"Pray, pray be composed," cried Elinor, "and do not betray what you feel to every body present. Perhaps he has not observed you yet." For Elinor Dashwood, sensible and sensitive, and her romantic, impetuous younger sister Marianne, the prospect of marrying the men they love appears remote. In a world ruled by money and self-interest, the ...
"Pray, pray be composed," cried Elinor, "and do not betray what you feel to every body present. Perhaps he has not observed you yet." For Elinor Dashwood, sensible and sensitive, and her romantic, impetuous younger sister Marianne, the prospect of marrying the men they love appears remote. In a world ruled by money and self-interest, the Dashwood sisters have neither fortune nor connections. Concerned for others and for social proprieties, Elinor is ill-equipped to compete with self-centred fortune-hunters like Lucy Steele, whilst Marianne's unswerving belief in the truth of her own feelings makes her more dangerously susceptible to the designs of unscrupulous men. Through her heroines' parallel experiences of love, loss, and hope, Jane Austen offers a powerful analysis of the ways in which women's lives were shaped by the claustrophobic society in which they had to survive. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Of all Austen's works, this one improved most on long acquaintance.
I remember liking it less than the others when I read it for - I thought - the first time, was surprised to find something I'd written about it some years earlier.
So it made no impression on the first reading, and little (for an Austen) on the 2nd. I was more like passionate Marianne than like restrained Elinor, but Marianne's relentless seriousness made her hard to relate to also.
The heroes' characters really are less developed than Austen's others - frankly, I was never able to make much of Edward until Hugh Grant played him. And Colonel Brandon seemed old and dull to me.
Of course, Austen's witty observations and foible-revealing dialog make even this more austere book very enjoyable.
On subsequent readings, I more heartily admired Elinor's unglamorous virtues, felt greater compassion for foolish Marianne, and relished the girls' sound matches.The intervening years had taught me the importance of weighing character over other qualities in potential mates, and the benefits of impulse control.
After an easier sell (Pride & Prejudice or Emma) gives them a taste for Austen, passionate young ladies should read Sense and Sensibility - perhaps at least three times before embarking on love lives. You never know, it could help.
Nov 2, 2007
Personality laden, action/adventure light.
Sense and Sensibility is a gentle book about people and relationships, about lies and class bigotry, about people and how to recognize the "right one" when you meet her/him. You won't find thrilling action scenes with dragons and wizards or orcs and trolls. What you will find is a thoroughly engaging and witty group of genteel people to whom life and circumstance has dealt a series of severe, but not unsurvivable blows. The ending is satisfyingly happy with all the right people getting together.
Only four stars, because the language and manners are formal and "olde" enough to seem stilted at first, but if you will give yourself a chance, I think you will come to enjoy the book very much.
Apr 5, 2007
If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice- you're find Sense and Sensability just as entertaining.
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