Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen


This is the story of two very different sisters: Elinor is a sensible (yet secretly passionate) young woman who must continuously reign in the wild passions of her mother and sisters – especially Marianne whose head is filled with romantic notions of one-true-love and tragedy. When their father suddenly dies with their newly-acquired estate entailed away to their half-brother John, the sisters are left destitute. John and his wife Fanny descend upon the mourning family within a fortnight and make the sisters and mother feel like unwelcome guests in their beloved home. Elinor soon forms an attachment with Fanny’s brother Edward, but Fanny doesn’t approve of Elinor’s lack-of-fortune-or-name. So the family moves away to a cottage, leaving Edward behind. Poor Elinor must struggle with her own worries about Edward while at the same time monitoring the expensive of the house and trying to reign in the wild, all-consuming attachment of Marianne to the dashing young Willoughby. The romantic hopes of both girls spiral downwards as more and more obstacles appear.

I love this story because I’ve always admired Elinor for both her passion and her ability to handle all problems that come her way. I also admire Colonel Brandon for his devotion to Marianne despite her ecstatic preference for the younger, handsomer, and less reserved Willoughby. This time around, I also really appreciated Marianne’s character. Her youthful ideas about love were cute – and realistic for many girls of 16. πŸ™‚ Her development throughout the story was extraordinary. I loved the way she slowly, cluelessly, began to understand the world around her. I don’t admire her, but I think she’s cute and very funny. And, frankly, a more interesting character than Elinor (due to her development-of-character).

To be honest, this book is just as much a favorite as Pride and Prejudice. Yes. That is right. I ADMIT that I like this book just as much (possibly a little more) than the beloved P&P.

16 thoughts on “Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

  1. I was flipping through Sense and Sensibility awhile ago and was struck by how young Marianne is–only 16 and looking for a husband! I know it was common at the time, but once I realized she was so young, it made her character much more understandable to me. I think her romance with Col. Brandon is really cute, too.


  2. I'm reading this right now and I really connect to Marianne. She's so believable as a teenager and how everything seems so life-altering at that age, especially in the romance department. πŸ™‚ Also, I love Colonel Brandon!


  3. I didn't really connect to Marianne when I was a teenager, because I tended to be more like Elinor in that way (I think?). But now that I'm older and looking at her as a teen, well…she's rather realistic, cute, and funny. πŸ™‚


  4. So glad that you read Sense and Sensibility! I love <3 Jane Austen! Personally, though, my favorite is Persuasion – that letter from Captain Wentworth gets me every time! You almost wonder if Marianne just settled with Colonel Brandon, and if he feels that in his heart. good review


  5. I agree with you that Marianne grows and develops in the course of the novel, whereas Elinor remains pretty much as she was. I've read theories that suggest Austen herself was more like Marianne and her sister Cassandra was more like Elinor, which is interesting to think about in light of how the story unfolds.

    I enjoyed your review.


  6. I hadn't thought about whether Austen was more like Elinor or Marianne, but you may be right about that. She was much more successful at developing passionate characters than sensible ones. I mean, I do like her sensible characters, of course, but there's something that glows about Marianne. That's probably because she can relate to those feelings.


  7. I am an Austen scholar in the making (starting my Master's in September) and in my opinion, S&S is far better than P&P so cheers to you for openly admitting that! S&S is hilarious and my second favorite (first is Northanger Abbey) Austen novel. I don't believe I have seen the BBC film version, but I have watched the hollywood version and BBC mini series.
    Thanks for writing about one of Jane's classics πŸ™‚

    I did my ROTB Category 1 on Anna Karenina.

    Cheers from Brandy at


  8. I really ought to re-read Northanger Abbey. That's one of those that I read when I was a teenager – I knew it was a parody, but I don't remember what I thought of it, really. πŸ™‚ Must be fun being a Austen scholar. I've been re-reading the books recently. πŸ™‚


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