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Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1811



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Sense and Sensibility was first published in 1811, sixteen years after Jane Austen began the first draft, titled 'Elinor and Marianne'. Financed by Austen's brother and attributed only to 'A Lady', it was the first of her novels to be put into print.

Austen is particularly known for her sharp portraits of early-nineteenth-century upper-class English society and for her remarkable talent in creating complex, vibrant characters. Sense and Sensibility is no exception. It is the story of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, who, as members of the upper class, cannot 'work' for a living and must therefore make a suitable marriage to ensure their livelihood. The novel is a sharply detailed portraiture of the decorum surrounding courtship and the importance of marriage to a woman's livelihood and comfort.

The novel is also, as is most
evident in its title, a comparison between the sisters' polar personalities. The eldest sister, Elinor, exemplifies the sense of the title – she is portrayed as a paragon of common sense and diplomatic behavior – while her younger sister Marianne personifies sensibility in her complete abandonment to passion and her utter lack of emotional control. In upholding Elinor's levelheaded and rational behavior and criticizing Marianne's romantic passions, Austen follows the form of the didactic novel, in which the personalities of two main characters are compared in order to find favor with one position and therefore argue against the other. Although rich in character development and wit, Sense and Sensibility is viewed as one of Austen's lesser works because of this formulaic approach, which Austen abandons in her more mature novels.

from: www.enotes.com

bookweb    
AMOROUS ENTANGLEMENTS AND WELL-DRAWN PORTRAITS

Clarissa, or, The history of a young lady
Samuel Richardson, 1748
Epistolary novel about a chaste, doomed woman.

A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare, 1596
Lovestruck youngsters chase each other around in the Athenian woods.

As You Like It
William Shakespeare, 1599
Confusion abounds in this romantic comedy with a feisty heroine.

Joseph Andrews
Henry Fielding, 1742
Beautiful youth is lured into various beds, but always ends up making a mess of things.

Tom Jones
Henry Fielding, 1749
The tragi-comic fate of an English foundling.

Evelina: or The History of a Young Lady's Entrance in the World
Fanny Burney, 1778
Epistolary novel about the life and loves of a young noblewoman.

She Stoops to Conquer
Oliver Goldsmith, 1773
Comedy of errors in which a young lady poses as a serving girl to win the heart of a young gentleman too shy to court ladies of his own class.

BOOKS BY JANE AUSTEN:

Pride and Prejudice
1813
Two of literature's most famous lovers, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, have to subdue their pride and overcome prejudices if they are to find happiness together.
WHAT TO READ AFTER PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?

'AUSTENISH', BUT IN MINOR MODE
The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James, 1881 (first publ. 1880-81 as serial)
'Novel of manners' about a strong-willed young woman who opts for unhappiness.

The Age of Innocence
Edith Wharton, 1920
Social conventions in New York wreck the lovelife of upper-class divorcée.

Hotel du Lac
Anita Brookner, 1984
While staying at Swiss hotel, thirtysomething Romantic novelist is faced with difficult choice.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë, 1847
Romantic tragedy about a clever orphan girl who, after much trial and tribulation, ends up happily married.

[Joop ter Heul]
Cissy van Marxveldt, 1919-1925 (4 delen)
At school and in love...

Rebecca
Daphne du Maurier, 1938
Leave it to the housekeeper to poke her nose in where she's not wanted...

High Fidelity
Nick Hornby, 1995
Immature music lover seeks ideal woman and ends up in the arms of his ex.

IN JANE AUSTEN'S FOOTSTEPS

,
Whatever happened to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy after Pride and Prejudice was over?

Bridget Jones's Diary
Helen Fielding, 1997
Elizabeth and Darcy in the world of hotshot publishers and TV dinners.

SPIRITED HEROINES, á LA ELIZABETH BENNET
Major Frank
A.L.G. Bosboom-Touissant, 1874
Independent tomboy learns mores from husband-to-be.

Middlemarch
George Eliot, 1871-1872
Provincial beauty marries (second time around) for love instead of fortune.

Sense and Sensibility
1811
Mrs Dashwood and her two daughters must leave the family home and move to a small house in another part of the country. Soon Marianne and Elinor both fall in love, but they must first learn some terrible secrets before they find true happiness.
Emma
1816
Quick-witted, beautiful, headstrong and rich, Emma Woodhouse is inordinately fond of matchmaking. Yet the irony is that she is oblivious to the question of who she herself might marry. Through this comedy of sentimental education, she discovers a capacity for love and marriage.
Persuasion
1818 (posthumous)
Differing from Austen's other novels in adopting a more sober tone, this one describes the ordeals of Anne Elliot, who has been persuaded by her family to reject Captain Wentworth. The novel opens several years later, when she is 27 and still unattached.
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