Sean Barrs the Bookdragon's Reviews > Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
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it was amazing
bookshelves: love-and-romance, romantic-movement

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.”


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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:

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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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Reading Progress

October 4, 2017 – Started Reading
October 4, 2017 – Shelved
October 4, 2017 – Shelved as: love-and-romance
October 4, 2017 – Shelved as: romantic-movement
October 18, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Leni Iversen This is one of my favourites. It's so radical! That said, I didn't realise how radical until I read Maria Edgeworth's "Belinda" and the controversy around it.


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Leni wrote: "This is one of my favourites. It's so radical! That said, I didn't realise how radical until I read Maria Edgeworth's "Belinda" and the controversy around it."

i'll add that too my list too!


Leni Iversen For Belinda be aware that most editions are the edited third edition. So after reading it you might want to look up what changes Edgeworth had to make. That's actually what showed me how Austen's Marianne was not at all as silly as I at first thought her.


message 4: by Vahid (new)

Vahid Well done dear Book dragon (:


Leni Iversen Yay! I'm inordinately pleased whenever someone gives S&S the merit it deserves. It so often gets ignored.

I also have only Mansfield Park left, and I have been oddly reluctant to read it. But I am determined to read it this very month.


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Vahid wrote: "Well done dear Book dragon (:"

thanks Vahid :)


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Leni wrote: "Yay! I'm inordinately pleased whenever someone gives S&S the merit it deserves. It so often gets ignored.

I also have only Mansfield Park left, and I have been oddly reluctant to read it. But I a..."


Good luck with it! :) I'm saving my read for next year. I'm still to read one that will top Persuasion though Sense and Sensabilty takes a strong third place behind Northanger Abbey for me. I love them all really, just some more than others. And I'll bare in mind what you said about Belinda.


Carmen This is one of the best books!


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Carmen wrote: "This is one of the best books!"

it really is good stuff! :)


Sorina Possibly my favourite Austen. Marianne and Brandon! ❤️


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Sorina wrote: "Possibly my favourite Austen. Marianne and Brandon! ❤️"

i'm so glad she grew up, reminds me a little of the journey in Northanger.


Morgan Not my favorite Austen, but my first Austen. I liked all of her stuff though.


Sandra This is one Jane Austen novels that I've read and you are right this is far more money oriented (in many ways this is still relevant today with prenups and the like). I love how Jane Austen is capable of weaving so much of social issues in what seems at first glance to be a simple love story. She is so very aware of human nature. No wonder it stays so relevant.


message 14: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace Great review, Sean!


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