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Sense and Sensibility (Oneworld Classics) [Paperback]

Jane Austen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 April 2008 1847490468 978-1847490469 New Ed
"Sense and Sensibility" is famously characterised as the story of two Dashwood sisters who embody the conflict between the oppressive nature of 'civilised' society and the human desire for romantic passion. However, there is far more to this story of two daughters made homeless by the death of their father. Elinor, 19, and Marianne, 17, initially project the opposing roles with Elinor cautious and unassuming about romantic matters, while Marianne is wild and passionate when she falls hopelessly in love with the libertine Mr Willoughby. But the lessons in love and life see the two characters develop and change with sense and sensibility needing to be compromised as a matter of survival.Written when Austen was just nineteen, this story has been read as a biographical reflection of her relationship with her own sister Cassandra, with the younger Jane being the victim of 'sensibility.' However, the novel is far more than a simple case of passion versus manners, and depicts the romantic complications of two women made highly vulnerable by the loss of their father and estate. With a raw and intense quality Austen creates a romantic masterpiece on the backdrop of a fragile social context.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Classics Ltd; New Ed edition (22 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847490468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847490469
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,202,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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 neighbour. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behaviour 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. 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be." --Eudora Welty

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and magnificent 15 Mar 2005
By jfp2006
While the various cinema and television dramatisations of her books have deservedly contributed to making Jane Austen known and loved beyond the study of her writing in the classroom, it would be a shame to settle for the adaptations and never read those exquisitely written novels.
I have just reread "Sense and Sensibility" and have once again marvelled at the absolute masterliness of Jane Austen's depiction of human feelings, hesitations and dilemmas. Young ladies in 2005 may not make their emotional choices in the same way as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood had to do two hundred years ago, but few contemporary writers show the complexity of emotional relationships with the same precision and insight as Jane Austen. Then as now, the most irresistible men on the surface turn out, like Willougby, to be the most unsuitable ones when you get to know them (and that doesn't make them any less irresistible...); then as now, parents (Mrs Frears) tend to be domineering and unbearable, and yet a part of the equation to be reckoned with; then as now, it may be a good idea to realise that people are very often less predictable than they at first seemed...
But then - and very often not now... - there was the way Jane Austen plotted it all out and honed her sentences like chisels, so that the novel begs to be read aloud.
As of course it would have been once. For those who never have, time to switch off the TV and launch into Jane Austen. Start with this one; take sides with Marianne and with Elinor, marvel at how comic characters like jovial Mrs Jennings and bimbo-ish, semi-literate Lucy Steele remind you of people still very much at large today. Then treat yourself to the even more wonderful "Pride and Prejudice". And then all the others. And bemoan the fact there are only six of them (plus a couple of bits...) And then start all over again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duty and desire 9 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent pocket sized edition of Jane Austen's first novel. The type is clear and a reasonable size and the book is nicely produced with an interesting introduction.

Elinor and Marianne are good examples of how two sisters can be completely different in character and temperament. Elinor is the sensible cautious sister and Marianne the romantic and sensitive one who delights in wild landscapes and feeling heartbroken or elated. I always love the way both sisters deal with adversity. Elinor seeks to keep her feelings to herself and to find occupations to take her mind of what has happened; Marianne wallows in disappointment and doesn't try to overcome her feelings. There are parallels to be drawn here with modern society which encourages people to let their feelings all `hang out' and with say the 1950s where there was more emphasis on duty, putting others first and dealing with your own disappointments.

As ever Jane Austen's dialogue and descriptions delight the reader. There are comic and serious characters; the good natured Mrs Jennings and the unpleasant Mrs Ferrars; the reliable and thoughtful Colonel Brandon and the completely unreliable John Willoughby. While not the most popular of Austen's novels it is still very readable and a delight to anyone who loves her work.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense dictates you buy this CD 27 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a short review of the product not the book.

It is superbly read by Ms Stevenson (as in her reading of "Persuasion") - once more every word and inflection counts. The characters - well or less ably drawn - live. Miss Austen's often stringent wit comes through repeatedly, as does her understanding of her gender. I can't think of a better way to make a series of long car journeys a delightful prospect!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 3 Jan 2010
What can I say, a great classic (my favourite!) and it looks and feels amazing with the new cover.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, anything Jane Austen is just great 19 Nov 2006
This is my second favourite Jane Austen's novel after Pride and Prejudice. As usual, i find Jane Austen's style amazing, I loved many characters in the book specially Marian, i always found something charming about this girl much more charming than her sister..Her emotions are very deep, she loves deeply, grieves deeply, even her prejudice is deep. I felt very sorry for her for even though she married but it seemed to me like she will never love anyone like she loved willoughby. I first read this book in 2000, i read it again last year and i enjoyed it as if i was reading it for the first time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 29 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD
Intially, I wasn't that impressed with Julie Christie's reading of Sense and Sensibility. It was sometimes harsh to listen to and unsubtle, but as it progressed Christie improved greatly. It is abridged and runs over 6 cds. It is a lovely cd to listen to, and of a great novel.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Edition 29 Nov 2011
By Clem N.
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a review of this particular edition of Sense and Sensibility for Kindle, since reviews of the book are easy enough to find.

I was looking for an unabridged version of Sense and Sensibility, that had even margins on each side of the text and that was nicely formatted. This edition delivered everything I wanted, including nice simple formatting that is easy to follow (it almost has a vintage feel to it) and chapters that start on a new page, with the added bonus of wonderful illustrations throughout the book (one of two per chapter -- enough to enjoy, but not so many it's distracting). I loved reading this edition and would highly recommend it.

My only complaint is that I can't buy Persuiasion in the same edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Nice Wordsworth classic version of a good book.
Published 2 days ago by E J Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD CLASSIC READ
bought to compare with Joanna Trollope's Sense & Sensibility for a book group - most interesting project Recommend both (and the film!)
Published 5 days ago by jmkj
5.0 out of 5 stars After Northanger Abbey I found the characters more annoying than...
I had not read this since school but revisited it inspired by the Austen Project. After Northanger Abbey I found the characters more annoying than amusing. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Pauline Moulsdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really love this product, arrived very quickly and was exactly what i wanted
Published 17 days ago by Mrs. M. Obrien
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just as described. Thank you.
Published 17 days ago by Natalie Coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars ... I have read it but it is a really good read!
Cannot remember how many times I have read it but it is a really good read !
Published 18 days ago by Mrs. Patricia Barrington
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by j g hames
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 28 days ago by Mrs SLA Bedrossian
4.0 out of 5 stars A work of art
This is definitely a great piece from Jane Austin. The characters of Marianne and Elinor are beautifully shown throughout the novel as Elinor being the strong, logical analyst of... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Victoria G
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the characters, looking forward to reading more of her work
Two sisters, Elinor and Marianne, are opposites in nature. Elinor, the older sister, is sensible, practical and responsible. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hannah Lewis
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