I don’t spritz my wine, rarely eat quiche and have never had anything waxed (though the list of things that need it grows by the hour).

    But I would walk across a desert in bloomers and a parasol to read M

    I love Jane Austen.

    I LOVE Jane Austen.

    I LOVE JANE AUSTEN!!

    I still twitch a bit, but I'm getting more and more man-comfortable saying that because there no denying that it’s true. Normally, I am not much of a soapy, chick-flick, mani-pedi kinda guy. I don’t spritz my wine, rarely eat quiche and have never had anything waxed (though the list of things that need it grows by the hour).

    But I would walk across a desert in bloomers and a parasol to read Ms. Austen.

    is one of my all time favorite books and Sense and Sensibility is certainly up among the elite. Jane can absolutely bust me when she starts penning that snappy prose laced with all those sly, subtle, sarcastic phrases. She’s like prim and proper meets saucy and bossy.

    I find it interesting that the "descriptions" of her books never seem very appealing to me before I begin them (I would direct your attention to the non chick-flick portion of my “I’m a Man Intro” above). For example, Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters, one emotionally reserved (to put it mildly) and proper and the other emotionally volatile and prone to disregard convention, as they struggle with life and relationships following the death of their father. Doesn’t it sound kinda Hallmark Networky? While I can appreciate that stuff, it doesn’t generally produce boat float with me.

    However, the quality of the writing and the nuanced sassiness of the dialogue just warms my cockles and makes me prone to bouts of squealing. Her characterization, primarily the two sisters, but true for the rest of the cast as well, is so impeccably done that I keep expecting one of them to tap me on the shoulder as I’m reading…..don’t worry, none of them have yet but I’m still hoping.

    Probably the most appealing aspect of Jane’s novels is the need for her intelligent, strong-willed female characters to move through the emotionally stifling requirements of “Victorian” society. So much of the charm of Jane’s writing revolves around the characters being forced to find an “acceptable” mode of expressing raw emotions when

    and

    just won’t do. I love watching the characters having to comport themselves so “correctly” as they explain to each other that they are going to ruin their families, steal their lovers, etc.

    I love the roadblocks that the Victorian setting erects in the emotional road of the story and how effortlessly Jane navigates around them. She draws her characters feeling the deepest and rawest of emotions while having to maintain an outward appearance of dignity and respectability. The fact that she is able to convey that crushing sense of emotion to the reader without depictions of expressive behavior is just another example of her boggle the mind brilliance.

    Okay, the gush must end and here is as good a place as any. You should really read this one. It’s good. 5.0 to 5.5 STARS. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

    P.S. I listened to the audio version of this narrated by Juliet Stevenson and she was superb.

  • s.penkevich
    Sep 14, 2012

    '

    '

    What does it mean for one to be 'sensible'? As we are all individuals, with our own needs, is it sensible to always act according to our countenance (to steal a lovely phrase from Austen), to keep true to ourselves, or is there a code of manners that we should adhere to in order to maintain a proper course of action? Austen’s aptly titled

    , a staggeringly impressive f

    '

    '

    What does it mean for one to be 'sensible'? As we are all individuals, with our own needs, is it sensible to always act according to our countenance (to steal a lovely phrase from Austen), to keep true to ourselves, or is there a code of manners that we should adhere to in order to maintain a proper course of action? Austen’s aptly titled

    , a staggeringly impressive first publication from 19 year old Austen, probes the very ideas of it’s title. Told through the juxtaposition of two sisters forging their own sensible rationalities as they find themselves in a society fueled by social standings and money, they discover that love does not always fit pleasantly into such a world.

    An impressive feature of the Jane Austen novels is her ability to construct a broad scale society to immerse her heroines. She juggles a large cast of characters, each with a uniquely rounded personality and varied level of likeability, which gives a realistic scope and portrayal to the story. Just like in our own lives, we see Elinor and Marianne dealing with friends, rivals, busybodies and outright scoundrels. Austen manages to flesh her characters out with positive and negative traits, giving even the despicable ones a moment to plead their case. The reader is left to either accept or reject such justifications on their own terms, and, in a way, if even the ‘villainous’ act in what they see to be a sensible manner, Austen calls into question our own ideals and interpretations on the matter. She is clever at keeping an ironic flair to her characters, offering a dark side to ones you initially thought amiable, and bestowing grief of less-than-Prince-Charming characteristics to those who should be the true champion of hearts.

    The actions of each character show the variety of ways one can interact and react within society, offering a wide number of actions to decide between when declaring what is ‘truly sensible’. The two sisters experience near-mirrored heartbreak and respond in polarizing manners. Is it more sensible to keep your feelings buried, suffering in solitude, always appearing calm and collect at the risk of seeming cold, or more sensible to wear one’s heart on their sleeve, falling into self-pity while drawing the attention of those who can care and offer support? Even the smallest characters can be looked at in this ways. Is sensibility, to toy with hearts, to stick your nose in another’s business, to marry for love with no money or for money with no love?

    Perhaps a proper title could have also been

    , as Austen takes careful aim at the dominating social constructs. The opinions on money, and it’s unavoidable, necessary power over society and the not-so-well-off Dashwood’s particularly, is a crucial element to what is sensible. The social commentary is thick and delicious. We witness many broken hearts in the name of money, and many hearts set on love faced with crippling financial consequences. The final results of the novel however, goes to prove the lyrics 'you can't always get what you want, but when you try sometimes, you'll find you get what you need.'

    While I began reading the Austen/Bronte novels feeling like it is something I should know going into a literature degree, thinking ‘oh well, I

    I should know these’, I’ve come to discover I really enjoy them. Especially reading them alongside so many post-modernist works of genius; Austen has been the anchor keeping me from being lost in the Zone. Occasionally it is nice to escape the bells and whistles of modern lit, to step out of the multi-layered metafiction and swirling narratives that I so love, and read a novel that is just as incredible on a powerful but elegant voice, ironic wit, and an acute sense of society alone. I highly recommend Jane Austen to anyone. I want to show up with flowers for Elinor and spend all day sipping tea with her from dainty cups and sighing about weather and society. However, I would be doing a great disservice to you and two the two fine reviewers I am about to speak of, to continue keeping your time and not sending you to these two outstanding reviews:

    , who I’ve come to consider my professor in all that is Austen/Bronte/Woolf, etc, and the wonderful

    , who has said everything I wanted to say and more, but far better. Austen’s world makes us all question our morality and actions, and the world is a better place for it.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    Jan 01, 2013

    Jane Austen’s first published work,

    , published in 1811, is more straightforward than most of her later works. The story focuses on two sisters, ages 17 and 19, and how their romantic interests and relationships epitomize their different approaches to life. The older sister Elinor embodies sense, good judgment and discretion.

    Her sister Marianne is emotional and volatile, following her heart with a supreme disregard for what society might – and does – think.

    Elinor is pretty m

    Jane Austen’s first published work,

    , published in 1811, is more straightforward than most of her later works. The story focuses on two sisters, ages 17 and 19, and how their romantic interests and relationships epitomize their different approaches to life. The older sister Elinor embodies sense, good judgment and discretion.

    Her sister Marianne is emotional and volatile, following her heart with a supreme disregard for what society might – and does – think.

    Elinor is pretty much always right.

    Marianne’s parade gets rained on, in more ways than one.

    Although at most points in this novel Austen seems to be saying

    clearly that Elinor's approach of being sensible is superior to Marianne's sensibility, every once in a while the story suggests that maybe being sensible all the time isn't the best idea, and there needs to be some balance between the two extremes.

    . Food for thought.

    One truly nice thing is that despite their vast differences and their

    fairly frequent annoyances with each other, Elinor and Marianne have a deep love and loyalty for one another. Their relationship remains strong through all of the stresses that hit them, and is even strengthened during the course of the novel.

    Another thing that struck me in this story is how many of the characters – other than the totally emotionally honest Marianne – are keeping secrets. Edward and Lucy

    Elinor is honor-bound to keep Lucy’s secret, at the expense of her own emotional health.

    Even Colonel Brandon has a secret past. The difference is, some people are keeping secrets to protect other people, for honorable reasons; others are doing it for self-serving reasons.

    There are some slower parts but, honestly, I never got bored, even though I've seen both of the recent S&S movies so many times that there weren't any big surprises. There were several smaller surprises, as you might expect from reading any book after seeing a movie of it. It was interesting seeing what the 1995 filmmakers chose to omit or change (e.g., Lady Middleton and Lucy Steele's older sister are missing from Emma Thompson's 1995 film, and Margaret Dashwood was given an actual personality in the movie. Can't argue with any of those moves.).

    You have to love a novel that includes a statement like this:

    Jane Austen's wit and dry humor really make the story.

    S&S might not be a perfect book, but based on the amount of highlighting I was doing at the end, and my happy smiles when I finished, it gets all the stars.

    Buddy read September 2015.

    Here's my problem: I love both the 1995 Ang Lee/Emma Thompson film and the 2008 BBC version, have watched both of them, um, more than once (who's counting?) and now I can barely remember the original novel. That clearly needs to change.

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  • Henry Avila
    Jul 24, 2013

    The story of two teenage girls with romantic troubles, caused by unreliable men (they have dark secrets, but who doesn't ? ), in 1790's England, calm Elinor Dashwood 19, and her younger sibling , by a couple of years, the emotional, Marianne, 17. When their father is no longer living, all the family, including the mother, Mrs. Dashwood and third sister, Margaret, 13, must vacate their mansion, in Sussex, Norland Park, a large estate, which many generations of the quiet, respectable Dashwoods, ha

    The story of two teenage girls with romantic troubles, caused by unreliable men (they have dark secrets, but who doesn't ? ), in 1790's England, calm Elinor Dashwood 19, and her younger sibling , by a couple of years, the emotional, Marianne, 17. When their father is no longer living, all the family, including the mother, Mrs. Dashwood and third sister, Margaret, 13, must vacate their mansion, in Sussex, Norland Park, a large estate, which many generations of the quiet, respectable Dashwoods, have resided. Only men can inherit this property says the law, then, ( a rich uncle, they received it originally from, insisted in his will this provision), and relatives can be greedy. John Dashwood , their half - brother, has little family feelings and his cold-heart wife, Fanny, none, take over. Breaking his promise to his dying father, to help his sisters and stepmother, financially, selfish Fanny, persuades him, with not too much effort, that these women can survive, very well, without any assistance, she tells her wealthy husband ... And money is money, and promises just words (otherwise, the couple's child, " poor little Harry", would starve ! ). Sir John Middleton, a kindly cousin, of the mother's, offers the Dashwood's, a small cottage, low rent, to live, close to his big house. Desperately wanting to leave the hostile environment of their former home, they relocate there, in far away, Devonshire, by Allenham village. Being very pretty women, the sisters, soon attract admirers, the shy Mr. Edward Ferrars, the eldest brother of Fanny, who likes Elinor, unlike his sister, Miss Dashwood, thinks, but she can never be sure, he doesn't speak much. On a rainy day the two girls, imprudently are walking outside, over the country hills, they enjoy exploring the beautiful area, but the weather becomes too much, running, for shelter, Marianne takes a tumble, hurts her leg, and unable to go any further and still some distance, from Barton Cottage . What to do ? Elinor can't get her home. Mr. John Willoughby, hunting with his dog, in the rain, comes along and carries Marianne back to the cottage. The amazed mother, Margaret and the whole family are speechless. Handsome, charming, well spoken, Mr. Willoughby, visits the injured girl every day, to see that everything's all right ... But he doesn't fool anybody ... the youngest sister falls madly in love and he appears also, to experience the same emotion. He's a good , fun loving friend, of Sir John's, well known and liked in the neighborhood, with a rich old relative he wisely sees, often, nearby, Mrs. Smith. The perfect man, has a rival, Colonel Brandon, more than ten years older, at 35, with a huge house, a lonely , honorable gentleman, but Marianne has eyes only for Mr. Willoughby ( a secret libertine). And Mr. Ferrars has a fiancee, he never mentions ... Even the Colonel, might have skeletons, in his closet... A great book by the incomparable Jane Austen, her likes will never arise again, years go by, relentlessly, customs and technology changes the Earth, either for better or worse, but there will always be her words.

  • Carmen
    Nov 06, 2013

    RE-READ September 6, 2015

    This is one of my all-time favorite books. I like it even more than I do Pride and Prejudice.

    Everyone goes crazy over Lizzie Bennett and idolizes her, but my role model will always be Elinor Dashwood. She is a great sister, a trustworthy confidante, someone who always acts with honor and compassion. She is smart, fiscally responsible, stoic, and strong. I admire her so much and wish I could be more like her in real life.

    I hate John Dashwood and want to punch him in the t

    RE-READ September 6, 2015

    This is one of my all-time favorite books. I like it even more than I do Pride and Prejudice.

    Everyone goes crazy over Lizzie Bennett and idolizes her, but my role model will always be Elinor Dashwood. She is a great sister, a trustworthy confidante, someone who always acts with honor and compassion. She is smart, fiscally responsible, stoic, and strong. I admire her so much and wish I could be more like her in real life.

    I hate John Dashwood and want to punch him in the throat. Fucker. It surprises me each time that he is the most hated character for me in the novel.

    Everyone hates on Marianne, but I like her. So she's a silly teenager! That's okay. She certainly learns and grows more than anyone else in the whole novel. She has a good heart and loves her sister dearly - I adore the scenes where she stands up for Elinor!

    The loving sister relationship is one of the best things about this novel. Nothing melts my heart more than good sibling relationships. And Elinor and Marianne have each other's backs 100%. Even though their personalities couldn't be more different, their love and compassion for each other knows no bounds.

    Austen is genuinely funny. I was snickering at some of her writing. She's an amazing author. She gets some jabs in there.

    The most hilarious line in the novel:

    The only man who was attractive to me was Colonel Brandon. He was the only male who had me drawing little hearts in my notebook. I can't be bothered with Edward. I don't think he acted very honorably. >.< Although I always tear up at the end when Elinor is so overcome with emotion that she runs from the room!

    OMG My heart is breaking so much. <3 If anyone deserves a happy ending, it's her.

    She never burdens others with her problems, but is always there to comfort and listen to anyone else. The way she deals with Lucy Steele! She's a saint to put up with that, OMG!

    She's beyond amazing.

    Tl;dr - An amazing book, one I'm sure to read over and over again. This never ceases to be enjoyable! And I LOVE love love the film versions. I have watched them innumerable times! The 2008 BBC version with Morahan is the absolute BEST, IMO. I've included a list at the bottom of this review in case anyone wants to see some awesome film adaptations on this amazing novel.

    Film Versions:

    1995 Emma Thompson

    BBC 2008 Hattie Morahan

    BBC 1981 Irene Richard

    2011 From Prada to Nada - Modern retelling

    (1971 BBC Joanna David)

    (2000 Bollywood

    , starring the stunningly gorgeous beyond belief Aishwarya Rai)

  • Barry Pierce
    Dec 26, 2013

    Sense and Sensibility is dense with inactivity.

  • Maureen
    Jul 15, 2015

    This is the third Jane Austen book I've read and it's by far my favorite. I love the story, love the heroines, love the MEN I just love everything about this. There was so much happening that it never felt slow or boring and the SUSPENSE and REVELATIONS at the end of the book were so fantastically done. AGH JUST SO GOOD.

    TIME TO GO WATCH THE MOVIE.

    Reread mid-Jan to early Feb 2016 for Austentatious

    STILL MY FAVORITE

  • Ana
    Nov 21, 2016

    Yes. So much yes.