Sense and Sensibility: Authoritative Text Contexts Criticism: 0 (Norton Critical Editions)

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9780393977516: Sense and Sensibility: Authoritative Text Contexts Criticism: 0 (Norton Critical Editions)
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The text is that of the 1813 Second Edition (the origins of which can be traced back to 1795). The text is fully annotated and is accompanied by a map of nineteenth-century England. "Contexts" explores the personal and social issues that loom large in Austen's novel: sense, sensibility, self-control, judgment, romantic attachments, family, and inheritance. Included are writings by Adam Smith, Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Hannah Moore, and Maria Edgeworth. "Criticism" collects six early and twelve modern assessments of the novel. Contributors include Alice Meynell, Reginald Farrer, Jan Fergus, Raymond Williams, Marilyn Butler, Mary Povey, Claudia L. Johnson, Gene Ruoff, Patricia Meyer Spacks, Isobel Armstrong, Mary Favret, Deidre Shauna Lynch, Eve Sedgwick, and Deborah Kaplan. A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included.

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Though not the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen published. Though she initially called it Elinor and Marianne, Austen jettisoned both the title and the epistolary mode in which it was originally written, but kept the essential theme: the necessity of finding a workable middle ground between passion and reason. The story revolves around the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Whereas the former is a sensible, rational creature, her younger sister is wildly romantic--a characteristic that offers Austen plenty of scope for both satire and compassion. Commenting on Edward Ferrars, a potential suitor for Elinor's hand, Marianne admits that while she "loves him tenderly", she finds him disappointing as a possible lover for her sister:

Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!
Soon, however, Marianne meets a man who measures up to her ideal: Mr Willoughby, a new neighbour. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behaviour begins to border on the scandalous. Then Willoughby abandons her; meanwhile, Elinor's growing affection for Edward suffers a check when he admits he is secretly engaged to a childhood sweetheart. misfortunes and the lessons they draw before coming finally to the requisite happy ending forms the heart of the novel. Though Marianne's disregard for social conventions and willingness to consider the world well-lost for love may appeal to modern readers, it is Elinor whom Austen herself most evidently admired; a truly happy marriage, she shows us, exists only where sense and sensibility meet and mix in proper measure. --Alix Wilber, Amazon.com

Review:

"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
--Eudora Welty

"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
Eudora Welty"

"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
Eudora Welty"

"As nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
--Eudora Welty

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780141439662: Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics)

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Publisher: Penguin Books, 2004
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