Synopses & Reviews
In its marvelously perceptive portrayal of two young women in love, Sense and Sensibility
is the answer to those critics and readers who believe that Jane Austens novels, despite their perfection of form and tone, lack strong feeling.
Its two heroines—so utterly unlike each other-both undergo the most violent passions when they are separated from the men they love. What differentiates them, and gives this extroardinary book its complexity and brilliance, is the way each expresses her suffering: Marianne-young, impetuous, ardent-falls into paroxysms of grief when she is rejected by the dashing John Willoughby; while her sister, Elinor—wiser, more sensible, more self-controlled—masks her despair when it appears that Edward Ferrars is to marry the mean-spirited and cunning Lucy Steele. All, of course, ends happily—but not until Elinors “sense” and Mariannes “sensibility” have equally worked to reveal the profound emotional life that runs beneath the surface of Austens immaculate and irresistible art.
Published in 1811, Sense and Sensibility has delighted generations of readers with its masterfully crafted portrait of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Forced to leave their home after their father's death, Elinor and Marianne must rely on making good marriages as their means of support. But unscrupulous cads, meddlesome matriarchs, and various guileless and artful women impinge on their chances for love and happiness. The novelist Elizabeth Bowen wrote, "The technique of Jane Austen's novels] is beyond praise....Her mastery of the art she chose, or that chose her, is complete."
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition contains a new Introduction by Pulitzer Prize finalist David Gates, in addition to new explanatory notes.