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