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Sense and Sensibility [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Jane Austen , Juliet Stevenson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 1996 9626340932 978-9626340936 abridged edition
The story centres on the personalities of the two sisters, whose contrasting temperaments are examined as they undergo comparable experiences in the loss of the men they love, it rejoices also in a wealth of minor characters such as the comic Mrs Jennings and Sir John and Lady Middleton, drawn with consummate satiric skill.

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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 neighbor. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behavior 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. How each of the sisters reacts to their romantic 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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Austen is the hot property of the entertainment world with new feature film versions of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility on the silver screen and Pride and Prejudice hitting the TV airwaves on PBS. Such high visibility will inevitably draw renewed interest in the original source materials. These new Modern Library editions offer quality hardcovers at affordable prices.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction to Jane Austen's Works June 23 2004
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars still relevent for today June 1 2004
By A. Dan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a story of two sisters, marrian and elinor, which, though very similar in some aspects, and share a very similar unfortunate love affair, are total different in their behavior and approach toward matters of the heart. Tough both emotional in both seeking love and addressing it, one lets her emotions take over just about everything else, and the other have better balance between love and logic.
I'm not much of a period novel fan, and didn't like the emma tompson movie so much - so i wasn't too keen on reading this book at first, but as i got into the pace of the story, i enjoyed reading it. what i mostly liked about this book is the fact that though it was written a few centuries ago, the emotions describe in it, and the moral this story tells are still very true till today. the way we all need to balance our inner world with consideration and respect for the outer world.
I've been helping two friends through a pretty messy break up while i was reading this book, and i kept quoting parts of it for them, trying to explain how the choice between "being a marrianne" and "being an elinor" is their's and how dealing with grief and lose might be effected by their own approach to love and life in general.
I recommend this book to anyone who ever suffered from a broken heart and had to deal with a break up. It's inspiring and interesting
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5.0 out of 5 stars From the Editor May 26 2004
"Sense and Sensibility," Jane Austen's first published novel (1811), tells the intertwined stories of two contrasting sisters, the lively, passionate, impulsive Marianne and the reserved, self-disciplined, dutiful Elinor. Both experience love, heartache, and eventual happiness in marriage, and both have their beliefs and value systems tested. A host of memorable, comic minor characters combine with the principal heroines and heroes to develop a tale that is both lively and thought provoking, humorous and psychologically astute. Anyone who has ever struggled with conflicts between spontaneity and caution, heart and head, can identify with the central characters of this novel.
This edition of "Sense and Sensibility" includes a number of helpful supplementary materials that enhance the reader's understanding and appreciation of the novel. Excerpts from contemporary texts clarify the historical context of the terms "sense" and "sensibility." Among the works included are selections from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther," a classic example of the novel of sensibility, and Maria Edgeworth's "Letters of Julia and Caroline," an earlier novel of contrasting female characters, in this case two friends, one of whom is sensible and the other romantic and impractical. The edition also includes the whole of Jane Austen's "Love and Freindship" (sic), a hilarious parody of sentimental fiction written when Austen was fourteen. Besides background materials, the volume includes four essays from recent critics that represent a range of different interpretations of the novel.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane at the Top of her Game
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 more
Published 8 months ago by Paul James
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic story with notes
This is a really good edition of this story. I read this story for the first time using a different edition but this edition has a really helpful set of notes to really help the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by truthfinder
4.0 out of 5 stars The most romantic of all Austen’s novels.
The first of her published novels, Sense and Sensibility tells the story of Dashwood sister’s Elinor and Marianne who although basically penniless, are determined to move towards... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ladybug
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing, Interesting but Too Rushed of an Ending
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 more
Published on Feb. 14 2011 by Manley H
4.0 out of 5 stars Elinor And Marianne
"Sense and Sensibility" is the first published novel of Jane Austen. Originally published in 1811, the novel went through several versions perhaps starting with "Elinor and... Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2011 by Dave_42
3.0 out of 5 stars A new twist to Sense and Sensibility
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 more
Published on March 23 2010 by Canadianladybug
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the Insight Edition!
When I heard that Bethany House was offering Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility for review, I flew at the chance. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2010 by Christina Banks
5.0 out of 5 stars There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind
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 more
Published on Nov. 19 2009 by Malkie Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
My love for anything and everything Victorian has helped me embrace this novel set in the Regency Period, and so, naturally I fell in love with this timeless piece. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2009 by Lucy Bertoldi
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up for the reader
No one needs my naive commentary on this witty, charming, and rewarding stalwart of the canon; plenty has been written about Austen's novels. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Rod Kessler
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