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ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES

  • Feb 1, 2009
Rating:
+5
I thought that after all these years I might as well pitch in and give my two cents worth in regard to one of my favorite authors. The plot has been well covered with these reviews and others, and even if they had not, you would have had to almost spent your life living under a rock not to be aware, so I certainly will not beat it to death here.

Briefly though, this is the story of two sisters of the Dashwood family, who find themselves in a state of reduced circumstances upon the death of their father; a plight not uncommon during that era we know as Regency England. This is the story of Emma Dashwood and her sister Marianne, the relationship between the two sisters, their family, friends, neighbors, and most importantly, possible suitors. The story is told mostly through the eyes of Emma (sense?...I wonder), but through her eyes we get a wonderful picture of some very unforgettable characters. Note: If you watch very closely, you will see these same characters amongst us even to this day! More about this later.

Now, for one of my pet peeves; most of the members of the reading Western World will tell you that this is Austen's first novel and it is not her best work, or one reason or another. Now being something of a semi-cultural barbarian, I have a problem with this statement. While I will admit that Austen's later works are some of the best turned out in the English language, I do strongly feel that it is quite unfair to compare and contrast this work, Sense and Sensibility, with her later works. Had this been the only novel Ms Austen had ever written, she still would have been listed with the literary greats on this work along. It has all of the elements that her later works include; the insight to human nature, the subtle humor, the fantastic dialog, the complicated relationships, the unfortunate conditions many young ladies of that class suffered during this period of time and the raw emotions that are so understated in each and every line of her work. I hate to beat dead horses, but the dialog in this work is along with the read!

I take my peevishness further in noting that many refer to the situations, manners, mannerisms, attitudes and situations as being typically of those of only this period on English history. As far as I can tell, most, if not all, of the situations encountered by the Dashwood sisters are with us even to this day and are merely cloaked in different clothing. Emotions are emotions are timeless and what was true then, is true now, the truth just manifests itself a bit differently now than it did then. We all want love, security, understanding and companionship; have since time began and I suspect we will until time ends. Not all that much has changed. I also strongly feel that if you feel that there is not a definite class system in existence today, as there was at the time this novel was written, then you well may be missing something. It may no be a blatant now as then, but it certainly is alive and well even to this day.

Now all that being said, the bottom line is that this one fine bit of writing; a timeless bit of writing and the reader will certainly be much richer for having read it, and as a matter of fact, it does not hurt to give this one, along with Austen's other works, multiple readings over the years. There is much we can learn here. I've often told people that they should read at least one of Jane Austen's books each year just to keep in the front of their minds what writing is all about. And for goodness sakes, I agree fully that there have been some very fine film adaptations of this work over the years and I certainly do recommend that you see them (I personally love several of them), but READ the book also! You are missing out on a real treat if you do not.

This review was of the Penquin Classic edition, one of quite a number of editions I have laying around the house. Between my wife and myself, the get quite a workout...I do not know what I would do with out good old Penquin. I will review other editions, as there are some that are excellent, while other not so great and it does make a difference you know.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

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More Sense and Sensibility reviews
review by . June 27, 2010
"Sense and Sensibility" was the first novel from Jane Austen I read as a teenager. I really enjoyed it. It was also the first novel Jane Austen wrote in 1795. It is about two opposite characters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, fatherless and poor sisters, trying to find their way in the British society in late 18th century. Elinor is the eldest sister, past marriageable, practical, who keeps her emotions for herself. She proves good sense and judgement. On the contrary, Marianne is an …
review by . July 22, 2010
   My favorite movie!  It is all about relationships and falling in love and old-English customs.  This story is very entertaining to see what life would have been like back in the day.  Would you dress like they do?  Here is a summary about the story:      Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood who with their mother and younger sister, Margaret, are forced into poverty through the untimely death of their …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
Austen's insight into the world of women is exactly on point in this classice piece.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
Jane Austen is the best
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
what would my English professor say
review by . July 17, 2006
Being a fan of Jane Austen but never having read Sense and Sensibility, I approached this novel both nervously and excitedly. Reading any work by Austen is a delight, but I was worried this one wouldn't be as good as some of the others I'd read. However, I slipped into the language and time period effortlessly as I was introduced to the Miss Dashwoods and their plights of love and friendship. This debut novel by Austen is light, witty, and charming, and a complete joy from beginning to end.      …
About the reviewer
Don Blankenship ()
Ranked #229
Retirement does not suit me and I now substitute teach in our local schools system. I spent twenty years in the military, twenty years in health care as a consultant and have taught in various colleges … more
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"Excellent intro.--readable, thoughtful."--Robin Feuer Miller, Brandeis University
"A superb scholarly text with a thought-provoking introduction. This is the finest text available. Attractively presented, the price is right and the introduction is genuinely useful for students. Excellent scholarly apparatus: incisive but not cumbersome."--Dr. A.G. Hunter, Curry College
"Excellent but not overwhelming notes, superb introductions, intelligent decisions on textual issues. I especially like the readable type and the reasonable margins for notes!"--David Holloway, Portland State University
"Doody's useful introduction . . . clarif[ies] the complexities of Austen's irony for today's readers."--Thomas A. King, Brandeis University
"Excellent intro. with a helpful bibliography. Convenient size, easy-to-read print, affordable."--Janice Cooke, University of New Orleans
"A very attractive presentation of a classical text."--Justus Rosenberg, Bard College
"An excellent value for the cost."--Ellen M. Casey, Ph.D., University of Scranton
"A most commendable publication that all undergraduates will appreciate and all graduates will esteem."--Dr. Andreas K. Poulakidas, Ball State University
"A very enlightening introductory section and an excellent selective bibliography."--Robert O'Connor, North Dakota State University
"Excellent edition."--Dr. Anne Burley, Towson State ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0141439661
ISBN-13: 978-0141439662
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin Classics

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