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Sense and Sensibility (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 17 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Revised edition edition (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780199535576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535576
  • ASIN: 0199535574
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction set among the gentry have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature.

Jane Austen was born in Steventon rectory on 16th December 1775. Her family later moved to Bath and then to Chawton in Hampshire. She wrote from a young age and Pride and Prejudice was begun when she was twenty-two years old. It was originally called First Impressions. It was initially rejected by the published she submitted it too and eventually published in 1813 after much revision.

All four of her novels - Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815) published in her lifetime were published anonymously. Jane Austen died on 18th July 1817. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both 1817) were published posthumously.

Product Description

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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be." --Eudora Welty --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The novel that we know as Sense and Sensibility had, according to tradition in the Austen family, a precursor in a work of Jane Austen's youth, an epistolary novel entitled 'Elinor and Marianne'. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By jfp2006 on 15 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
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.
Magnificent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Mar 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have recently started to listen to audio books of Jane Austen's novels but I prefer the unabridged editions. This one is shown on the product description as `unabridged' but in fact it is abridged. That said, I enjoyed listening to it though I didn't think the sound quality was as good as BBC Audio books - or maybe it was just Julie Christie and the way she reads it. I found the ends of words kept disappearing.

This edition was worth listening to though I think perhaps too much was omitted as it was sometimes difficult to follow the storyline. The story involves two sisters - Elinor and Marian - who find themselves in straightened circumstances following the death of their father. The two sisters are complete opposites with Elinor representing `sense' and Marian `sensibility'. What happens to them when they move to a rented cottage on the estate of Sir John Middleton and make new friends is interesting even if you know the story.

The book is not as gripping as the author's `Emma' or `Pride and Prejudice' but it repays careful study and its lessons are still relevant today. You cannot always judge by appearances and it is perhaps better to settle for someone who cares about you rather than someone who appears only to care about himself.

The reading is recorded on 6 CDs lasting 5.75 hours.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Most people who have read Jane Austen will have read Pride and Prejudice. With a title like Sense and Sensibility, most readers will assume that the two books can be interpreted and enjoyed in the same way. Other than having three word titles that employ alliteration in the first and third words, the two novels are more different than similar.
While Pride and Prejudice is primarily about miscommunication, Sense and Sensibility is about the maturation of two sisters as they find themselves confronted by adversity. The former topic allows Ms. Austen more room to roam, but within the later topic she has plenty of opportunities to display her story telling and comic talents. While maturation is an important sub theme in Pride and Prejudice, you see maturation better developed in Sense and Sensibility.
When their father dies, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret find themselves in exile from their family home with their mother. The family estate had been left to their half brother whom their father exhorted to take care of them. But that promise is soon diluted into doing almost nothing through the selfishness of his wife and his vacillation. A relative kindly offers them a country cottage near his home and takes obvious pleasure in their company.
In this new home, Elinor finds herself entertaining the welcome attentions of Edward Ferrars. Her sister, Marianne, is all aflutter over John Willoughby who seems to be committed to her. In fact, everyone assumes that there will soon be wedding bells for Marianne and Willoughby.
All of these pleasant connections are, however, soon disrupted. Willoughby leaves and ignores Marianne. Elinor finds out an unexpected secret about Ferrars that puts her on her caution in pursuing their relationship.
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