Sense and Sensibility
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Sense and Sensibility

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  528,614 ratings  ·  7,400 reviews
In her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen presents us with the subtle portraits of two contrasting but equally compelling heroines. For sensible Elinor Dashwood and her 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...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published April 29th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1811)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
I love Jane Austen.
I LOVE Jane Austen.
I LOVE JANE AUSTEN!!
I…LOVE…JANE…AUSTEN!!
I……LOVE…..JANE..…AUSTEN!!

I still twitch a bit, but I'm getting more and more man-comfortable saying that because there no denying that it’s true. Normally, I am not much of a soapy, chick-flick, mani-pedi kinda guy. I don’t spritz my wine, rarely eat quiche and have never had anything waxed (though the list of things that need it grows by the hour).

But I would walk across a desert in bloomers and a parasol to read M...more
s.penkevich
Oct 11, 2012 s.penkevich rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Sparrow
Shelves: classics, austen, love
'Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience -- or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.'

What does it mean for one to be 'sensible'? As we are all individuals, with our own needs, is it sensible to always act according to our countenance (to steal a lovely phrase from Austen), to keep true to ourselves, or is there a code of manners that we should adhere to in order to maintain a proper course of action? Austen’s aptly titled Sense and Sensibility, a staggeringly impressive f...more
Kelly
New review to come eventually. Can't quite put it all into words yet.
* * *
ORIGINAL:Ah, the third member of the Holy Trinity of Austen. Also deservedly so. This is my intellectual favorite of the Austens. By that, I'm not calling it "intellectual" I'm just saying that taking emotional attachment to other books out of it, this is my objective favorite Austen. I actually believe that the story of the women is better than Pride and Prejudice. Go on, shoot me for that one. I've taken it before for t...more
Kerry
This my first Jane Austen.

Okay, I LOVED this book. I don't even know why. It's about . . . girls who like boys! Who are jerks! Um, the end! But it was funny. But clever funny, which is my favorite kind. And I enjoyed deciphering the late 18th century prose. It made me feel smart, just to figure out what she was saying half the time!

Also I love all the wacky British society stuff. Like sending notes! And walking places! And having breakfast at other peoples' houses! And I enjoyed figuring out the...more
Eric Althoff
Hmmm, how to critique one of the most revered writers of romance literature? Now, before all of your Jane-ites get on my case for being unromantic or whatever, let me say only that unfortuantely, I read "Persuasion," Austen's last novel, and found it to be one of the best books I've ever read. Now having read "Sense and Sensibility," I will say that it truly doese feel like a first novel, as if the author was still trying to find her voice. So I've done the bookends of Austen, much like a concer...more
Jason Koivu

Call me Elinor.

Being the older sibling, while growing up I often felt like I was shoved into the role of being the sensible one, the reasonable one, the responsible one. That is how I was seen. That is what people believed of me. Underneath the skin of the rational, reserved tut-tutter writhed an often non-sensical, unreasonable, irresponsible being. But it took the occurrence of extreme circumstances for others to see it.

Such is the life of Elinor Dashwood, the elder sister in a small, displac...more
RandomAnthony
A couple summers back I abandoned Emma after thirty pages. I assumed I'd fall on the “overwritten drama for women who like Colin Firth” side of the Austen conflict, but, after hearing readers I respect praise Ms. Austen and snagging a high-quality Penguin edition at a Borders closing sale, I tackled Sense and Sensibility over the late rainy spring. Now I'm wondering from where my Austen misconceptions emerged. What made me think Austen was boring? Where did I get that idea? Sense and Sensibility...more
Aubrey
3.5/5
The whole of Lucy's behaviour in the affair, and the prosperity which crowned it, therefore, may be held forth as a most encouraging instance of what an earnest, an unceasing attention to self-interest, however its progress may be apparently obstructed, will do in securing every advantage of fortune, with no other sacrifice than that of time and conscience.
I will admit to thinking long and hard on whether to delegate this book's rating to a mere three stars in the standardized counter, det...more
Tatiana
Jan 24, 2009 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Smug older sisters
Recommended to Tatiana by: My older sister, hah!
Shelves: classics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Madeline
I hate romantic comedies.

I hate them for a wide variety of reasons - I hate their formulaic plots, their repeated character tropes that never seem to change (hmm, will this one have a sassy best friend who only exists to dispense advice?), I hate their consistent failing of the the Bechdel test, and I hate the way they try to make me believe that a skinny and gorgeous woman is incapable of finding a man because she's clumsy or has a job or something.

But mostly, I hate them because their plots...more
Erin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
“We have neither of us anything to tell; you because you do not communicate, and I, because I conceal nothing.” Marianne Dashwood to her sister, Elinor.

And thus is Marianne’s yang to Elinor’s yin. Two halves of a whole, two women bound in love and in blood, as different and dependent as the sun and moon. Passion and logic. Emotion and propriety. ESFP and INTJ.

Jane Austen first crafted this story as an epistolary novel and titled it “Elinor and Marianne.” Although the structure would change as...more
Dennis
This makes what, like four ladies books in a row for me? Yes. But is Jane Austen really for girls only? Sure, marriage and matchmaking are typically considered women's fare (seriously though, is it only women who marry? ...), and factor predominantly as themes throughout most of Jane Austen's writing, but sociologically she was the voice of realism commenting on her times where one's everything quite directly depended upon marrying well. So naturally such considerations as how many pounds per ye...more
Anni
Here is this book in a nutshell:
Marianne and Elinor: 'O, why are we not married yet?'
Hot Guy #1: 'Let's get married.'
Elinor: 'Yes, let's.'
Hot Guy #1: 'Nah, forget it.'
Elinor: (pines)
Old Guy: 'Let's get married.'
Marianne: 'No, let's not.'
Hot Guy #2: 'Let's get married.'
Marianne: 'Yes, let's.'
Hot Guy #2: 'Nah, forget it.'
Marianne: (pines)
Hot Guy #1: 'Hey, let's get married.'
Elinor: 'Hark! Now I may stop pining!'
Marianne: 'This sucks. I am way hotter than her.'
Old Guy: 'Let's get married.'
Marianne:...more
Kim
It's been quite a while since I last read Sense and Sensibility and this is the first time I've listened to it on audiobook. As I listened to Nadia May's excellent narration, I realised that there was much I'd forgotten about the book since I last read it.

I had certainly forgotten the flashes of humour and the sharpness of the satire. For example, Austen is particularly pointed in her descriptions of the indulgence with which the less satisfactory mothers amongst her characters (Fanny Dashwood,...more
Malak Alrashed
Apr 11, 2014 Malak Alrashed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who enjoy classic
I'm really finding it hard to review this book because I have had different feelings through reading it. I mean at the very beginning of the story I thought I might give it four stars, while in the middle of it I thought it would be 3 stars instead, and at last I said this book deserves five!

There're things that I loved about it, things I hated, and things I wished they were mentioned, so let me start from the beginning ..


Sense and Sensibility is Jane Austen's first published work written in th...more
Joanna
While Ms. Austen has given us several entirely charming and personable characters, a lot of things simply did not work for me in this novel. I, however, did very much enjoy the coterie of profoundly annoying and conniving women personified in the Jennings and Middletons Palmers and Miss Steeles, respectively. Premium!

I, perhaps, need to read more about Regency-era etiquette and protocol to understand how Mr. Ferrar's actions are to be considered honourable rather than callow and weak-willed, the...more
Patrizia O
Taglia e cuci all'inglese…
Il pregio principale del libro è sicuramente lo stile ironico della Austen: ho spesso avuto la sensazione che l’autrice, con sguardo sornione e benevole, prendesse in giro i suoi personaggi, le loro manie futili e l’eccessiva importanza attribuita alle apparenze. L’ironia è la caratteristica dei romanzi della Austen che, secondo me, è più in sintonia con la sensibilità contemporanea.
La trama, invece, di questo romanzo è molto esile (in certi passaggi mi ricorda tropp...more
Megan Baxter
The question is, do I have anything new to say about Sense and Sensibility? I'm late chiming in on this, on the order of centuries. I don't feel like the themes created any particularly original thoughts in my head so I guess we'll go with impressions.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
S.
Oddly, I didn't enjoy this as much as I expected, basking as I was in the post-cerebral afterglow of Pride & Prejudice.
I'm still reviewing backwards from Emma so I can freely jubilate (Is that a word? It is now.) about P&P when I get to it.

Don't get me wrong, it's still most definitely brilliant, but I realized very early on that I was hopelessly tainted by Ang Lee's movie adaptation.

What made this book a totally different experience for me was the shift of focus.
The film is heavy, heav...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 10, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, 1001-core, classics
This is a remarkable classic considering that this was written by Jane Austen at the age of 19. Published in 1811 the beautiful prose, lucid characters and funny lines are still as entertaining as the current modern fiction. However, one has to wrestle with the old English words like “chuse” for chose and the peculiar sentence constructions that are no longer being used nowadays.
The book’s title seems to pertain to Elinor (sense) and Marianne (sensibility). Elinor is the reserved type (candidat...more
Anastasia
(in vista dell'interrogazione di filosofia)

Cosa direbbe Parmenide dei libri della Austen: ..è evidente che Jane è immutabile, eterna e perfetta in quanto Jane. Mi sembra chiaro che Jane è, e non può non essere. Non condivido l'idea di un cambiamento, l'essere è eterno e perfetto in quanto immutabile, e Jane è eterna nel suo essere, non può cambiare, per piacere. I suoi libri ne sono la prova.

Cosa direbbe Eraclito dei libri della Austen: ma sta' zitto, Parmenide, brutto idiota. Se prendiamo in c...more
Daniel
It was poor timing on my part to read "Sense and Sensibility" soon after finishing "Middlemarch," a book I felt was, while not without flaws, a masterpiece. The two books, though written decades apart, invite comparisons: both have somewhat large casts of characters whose relations the reader is required to keep straight, both lean toward the satirical in their views of society, and both focus at least in part on young English women falling in love and arranging their marriages.

The problem is th...more
Ann
Nov 30, 2007 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans/those looking for a classic to read
Shelves: classics, romance
I’ve finally finished it! It’s a little sad to admit that, despite it’s being – I believe – the shortest of the Jane Austen books I’ve read, I do think it’s taken me the longest to read. However, the extended reading time should not reflect the quality of the book, but instead simply my own lack of fortitude. It is also, I think, partly because I already knew what happened, as I have seen – and loved – the movie with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet (which, if anyone wonders, I do think did an exc...more
Mark
Jane Austen sucks. There's nobody in all of the world's literature more overrated than Austen. Her characters are insufferable, she was in need of a cold-blooded editor and frankly the stories suck. Bottom line. No bones about it. People need to start realizing how ordinary she really was ripping off Shakespearan plot lines that are twisted as such to be completely unrealistic. Fiction or not, it's complete bunk.

And doesn't anyone work in 19th century England?
Ariel
I DID IT. WOOOOOOOOOO! ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

Not going to lie, the middle was rough.. quite tedious and slow, BUT, the character development in this book was just fabulous; Austen truly understands the human condition.

Next? PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!
Thomas
My new favorite Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice still has my favorite romance, but Sense and Sensibility wins in terms of character and plot. I loved the sassy dialogue and the petty drama, the typical yet atypical portrayal of marriage and gender roles, and the way Austen writes with both flare and concision.

On a more intellectual level, it's intriguing to examine how Austen biases the narration of this novel to favor "sense," and thus, Elinor. The dynamic between Elinor and Marianne (this bo...more
Werner
Feb 22, 2013 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Any fan of 19th-century literature, or of serious romantic fiction
Shelves: classics
Written two years before the better-known Pride and Prejudice, this novel displays many of the same excellent features of Austen's characteristic style and themes as the later one, and I'd have to say I like it just as well. In both novels, the qualities named in the title are represented by two major characters; here, Elinor embodies "sense" --the Neoclassical ideal of calm, dispassionate reason that had dominated English thought through most of the 18th century- and Marianne is the poster girl...more
Callista
I think this story is overrated. There are plenty of Austen's finely tuned observations about social convention, snobbery, and greed; but I simply couldn't root for the romance between Elinor and Edward. He is, essentially, a spineless version of Willoughby the cad, except that he's redeemed by coming into his money and being able to choose the woman he really cares for instead of his convenient fiancee. Intelligent, kind, lovely Elinor deserves better. The story of Marianne and Colonel Brandon...more
Erin
I would like to rank this higher than Pride & Prejudice, because I enjoyed it more, but I just can't bring myself to give it a 4. So consider it a 3.5 for now. I may change my mind later, as I did with Wuthering Heights (which I recently upgraded to a 4 based on the long-term impression it has left on me.) Although I appreciate Jane Austen for what it is and find that it raises interesting questions and topics of discussion and analysis, I find that her work lacks the depth of character and...more
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  • Cranford
  • Framley Parsonage
  • The Return of the Native
  • Evelina
  • Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre
  • From Lambton to Longbourn: A Pride & Prejudice Variation
  • Adam Bede
  • The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3)
  • Nicholas Nickleby
  • Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3)
  • The Quiet Gentleman
  • The House of Mirth
  • The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film
  • Becoming Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre
  • Howards End
  • Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #8)
  • Betsy and the Great World (Betsy-Tacy, #9)
1265
Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fr...more
More about Jane Austen...
Pride and Prejudice Emma Persuasion Mansfield Park Northanger Abbey

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“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” 6426 likes
“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.” 735 likes
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