Sense and Sensibility (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

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Sense and Sensibility

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Overview

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility is a wonderfully entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness—as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.

Startling secrets, unexpected twists, and heartless betrayals interrupt the marriage games that follow. Filled with satiric wit and subtle characterizations, Sense and Sensibility teaches that true love requires a balance of reason and emotion.

Laura Engel received her BA from Bryn Mawr College and her MA and PhD from Columbia University. She has taught in independent schools in New York city and is now a visiting assistant professor of English at Macalester College. Her previous publications include essays on the novelists A. S. Byatt and Edna O’Brien. Her forthcoming book is a biography of three eighteenth-century British actresses.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593081256
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 42,843
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.15 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Austen
Laura Engel received her BA from Bryn Mawr College and her MA and PhD from Columbia University. She has taught in independent schools in New York city and is now a visiting assistant professor of English at Macalester College. Her previous publications include essays on the novelists A. S. Byatt and Edna O’Brien. Her forthcoming book is a biography of three eighteenth-century British actresses.

Biography

In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.

Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      December 16, 1775
    2. Place of Birth:
      Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      July 18, 1817
    2. Place of Death:
      Winchester, Hampshire, England
    1. Education:
      Taught at home by her father

Read an Excerpt

From Laura Engel’s Introduction to Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first published novel, tells the story of the lives, loves, and longings of two sisters, the sensitive, romantic Marianne and the practical, even-tempered Elinor. With its extended cast of supporting characters, including the garrulous Mrs. Jennings, the stern Mr. Palmer, and the censorious Mrs. Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility revolves around two narratives: the possible romances of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and the day-to-day existence of everyone else. The constant anxiety that pervades the story stems from the possibility that the sisters may have to make do with the mundanity of country life, cluttered with gossip, clamor, and superficiality, instead of being swept away by the men of their dreams. In typical Austen fashion we are made aware from the outset that Marianne’s choice of suitor, the dashing and theatrical Willoughby, may be a disaster. Elinor’s more subdued love object, the shy and awkward Edward Ferrars, on the other hand, just might prove himself worthy if he could manage to articulate a full sentence.

Austen began working on Sense and Sensibility in 1795 with an epistolary fragment entitled “Elinor and Marianne” (now lost). The final version was not published until 1811, with a second edition issued in 1813 (Austen-Leigh, Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters). Once described as “bleak, dark, and nasty” compared with the “brightness” of Pride and Prejudice or the complexity of her more mature works Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility has recently undergone a critical renaissance. New editions, renewed scholarship, and a critically acclaimed film version have put the novel center stage.

Sense and Sensibility is a coming-of-age novel, and also a work that chronicles Austen’s own “coming of age”—her development as a writer. When she began working on “Elinor and Marianne” she was only twenty, a young woman with the possibility of courtship, marriage, and family open to her. By the time the second edition of the novel was released, Austen had moved from Hampshire to Bath, lost her adoring father, been disappointed in love, rejected a marriage proposal, and relocated again with her mother and sister to Chawton, where she turned her attention to writing. Austen’s sense of herself in the world must have been influenced by her close relationship with her only sister, Cassandra, who similarly was disappointed in love and in the awkward position of elder spinster aunt to a large and noisy upper-middle-class country family.

The only surviving portrait of Austen, a watercolor sketch by her sister, depicts the author as a plain, pensive subject with large eyes and a slight hint of a smile. She appears proper and subdued, unlike the description of her by a family friend, who pronounced her “certainly pretty—bright & a good deal of colour in her face—like a doll” (Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life). Austen’s niece Anna’s view of her aunt matches Cassandra’s portrayal of her: “Her complexion [is] of that rare sort which seems the particular property of light brunettes: a mottled skin, not fair, but perfectly clear and healthy; the fine naturally curling hair, neither light nor dark; the bright hazel eyes to match the rather small, but well shaped nose” (Austen-Leigh).

In keeping with Austen’s status as a respectable daughter of a clergyman, Sense and Sensibility was first published anonymously. The initial advertisement for the novel, which appeared in the Morning Chronicle on October 31, 1811, refers to the author as “A Lady.” A subsequent notice in the same paper on November 7, 1811, bills the work as “an extraordinary novel by A Lady.” A few weeks later the book was announced as “an Interesting Novel by Lady A” (Austen-Leigh, p. 254). Austen apparently made some money on the first edition. Her biographers Richard and William Austen-Leigh note that the £140 profit from the first edition of Sense and Sensibility was a considerable sum compared to the lesser proceeds her female contemporaries earned from their novels—the £30 Fanny Burney gained from sales of Evelina or the £100 Maria Edgeworth received for Castle Rackrent.

Austen was influenced by the writers of her youth. She adored Samuel Richardson, read Maria Edgeworth, Sir Walter Scott, Dr. Johnson, Alexander Pope, William Cowper, Henry Fielding, and Daniel Defoe, and recited passages from Fanny Burney aloud (Gay, Jane Austen and the Theatre). In Sense and Sensibility Austen echoes earlier novelists while at the same time anticipating the format of the nineteenth-century novel. Austen’s choice of translating “Elinor and Marianne” from an epistolary narrative (a novel in letters) into a story told by a central narrator allowed her to juxtapose the internal and external facets of her heroines. What we see Elinor do is often contrasted with what we know she is thinking. This gap between thought and action is highlighted repeatedly throughout the novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 435 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(210)

4 Star

(106)

3 Star

(60)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(41)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 436 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    Typos galore.

    I just read a few pages and the typos are terrible. You have to fill in and guess what words they are trying to say. There is a reason it is free.

    13 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2010

    Love the Story...

    ...but not the free Google version...the problem with just scanning and relying on software to "error" check, is that it makes new and different mistakes. It's gotten to the point that I'm going to delete my free version and spend some money on a different copy.

    7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    Bad copy

    This is a bad copy of a good book.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    very interesting novel, a great read

    This book was extrememly interesting. I enjoyed the clever love triangles occuring thoughout the book. Jane Austen is a wonderful writer who has a talent of creating complex characters, with very real emotions and problems. The reader is able to relate with the Dashwood girls as they struggle with unrequited love. The reader is never bored with the captivating lives of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Bad!!!!

    Its spaces out hard to read many typos and symbols in RANDOM places its bad!

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Story

    This is a great book. It illustrates two types of women that are still very prominent in society today. I like the fact that it showed more than one side to everyone's personality. Great rainy day read.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Absolutely horrid!

    Could not read. Incomplete words, extraneous characters, special characters. Not worth being free. Someone would have to pay me to keep this.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    So many typographical errors on every page! Not worth trying to get through. Seriously - not even worth it for free.

    I would give it a rating of negative 5 if I could. I' m sure there must be a well transferred version out there, but this is not it. Horrific typos are so prevalent that it was difficult to even determine what some words were supposed to be. Even multiple pages that had half of the manuscript replaced by symbols rather than words. It may be a good classic novel if it were readable.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Charming...

    A charming edition to anyone's Austen library, this story contains wit and stimulating plot that leaves you fascinated with the misshaps and joys of Austen's characters. A must-read!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    Wonderful

    This novel was fantastic. Jane Austen is an amazing author, and this is a great book! Everyone should read it!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    good book

    I'm a fan of Jane's books, this is my second favorite. Only reason I gave it four stars is because there seems to be something lacking that I can't quite put my finger on it though.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    An average book, not one of Austen's best

    I read Sense and Sensibility as a follow up to Pride and Prejudice, and honestly, I was disappointed. The plot of the story was predictable, although it might have intended to be surprising. I felt quite indifferent to the characters, and the whole book kind of dragged. On the average level, this books is readable, but not spectacular like Pride and Prejudice. So if you are planning to read this as a follow-up to Pride and Prejudice, my advice is don't. Instead, read Mansfield Park (also by Austen), which is ten times better, at least in my opionon.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Pretty good

    My only complaint is that the pages numbers will not match the ones in the paper version. I know it sounds petty, but that is a pain when dealing with page to page assignments.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Favorite Austen!

    Sense and Sensibility is my favorite novel by Jane, if not my favorite novel period. The characters are charmimg and delightful!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Love

    Thank you to Jim Hart at Bethany House for providing my copy of this classic. I couldn't help but wonder how the classic might have been improved.Historical and cultural details and definitions from England's early 1800s, facts about Austen's life that enhance the storyline, as well as many other notations, conveniently interspersed along the side margins make this an easy-to-use tutorial.I suggest that Homeschoolers, students of all ages and stages would benefit by the read or rereading. As a retired high school English teacher, I would chose this edition to teach.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2000

    A book to be read over again!

    After my first reading of this beautifully written romance, I found myself intrigued by Austen's ability to create characters and situations that draw me in and hold me close. I now find myself looking for more novels by her that I have to read. I want find out if these other novels are as captivating and emotional as Sense and Sensibility. I highly recommend this and all other Jane Austen books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Bad scan

    Poor copy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Very good!!!!!!

    This is the first book I've ever read by Jane Austen. I think she is a very good author. I think this book is very good, so don't listen to the people who say it's bad or not worth reading. I'm beautiful and smart so take my advice and read this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    good

    check it out

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Is this book hard to get through?

    This seems like a long book and i dont know how jane austen writes. Is it really hard to read and understand?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 436 Customer Reviews

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