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Sense and Sensibility

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Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780141439662

'The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!'

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 her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

This edition includes explanatory notes, textual variants between the first and second editions, and Tony Tanner's introduction to the original Penguin Classic edition.

409 pages, Paperback

First published October 30, 1811

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About the author

Jane Austen

3,058 books64.2k followers
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. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about 35 years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.
Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 25,457 reviews
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 11, 2020
Money. It's all about the money. I mean, why else would you marry someone?

In Sense and Sensibility there are three major factors beyond the usual considerations of appearance, personality and character conduct when looking for a marriage in 19th century England. Indeed, what the Dashwood sisters look for- well Elinor really because she has more refined tastes and is far more discerning in regards to men- is a man’s opinion on literature and his understanding of natural beauty. What most people look for is far removed from the realms of sentiment: they just look for money. The Dashwood sisters are wiser:

“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!”

“.....If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.”

And this is the problem with society, attaining money and keeping it, unfortunately, becomes the main signifier for someone’s worth. Austen, as per usual, is razor sharp with her wit here. There are so many ironic moments involving fortune hunters and extremely greedy (and selfish) relatives who only appear when they think there’s something to gain from their supposed loved ones. Everybody is so obsessed with money, more so than I’ve seen in a any other Austen. She always satirises the elites, though here most of them seem to seek the same thing with no regard for others.

I also loved the fact that there were two heroines opposed to one. Elinor and Marianne are very different people, and they interact with the world in very different ways, though they each have their values and their faults. Together, they help each other and look out for each other as sisters should. It’s a cruel world and it’s a hard world, though the Dashwood sisters have each other and their mother. They exemplify true family values which contrast against the self-involved (and rather moronic) approach of Sir John Dashwood.

This made me laugh:


He just loves money and seems unable, like many other characters, of finding new money. All their wealth comes from inheritance rather than actual incomes. They seem to have vast fortunes but don’t quite know how to add to them in an honest fashion. He is also completely controlled by his wife. At the start of the novel he seems so genuine but she twists him all too easily. Perhaps he loved her so much that he was willing to neglect his family or perhaps he was already on the verge of making such a harsh decision and she gave him the slightest of nudges to send him over. I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure.

The romances in here were more fickle and self-involved compared to her other novels. It’s one of the rare cases in fiction such as this where I was unaware who would actually end up with whom. But that’s just the nature of what Austen was trying to show here. It also made the reading experience far more entertaining. In Pride and Prejudice, Emma and even Persuasion it was so very clear how it would all end. This one, on the other hand, made things a little more lively.

And, of course, I could only ever give it five stars because of its subtle wit, eloquence of expression and sophisticated plot. How I do love Austen. I've just got Mansfield Park left to read now.

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Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
July 9, 2011
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 Ms. Austen. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books and Sense and Sensibility is certainly up among the elite. Jane can absolutely bust me when she starts penning that snappy prose laced with all those sly, subtle, sarcastic phrases. She’s like prim and proper meets saucy and bossy.

I find it interesting that the "descriptions" of her books never seem very appealing to me before I begin them (I would direct your attention to the non chick-flick portion of my “I’m a Man Intro” above). For example, Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters, one emotionally reserved (to put it mildly) and proper and the other emotionally volatile and prone to disregard convention, as they struggle with life and relationships following the death of their father. Doesn’t it sound kinda Hallmark Networky? While I can appreciate that stuff, it doesn’t generally produce boat float with me.

However, the quality of the writing and the nuanced sassiness of the dialogue just warms my cockles and makes me prone to bouts of squealing. Her characterization, primarily the two sisters, but true for the rest of the cast as well, is so impeccably done that I keep expecting one of them to tap me on the shoulder as I’m reading…..don’t worry, none of them have yet but I’m still hoping.

Probably the most appealing aspect of Jane’s novels is the need for her intelligent, strong-willed female characters to move through the emotionally stifling requirements of “Victorian” society. So much of the charm of Jane’s writing revolves around the characters being forced to find an “acceptable” mode of expressing raw emotions when “bitch slapping” and “Fuck offing” just won’t do. I love watching the characters having to comport themselves so “correctly” as they explain to each other that they are going to ruin their families, steal their lovers, etc.

I love the roadblocks that the Victorian setting erects in the emotional road of the story and how effortlessly Jane navigates around them. She draws her characters feeling the deepest and rawest of emotions while having to maintain an outward appearance of dignity and respectability. The fact that she is able to convey that crushing sense of emotion to the reader without depictions of expressive behavior is just another example of her boggle the mind brilliance.

Okay, the gush must end and here is as good a place as any. You should really read this one. It’s good. 5.0 to 5.5 STARS. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

P.S. I listened to the audio version of this narrated by Juliet Stevenson and she was superb.
Profile Image for A. .
256 reviews103 followers
December 22, 2008
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: 'Yeah, I guess.'
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,477 reviews2,412 followers
September 14, 2023
*life goals: to be an Eleanor
*reality: being a Marianne


*Classic example of men being gold diggers: John Willdoughy
Not all gold diggers are women

*Classic character reference of mean girls and vanity: Lucy Steele

*Most underrated character reference in history:
Colonel Brandon

*Most unsettling romance main man character of all times: Edward Ferrars

*Classic reference of being in a group project where your name is there but you are always absent to the point of being creepy: Margaret Dashwood

(The mere thought of Margeret being there not being there gave me chills throughout this read. Me and my character curiosity blown out of normalcy!)

Doesn't anyone else feel this way?

One of the most satisfactory endings of all times! I need to reread this one💘

*Even though everything else was perfectly written, I got tired of being with Marianne. I needed more of Edward and Eleanor. And more interaction between Brandon and Marianne.

*My most favourite chapter is of course without doubt Chapter 49 with the confession. It's so beautiful.

(*top 10 anticipated reads of 2019*)
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
554 reviews60.6k followers
November 1, 2022
While I enjoyed the relationship between the sisters, I didn't care for the romances.
Colonel Brandon is <3 but probably not the best match for

Trying to read all of her books... So far:
Pride and Prejudice
Lady Susan
*Sense and Sensibility
Northanger Abbey
Profile Image for Ruby Granger.
Author 3 books46.9k followers
January 29, 2021
I'm not a fan of Jane Austen. I've given her many chances, and do really want to like her work, but am always let down -- until now, that is! I enjoyed Sense and Sensibility so much more than I was expecting to! I still wouldn't rank it on the same level as the Bronte sisters, but the story is sardonically funny, clever and surprisingly gripping for one with such a slow pace!

I thought the characters were really believable. Those characters who seemed more 2D at the beginning, grew out of later-revealed back-stories which made them more complex and complicated any notion of good and evil in the book. I particularly loved Marianne as a character, and how she transgresses what is expected of proper, upper-class ladies. Instead of talking in the drawing room, she will take up a book or stare out of the window or go on a long walk outside. She is strong and fiery and a new favourite of mine.

I would definitely recommend this to you -- even if you didn't like Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Mansfield Park (all of which I will now be giving another go!).
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
August 31, 2019
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 much always right.
Marianne’s parade gets rained on, in more ways than one.

Although at most points in this novel Austen seems to be saying very clearly that Elinor's approach of being sensible is superior to Marianne's sensibility, every once in a while the story suggests that maybe being sensible all the time isn't the best idea, and there needs to be some balance between the two extremes. . Food for thought.

One truly nice thing is that despite their vast differences and their occasional fairly frequent annoyances with each other, Elinor and Marianne have a deep love and loyalty for one another. Their relationship remains strong through all of the stresses that hit them, and is even strengthened during the course of the novel.

Another thing that struck me in this story is how many of the characters – other than the totally emotionally honest Marianne – are keeping secrets. Edward and Lucy. Elinor is honor-bound to keep Lucy’s secret, at the expense of her own emotional health. Willoughby? HAHAHA! Even Colonel Brandon has a secret past. The difference is, some people are keeping secrets to protect other people, for honorable reasons; others are doing it for self-serving reasons.

There are some slower parts but, honestly, I never got bored, even though I've seen both of the recent S&S movies so many times that there weren't any big surprises. There were several smaller surprises, as you might expect from reading any book after seeing a movie of it. It was interesting seeing what the 1995 filmmakers chose to omit or change (e.g., Lady Middleton and Lucy Steele's older sister are missing from Emma Thompson's 1995 film, and Margaret Dashwood was given an actual personality in the movie. Can't argue with any of those moves.).

You have to love a novel that includes a statement like this:
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.
Jane Austen's wit and dry humor really make the story.

S&S might not be a perfect book, but based on the amount of highlighting I was doing at the end, and my happy smiles when I finished, it gets all the stars.

Initial comments: Here's my problem: I love both the 1995 Ang Lee/Emma Thompson film and the 2008 BBC version, have watched both of them, um, more than once (who's counting?) and now I can barely remember the original novel. That clearly needs to change.


Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews50 followers
August 11, 2021
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, published in 1811. 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. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «حس و حساسیت»؛ «حس و احساس»؛ «عقل و احساس»؛ «دلباخته»؛ «شور و شوریدگی»؛ نویسنده: جین آستین؛ انتشارتیها (عنقا؛ نشر نی؛ جامی، ثالث، گلشائی؛ سمیر؛ جاوید؛ کوشش، آبنوی؛ پر)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: رو ششم ماه نوامبر سال 2001میلادی؛ دومین خوانش روز نخست ماه فوریه سال 2006میلادی

عنوان: حس و حساسیت؛ نویسنده: جین آستین؛ مترجم: جمشید اسکندانی؛ تهران، عنقا، 1379؛ در 830ص؛ مصور؛ شابک: 9646404863؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 19م

با عنوان: عقل و احساس؛ مترجم: رضا رضایی؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1384؛ در 407ص؛ شابک 9643128199؛

مترجم: وحید منوچهری واحد؛ در نشر جامی سال 1390، در 344ص؛ شابک 9786001760198؛

با عنوان: شور و شوریدگی با ترجمه جمشید اسکندانی؛ تهران، ثالث، 1393، در 806ص؛ شابک 9789643808914؛ با عنوان: حس و حساسیت؛ با ترجمه جمشید اسکندانی؛

با عنوان: حس و احساس با ترجمه حسین خسروی؛ تهران، گلشائی، 1366، در 460ص؛

و با همین عنوان با ترجمه آرمانوش باباخانیانس؛ تهران، سمیر، 1391؛ در 424ص؛ شابک 9789642201570؛

و با عنوان: دلباخته؛ با ترجمه عباس کرمی فر؛ تهران، جاوید، 1363؛ در 412ص؛ و چاپ دیگر تهران، کوشش، 1363؛ در 412ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، آبنوی، 1371؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، پر، 1374؛

رمان نخستین اثر «جین آستین»، نویسنده ی «بریتانیایی» است، ایشان این رمان را در سن بیست سالگی، و به سال 1795میلادی بنگاشته اند، نخست نام رمان «الینور و ماریان»، بوده است؛ سپس بانوی نویسنده آن را بازنویسی کردند، و عنوان انگلیسی بالا را برایش برگزیدند؛ داستان «عقل و احساس» در فاصله ی سال‌های 1792میلادی تا سال 1797میلادی، در منطقه‌ ای در جنوب غربی «انگلستان» می‌گذرد؛ شخصیت‌های اصلی، دو خواهر به نام‌های «الینور» و «ماریان دشوود» هستند؛ که به خانه‌ ای تازه کوچیده اند؛ و در گیرودار ماجراهای عاطفی، عشق و دلشکستگی را تجربه می‌کنند؛ عنوان این کتاب را، می‌توان بازتابی از دو شیوه ی تفکر و رفتار، در جریان‌های فلسفی، و سایر جریان‌های فکری رایج در سده ی هجدهم میلادی دانست؛ که یکی متأثر از فلسفه ی «دکارت»، و عصر روشنگری بود، و دیگری برآمده از آثار ادبی نویسندگانی همچون «جان میلتون»؛ و فیلسوفانی نظیر «جان لاک»؛ در برداشت نخست، انسان موجودی میان فرشته و حیوان است، که با توان اندیشه و با مهار غرایز جسمانی، می‌تواند خود را به جایگاه فرشته ها نزدیک کند؛ در دومی، بدن انسان (و امیال و غرایزش) اعتباری دوباره یافت؛ بر مبنای این شیوه ی تفکر، عقلانیت و در نتیجه اخلاق، تنها از مسیر تجارب جسمانی، میسر می‌شود؛ تقابل میان عقل و احساس، حاکی از منازعه ی میان این دو جریان فکری، در سده ی هجدهم میلادی است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 03/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 19/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,067 reviews1,906 followers
February 2, 2019
RE-READ January 30, 2019 - Do you ever notice how Colonel Brandon is a man, who steps up and takes care of things like a man? Edward is kind of useless, I think Marianne got the real prize here.

Also fascinating just how much Austen is saying in this novel. She's saying A LOT and more and more becomes clear to me on every re-read. The scene where Willoughby shows up to confess to Elinor when Marianne is ill was particularly striking to me this time. What does this say about 'bad people' and the nature of their 'bad acts?' How does Elinor respond?

It's also really fascinating what Austen is saying about Marianne in this book. How illness and heartbreak change her and reshape her into a stronger, less selfish person. But at the same time, Austen does not condemn Marianne for her strong feelings and her runaway heart in the first 2/3 of the book. In fact, it is esteemed a bit. And is Marianne really selfish? That could be debated six ways to Sunday.

The book is very complex. There is a lot to think about.

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 throat. Fucker. It surprises me each time that he is the most hated character for me in the novel.

Everyone hates on Marianne, but I like her. So she's a silly teenager! That's okay. She certainly learns and grows more than anyone else in the whole novel. She has a good heart and loves her sister dearly - I adore the scenes where she stands up for Elinor!

The loving sister relationship is one of the best things about this novel. Nothing melts my heart more than good sibling relationships. And Elinor and Marianne have each other's backs 100%. Even though their personalities couldn't be more different, their love and compassion for each other knows no bounds.

Austen is genuinely funny. I was snickering at some of her writing. She's an amazing author. She gets some jabs in there.

Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.

The most hilarious line in the novel:

"It is not everyone," said Elinor, "who has your passion for dead leaves."

The only man who was attractive to me was Colonel Brandon. He was the only male who had me drawing little hearts in my notebook. I can't be bothered with Edward. I don't think he acted very honorably. >.< Although I always tear up at the end when Elinor is so overcome with emotion that she runs from the room!

Elinor could sit no longer. She almost ran from the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease.

OMG My heart is breaking so much. <3 If anyone deserves a happy ending, it's her.

Elinor was to be the comforter of others in her own distresses, no less than in theirs...

She never burdens others with her problems, but is always there to comfort and listen to anyone else. The way she deals with Lucy Steele! She's a saint to put up with that, OMG!

She's beyond amazing.

All within Elinor's breast was satisfaction, silent and strong.

Tl;dr - An amazing book, one I'm sure to read over and over again. This never ceases to be enjoyable! And I LOVE love love the film versions. I have watched them innumerable times! The 2008 BBC version with Morahan is the absolute BEST, IMO. I've included a list at the bottom of this review in case anyone wants to see some awesome film adaptations on this amazing novel.

Film Versions:

1995 Emma Thompson

BBC 2008 Hattie Morahan

BBC 1981 Irene Richard

2011 From Prada to Nada - Modern retelling

(1971 BBC Joanna David)

(2000 Bollywood I Have Found It, starring the stunningly gorgeous beyond belief Aishwarya Rai)
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews50 followers
August 24, 2021
(Book 940 From 1001 Books) Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an British novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century.

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.

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.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «حس و احساس»؛ «دلباخته ( حس و حساسیت)»؛ «شور و شوریدگی»؛ «عقل و احساس»؛ نویسنده: جین اوستین؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز ششم ماه نوامبر سال 2001میلادی و بار دوم ماه فوریه سال 2006میلادی

عنوان: حس و احساس؛ نویسنده: جین اوستین؛ مترجم: حسین خسروی؛ تهران، گلشائی، مطهر، 1363؛ در 460ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 19م

عنوان: دلباخته (حس و حساسیت)؛ نویسنده: جین ��وستین؛ مترجم: عباس کرمی فر؛ تهران، جاوید، 1363؛ در 412ص؛

عنوان: عقل و احساس؛ نویسنده: جین اوستین؛ مترجم: رضا رضایی؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1385؛ در 407ص؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1386؛ شابک9643128199؛ چاپ ششم 1389؛

عنوان: عقل و احساس؛ نویسنده: جین اوستین؛ مترجم: وحید منوچهری واحد؛ تهران، جامی، 1390؛ در 344ص؛ شابک 9786001760198؛

عنوان: حس و حساسیت؛ نویسنده: جین اوستین؛ مترجم: آرمانوش باباخانیانس؛ 1392؛ در 426ص؛ شابک 9789642201570؛

عنوان: شور و شوریدگی؛ نویسنده جین آستین؛ مترجم جمشید اسکندانی؛ تهران، تالث، 1393؛ در 806ص؛ شابک 9789643808914؛

نخستین اثر «جین آستین»؛ نویسنده ی «بریتانیایی» است، گویا نویسنده، رمان را، در سن بیست سالگی خویش، در سال 1795میلادی بنگاشته اند، نخست نام دیگری داشته: «الینور و ماریان»، سپس آن را بازنویسی کرده، عنوانش را همان عنوان انگلیسی بالا برگزیده اند؛

داستان «عقل و احساس» در فاصله ی سال‌های 1792میلادی تا سال 1797میلادی در منطقه‌ ای در جنوب غربی «انگلستان» می‌گذرد؛ شخصیت‌های اصلی، دو خواهر به نام‌های «الینور» و «ماریان دشوود» هستند؛ که به خانه‌ ای تازه نقل مکان می‌کنند؛ و در گیرودار ماجراهای عاطفیشان، عشق و دلشکستگی را تجربه می‌کنند؛ عنوان این کتاب را می‌توان بازتابی از دو شیوه ی تفکر و رفتار، در جریان‌های فلسفی، و سایر جریان‌های فکری رایج در سده هجدهم میلادی دانست؛ که یکی متأثر از فلسفه ی «دکارت» و عصر روشنگری بود، و دیگری برآمده از آثار ادبی نویسندگانی؛ همچون: «جان میلتون»، و فیلسوفانی نظیر «جان لاک»؛ در برداشت نخست، انسان موجودی میان فرشته و حیوان ست، که با قدرت عقلانیت، و با مهار غرایز جسمانی، می‌تواند خود را به جایگاه فرشته ها نزدیک کند؛ در دومی، بدن انسان (و امیال و غرایزش) اعتباری دوباره یافت؛ بر مبنای این شیوه ی تفکر، عقلانیت و در نتیجه اخلاق، تنها از مسیر تجارب جسمانی میسر می‌شد؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 07/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 01/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
970 reviews6,875 followers
December 15, 2021
'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 first publication from 19 year old Austen, probes the very ideas of it’s title. Told through the juxtaposition of two sisters forging their own sensible rationalities as they find themselves in a society fueled by social standings and money, they discover that love does not always fit pleasantly into such a world.

An impressive feature of the Jane Austen novels is her ability to construct a broad scale society to immerse her heroines. She juggles a large cast of characters, each with a uniquely rounded personality and varied level of likeability, which gives a realistic scope and portrayal to the story. Just like in our own lives, we see Elinor and Marianne dealing with friends, rivals, busybodies and outright scoundrels. Austen manages to flesh her characters out with positive and negative traits, giving even the despicable ones a moment to plead their case. The reader is left to either accept or reject such justifications on their own terms, and, in a way, if even the ‘villainous’ act in what they see to be a sensible manner, Austen calls into question our own ideals and interpretations on the matter. She is clever at keeping an ironic flair to her characters, offering a dark side to ones you initially thought amiable, and bestowing grief of less-than-Prince-Charming characteristics to those who should be the true champion of hearts.

The actions of each character show the variety of ways one can interact and react within society, offering a wide number of actions to decide between when declaring what is ‘truly sensible’. The two sisters experience near-mirrored heartbreak and respond in polarizing manners. Is it more sensible to keep your feelings buried, suffering in solitude, always appearing calm and collect at the risk of seeming cold, or more sensible to wear one’s heart on their sleeve, falling into self-pity while drawing the attention of those who can care and offer support? Even the smallest characters can be looked at in this ways. Is sensibility, to toy with hearts, to stick your nose in another’s business, to marry for love with no money or for money with no love?

Perhaps a proper title could have also been Cents and Sensibility, as Austen takes careful aim at the dominating social constructs. The opinions on money, and it’s unavoidable, necessary power over society and the not-so-well-off Dashwood’s particularly, is a crucial element to what is sensible. The social commentary is thick and delicious. We witness many broken hearts in the name of money, and many hearts set on love faced with crippling financial consequences. The final results of the novel however, goes to prove the lyrics 'you can't always get what you want, but when you try sometimes, you'll find you get what you need.'

While I began reading the Austen/Bronte novels feeling like it is something I should know going into a literature degree, thinking ‘oh well, I guess I should know these’, I’ve come to discover I really enjoy them. Especially reading them alongside so many post-modernist works of genius; Austen has been the anchor keeping me from being lost in the Zone. Occasionally it is nice to escape the bells and whistles of modern lit, to step out of the multi-layered metafiction and swirling narratives that I so love, and read a novel that is just as incredible on a powerful but elegant voice, ironic wit, and an acute sense of society alone. I highly recommend Jane Austen to anyone. I want to show up with flowers for Elinor and spend all day sipping tea with her from dainty cups and sighing about weather and society. However, I would be doing a great disservice to you and two the two fine reviewers I am about to speak of, to continue keeping your time and not sending you to these two outstanding reviews: Liberty’s, who I’ve come to consider my professor in all that is Austen/Bronte/Woolf, etc, and the wonderful Kelly, who has said everything I wanted to say and more, but far better. Austen’s world makes us all question our morality and actions, and the world is a better place for it.
June 12, 2023
“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”

Undeniably Jane Austen, unquestionably timeless for the many arresting themes that still hold true today but also embrace the unsubtle snobbery and social structures of England’s Georgian period. But perhaps the most vivid and compelling portrayal of the books title ‘sense and sensibility’ is in the characters themselves.

Elinor - the heroine of ‘sense’ is undoubtedly my favourite and Marianne, the lesser hero in my eyes is the one that ‘dramatizes’ sensibility. Yes it is the story of two sisters whose lives become entwined with potential suitors as well as the guardians of morality who treat us with those all-important pearls of wisdom in a story of greed, love, immortality, deception and sensibility.

….and as a book that is undeniably Jane Austen, the characterisation is the standout as we’ve come to expect and adore with Jane Austen’s writing and stories.

The Plot

Henry Dashwood dies suddenly before he can build enough fortune to provide financial stability for his second wife and their three daughters: Elinor, Marianne, and the young Margaret. Attempting to remedy the seemingly lost cause, Henry secures a promise from his first son, John Dashwood, that he will always look after his stepsisters and their mother, when the estate falls to him. However, as a result of John Dashwood’s weakness and his wife’s greed, John reneges on the promise made to his father and he forces the four Dashwood women from Norland Park.

Although, an unexpected invitation comes from Sir John Middleton who provides the women with the opportunity to rent the modest Barton cottage in Devon near his home, and so life’s lessons really can begin for the family.

Marianne becomes infatuated with the dashing John Willoughby, who shares a love of poetry, music and art, with her, but she has yet to see his true character. For he is a fortune hunter. However, Marianne has already caught the attention of the thirty-five-year-old bachelor, Colonel Brandon, a wealthy man but to Marianne too old for her near 17 years to be any fitting match.

Meanwhile, Elinor has fallen hopelessly in love with her step brothers, brother in law, Edward Ferrars, also a man of means, but this relationship also hits a low note and Elinor is forced to detach herself of any notions of marriage as he finally admits to a secret engagement with another.

Review and Comments

Another standout in characterisation and character development as we are treated to a cast of unsavoury and delightful book characters that enthral but enrage, but also have us purr as the delectable and trusting people play their role as convincingly as the ‘hunters’ in the story.

Sense and Sensibility is a story that distinguishes innate morality from the unprincipled actions of others and as thus distinguishes sensibility or vulnerability as something different from personal will or even moral conduct. In the book ‘sensibility’ has come to represent the less controllable passions, exhibitions of grief, and unrestrained emotions that almost render the mind helpless and the person unrecognisable. None more noteworthy that Marianne's public displays of sentiment.

And it is for this reason I have less admiration for Marianne as a character. Normally it is the proponents of sensibility that appeal to me more as book characters than do those that display the tenets of sense. However not in this case, I did not connect nor care much for Marianne unfortunately which was quite important in a book where I disliked one of the two MC’s and the person who depicts ‘sensibility’ in the books title.

At the age of 17 she is beside herself for fear of not meeting the right suitor and marrying well. You could argue that life, customs, and traditions were unkind to women. That young girls were brought up knowing their only real hope and destiny was to marry for love and wealth. However even for the times I wanted to shake Marianne. I didn’t like how she professed her undying love for one man and with little substance offered to the reader then goes back to Colonel Bradford and claims she loves him- what !!!!!!.

The writing is stunning, but the plot also lost its way a little mid-way through, there was too much sentimental displays and weeping for my personal tastes while other parts in the book needed to be fleshed out a little more. Entirely forgiving because this was Jane Austen’s first published book and then she went on to write the fabulous Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and others.

A solid and timeless classic. A beautifully written book with great emotional intensity, sense and sensibility in the writing, as well as in the characters and another book that had me transfixed through most of it.

A book that is as prudent as it is imprudent, where honour sits comfortably alongside character traits far less scrupulous. Incredibly perceptible for the depiction of people, habits, and customs of the times. Dramatic and subtle in equal measures, and oh so compelling.

Wonderful and a 5 stars had Marianne not displayed so much of the wrong ‘sensibility’. So 4 stars for me.

“If a book is well written, I always find it too short.”

Other worthy and memorable quotes:

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

“It is not what we think or feel that makes us who we are. It is what we do. Or fail to do...”

“I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be...yours.”

“Yes, I found myself, by insensible degrees, sincerely fond of her; and the happiest hours of my life were what I spent with her.”

“To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect”.
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book937 followers
May 15, 2023
In a typical romantic comedy, two young characters meet, are attracted to each other, but experience all sorts of complications that keep them apart — social pressure, other partners, &c. Eventually though, love prevails, they are reunited and live happily ever after; the end. The tone is, for the most part, lighthearted. This romcom blueprint is as old as the hills but, in a way, never gets old. The earliest example of it would probably be Menander’s plays; endless variations came after that: from the chivalric romances to Shakespeare’s comedies, to Molière, to Marivaux, to countless fairy tales of would-be princesses. And closer to our time, Harlequin novels, French art-house films, and innumerable popular Hollywood comedies and Bollywood musicals.

One could bet that such an overabundant genre would keep banging on about the same old things ad nauseam. In a way, it does. But what is fascinating is that, while the basic plot has become completely formulaic and clichéd, each period, each author has managed to convey a specific view, a specific zeitgeist on love and the search for romantic bliss: from medieval courtly love to post-modern sexting and Tinder virtual dating tribulations. Jane Austen takes place in the middle of this long literary and artistic tradition.

Sense and Sensibility, her first published novel (1811), displays a significant command of modern writing techniques: free indirect speech, subtext, scenes, summaries, plot twists, red herrings, MacGuffins and cliffhangers. No wonder she is still widely read and considered one of the most entertaining writers in the English language. Austen builds her novels with plot devices that crime novels authors, a century later, will use to even greater dramatic effect. The only difference is that the quiz or puzzle isn’t who the murderer might be, but rather who will get married and with whom.

Sense and Sensibility is lighthearted and sparkly to all appearances, but there is also a darker side to this novel. It depicts the late 18-century English gentry, a social environment where romantic love is chiefly governed by financial considerations and parental interference. Marriages are, for the most part, arranged, and the conflicts that make the crispy bits of the story often come from a misalignment between the inclinations of the heart and the tyranny of household finances. Hence the constant obsession with income, inheritance, estate, property, dowry, annuity, economic power and so forth. Instead of Sense and Sensibility, the title of this novel could have been Love and Money.

Austen’s book is not just about the dichotomy of human dispositions — sense (Elinor) vs sensibility (Marianne). It is also and more essentially about the duplicity and treacherous pitfalls of social interactions. Austen marks almost every dialogue with ironic comments and subtle observations about physical signs, such as the flushing of the skin, the movement of the eyes, the fidgeting of the hands or feet, &c. All this reveals layer upon layer of cognitive dissonance below the seemingly well mannered verbal conversations. Underneath a masquerade of proper conduct and decorum, the whole social game gradually develops as a corrupt nest of vipers, booby-trapped with subterfuge, economic rapacity, concealed mindfucks, gossip-mongering old nags (Mrs Jennings), moneygrubbing fishwives (Mrs Ferrars, old and young), and devious, selfish young beaux (Willoughby and Edward).

Austen makes it amply clear that a character such as Marianne, always blunt and uncompromising, is maladjusted to this social milieu. In the course of the novel, we see her, at first, as a zesty, vibrant, high-spirited girl. She soon becomes an infatuated young woman, prone to outpours of suffocation and hyperventilation. She then falls into a severe state of depression and illness. And at the close of the novel, she is a weakened, dispirited housewife, married to an insipid older man she has never loved — yet, she is inexplicably happy! Meanwhile, Elinor, the level-headed, restrained, stilted and sightly boring sister, ends up with a happy (read: compromise) marriage of her own. In short: sense and sensibility, same difference.

The predictable “happy ending” feels completely artificial and botched, as if Austen had been reluctant to write the unavoidable conclusion of her book. But this mushy dénouement comes with a subtle morality bonus. Austen isn’t ready to smash every social convention of her time. Still, her acerbic satire is the first drop of acid that will eventually erode the oppressive lid of the age-old capitalistic patriarchy.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,950 reviews615 followers
May 21, 2023
My first Jane Austen and I liked it. However, afterward, the story didn't thrill me as much as Jane Eyre, another Victorian tale I had devoured and deeply moved me.
There I moaned and sympathized with the disappointments of the Dashwood sisters in this basket of heartless and unscrupulous vipers, more interested in the size of their dowry than in their undeniable human qualities.
But it is pretty long and monotonous in action, the trips between London and the various residences, the inter-family gossip, the marital maneuvers, the sweet lines, and the sneaking shots. In short, this atmosphere is weighty, but the style is remarkable since I wanted to know how it would end for Elinor and Marianne at all costs. And finally, I am a little disappointed with this ending which looks like dramatic bellows fallen.
It is nevertheless a beautiful read for the character's psychological depth and what it teaches about the customs of the time and the disregard made for women and their future.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
469 reviews3,258 followers
July 29, 2020
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 have resided. Only men can inherit this property says the law then, ( a rich uncle, they received it originally from, insisted in his will this provision) and relatives can be greedy. John Dashwood their half - brother has little family feelings and his cold-heart wife Fanny none, take over. Breaking his promise to his dying father to help his sisters and stepmother financially, selfish Fanny persuades him with not too much effort, that these women can survive very well without any assistance, she tells her wealthy husband ... And money is money and promises just words (otherwise, the couple's child, " poor little Harry", would starve ! ). Sir John Middleton a kindly cousin of the mother's offers the Dashwood's a small cottage low rent to live, close to his big house. Desperately wanting to leave the hostile environment of their former home they relocate there in far away Devonshire, by Allenham village. Being very pretty women the sisters soon attract admirers, the shy Mr. Edward Ferrars the eldest brother of Fanny who likes Elinor, unlike his sister, Miss Dashwood thinks, but she can never be sure he doesn't speak much. On a rainy day the two girls imprudently are walking outside, over the country hills they enjoy exploring the beautiful area, but the weather becomes too much, running for shelter Marianne takes a tumble hurts her leg and unable to go any further and still some distance from Barton Cottage . What to do ? Elinor can't get her home, Mr. John Willoughby hunting with his dog in the rain, comes along and carries Marianne back to the cottage. The amazed mother Margaret and the whole family are speechless. Handsome, charming well spoken Mr. Willoughby visits the injured girl every day to see that everything's all right ... But he doesn't fool anybody ... the youngest sister falls madly in love and he appears also to experience the same emotion. He's a good fun loving friend of Sir John's, well known and liked in the neighborhood with a rich old relative he wisely sees often nearby, Mrs. Smith. The perfect man has a rival Colonel Brandon more than ten years older at 35, with a huge house, a lonely honorable gentleman but Marianne has eyes only for Mr. Willoughby ( a secret libertine). And Mr. Ferrars has a fiancee, he never mentions ... Even the Colonel, might have skeletons in his closet... A great book by the incomparable Jane Austen, her likes will never arise again years go by relentlessly, customs and technology changes the Earth either for better or worse, but there will always be her words.
Profile Image for Katie Lumsden.
Author 2 books2,967 followers
July 17, 2023
I loved this reread - Sense and Sensibility grows on me each time I reread it.
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
February 13, 2017
This is the third Jane Austen book I've read and it's by far my favorite. I love the story, love the heroines, love the MEN I just love everything about this. There was so much happening that it never felt slow or boring and the SUSPENSE and REVELATIONS at the end of the book were so fantastically done. AGH JUST SO GOOD.

Reread mid-Jan to early Feb 2016 for Austentatious

Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews497 followers
July 31, 2022
After this second read, I'm compelled to amend my first review, for my perspective of the book is quite altered. This debut publication of Jane Austen is, in my view, a complete book in itself, an excellent introduction of Jane Austen to the world of classical literature.

On this second read, the first surprise I was in for is the dramatic quality of the book on the whole. I've certainly missed that. The actions, the suspense, the wealth of emotions it arouses are beyond comparison. It is powerful and strong, and also theatrical. The reading experience was very satisfying and rewarding, for it was not mere reading, it was also seeing the story come alive before you. I didn't read, I lived it.

The story is, of course, focused on the lives, loves, desires, longings, and characters of the Dashwood sisters. Elinor is the kind, devoted and reasonable sort with rare strength and fortitude. Marianne, on the other hand, although kind and devoted, is impulsive, emotional, and opinionated. The popular and accepted character interpretation of Elinor and Marianne is that the former represents sense and the latter sensibility. However, I doubt whether such a strict distinction is possible. It wouldn't be fair to say that Elinor is not sensible nor Marianne has no sense. I believe the distinction lies in the degree.

The main focus of the story is on Elinor and Marianne's love stories. Elinor's and Edward's love and attachment to each other were very subtle in their presentation, unlike Marianne's and Willoughby's which was very expressive. This is why I felt Elinor's and Edward's love was forced, not felt but only stated. I'm glad my misunderstanding was rectified with this reading.

Sense and Sensibility however is more than a love story. It addresses many other deeper issues such as vanity, self-realization, class difference, and human nature. Jane Austen is well known for her social criticism and commentary of the regency period and her brilliancy in human observation.

Jane Austen's hero in Sense and Sensibility is an unusual choice compared with her later choices of heroes. Colonel Brandon is not a young man but a man in his prime. This choice was somewhat a puzzle to me earlier, but now I comprehend that it was essential to the story. A man with good sense, kind-hearted, strong, and benevolent, a man who has an unhappy past, a man who himself has suffered so that he could empathize with another had to be chosen to be the hero. I highly commend Austen for her excellent choice and for giving us a lifelong loving character.

The rest of the characters who set the story in motion have the usual Austen flavour. The oppressed and misunderstood Edward, naive mother Dashwood, the silly but kind Mrs. Jennings, her daughter Charlotte and son-in-law Sir John, the prim and proper Lady Middleton, the greedy, selfish and wicked lot of John Dashwood, Fanny and Willoughby, the artful Lucy Steel, the vain Robert Ferrars, and the despot Mrs. Ferrars are variation enough to keep the readers interested, engaged and absorbed.

Jane Austen’s beautiful language, her witty writing and humour, and the engaging flow made the reading so enjoyable. I love her amazing ability to draw you into the setting of the story and to make you part of it. Her characters are so real that the good ones become your friends while the wicked ones become your enemies! This element of realism is one of the strongest reasons for the popularity of her work over the years.

Sense and Sensibility is undoubtedly a brilliant piece of work by Jane Austen, and the reading experience was highly gratifying.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,066 reviews69.5k followers
February 8, 2020
This is a great story and very interesting, but neither of the heroines is a favorite of mine.
And I'm not really crazy about the boys, either.


I'm not saying Austen wrote them incorrectly, but these were different times, and not all the stuff they did translates all that well into most people's version of what a modern-day heroine (or hero) should look like.
So. If you're a new-to-Austen reader, just keep that in mind.


The general gist of this one is that two sisters, who have recently fallen on hard financial times, also fall in love with two men. With vastly different ways of showing it, and vastly different outcomes to their respective romances.
Marianne is impetuous, full of life, sure of herself, and unwilling to tone it down, as my mother would say. Her ideas of love are pure romance, and anyone who looks at love differently has no soul. She very much represents how love is perceived by someone who is young or doesn't really have any experience with the many different ways real love makes an appearance.


Elinor is very much the woman who knows how to put her lipstick on and hide her crazy, as my mother would also say. In other words, she's got the Sense and Sensibility not to share her hopes and dreams, inner turmoil, or just her business in general with everyone. <--good or bad.


Today? I think that a combination of Marianne & Elinor would be the sort of woman that I would want to read about in a book.
Because let's face it, Marrianne is ridiculous. Not her spirit, but her ideas of this perfect man and perfect love that will forever stamp your soul are just bonkers. Get out of here with that nonsense, says the older/wiser woman. I think we all (men and women) start out with a little bit of Marrianne in ourselves.
You only know what you know.
This means that young people aren't particularly stupid, they just haven't had enough LIFE slap them upside their heads yet.
But they will.
Ooooooh, they will.


At the same time, I don't think Elinor is a paragon of womanhood just because she managed to stuff each and every emotion deeeeeep into some secret hidey-hole in her psyche.
I can't help but think it would have been better for her to confide in someone...or maybe just find the worm at the bottom of the bottle?
Don't judge. We all have our ways of coping.


Ok, ok. So, even if this wasn't my complete cuppa, it's still a fantastic story and a must for anyone who is Austen-curious. As always, she wrote characters who were (for the times) true to life, fully formed, and definitely worth reading about.
Profile Image for Eric Althoff.
124 reviews20 followers
August 20, 2007
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 concert of Beethoven's 1st and 9th symphonies...thus, comparisons between nascency and maturity are inevitable.

I will say that Austen's observations of the human mind, her cutting social critiques, and commentaries on the games and masquerades which were all but a necessity of British society in the 18th/19th centuries are fascinating and beautifully rendered. Her prose is art, but the story, in my opinion, is lacking. Two semi-rich young women do the social dance with men who are alternately gentlemanly or cads, reversals and revelations ensue, followed at the end by weddings which are not exactly meant to leave us with the warmest of feelings (as many weddings do). Many of the characters are unlikable (some are downright despicable) and I felt all along that much like Shakespeare, Austen's stories are meant to be performed rather than read, so that the subtleties of the social ingraces and the sublimations of true feelings can be more truly experienced by an audience. The plot itself is anything but complicated and I'm sorry to say that without Austen's ingenious prose, this novel would barely merit a footnote in history.

My recommendation for those of you who are not hardcore Austen fans, read "Persuasion" instead.

Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
395 reviews695 followers
February 25, 2018
[reread] 01.29.18: added another star this time round

My penultimate Jane Austen novel. (nooooooo!)

For me, it took too long to get going. Not until they arrived in London that I started to get curious about how the story will unfold and what will happen to the Dashwood sisters. Elinor, I liked well enough but I found Marianne to be too self-righteous and annoying. She did turn a new leaf in the end but I think it came too late for me to start liking her at that point.

Owning to the fact that because of HER, I had to deal with a selfish man named Willoughby. And even after I thought I was in the clear, had to suffer through his long arse, asinine speech of how he pitied himself


Insufferable man! Get lost already!

I'm afraid I was not partial to any of the men in this. Can you tell? Ha!

The only one with Y chromosome who was a bit interesting was Colonel Brandon but he had such a small role in the book. I wish we could see more of him! Even Mr. Palmer was entertaining to read about. As for the rest, I hated Willoughby (yes, needed to be point out again) and Edward was... well, he was kind of boring.

All these main characters in this book made me appreciate, probably for the first time, the 'mouthy' characters in Austen novels. I know, I know, I'm shocked myself. I never endeared myself to any of them before. Although I was real close to do that for Miss Bates in Emma but ended up didn't - she was okay but that was all.

Here, I loved it whenever Mrs. Jennings and Charlotte/Mrs. Palmer were in the scene. Delightful in contrast of several insipid, stoic characters.

Profile Image for Kerry.
519 reviews73 followers
October 13, 2021
August 2008:
This is 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 etiquette of the day. Like, it's improper to exchange letters with a member of the opposite sex with whom you are not engaged? Crazy! But it's cool to be engaged and not TELL anyone? Insane! I love it.

I didn't get a chance to return this to the library right away, so I'm currently audio-book free, and instead of listening to music like a normal person, I STARTED IT OVER AGAIN. Seriously, who would think I would like Jane Austen so much?

The narrator was Donada Peters. I've never heard of her before, but she did a great job. I don't think I'd've enjoyed it nearly as much had I actually had to READ the thing.

I am now going to listen to every Austen audiobook I can get my hands on, and also a biography. I'm reading Frank Herbert and Jane Austen at once! I love it.

September/October 2021:
I listened to this book again (for the fourth or fifth time) because of my new strategy of listening to Jane Austen audiobooks in order to fall asleep. (I have since read every Jane Austen novel, most of them several times over, and think of her as an old friend.) I always forget how much of it takes place in London! This is probably my third-favorite Austen, after Persuasion and Emma. This one is nice because most of the characters are decent people, even if they might be, like, rude or overbearing or boring or something. I mean obviously not the bad guys, the Dashwood son and his wife and her mother. But everybody else is okay. As opposed to, say, Mansfield Park, which I also reread recently, in which everybody suuuuuuuuucks, even the people we are ostensibly supposed to be rooting for (or are we??) Elinor is the best, obviously. (I have no idea how this Elinor is spelled, as I only have listened to his, but I think I have it right, because it's weird and old-fashioned.) (Oh and Willoughby sucks too, forgot about him. And I kept falling asleep at the conversation that he has with E at the end where he apparently partially vindicates himself and his actions so I can't remember why E partially forgives him.) She is possibly my favorite Austen protagonist? I'm not sure, I'll have to read Persuasion again. Anyway if you want to talk about Jane Austen, get at me.
Profile Image for Andy Marr.
Author 3 books785 followers
August 22, 2021
A bit of an unpopular opinion, I imagine, but this was one of those cases where the film was better than the book. That said, the book was obviously written for a Georgian audience, and the fact that it remains a classic two hundred years later is proof of its brilliance.
Profile Image for Kelly.
889 reviews4,129 followers
May 30, 2022
One line baby feeding review:

On this re-read, it struck me how much more imperfect and/or cringe Elinor and Marianne are allowed to be on the page than they ever are in movie adaptations: Elinor is more bitter, less forebearing, Marianne’s teenage things she says much more embarrassing, etc.

(Audiobook: Rosamund Pike)

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 that. The romance might be better, more tight, more like one would idealistically want in Pride and Prejudice, but the ones here are more realistic and would have a better chance of lasting in real life. Colonel Brandon and Marianne are one of my favorite flawed couples of any piece of literature. This book finds faith in romances that are less than perfect, heroes who don't act like heroes (Colonel Brandon wins over the romantic figure of Willoughby in the end), and heroines who are at times geniunely ridiculous in the things they choose to do. Not because Austen writes them ridiculously. All women do things like that, and these girls find their way to love anyway. And not with the people conventional plotlines or even gothic strangeness would normally put them with either. By all rights, Eleanor and Colonel Brandon should make a quietly sensible couple, if one thinks about it. But that's not how this ends. There's enough romance left in it for some poetry to how the story ends. None of the men are one or even two dimensional, either. They don't merely serve as the means to the narcissitic heroine's end. No cardboard Prince Charmings with one ridiculous flaw here. They're very believable. I've always thought one of the strengths of Austen is that she writes novels that are undoubtably marketed to women, but men can still see themselves in her heroes if they read them.

The movie is my favorite Jane Austen movie, as a side note. And one of my favorites in general. I've been watching it since I was about 13. It's beautiful. So is the soundtrack. Emma Thompson's performance alone is worth the viewing. Ang Lee.. before he switched over to gay cowboys. Yes, he did period pieces. Who would have known, right?
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
November 12, 2012

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.

Profile Image for Melindam.
666 reviews293 followers
August 6, 2023
... OR ATTEMPTING IT (Review still under construction)

"Many of Jane Austen's admirers, it is true, read her novels as a means of escape into a cozy sort of Old English nirvana, but they find this escape in her pages only because, as E. M. Foster has written, the devout "Janeite" "like all regular churchgoers ... scarcely notices what is being said."
Nor do we need such a great deal of ingenuity to see that all, or nearly all, the great issues in human life make their appearance on Jane Austen's narrow stage. True, it is only a stage of petty domestic circumstance; but that, after all, is the only stage where most of us are likely to meet them.
Jane Austen's stage, then, is narrow; it is also devoted to entertainment; and we may fail to recognize the great issues of life in their humorous garb unless we are prepared to view the comic mode as an entertainment which can be both intellectually and morally serious.
Today we are less accustomed to look for universal norms in what we read ... partly because we tend to see life, and therefore literature, mainly in terms of individual experience. Jane Austen's own standards were, like those of her age, much more absolute; and as a novelist she presented all her characters in terms of of their relations to a fixed code of values. "
- Ian P. Watt

Note to self and readers in general: When you are reading Jane Austen, try to consider "the universal norms" of her and her times and not only your individual experience!

OK, so I was 15 when I first read S&S and I DID read it only according to "the terms of individual" experience. I read this PEARL OF A BOOK (my present, Austen-conscious self shudders and wants to perish the thought) as a common romance novel! No wonder, I was totally shocked at the unromantic ending.

A few years later -when my then-BF did a (kinda) Willoughby on me- I appreciated the ending a bit more, but it still left me unconvinced about the book's obvious merits.

And then came the film of 1995 with Alan Rickman, The Divine, which just so totally distorted my "objective" views of Colonel Brandon's character that I have not recovered ever since! (I know, I know, I am not alone in this and IT IS such a comfort! OH, OK, I liked David Morrissey a lot as well in the BBC mini-series of 2008!).

Anyway, time went by and I read & re-read this novel (as well as all the others) and found myself -as always with ALL AUSTEN NOVELS- with different feelings/thoughts/ideas at different times.

Maybe, just maybe, I am old enough now to venture a review.

Even when we consider Sense and Sensibility through the lense of romance (unadvised, but there you go), it is definitely the least romantic JA book, even though having Marianne Dashwood, the most romantic and truly tragic JA heroine as one of its centre. (So here's one in the eye of all who shun Austen in favour of the Brontes under the falsely construed grounds that she did not know/write about passion. And I am looking at you, Charlotte Brontë, who started this.)

The novel IS NOT ABOUT ROMANCE -even though on the surface there is little else to see-, IT IS ABOUT EQUILIBRIUM, about self-knowledge & acceptance. Until the heroines don't go through their "baptism of fire" that is self-knowledge, they don't gain the right of passage to a happy ending (This is the same for Elizabeth, Emma, Catherine and even for Anne, though maybe not for Fanny and Elinor). Admittedly, the "happy ending" is rather questionable here with our 21st century-sensibilities, but let's call it that anyway. And please don't forget Alan Rickman!

Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
March 20, 2012
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 revolve entirely around what boy likes what girl and vice versa, and nothing else ever happens. Sure, there can be subplots, and yes, brilliant romantic comedies do exist, but I want my movie protagonists to do more than worry about who they're going to marry.

Reading Sense and Sensibility made me realize why I don't like Jane Austen's books, and probably never will: she was a brilliant author, and her novels are funny and well-written, but at the end of the day, her characters spend 90% of their time talking about boys. Nothing else happens: they go to a ball, where they worry about which boy isn't dancing with them; they have tea, where they talk about which girls have snagged which boys; and they write letters about which girls have done scandalous things with boys. It's just pages and pages of "I like you but you hate me!" "No, I really love you, you were just misinformed!" "My, what a silly misunderstanding!" "I agree! Let's get married!" and all its variations and it bores me to death. I love the humor, and I love the characters, I just want them to do something interesting. This is probably why Pride and Prejudice and Zombies resonated so well with me - finally, the Bennett sisters got to do something besides sit around and mope about the various boys who weren't talking to them for whatever reason!

Sense and Sensibility is one long slog of "I love this boy! But oh no, he's engaged to someone else!" and "This boy acted like he loved me but he really didn't and now I am sad and will ignore the other boy who has clearly been meant to marry me all along!" It's for this reason that, when faced with the prospect of reading the last 70 pages of this book in order to finish it, I was filled with dread and realized that I do not give a single flying fuck who the Dashwood sisters end up marrying. The only thing that would make me want to finish the book is if the story ends with Elinor and Marianne deciding to go off to college or travel to China or fight zombies or do something besides get married. But I know they won't, because this is an Austen novel, and things only end one way here.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with romantic comedies - they're funny, lighthearted entertainment where everyone is beautiful and nothing hurts, and the people who get unhappy endings were mean people and deserved it anyway. I do not begrudge anyone for liking this kind of entertainment - it's just not my taste, and I won't waste any time feeling bad about this.

Sorry, Ms. Austen. I gave it my all, but it's just not going to work out. But don't worry: it's not you, it's me.
Profile Image for l..
493 reviews2,138 followers
January 6, 2022
“The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love.”

If this quote doesn’t sum up the entirety of my twenty-something years on this earth …
Profile Image for Shaya.
250 reviews324 followers
November 23, 2021
اولین کتابی بود از جین آستین میخوندم، یجورایی دوسش داشتم. شاید اگه یه نویسنده در زمان حال اینو مینوشت عصبانی میشدم که چرا نهایت زندگی یه نفر رو ازدواج قرار داده؟!!! ولی مساله اینکه تو قرن 18 و 19 آدمها بجز ازدواج کردن چیکار میتونستن بکنن؟؟؟ برن فضا آخه؟؟؟؟
سبک نوشتنشو دوس داشتم، واسه همین تمایل دارم کتابای دیگه هم ازش بخونم.
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