Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sense and Sensibility” as Want to Read:
Sense and Sensibility
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Sense and Sensibility

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  743,113 Ratings  ·  10,786 Reviews
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to ...more
Hardcover, Clothbound, 448 pages
Published November 6th 2008 by Penguin (first published 1811)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sense and Sensibility, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
kellyjane I think that Colonel Brandon was written as falling in love with Marianne almost as quickly and easily as he was smitten with her. Jane Austen doesn't…moreI think that Colonel Brandon was written as falling in love with Marianne almost as quickly and easily as he was smitten with her. Jane Austen doesn't really explain it (she never takes us inside the mind of Colonel Brandon); but apparently he sees qualities in Marianne (passion, loyalty, intelligence, exuberance) that he had been prone to admire through his adult life, beginning with Eliza. (That ventured, I don't think that Colonel Brandon was a particularly well-written character, truth be told.)

My sense of Marianne was that she was written as someone who undergoes a rather profound shift in her consciousness, outlook, and values as a result of almost bringing her own destruction upon herself. She accepted Elinor's ethos of 'emotional self-government' rather than impulsive emotional reactivity-- along with accepting more of Elinor's outlook on social proprieties and etc-- and therefore, it seems to me, was open to the more 'sensible' choice of marrying a mature and stable and decent man who would be devoted to her. It seemed to me that Jane Austen hinted something like that Marianne would come to love Colonel Brandon over time, because it was her nature 'never to do anything by halves'. It was more a respect and gratitude that would evolve into a feeling of love because of Marianne's strong sense of loyalty to whatever she could genuinely appreciate. All of her surrounding loved ones wanted the marriage to take place, and she acquiesced.

But for me personally, it wasn't a particularly satisfying arc of the story's drama. I can understand it; but I can't help feeling that Marianne sacrificed a part of herself in marrying for respect rather than organically passionate love.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Dec 22, 2008 Anni rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.'
Oct 11, 2012 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  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
Barry Pierce
Sense and Sensibility is dense with inactivity.
Sep 07, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Classic Literature
RE-READ September 6, 2015

This is one of my all-time favorite books. I like it even more than I do Pride and Prejudice.

Everyone goes crazy over Lizzie Bennett and idolizes her, but my role model will always be Elinor Dashwood. She is a great sister, a trustworthy confidante, someone who always acts with honor and compassion. She is smart, fiscally responsible, stoic, and strong. I admire her so much and wish I could be more like her in real life.

I hate John Dashwood and want to punch him in the t
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
Apr 06, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Austen fans, women
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jane Austen’s first published work, Sense and Sensibility, published in 1811, is more straightforward than most of her later works. The story focuses on two sisters, ages 17 and 19, and how their romantic interests and relationships epitomize their different approaches to life. The older sister Elinor embodies sense, good judgment and discretion.

Her sister Marianne is emotional and volatile, following her heart with a supreme disregard for what society might – and does – think.

Elinor is pretty m
Henry Avila
Sep 14, 2016 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of two teenage girls with romantic troubles, caused by unreliable men (they have dark secrets, but who doesn't ? ), in 1790's England, calm Elinor Dashwood 19, and her younger sibling , by a couple of years, the emotional, Marianne, 17. When their father is no longer living, all the family, including the mother, Mrs. Dashwood and third sister, Margaret, 13, must vacate their mansion, in Sussex, Norland Park, a large estate, which many generations of the quiet, respectable Dashwoods, ha ...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
Nov 21, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Rereading Sense and Sensibility was a joy and a delight. It was also surprisingly enlightening.

Wait, enlightening? Seriously? Isn't that a bit much for a girly romance story?

Well, I think reading a Jane Austen novel can be enlightening because the characters are drawn so well that they resemble real people. I've been slowly rereading Austen's novels, and I am constantly impressed by her powers of observation and description. Even though she was writing 200 years ago, her stories remind me of man
Sep 26, 2015 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Sense and Sensibility is a lot like a Fast & Furious movie, except there are no supercar races, gun fights, fist fights, robbery, and scantily clad girls. Come to think of it Sense and Sensibility is nothing like a Fast & Furious movie. I just had no idea how to start off the review.

Actually Sense and Sensibility is (seriously now) a lot like Pride and Prejudice. What with the sisters, one stoic and worldly, one a little wild, impulsive and naive, not to mention the youngest one who is

February 2016, Part II: A couple of years ago, I re-read Jane Eyre, and because I was overwhelmed with the task of writing a review for such a classic book, I decided to get weird and write the review in the form of letters to the characters. Since then, with an eventual plan to re-read all of Jane Austen's books, I've had it in the back of my mind that I'd do the same with as many future classic books that I could. So. This is me doing that. And I'll be doing it all year for the rest of Austen'
May 25, 2011 RandomAnthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 19, 2012 Madeline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list, ugh
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
Nov 23, 2015 Heba rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

المعركة التي تدور بين العقل والقلب دوماً خاسرة ..لا يُمكن لاحدهما أن يُعلن فوزاً مُحققاً..
أيمكنك أن تحيا بعقلك فحسب دون أن ترتكن الى قلبك؟!!..
إن أجبتني بنعم ..عُذراً أنت لا تُصدق قولاً :)
ستكون حياتك مادية لا حراك فيها ..أشبة بالماء الراكد الذي لا يُلّوح لنسمة عابرة أو يُصافح تياراً عاصفاً..
مهما كان ما تتحلى به من هدوء الطباع والرزانة وانضباط النفس لن يمكنك أن تتخلى عن قلبك
حسناً ..وهل يُمكنك ان تحيا بقلبك فحسب ؟!!!...
قبل أن تُجيبني ..لن يمكنك لأنك لن تستمر طويلاً ..ستهلك لا محال
ستؤلمك حماقاتك و
My doctrine has never aimed at the subjection of the understanding. All I have ever attempted to influence has been the behavior. You must not confound my meaning. I am guilty, I confess, of having often wished you to treat our acquaintance in general with greater attention but when have I advised you to adopt their sentiments or conform to their judgment in serious matters?
Two-and-a-half years and two Austen lectures regarding the title at hand on (with a further one to come), my thought
helen the bookowl
Another great story from Jane Austen; this time about the three sisters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, and their mother who settle themselves in a small and charming cottage in England. "Sense & Sensibility" is mainly about the two elder sisters, Elinor and Marianne, and their journey of falling in love and finding a husband.
I liked the sisters a lot and I enjoyed reading about their experiences in the world of love. They go through ups and downs, and Jane Austen constantly create surprise
Shannon (leaninglights)
Actual rating 3.75 stars!
Anthony Vacca
Jun 05, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years I have (wrongly) avoided Austen’s works due to some (idiotic) teenaged, testosterone-fueled notion of not wanting to read “dumb books for girls,” and also because of my loathing for the endless diarrheic output of fetishistic fanfiction disguised as unnecessary sequels or unimaginative reinterpretations of Austen’s work that seem to offer no purpose but to do the disservice of making such a talented author’s oeuvre seem little more than chaste and mannered bodice rippers. Now that we h ...more
Aug 10, 2016 Aimee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-reads, snore
***Disclaimer: I only read until about 80-90 pages (which is a damn lot) then read the summary of the rest.

Normally I wouldn't review school reads because technically I've only been forced to read them, but I need to express my frustrations over Sense and Sensibility. So here are the top five reasons why I decided to give up on the book completely:

1.) The writing style was too flowery. And y'all know I hate flowery writing. Okay, fine, this book was written decades ago, and I probably should've
Nov 12, 2012 Ariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.

Feb 02, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Why should I read Jane Austen?" asked my wife. I've read all of Jane Austen now - this was my final one - so I was ready to answer.

The 1800s were all about a shift from Romantic to Realist literature, I said. Romantic novels are full of telepathy and crazy ladies in attics, and bizarre plot contrivances, and orphans who turn out to be the long-lost sons of the noblemen who happened to be acquainted with pretty ladies. Only toward the end of the century did it occur to authors like George Eliot
کتاب خوبی بود اما وقتی یه لیست بلند بالا از کتابای مهم تر داری خوندنش عاقلانه به نظر نمیرسید یا بهتره بگم خیلی ضروری نبود.
زندگی و روابط عاشقانه دو خواهر با خصوصیات مختلف بود یکی احساسی و بی قرار و دیگری عاقل و منطقی. یه جورایی جین آستین میخواست بگه 'دخترا سعی کنید خویشتن دار و عاقل باشید' :)
Jan 24, 2009 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  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.
May 12, 2016 Kenchiin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apr 05, 2016 Dylan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first ever Austen book! I feel so accomplished right now, I probably wont do anything for the rest of the day.

I really liked the writing, it kept me invested and interested in the story. When the story itself was a bit slow. I also really enjoyed the characters, most of all the sisters and Mrs. Jennings. The humor was definitely one of my favorite things about the book. It would appear when I least expected it, and was often in the form of passive aggressive conversations. Which I LOVED readi
Ah, the horror to be a woman in the beginning of 19th century England! One more for me to review. Soon, I hope.
Emer (ALittleHaze)
It's a Jane Austen novel so this is obviously brilliant and should be read by everyone!!!! Duhhh!!!!!!

"And books!—Thomson, Cowper, Scott—she would buy them all over and over again: she would buy up every copy, I believe, to prevent their falling into unworthy hands; and she would have every book that tells her how to admire an old twisted tree."

Oh if only I could go back and read this for the first time all over again....
Would my first impressions be different if I hadn't read this as a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity 1 1 9 hours, 17 min ago  
Austentatious Boo...: Part Seven: Chapters 44 - END 5 35 Jan 14, 2017 07:50PM  
Austentatious Boo...: Part Six: Chapters 38 - 43 3 29 Jan 14, 2017 11:54AM  
Austentatious Boo...: Part Five: Chapters 33 - 37 3 24 Jan 14, 2017 02:58AM  
Austentatious Boo...: Part Four: Chapters 26 - 32 4 25 Jan 13, 2017 06:53PM  
Which one do you like better, S&S or P&P? 22 20 Jan 11, 2017 04:14AM  
  • North and South
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset (Chronicles of Barsetshire #6)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
  • Middlemarch
  • From Lambton to Longbourn
  • Faro's Daughter
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I
  • Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • Colonel Brandon's Diary (Jane Austen Heroes, #5)
  • The Return of the Native
  • All's Well That Ends Well
  • None But You (Frederick Wentworth, Captain, #1)
Jane Austen 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 fringes of the English landed gentry
More about Jane Austen...

Share This Book

“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!” 7575 likes
“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.” 939 likes
More quotes…