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1811, by Jane Austen
The novel follows the three Dashwood sisters as they must move with their widowed mother from the estate on which they grew up, Norland Park. Because Norland is passed down to John, the product of Mr. Dashwood's first marriage, and his young son, the four Dashwood women need to look for a new home. They have the opportunity to rent a modest home, Barton Cottage, on the property of a distant relative, Sir John Middleton. There Elinor and Marianne experience love, romance, and heartbreak.
The main theme in this novel is the danger of excessive sensibility. Austen is concerned with the prevalence of the "sensitive" attitude in the romantic novel which, after the 1760s, turned to emphasizing the emotional and sentimental nature of people rather than, as before, their rational endowments.
Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Edward Ferrars, John Willoughby, Colonel Brandon, Henry Dashwood, Mrs Dashwood, Margaret Dashwood, John Dashwood, Fanny Dashwood, Sir John Middleton, Lady Middleton , Mrs Jennings, Robert Ferrars, Mrs Ferrars, Charlotte Palmer, Thomas Palmer, Lucy Steele, Anne "Nancy" Steele
"Sense" means good judgment, wisdom, or prudence, and "sensibility" means sensitivity, sympathy, or emotionality. Elinor is described as a character with great "sense" (although Marianne, too, is described as having sense), and Marianne is identified as having a great deal of "sensibility" (although Elinor, too, feels deeply, without expressing it as openly). By changing the title, Austen added "philosophical depth" to what began as a sketch of two characters.
The novel, which sold out its first print run of 750 copies in the middle of 1813, marked a success for its author. It had a second print run later that year. It was the first Austen title to be republished in England after her death, and the first illustrated Austen book produced in Britain, in Richard Bentley's Standard Novels series of 1833. The novel has been in continuous publication since 1811, and has many times been illustrated, excerpted, abridged, and adapted for stage, film, and television.
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”
“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”
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