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Sense and Sensibility
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Sense and Sensibility

4.1 818
by Jane Austen
 

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One of Jane Austen's most beloved novels, brought to life in a sparkling dramatization!

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects

Overview

One of Jane Austen's most beloved novels, brought to life in a sparkling dramatization!

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery Willoughby more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried. But this is a romance, and through the hardships and heartbreak, true love and a happy ending will find their way for both the sister who is all sense and the one who is all sensibility.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 • "The technique of [Jane Austen's novels] is beyond praise... Her mastery of the art she chose, or that chose her, is complete." —Elizabeth Bowen

 • "The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste." —Virginia Woolf

Deidre Lynch SUNY at Buffalo
"The complexity and courage of Sense and Sensibility get their due in this wonderful new edition, which features an illuminating and sometimes surprising selection of contextual materials. Kathleen James-Cavan's introduction provides a readable, trenchant account of the characteristically bold ways in which Austen went public as a woman novelist and negotiated the power of literary precedent."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812543124
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
12/01/1995
Series:
Tor Classics Series
Edition description:
Complete and Unabridged
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
4.34(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sense and Sensibility

Chapter 1

The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister. But her death, which happened ten years before his own, produced a great alteration in his home; for to supply her loss, he invited and received into his house the family of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate, and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it. In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old gentleman's days were comfortably spent. His attachment to them all increased. The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from goodness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish to his existence.

By a former marriage, Mr. Henry Dashwood had one son: by his present lady, three daughters. The son, a steady respectable young man, was amply provided for by the fortune of his mother, which had been large, and half of which devolved on him on his coming of age. By his own marriage, likewise, which happened soon afterwards, he added to his wealth. To him, therefore, the succession to the Norland estate was not so really important as to hissisters; for their fortune, independent of what might arise to them from their father's inheriting that property, could be but small. Their mother had nothing, and their father only seven thousand pounds in his own disposal, for the remaining moiety of his first wife's fortune was also secured to her child, and he had only a life interest in it.

The old gentleman died; his will was read, and like almost every other will gave as much disappointment as pleasure. He was neither so unjust, nor so ungrateful, as to leave his estate from his nephew; but he left it to him on such terms as destroyed half the value of the bequest. Mr. Dashwood had wished for it more for the sake of his wife and daughters than for himself or his son; but to his son and his son's son, a child of four years old, it was secured in such a way as to leave to himself no power of providing for those who were most dear to him, and who most needed a provision, by any charge on the estate, or by any sale of its valuable woods. The whole was tied up for the benefit of this child, who, in occasional visits with his father and mother at Norland, had so far gained on the affections of his uncle, by such attractions as are by no means unusual in children of two or three years old; an imperfect articulation, an earnest desire of having his own way, many cunning tricks, and a great deal of noise, as to outweigh all the value of all the attention which, for years, he had received from his niece and her daughters. He meant not to be unkind however, and as a mark of his affection for the three girls, he left them a thousand pounds apiece.

Mr. Dashwood's disappointment was at first severe; but his temper was cheerful and sanguine, and he might reasonably hope to live many years, and by living economically, lay by a considerable sum from the produce of an estate already large, and capable of almost immediate improvement. But the fortune, which had been so tardy in coming, was his only one twelvemonth. He survived his uncle no longer; and ten thousand pounds, including the late legacies, was all that remained for his widow and daughters.

His son was sent for, as soon as his danger was known,and to him Mr. Dashwood recommended, with all the strength and urgency which illness could command, the interest of his mother-in-law and sisters.

Mr. John Dashwood had not the strong feelings of the rest of the family; but he was affected by a recommendation of such a nature at such a time, and he promised to do everything in his power to make them comfortable. His father was rendered easy by such an assurance, and Mr. John Dashwood had then leisure to consider how much there might prudently be in his power to do for them.

He was not an ill-disposed young man, unless to be rather coldhearted and rather selfish to be ill disposed: but he was, in general, well respected; for he conducted himself with propriety in the discharge of his ordinary duties. Had he married a more amiable woman, he might have been made still more respectable than he was: he might even have been made amiable himself; for he was very young when he married and very fond of his wife. But Mrs. John Dashwood was a strong caricature of himself: more narrow-minded and selfish.

When he gave his promise to his father, he meditated within himself to increase the fortunes of his sisters by the present of a thousand pounds apiece. He then really thought himself equal to it. The prospect of four thousand a year, in addition to his present income, besides the remaining half of his own mother's fortune, warmed his heart and made him feel capable of generosity. "Yes, he would give them three thousand pounds: it would be liberal and handsome! It would be enough to make them completely easy. Three thousand pounds! He could spare so considerable a sum with little inconvenience." He thought of it all day long and for many days successively, and he did not repent.

No sooner was his father's funeral over than Mrs. John Dashwood, without sending any notice of her intention to her mother-in-law, arrived with her child and their attendants. No one could dispute her right to come; the house was her husband's from the moment of his father's decease; but the indelicacy of her conduct was so much thegreater, and to a woman in Mrs. Dashwood's situation, with only common feelings, must have been highly unpleasing; but in her mind there was a sense of honour so keen, a generosity so romantic, that any offence of the kind, by whomsoever given or received, was to her a source of immovable disgust. Mrs. John Dashwood had never been a favourite with any of her husband's family; but she had had no opportunity till the present of showing them with how little attention to the comfort of other people she could act when occasion required it.

So acutely did Mrs. Dashwood feel this ungracious behaviour, and so earnestly did she despise her daughter-in-law for it that on the arrival of the latter she would have quitted the house forever, had not the entreaty of her eldest girl induced her first to reflect on the propriety of going, and her own tender love for all her three children determined her afterwards to stay, and for their sakes avoid a breach with their brother.

Elinor, this eldest daughter whose advice was so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding and coolness of judgment which qualified her, though only nineteen, to be the counsellor of her mother, and enabled her frequently to counteract, to the advantage of them all, that eagerness of mind in Mrs. Dashwood which must generally have led to imprudence. She had an excellent heart; her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn, and which one of her sisters had resolved never to be taught.

Marianne's abilities were in many respects quite equal to Elinor's. She was sensible and clever, but eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great.

Elinor saw with concern the excess of her sister's sensibility, but by Mrs. Dashwood it was valued and cherished. They encouraged each other now in the violence of their affliction. The agony of grief which overpoweredthem at first was voluntarily renewed, was sought for, was created again and again. They gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every reflection that could afford it, and resolved against ever admitting consolation in future. Elinor, too, was deeply afflicted; but still she could struggle, she could exert herself. She could consult with her brother, could receive her sister-in-law on her arrival, and treat her with proper attention; and could strive to rouse her mother to similar exertion, and encourage her to similar forbearance.

Margaret, the other sister, was a good-humoured, well-disposed girl; but as she had already imbibed a good deal of Marianne's romance, without having much of her sense, she did not at thirteen bid fair to equal her sisters at a more advanced period of life.

All new material in this edition copyright © 1995 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
Eudora Welty
"How could these novels ever seem remote?...The gayety is unextinguished to today, the irony has kept its bite, the reasoning is still sweet, the sparkle undiminished....As comedies they are irristable and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

Meet the Author

Jane Austen (1775) was an English novelist whose works include Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. Her biting social commentary and masterful use of both free indirect discourse and irony eventually made Austen one of the most influential and honored novelists in English Literature.

Brief Biography

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

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Sense and Sensibility (Collins Classics) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 818 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Jane Austen¿s Sense and Sensibility, the classic tale of love and its consequences is told through the lives of the young and beautiful Dashwood sisters. Marianne, an imprudent and impulsive young lady, immediately falls in love with the handsome, yet unpredictable Mr. Willoughby, scandalously displaying her affection for him. Elinor, although always reserved and collected, also falls in love, but unlike her sister, keeps her affection for her admirer concealed even from those she dearly loves. Through the opposite characterization of the two main characters, Austen criticizes the folly of not leading a balanced lifestyle, whether it is cold and distant or spontaneous and brash. The novel also depicts the troubles caused by love in a society where wealth and social standing are top priorities. Through a variety of characters ranging from a frantic, gluttonous sister, to a humble and kind colonel, Austen condemns the social institutions of her time that encouraged the priority of wealth and status when forming an opinion of a person. Throughout the novel, readers are hooked, held in suspense as they eagerly await to discover the results of the Dashwoods¿ adventures with love. Humorous, heartbreaking, and humbling, Austen combines lessons of life, love, and society defining Sense and Sensibility as a classic.
Paige2017 More than 1 year ago
I really love all of Jane Austen's books but Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorites! It is an endearing story of two sisters who finally get their true happiness! If only this happened in real life! If you love the book you will also love the DVD made by BBC Video and shown on Masterpiece Theatre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can't go wrong with Austen but Sense and Sensibility is not nearly as romantic as Pride and Prejudice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first started this book, I was a bit confused, but as I read on I fell in love with the time and setting of the novel. You really fall in love with the characters and get a sense of what marriage and especially money meant in that time and how they where related to one another.
Bookjunkie40 More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book that I have read from the B&N Classic list, but the first Jane Austin book. Some people have told me that her writing style is difficult to read, but I found that I had no problems. It is a classic tale of love and pain. I find it surreal that people fall in love so quickely! Or maybe the book doesn't give an accurate interpretation of the timeline. It is neither hear nor there, I actually enjoyed the first Austin novel and looking forward to the next one on the B&N list. I am curious to find out if all of her novels are about the trials of love or is there a surprise in store for me?!?!? I am a firm believer in the classics always being a perk in any book club, but reality is that I believe this is a wonderful book for a raining day, curl up with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa:) Stay tuned for my next book review from the classic list: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
AAR More than 1 year ago
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austin is a Historical classic. It is a true classic love story. The Insight Edition has relevant information about England, their customs and Jane Austin's life during the Regency era. It has likable characters, romance, and family. If you enjoy Jane Austin this is a must read. It is one of the all classic books.
JesusButterfly More than 1 year ago
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!
Shannon Visente More than 1 year ago
With so many grammatical errors, it almost seems purposeful in an effort to force readers to buy it! But .99 for her entire works is worth the price. Save yourself the headache and pass this mess by.
rba More than 1 year ago
The text is very badly scanned. There are plenty of typos and errors. Impossible to read. :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was not one of Jane Austen's best works. It was fairly enjoyable, but the other novels were so much better. The story was very slow. The best parts were the last few chapters. I did like how Elinor became more passionate, and Marianne became more sensible. The love story was very good, but hardly worth the tedious pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good i cant put it down
SilentMute2 More than 1 year ago
Sense and Sensibility was the first book I was forced to read as a young person. At the time, I hated it. I could not understand what people saw in Jane Austen. I read twenty-two chapters before I quit, and to my mind at the time, NOTHING happened. There were no murders, no life-altering circumstances, nothing dramatic. Jane Austen pretty much depicted the petty squabbles, jealousies, and annoyances of backward people. It wasn't really a romance, and yet the whole story seemed to be supported on the disappointments and triumphs in love of the two major characters. Many years later, I have read it--and managed to finish it. I can't believe that I was able to pick up and appreciate the social commentary that I failed to appreciate as a teenager. Though I think Pride and Prejudice is better, Sense and Sensibility has its merits. The characters are well-developed, and some are sympathetic--like Colonel Brandon. However, I do think this is a book that requires a person to reach a certain stage in their life where they can appreciate "people watching." It probably helps if the characters remind you of people that you know or situations you have experienced. Having been disappointed in love myself, I was able to relate to Marianne more than I could as an inexperienced teenager. Of course, sometimes knowing people who remind you of the characters can be a drawback if you really hate the people. However, I would say it is a definite MUST, to appreciate Jane Austen, that you be content with a book that deals with social commentary and doesn't require action or dramatic events. If you need a helicopter crash, an explosion, or someone being brutally murdered to get you through a book...then Jane Austen is definitely not for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Aaron Cox More than 1 year ago
This book was very poorly transfered into a text format. It makes teading extremely dificult.
iloverochester More than 1 year ago
Sense and Sensibility was written superbly well. The story is rich in details and surprises. Its dramatic, exciting, and most of all hopeful. The characters have real meaning and integrity. This book is for the hopeless romantic. My favorite of the Jane Austen novels. I would highly recommend this read for book clubs because there are many conflicts and twists that make great discussions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was fantastic. Jane Austen is an amazing author, and this is a great book! Everyone should read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great story, great audiobook. Kate Winselt did a tremendous reading. Gets better everytime I listen to it.
lverard 22 days ago
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen is her first published work, published in 1811. The story hones in on two sisters, Marianne and Elinor, ages 17 and 19, and how their romantic interests and relationships determine the course of their lives. Austen focuses on the social mores and manners of the 19th century and juxtaposes how women are supposed to act in order to marry a man of well stature and the passionate love young girls often seek. The title reflects the two ways the women approach love: Elinor is sensible, whereas Marianne is only concerned with the sensibility in a relationship, how he can stimulate her and her interests. The novel surrounds the Dashwood family, the mother recently widowed, who move into a cottage in the English countryside town of Barton. Marianne, the younger of the two sisters, is set to marry Colonel Brandon, a match made by the eager neighbors, Sir John Middleton and his lady. Colonel Brandon is much older than Marianne, at least 30, and therefore doesn't appeal to her since she is looking for the romance and heart that a younger and more cultured man could offer. Elinor, being the more sensible of the two, knows what it means to find herself a good and noble husband, so she sets her sights on Edward Ferrars, even if he is less "interesting" in Marianne's eyes. Austen's novel is straightforward: romantic with a twist. It is a true love story, with turns to keep the reader engaged. She employs imagery to set the scene of a small, rural town, and uses language that sets the tone for the level of sophistication that the characters are held to in their situations. As the story progresses, Marianne meets a young and dashing gentleman named Willoughby and falls head over heels in love with him. They are passionate for each other and Marianne is sure they'll get married, until he suddenly has to leave. I won't spoil anything here, but Marianne follows a long and windy road in search of the true connection she craves in a relationship, that a lady of her stature cannot afford to care about; She has one thing she needs to be really searching for, and that is a good living with a respectable name. Elinor falls into a few traps with love too, her engagement with Mr. Ferrars is complicated with the arrival of the the two Steele girls, friends of Mrs. Jennings who is a relation of the neighbors the Middletons. Mrs. Jennings kindly takes the two Dashwood sisters to London and there, the love triangles begin and the tears start to fall. Austen portrays a love story that is common, yet one that most young girls can relate to. Every little girl is searching for Marianne's idea of romance and of passion, yet every young woman knows that their heart shouldn't play a bigger role than their head and think like Elinor: practicality is key. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story, even one with some hard hitting turns that may not always please. It's a novel for old literature and history lovers because it is set in the 19th century, so it's not as modern of a love story, which some people crave more often. I'd also say its not a light read, Austen writes in British English, with some older terms that may be outdated, making some of the language hard to follow if you're not paying as much attention. All in all, Sense and Sensibility is a story of love and loss and heartbreak and happy ending, and it's a great way to start off your love for Jane Austen.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having watched and enjoyed many of the Jane Austen movies with my older sister, I decided to pick up “Sense and Sensibility” for reading. As I jumped into this regency era romance novel, I found a cute story with an ending I didn’t quite expect. Jane Austen definitely didn’t disappoint with this book. If you are into regency era novels, then this is the one for you. She created a nice story with a cute little family trying to get by after the death of their loved one, and the difficulty the older daughters face once becoming acquainted to a few handsome suitors. She also creates a picture of the high societal demands of the times and how they influence these women. The story flows well. The English is a little harder to understand as a result to how proper it is, but ultimately it is a good read. This world she writes is different from the one we are used to today, so it’s fun to read how things would have happened a couple hundred years ago. I would recommend this book to anyone in need of a nice, easy read with a little romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sense and sensibility is a great book. This edition is good with no typos, however the intoduction should be read at the ed of the book because it gives a lot of stuff away. The same gos for Pride and Prejudice, the fre one that comes with the nook.