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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility (original 1811; edition 1996)

by Jane Austen

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24,13332345 (4.14)3 / 1169
Title:Sense and Sensibility
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Book-of-the-Month Club, New York (1996), Edition: n.e., Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Historical Fiction, Austen, Movie

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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1811)

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Like any other book of Jane Austen, it is very well-written..and emotions are
clearly expressed allowing me to sympathize and empathize with the characters.. ( )
  smiley0905 | Sep 3, 2015 |
"I've been an Austen fan for quite some time now so truly, I understand what she tried to do in this story, I get her point, but sadly this book left me disenchanted. Usually, her characters are so deep and well thought out that I care deeply about them, including the ones that are not so lovable; she's so talented at bringing them to life that sometimes it doesn't even matter which one is the good guy. However, this time the characters that I'm supposed to like were simply intellectually unattractive: ludicrous, exaggeratedly insane, frail, idiotic or too dull to root for. On the other hand, the characters I'm supposed to dislike are not bad enough to make it worth saving up enough energy to feel even absent disapproval.

The male leads felt subdued and difficult to get to know. At times, I wondered what the two girls saw in their chosen suitors. There was not enough decisiveness on their part. Overall, they watched while all outside events happened without any influence. The women, including Elinor, were more interested in willful blindness, fantasy, and dramatics than being active:
The whole of Lucy's behavior in the affair, and the prosperity which crowned it, therefore, may be held forth as a most encouraging instance of what an earnest, an unceasing attention to self-interest, however its progress may be apparently obstructed, will do in securing every advantage of fortune, with no other sacrifice than that of time and conscience.
About the story itself, it begins in an auspicious way. I enjoyed Elinor, Marianne, and their mother in the beginning, especially their interactions, for on these scenes I could perceive more deeply the astounding differences on their personalities. The plot moves forward a bit slowly, which is not a great problem for me, since this is the way the majority of classics go. Despite her prose being well structured, it was difficult at times to grasp what was going on. Many of the sentences were very long - perhaps even run-on sentences - and I had to read them several times to sort out the meaning (I'm not sure whether this was me or the book; in my defense, I should mention that I've read a fair amount of classic literature with much less trouble).

Regarding the ending, I expected it to be a little more fleshed-out, given the length of the book. Seriously, I expect things to be clearly explained if I’m going to read four hundred pages to get to the end. I found myself somewhat dumbfounded as to the decisions of the two main girls in their marital affairs because I wasn't shown how they arrived at their conclusions. What I’m trying to say is that the end feels hurried, like someone invited Austen to a ball or something, and then she decided to finish the last forty pages of the book already so she could go without worrying about the unfinished book lying on her desk. My final opinion is that, overall, the book was a good read, and it kept my attention, but it was slightly disappointing as compared to what I was expecting from Jane Austen.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.
If a book is well written, I always find it too short.

The Last Passage
Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate;—and among the merits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be ranked as the least considerable, that though sisters, and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands." ( )
  AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |
Jane Austen is certainly an acquired taste. I typically wake away from her novels feeling like the story was good - and it sticks with me for while - but the proper prose of Austen's writing makes her novels somewhat difficult to get through. As always, Austen has a good story to tell - Elinor and Marianne are two sisters who experiences in love mirror each other, even if they come to different conclusions. The ups and downs of these sisters' lives, and the vivid characterizations of the secondary characters (I particularly like their brother John Dashwood) makes this novel well worth the effort. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Aug 23, 2015 |
Things were once different. Language wasn't to communicate but to allow social interactions to proceed smoothly. It was often to conceal the reality of how one felt in favor of how one was supposed to feel. People often talked about nothing, just to pass the time or get along.

This meant that one had to have sufficient sensibility to know how people really felt and even then, it could be difficult to know. Often, this sensibility left one vulnerable to the feelings and schemes of others.

Travel took a long time. There were no phones. Music had to be performed live. Relationships were different too. Sex was something married people did. Engagements were a serious thing. There was no online dating.

Class and wealth were important because there weren't corporations or venture capitalists or Kickstarter. Whole lives could be made or broken because of incomes and inheritances real estate and only males were educated and in charge of things. Women were relied on to marry well or else were burdens on their families, unless their families disowned or were neglected them.

If one were sensible, one would let the economics of the culture be one's guide as to whom to marry, but things didn't always work out that way in practice. People would fall in love, though without the super power of sensibility, you might never know of it until they chose to declare it and, if it was economically and socially feasible, get engaged.

The main plot line in this story, is about that fine distinction between love and engagement. What if you appeared to be in love, but there was no engagement? And what if, given the lack of straightforward communication, no one could tell for sure what the actuality of the situation was?

( )
  Gimley_Farb | Jul 6, 2015 |
I love anything by Jane Austen. ( )
  AuthorPSBartlett | Jun 11, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (112 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Austenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brotherus, AuneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, R. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Church, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doody, Margaret AnneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, StellaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hassall, JoanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klett, Elizabethsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamont, ClaireEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puttapipat, NirootIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schorer, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, CandaceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.
Well, I am convinced that there is a vast deal of inconsistency in almost every human character.
... Marianne, who had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library, however it might be avoided by the family in general, soon procured herself a book. (Ch.42)
People always live for ever when there is any annuity to be paid to them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Jane Austen (I 775— I 8 I 7) imajo za eno največjih angleških pisateljic. Odlikuje Jo iskriv čut za družabno komedijo in bistro 01(0 za medsebojne človeške odnose, pri tem pa Je izvrstna slikarka družinskih ritualov in družabnih šeg svojega časa. V svojih romanih spretno prepleta Ijubezenska razmerja z dramo in družbeno satiro, njeni orisi pa presegajo vsakršen časovni okvir Zato ji še danes ne manjka bralcev, saj yse njene romane vVeliki Britaniji ponatiskujejo že ves as od njihovega prvega izida, niti gledalcev, saj so vsa njena literarna dela ekranizirali, nekatera celo večkrat.
Umirajoči Henry Dashwood mora po zakonu posest izročiti sinu iz prvega zakona Johnu in njegovi soprogi Fanny. Dashwoodova druga žena in njune tri hčere, EIinor Marianne in Margaret se tako znajdejo brez strehe nad glavo in s komaj dovolj denarja za preživetje. Rozsodnost In rahločutnost je predvsem pripoved o dveh sestrah: stvarni, a ironični Elinor in strastní ter samosvoji Marianne, o zapletenih zadevah njunega ljubezenskega življenja ter boju s siromaštvom. V angleški družbi s konca osemnajstega stoletja, kjer najbolj cenijo bogastvo in družbeni prestiž, so ženskam zaprte yse poti do intelekĹualne in materialne samostojnosti, zato je poroka edino jamstvo, da na stara eta ne bosta v breme sorodnikom, To je prví objavljeni (čeprav ne tudi najprej napisani) roman Jane Austen, tudi tu pa se v vsej moči kaže pisateljičin dar, da s svojim pisanjem bralca ne spustí iz klešč radovednosti.
Besedo na ovitku: Max Modic

Marianne Dashwood subscribes to the fashionable cult of sensibility. Ardently avowing every fluctuation of emotion, she despises discretion and reticence. Her elder sister Elinor, whose feelings are no less sincere, is far more prudent and considerate and when her love for the shy, quiet Edward Ferrars is betrayed, she is sustained by her own calm dignity. The impetuous Marianne, however, scorns any concealment of her adoration for the dashing Willoughby...
While giving a vivid portrayal of the society and manners of her time, both in the country and in London, Jane Austen's chief preoccupation, handled with sympathy as well as astringency, is the effect of differing ideals and expectatioins. Though she satirises Marianne's emotional excesses, she is even harder on hyprocisy, selfishness and mercenary snobbery, giving us merciless wit and a wonderful story.
Haiku summary
Elinor reasons,
Marianne catches a cold
And Lucy gets Bob.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439661, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:02 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"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 behaviour leaves her open to gossip. Meanwhile, Elinor is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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