Sense and Sensibility

Description

Description

Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, published in 1811. It was published anonymously; By A Lady appears on the title page where the author’s name might have been. It tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor (age 19) and Marianne (age 16 1/2) as they come of age. They have an older, stingy half-brother, John, and a younger sister, Margaret, 13.

The novel follows the three Dashwood sisters as they move with their widowed mother from the estate on which they grew up, Norland Park, to their new home, Barton Cottage. The four women must move to a meagre cottage on the property of a distant relative, where they experience love, romance, and heartbreak. The novel is likely set in southwest England, London and Sussex between 1792 and 1797.[1]

The novel, which sold out its first print run of 750 copies in the middle of 1813, marked a success for its author. It had a second print run later that year. The novel continued in publication throughout the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries and has many times been illustrated, excerpted, abridged, and adapted for stage and film.Henry Dashwood, his second wife, and their three daughters live for many years with Henry’s wealthy bachelor uncle. That uncle decides, in late life, to will the use and income only of his property first to Henry, then to Henry’s first son John Dashwood (by his first marriage), so that the property should pass intact to John’s three-year-old son Harry. The uncle dies, but Henry lives just a year after that and he is unable in such short time to save enough money for his wife Mrs Dashwood, and their daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, who are left only a small income. On his deathbed, Mr Henry Dashwood extracts a promise from his son John to take care of his half-sisters. But before Henry is long in the grave, John’s greedy wife, Fanny, persuades her husband to renege on the promise, appealing to his concerns about diminishing his own son Harry’s inheritance despite the fact that John is independently wealthy thanks to his inheritance from his mother and his wife’s dowry. Henry Dashwood’s love for his second family is also used by Fanny to arouse her husband’s jealousy and convince him not to help his sisters economically.

John and Fanny immediately move in as the new owners of Norland, while the Dashwood women are treated as unwelcome guests by a spiteful Fanny. Mrs Dashwood seeks somewhere else to live. In the meantime, Fanny’s brother, Edward Ferrars visits Norland and soon forms an attachment with Elinor. Fanny disapproves of the match and offends Mrs Dashwood by implying that Elinor must be motivated by his expectations of coming into money.

Mrs Dashwood moves her family to Barton Cottage in Devonshire, near the home of her cousin, Sir John Middleton. Their new home is modest, but they are warmly received by Sir John and welcomed into local society, meeting his wife, Lady Middleton, his mother-in-law, the garrulous but well-meaning Mrs Jennings, and his friend, Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon is attracted to Marianne, and Mrs Jennings teases them about it. Marianne is not pleased, as she considers the thirty-five-year-old Colonel Brandon an old bachelor, incapable of falling in love or inspiring love in anyone.

A 19th-century illustration by Hugh Thomson showing Willoughby cutting a lock of Marianne’s hair
While out for a walk, Marianne gets caught in the rain, slips, and sprains her ankle. The dashing John Willoughby sees the accident and assists her, picking her up and carrying her back to her home. After his rescue of her, Marianne quickly comes to admire his good looks and his similar tastes in poetry, music, art, and love. His attentions, and Marianne’s behavior, lead Elinor and Mrs Dashwood to suspect that the……………….
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 neighbor. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behavior 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. How each of the sisters reacts to their romantic 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
Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, published in 1811. It was published anonymously; By A Lady appears on the title page where the author’s name might have been. It tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor (age 19) and Marianne (age 16 1/2) as they come of age. They have an older, stingy half-brother, John, and a younger sister, Margaret, 13.

The novel follows the three Dashwood sisters as they move with their widowed mother from the estate on which they grew up, Norland Park, to their new home, Barton Cottage. The four women must move to a meagre cottage on the property of a distant relative, where they experience love, romance, and heartbreak. The novel is likely set in southwest England, London and Sussex between 1792 and 1797.[1]

The novel, which sold out its first print run of 750 copies in the middle of 1813, marked a success for its author. It had a second print run later that year. The novel continued in publication throughout the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries and has many times been illustrated, excerpted, abridged, and adapted for stage and film.Henry Dashwood, his second wife, and their three daughters live for many years with Henry’s wealthy bachelor uncle. That uncle decides, in late life, to will the use and income only of his property first to Henry, then to Henry’s first son John Dashwood (by his first marriage), so that the property should pass intact to John’s three-year-old son Harry. The uncle dies, but Henry lives just a year after that and he is unable in such short time to save enough money for his wife Mrs Dashwood, and their daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, who are left only a small income. On his deathbed, Mr Henry Dashwood extracts a promise from his son John to take care of his half-sisters. But before Henry is long in the grave, John’s greedy wife, Fanny, persuades her husband to renege on the promise, appealing to his concerns about diminishing his own son Harry’s inheritance despite the fact that John is independently wealthy thanks to his inheritance from his mother and his wife’s dowry. Henry Dashwood’s love for his second family is also used by Fanny to arouse her husband’s jealousy and convince him not to help his sisters economically.

John and Fanny immediately move in as the new owners of Norland, while the Dashwood women are treated as unwelcome guests by a spiteful Fanny. Mrs Dashwood seeks somewhere else to live. In the meantime, Fanny’s brother, Edward Ferrars visits Norland and soon forms an attachment with Elinor. Fanny disapproves of the match and offends Mrs Dashwood by implying that Elinor must be motivated by his expectations of coming into money.

Mrs Dashwood moves her family to Barton Cottage in Devonshire, near the home of her cousin, Sir John Middleton. Their new home is modest, but they are warmly received by Sir John and welcomed into local society, meeting his wife, Lady Middleton, his mother-in-law, the garrulous but well-meaning Mrs Jennings, and his friend, Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon is attracted to Marianne, and Mrs Jennings teases them about it. Marianne is not pleased, as she considers the thirty-five-year-old Colonel Brandon an old bachelor, incapable of falling in love or inspiring love in anyone.

A 19th-century illustration by Hugh Thomson showing Willoughby cutting a lock of Marianne’s hair
While out for a walk, Marianne gets caught in the rain, slips, and sprains her ankle. The dashing John Willoughby sees the accident and assists her, picking her up and carrying her back to her home. After his rescue of her, Marianne quickly comes to admire his good looks and his similar tastes in poetry, music, art, and love. His attentions, and Marianne’s behavior, lead Elinor and Mrs Dashwood to suspect that the……………….