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Encyclopedia > Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility
Author Jane Austen
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Romantic novel
Publisher Mr. Egerton
Publication date 1811
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN NA
Followed by Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility is a novel by the English novelist Jane Austen, that was first published in 1811. It was the first of Austen's novels to be published, under the pseudonym "A Lady". The novel has been adapted for film and television a number of times, most notably in Ang Lee's 1995 version. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 353 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1374 × 2332 pixel, file size: 947 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... 1873 engraving of Jane Austen, based on a portrait drawn by her sister Cassandra. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article refers to the wide variety of writing called romantic. For literature from the European Romantic movement of the 18th and 19th centuries, see Romanticism: Art and Literature. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) book is bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth or heavy paper) and a stitched spine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... “ISBN” redirects here. ... For films named Pride and Prejudice, see Pride and Prejudice (film). ... Sense and Sensibility has several meanings: Sense and Sensibility the 1811 novel by Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility (film) the 1995 film This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... 1873 engraving of Jane Austen, based on a portrait drawn by her sister Cassandra. ... 1811 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... A pseudonym (Greek: , pseudo + -onym: false name) is an artificial, fictitious name, also known as an alias, used by an individual as an alternative to a persons legal name. ... Ang Lee (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) (born October 23, 1954) is an Academy-Award winning film director from Taiwan. ... Jane Austens novel Sense and Sensibility (1811) was adapted into a 1995 film by Emma Thompson, for which she received general acclaim as well as a 1996 Academy Award. ...

Contents

Plot introduction

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are sisters with opposite temperaments. Traditionally, it has been viewed that 19 year old Elinor, the elder daughter, represents "sense" (reason) of the title, and Marianne , who is 17, represents "sensibility" (emotion). However this view is a very restricting one. On close inspection of the novel it can be seen that each sister represents different aspects of each characteristic. For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Elinor and Marianne are the daughters of Mr. Dashwood by his second wife. They have a younger sister, Margaret, and an older half-brother named John. When their father dies, the family estate passes to John and the Dashwood women are left impoverished. Fortunately, a distant relative offers to rent the women a cottage on his property. Elinor Dashwood is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Jane Austens Sense and Sensibility. ...


The novel follows the Dashwood sisters to their new home, where they experience both romance and heartbreak. The contrast between the sisters' characters is eventually resolved as they each find love and lasting happiness.


Plot summary

When Mr. Dashwood dies, his estate, Norland, passes to his eldest son, John. This leaves his second wife and three daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, at the mercy of their stepson/half-brother and his selfish wife Fanny. Treated like unwelcome guests in their own home, the Dashwood women begin looking for another place to live. Meanwhile, Elinor has become attached to Fanny's brother Edward Ferrars, an unassuming, intelligent young man. But because Mrs. Ferrars wants her son to marry a woman of high rank, Elinor does not allow herself to hope for marriage.


Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters move from Norland to Barton Cottage, owned by their distant cousin Sir John Middleton, who lives at Barton Park with his family. Also staying there are Mrs. Jennings (Lady Middleton's mother) and Colonel Brandon, an old friend of Sir John. The gossipy Mrs. Jennings decides that Colonel Brandon must be in love with Marianne, and teases them about it. Marianne is displeased: she considers Colonel Brandon, age thirty-five, to be an old bachelor incapable of falling in love or inspiring love in anyone else.

A 19th century illustration showing Willoughby cutting a lock of Marianne's hair
A 19th century illustration showing Willoughby cutting a lock of Marianne's hair

Marianne, out for a stroll, gets caught in the rain and sprains her ankle. The dashing and handsome Mr. Willoughby rescues Marianne, carries her back home, and wins her admiration. He comes to visit her every day, and Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood begin to suspect that the couple have secretly become engaged. However, Mrs. Dashwood's sentimental nature prevents her from asking Marianne about her relationship with Willoughby. Marianne is devastated when Willoughby announces that he must go to London on business, not to return for at least a year. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2511x3360, 1740 KB) [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sense and Sensibility User:Blathnaid/Images ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2511x3360, 1740 KB) [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sense and Sensibility User:Blathnaid/Images ...


Edward Ferrars visits the Dashwoods at Barton Cottage, but seems unhappy and is distant towards Elinor. She fears that he no longer has feelings for her. However, unlike Marianne, she does not wallow in her sadness.


Shortly afterward, Anne and Lucy Steele, cousins of Lady Middleton, come to stay at Barton Park. Sir John tells Lucy that Elinor is attached to Edward, prompting Lucy to inform Elinor that she (Lucy) has been secretly engaged to Edward for four years. Though Elinor initially blames Edward for engaging her affections when he was not free to do so, she realises that he became engaged to Lucy while he was young and naive. She understands that Edward does not love Lucy, but that he will not hurt or dishonor her by breaking their engagement. Elinor hides her disappointment, and convinces Lucy that she feels nothing for Edward.


Elinor and Marianne spend the winter at Mrs. Jennings' home in London. Marianne's letters to Willoughby go unanswered, and he treats her coldly when he sees her at a party. He later sends Marianne a letter informing her that he is engaged to a Miss Grey, a very wealthy and high-born woman. Marianne admits to Elinor that she and Willoughby were never engaged, but that she loved him and he led her to believe that he loved her.


Colonel Brandon tells Elinor that Willoughby had seduced Brandon's foster daughter, Miss Williams, and abandoned her when she became pregnant. Brandon was once in love with Miss Williams's mother, a woman who resembled Marianne and whose life was destroyed by an unhappy arranged marriage to the Colonel's brother.


Mrs. Ferrars discovers Edward and Lucy's engagement; when he refuses to end it, she disinherits him. Elinor and Marianne feel sorry for Edward, and think him honourable for remaining engaged to a woman he will probably not be happy with. Edward plans to take holy orders to earn his living, and Colonel Brandon, knowing how lives can be ruined when love is denied, offers Edward his parish at Delaford. Elinor meets Edward's boorish brother Robert and is shocked that he has no qualms about claiming his brother's inheritance.


Marianne, miserable over Willoughby, wanders in the rain and becomes very ill. Colonel Brandon goes to get Mrs. Dashwood. Willoughby arrives and tells Elinor that he was disinherited when his benefactress discovered his seduction of Miss Williams, so he decided to marry the wealthy Miss Grey. He says that he still loves Marianne, and seeks forgiveness, but has poor excuses for his selfish actions. Meanwhile, Colonel Brandon tells Mrs. Dashwood that he loves Marianne.


Marianne recovers and the Dashwoods return to Barton Cottage. Elinor tells Marianne about Willoughby's visit. Marianne admits that though she loved Willoughby, she could not have been happy with the libertine father of an illegitimate child even if he had stood by her. Marianne also realizes that her illness was brought on by her wallowing in her grief, by her excessive sensibility, and that, had she died, it would have been morally equivalent to suicide. She now resolves to model herself after Elinor's courage and good sense.


The family learns that Lucy has married "Mr. Ferrars". When Mrs. Dashwood sees how upset Elinor is, she finally realises how strong Elinor's feelings for Edward are and is sorry that she did not pay more attention to her unhappiness. However, the very next day Edward arrives and reveals that it was his brother, Robert Ferrars, who married Lucy. He says that he was trapped in his engagement with Lucy, "a woman he had long since ceased to love", and she broke the engagement to marry the now wealthy Robert. Edward asks Elinor to marry him, and she agrees. Edward becomes reconciled with his mother, who gives him ten thousand pounds. They marry and move into the parsonage at Delaford. Still, Mrs. Ferrars tends to favor Robert and Lucy over Edward and Elinor.


Mr. Willoughby's patroness eventually gives him his inheritance, seeing that his marriage to a woman of good character redeemed him. Willoughby realizes that marrying Marianne would have produced the same effect; thus, had he behaved honourably, he could have had both love and money.


Over the next two years, Mrs. Dashwood, Marianne and Margaret spend most of their time at Delaford. Marianne matures and decides to marry the Colonel even though she feels more respect than passion for him. However, after the marriage she realizes that she truly loves him. She and the Colonel set up house near Elinor and Edward, so the sisters and their husbands can visit each other often.


Characters in Sense and Sensibility

  • Henry Dashwood — a wealthy gentleman who dies at the beginning of the story. The terms of his estate prevent him from leaving anything to his second wife and their children together. He asks John, his son by his first wife, to look after (meaning ensure the financial security) of his second wife and their three daughters.
  • Mrs. Dashwood — the second wife of Henry Dashwood, who is left in difficult financial straits by the death of her husband.
  • Elinor Dashwood — the sensible and reserved eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood. She becomes attached to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of her elder half-brother, John.
  • Marianne Dashwood — The romantically inclined and eagerly expressive second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood. She is the object of the attentions of Col. Brandon and Mr. Willoughby.
  • Margaret Dashwood — the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood.
  • John Dashwood — the son of Henry Dashwood by his first wife.
  • Fanny Dashwood — the wife of John Dashwood, and sister to Edward and Robert Ferrars.
  • Sir John Middleton — a distant relative of Mrs. Dashwood who, after the death of Henry Dashwood, invites her and her three daughters to live in a cottage on his property. Middleton, his wife, and their children are visited by his mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings. He and Mrs. Jennings are a jolly and gossipy pair, taking an active interest in the romantic affairs of the young people around them and seeking to encourage suitable matches.
  • Lady Middleton — The genteel and idle wife of Sir John Middleton, she is primarily concerned with mothering her four spoilt children.
  • Edward Ferrars — The elder of Fanny Dashwood's two brothers. He forms an attachment to Elinor Dashwood. Years before meeting the Dashwoods, Ferrars proposed to Lucy Steele, the niece of his tutor. The engagement has been kept secret owing to the expectation that Ferrars's family would object to his marrying Miss Steele.
  • Robert Ferrars — the younger brother of Edward Ferrars and Fanny Dashwood.
  • Mrs. Ferrars — Fanny Dashwood and Edward and Robert Ferrars' mother. A bad tempered, vain woman who embodies all the foibles demonstrated in Fanny and Robert's characteristics. Determined that her sons should marry well, she ends up disowning Edward in light of his engagement with the expedient Lucy Steele, then ironically embracing Robert for marrying or threatening to marry Lucy.
  • Colonel Brandon — a close friend of Sir John Middleton. In his youth, Brandon had fallen in love with his father's ward, but was prevented by his family from marrying her because she was intended for his older brother. He was sent abroad to be away from her, and while gone, the girl suffered numerous misfortunes partly as a consequence of her unhappy marriage, finally dying penniless and disgraced, and with a natural daughter, who Colonel Brandon takes in.
  • John Willoughby — a nephew of a neighbour of the Middletons, a dashing figure who charms Marianne.
  • Charlotte Palmer — the daughter of Mrs. Jennings and the younger sister of Lady Middleton, Mrs. Palmer is empty-headed and laughs at inappropriate things, such as her husband's continual rudeness to her and to others.
  • Mr. Palmer — the husband of Charlotte Palmer who is running for a seat in Parliament in spite of his idleness and rudeness.
  • Lucy Steele — a young, distant relation of Mrs. Jennings, who has for some time been secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars. She assiduously cultivates the friendship with Elinor Dashwood and with Mrs. John Dashwood. She is manipulative and scheming
  • Anne/Nancy Steele — Lucy Steele's elder sister.
  • Miss Grey — a wealthy heiress who Mr. Willoughby marries after he is disinherited in order to retain his comfortable lifestyle.
  • Lord Morton — the father of Miss Morton
  • Miss Morton — a wealthy woman whom Mrs. Ferrars wants her eldest son, Edward, to marry
  • Mr. Pratt — an uncle of Lucy Steele

Elinor Dashwood is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Jane Austens Sense and Sensibility. ...

Critical appraisal

Austen wrote the first draft of Elinor and Marianne (later retitled Sense and Sensibility) c. 1795, when she was about 19 years old. While she had written a great deal of short fiction in her teens, Elinor and Marianne was her first full-length novel. The plot revolves around a contrast between Elinor's sense and Marianne's emotionalism; the two sisters may have been loosely based on Jane and Cassandra Austen, with Austen casting Cassandra as the restrained and well-judging sister and herself as the emotional one. Austen clearly intended to vindicate Elinor's sense and self-restraint, and on the simplest level, the novel may be read as a parody of the full-blown romanticism and sensibility that was fashionable around the 1790s. Yet Austen's treatment of the two sisters is complex and multi-faceted. Austen biographer Claire Tomalin argues that Sense and Sensibility has a "wobble in its approach," which developed because Austen, in the course of writing the novel, gradually became less certain about whether sense or sensibility should triumph.[1] She endows Marianne with every attractive quality: intelligence, musical talent, frankness, and the capacity to love deeply. She also acknowledges that Willoughby, with all his faults, continues to love and, in some measure, appreciate Marianne. For these reasons, some readers find Marianne's ultimate marriage to Colonel Brandon an unsatisfactory ending.[2] The ending does, however, neatly join the themes of sense and sensibility though having the sensible sister marry her true love after long, romantic obstacles to their union, and the emotional sister find happiness with a man she did not initially love, but who was an eminently sensible choice of a husband. Claire Tomalin (born June 20, 1933) is an English biographer and journalist. ...


The novel displays Austen's subtle irony at its best, with many outstanding comic passages about the Middletons, the Palmers, Mrs. Jennings, and Lucy Steele.


Culture

This popular book has actually been made into a Tamil movie called Kandukonden Kandukonden (I Saw You), starring Aishwarya Rai and Ajith. Aishwarya Rai (Tulu-Kannada: ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯ ರೈ, Devanāgarī: ऐश्वर्या राय, IPA: ) (born November 1, 1973), is an award-winning South Indian actress. ... Ajith Kumar (born May 1, 1971 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India) is a popular Tamil actor and a race car driver. ...


Notes

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Sense and Sensibility
  1. ^ Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life (New York: Vintage, 1997), p.155.
  2. ^ Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life, pp. 156-157.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sense and Sensibility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1814 words)
Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen that was first published in 1811.
The hugely successful 1995 film Sense and Sensibility starred Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as the sisters, and was directed by Ang Lee.
In 1811, Sense and Sensibility was the first published novel of the English author Jane Austen (1775–1817).
Sense and Sensibility 1995 (594 words)
Sense and Sensibility was the author's first published work and, as is often the case with early writing efforts, displays an undeniable shallowness: themes are half- developed, characterisation is uneven, and plotting follows a predictable straight-forwardness.
Sense and Sensibility is a wonderful motion picture, even given the weaknesses of the source material.
The novel's flaws guarantee that Sense and Sensibility cannot be a perfect motion picture, but it would be difficult, I think, to do much better with the material than Emma Thompson and director Ang Lee have here.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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