The poor Dashwood sisters—deprived of their rightful living, they are forced to leave their home and live sparingly. Marianne is passionate and impulsive, Elinor is calm and contemplative. In typical Jane Austen style, Sense and Sensibility is not just about the story itself, it is also a comment on the society in which its author lived. Is there any better social critic than Austen? I’m always amazed by the way she subtly weaves observations and critiques into an engrossing story. She is a master at creating characters you care about and root for but who are human and fallible. Each year Harvard University Press publishes a gorgeous annotated Jane Austen. This year’s Sense and Sensibility ($35) is not to be missed by Austen fans. As always, the annotations add layers of understanding and context to Austen’s story. If you are collecting these, as I am, you will want to add this one to your collection.
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