Sense and Sensibility
, published in 1811, is a British romance novel
by Jane Austen
, her first published work under the pseudonym, "A Lady." Jane Austen is considered a pioneer of the romance genre of novels, and for the realism portrayed in her novels, is one of the most widely read writers in English literature. A work of romantic fiction, Sense and Sensibility
is set in southwest England in 1792 through 1797, and portrays the life and loves of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor
, daughters of their father Henry's second wife, Mrs. Dashwood. The sisters are starkly different from each other; Elinor is the epitome of prudence and self-control while Marianne embodies emotion and enthusiasm. Elinor, Marianne, and their younger sister, Margaret, are left in reduced circumstances when their father dies and his estate is passed onto their half-brother, John. The novel follows the young ladies to their new home, a meager cottage on a distant relative's property, where they experience love, romance and heartbreak. The philosophical resolution of the novel is ambiguous: the reader must decide whether sense and sensibility have truly merged. (more...
(22 December 1761 - April 1813), then Eliza de Feuillide
after her first marriage, to a French nobleman in 1781
, and later Eliza Austen
after her second marriage in 1797, was the cousin of novelist Jane Austen
Fourteen years older than her sister Jane, Eliza was the daughter of George Austen’s sister Philadelphia, who had gone to India to marry Tysoe Saul Hancock in 1753.
With her glamorous personality, Eliza Hancock is believed to have been inspirational for a number of Austen's works, such as Love and Freindship (sic), Henry and Eliza, Lady Susan and Mansfield Park, and she may have been the model from whom the character of Mary Crawford is derived. (more...)