Sense and Sensibility: Back to Classics Challenge 2013


This is the first in the Back to Classics challenge that I’m taking on this year. For the 19th Century Classic I picked Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.


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.


I think I should admit that this is the first Jane Austen book I have read. I’ve wanted to read more classics for a long time now, so this challenge was the perfect starting point.

Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811 and was Jane Austen’s debut. The story follows the lives of the two older Dashwood sisters Elinor and Marianne. The sisters, as mentioned in the synopsis, are completely different to one another. Elinor, the elder of the two, is refined, Marianne is more uninhibited and doesn’t really care what people think of her. Of course, gentlemen are highly involved in the story and the sisters encounter many dramas along the way.

Sense and Sensibility isn’t a very complex novel. Jane Austen clearly commentates on the way people were and what was expected of high class females in 19th Century England. I found the beginning incredibly slow, but once I had got into it more I began to enjoy it. I found the character of Marianne to be completely over the top but Jane still made the character believable. Jane’s observations of human nature are still relevant today. Sense and Sensibility is an easy enough read, but for me, it’s not a memorable book at all.

Reading next:
Magic Under Glass- Jaclyn Dolamore

5 thoughts on “Sense and Sensibility: Back to Classics Challenge 2013

  1. Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite novels. 🙂 I also read it for my first 19th Century classic for Back to the Classics! Perhaps you should watch one of the movies? The BBC one is 3 hours and covers all the important aspects of the story. 🙂

  2. I read Pride and Prejudice for the Back to the Classics Challenge and someone recommended Sense and Sensibility to me. I may still read it but seems like with Austen’s books you find that one character that you can relate to and helps you enjoy (or tolerate the boring parts) the book. For me, that was Anne in Persuasion so I laughed out loud and loved that book. P&P didn’t have quite the same impact on me but I enjoyed the end. I was determined to make it through it this time though! I will have to check out the movies, seems like many people recommend watching the movie to help appreciate the book (seems like it should be the other way around). Anyway, looking forward to seeing what else you read for this challenge!

  3. As a longtime Austen fan, I’ve read S&S many times, and I must say that the older I get, the more I like and understand Marianne. I remember the first time I read S&S I was about her age (16/17), and I thought she was ridiculous. Now, I’m much more sympathetic. That said, Elinor is my homebase.

    Glad you gave S&S a try–you might consider Pride & Prejudice next, which is definitely most people’s favorite, if you want to give Austen another go.

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