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Though not the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen published. Though she initially called it Elinor and Marianne, Austen jettisoned both the title and the epistolary mode in which it was originally written, but kept the essential theme: the necessity of finding a workable middle ground between passion and reason. The story revolves around the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Whereas the former is a sensible, rational creature, her younger sister is wildly romantic--a characteristic that offers Austen plenty of scope for both satire and compassion. Commenting on Edward Ferrars, a potential suitor for Elinor's hand, Marianne admits that while she "loves him tenderly", she finds him disappointing as a possible lover for her sister:
Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!Soon, however, Marianne meets a man who measures up to her ideal: Mr Willoughby, a new neighbour. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behaviour begins to border on the scandalous. Then Willoughby abandons her; meanwhile, Elinor's growing affection for Edward suffers a check when he admits he is secretly engaged to a childhood sweetheart. misfortunes and the lessons they draw before coming finally to the requisite happy ending forms the heart of the novel. Though Marianne's disregard for social conventions and willingness to consider the world well-lost for love may appeal to modern readers, it is Elinor whom Austen herself most evidently admired; a truly happy marriage, she shows us, exists only where sense and sensibility meet and mix in proper measure. --Alix Wilber, Amazon.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Austen's novels (e.g., Pride and Prejudice, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/1/92) have lately received so much well-deserved media attention that another version of her first novel, in yet another format, may appear redundant to persons not sufficiently acquainted with the author's charms. However, for her many admirers, both present and future, this new audiobook is a treasure, thanks to a superb reading by actress Susannah Harker. The talented narrator is an ideal interpreter of Austen's delightful paean to the virtue of sense as she traces the struggles of her young heroines to achieve happiness. Harker skillfully captures each character's personality through subtle inflection, and she keenly, yet unobtrusively, underscores the author's delicious irony. With a reading of such quality, the romantic predicaments of the Miss Dashwoods become all-absorbing and the hours fly by too quickly. Most highly recommended for all libraries.
Sister M. Anna Falbo, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
not finished yet.....this is a late night read....with one chapter at a time.Published 14 days ago by Vivian
Bon la!!!! grosse déception !!! le livre est arrivé tres abimé l'endos du livre était carrément brisé une partie de la couverture... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Francoise Pitre
Sense and Sensibility hasn't the humour of Pride and Prejudice but it's still extremely good. Jane captures the exuberance of teenage first love and the all-too-often... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Paul James
I had to read this novel for an ENG university class and I was excited because despite so many years, I had yet to pick up a Jane Austen book. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2011 by Manley H
I've been considering getting one of Jane Austen book for a few years now but I never did so far. Yes I am honestly saying to you that I have never read one of her book before. Read morePublished on March 23 2010 by Canadianladybug
Clearly, Jane Austen wrote to be read aloud. The story truly comes alive in the spoken word. Juliet Stevenson effortlessly conveys the irony of Austen's language in a lively,... Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2009 by Malkie Bear
In Sense and Sensible the storyline dwells on the two elder sisters of the Dashwood family, Elinor and Mariane. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by Jennifer B. Barton