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Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
By: (1775-1817)

Two sisters, one practical and full of commonsense, the other a passionate and emotional creature, an uncaring brother and his avaricious wife, a handsome rake and a faithful gentleman – these are some of the unforgettable characters who make Jane Austen's first published novel, Sense and Sensibility such a delightful, witty and timeless classic.

The novel was published under the pseudonym “A Lady” by its shy and retiring nineteen-year-old author, Jane Austen, in 1811. She was the daughter of a country rector and lived all her life in the circle of her large and loving family in a little village in Hampshire, England. There is very little autobiographical material available about her, as her well-meaning relatives burned and destroyed most of her diaries and letters after her death.

Sense and Sensibility is a charming story of two sisters who see life from two very different viewpoints. When their father suddenly dies, leaving his entire estate to their half-brother John, the sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, their mother and youngest sister Margaret are thrown at the financial mercy of John and his mean-minded wife, Fanny. Mrs Dashwood and her daughters soon realize that they are not welcome at their former home Norland Hall. Fanny's brother Edward Ferrars, who is quite different from his greedy and graceless sister, arrives and begins to form an attachment to Elinor, which is violently opposed by Fanny. Mrs Dashwood is hurt and bewildered, but finally realizes that they have no option but to leave. They move to Devonshire, where Mrs Dashwood's cousin, Sir John Middleton welcomes them and helps them to find suitable lodgings. While out walking one rainy evening, Marianne suffers a small accident and is rescued by the suave and dashing John Willoughby. She falls passionately in love with him.

The story takes several interesting twists and turns, driven by the opposing natures of the two sisters. More than two hundred years after publication, this delightful tale still manages to capture the reader's imagination as it echoes universal truths of passion, love, social status and ethics. Sense and Sensibility is a coming of age novel, marked by Jane Austen's deliciously ironic and sharp wit and famously under-stated style that will certainly appeal to modern-day readers.

First Page:

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen (1811) CHAPTER 1 The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister. But her death, which happened ten years before his own, produced a great alteration in his home; for to supply her loss, he invited and received into his house the family of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate, and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it. In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old Gentleman's days were comfortably spent. His attachment to them all increased. The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from goodness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish to his existence... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 10 reviews)

Reviewer: - July 18, 2014
Thank you for this service. Perhaps some quality control should be put in place. Mrs. Dashwoods voice make it difficult to listen. Col Brandon come across as much older than 35 years. These narration have ruined this. I'll get a CD set from the public library.
Reviewer: - July 9, 2014
Love the narrator, but yes, Mrs Dashwood is a tad irksome. Is it just me, or does Arielle Lipshaw (Marianne)sound just like Emma Watson?!
Reviewer: - May 7, 2014
Wow. I love this book. My few complaints are that Mrs. Dashwood sounds like a badly programmed robot; Colonel Brandon has a really old-sounding voice; Mrs. Jennings sounds like she used a potato as a recorder; and Willoughby has a strange accent. But the rest, like the narrator and Marianne sound great. Love this book soooo much.
Reviewer: - February 5, 2014
Subject: Sense and Sensibility
Mrs. Dashwood's voice is VERY odd. I can't listen to what she's saying because all I think about is how irritating her cadence and inflections are.
October 7, 2013
Mrs Dashwood's voice is RIDICULOUS. How did that get approved to be published?
Reviewer: - October 2, 2013
Subject: Sense and Sensibility
I can no longer listen to this book. Oh My Goodness!! Mrs. Dashwood and her odd inflections at the end of a sentence. There are some characters who are easy to understand and others who are so difficult. I made it to chapter 17 and had had enough. The only redeeming quality is I love the Book. Not this reading of it.
Reviewer: - September 30, 2013
Subject: Sense & Sensibility
Why is Mrs. Dashwood's voice like this!! Horrible reading for Mrs. Dashwood :( Love the story but her voice is ruining it for me.
Reviewer: - September 20, 2013
Subject: Sense & Sensibility
Thankful for this service, but Mrs. Dashwood sounds like Mrs. Stepford - so weird!
Reviewer: - September 15, 2013
The reader for Mrs. Dashwood (the girls' mother) uses strange intonation, and Colonel Brandon's voice sounds much older than 35 (maybe 75), which I had to consciously ignore. However, it wasn't too difficult to get past this, and the narrator and other readers are excellent! Overall, fantastic version. Thank you all so much for recording this!
Reviewer: - September 8, 2013
Mrs. Dashwood's narrator makes me want to punch kittens. I'm baffled by it. She ends every statement with the same cadence and is unnatural throughout.


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