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Sense and Sensibility (Austen)

Sense and Sensibility 
Jane Austen, 1811
~370 pp. (Varies by publisher.)


Summary 
Two sisters of opposing temperaments but who share the pangs of tragic love provide the subjects for Sense and Sensibility. Elinor, practical and conventional, is the epitome of sense; Marianne, emotional and sentimental, the embodiment of sensibility. To each comes the sorrow of unhappy love: Elinor desires a man who is promised to another while Marianne loses her heart to a scoundrel who jilts her. Their mutual suffering brings a closer understanding between the two sisters — and true love finally triumphs when sense gives way to sensibility and sensibility gives way to sense.

The Dashwood sisters are very different from each other in appearance and temperament; Elinor's good sense and readiness to observe social forms contrast with Marianne's impulsive candor and warm but excessive sensibility. Both struggle to maintain their integrity and find happiness in the face of a competitive marriage market. (From Penguin Classics—cover image, top-right.)




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