Crossing Off Sense and Sensibility
by Charlotte Reads Classics
Oh no! A Jane Austen I didn’t enjoy! How can this be?!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I didn’t like it at all, but I am very aware that if this wasn’t an Austen I would probably be more scathing. Sense and Sensibility was first written around 1795 but wasn’t published until 1811, and from what I can remember, Austen worried that it was out of date by the time it appeared in print. Could this have something to do with my dislike? My love of classics makes this unlikely… But there must be something:
- A lack of man: Who is supposed to be the love interest in this? Where is the Wentworth / Darcy / Tilney? One man is casually engaged to the wrong woman, one man is only secretly interesting and outwardly dull, and the other man can’t even get bastardry right.
- Money: Nobody could appreciate anything or anyone in this book because they were too busy talking about how much it cost or how rich / poor they were.
There are a couple of saving graces:
- I kept reminding myself that this was satire and Jane Austen wasn’t advocating sensibility as the proper way forward.
- I liked Elinor Dashwood. Not as a full on leading lady, but enough.
I haven’t seen the Emma Thompson adaptation but I’m told it fills in a lot of gaps. I’d watch it to see if it changed my opinion at all.
My latest Austen rankings go:
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Sweeping Sense and Sensibility aside and putting it down to experience, I am moving onto Emma. The conquering of Austen is nigh.
I just read Sense and Sensibility myself. Personally I think this novel is supposed to be more about the female relationships and the females themselves than the males. The two sisters are the focus of the book rather than their love interests. I found the female relationships in this novel refreshingly accurate of some relationships I have seen today!
I agree it is quite ‘modern’ as the female relationships go, and I did chuckle at the relationship between Elinor and Lucy Steele.
“Oh no! A Jane Austen I didn’t enjoy! How can this be?!”
– Very interesting… I’ve just finished it, too, having only read Northanger Abbey by Austen, and really did not enjoy it. Some bits were fine, most were not, and judging her by S&S and NA has made me rather dread the rest. So there’s hope for me? 🙂
I’m torn now, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice I would always recommend, but the rest… no. Perhaps hope for you!
My very favorite Austen!! I ador both Elinor and Marianne and love the debate within the text, between sense and sensibility.
(I also love that you post your rankings!) 😀
You must, must, must see the Emma Thompson adaption, as well as her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards.
So sorry to see you didn’t like S & S – for me it is number 2 in line behind Persuasion as my favorite Austen. I’ll be interested to see where you rank Emma as I think it is my least favorite of them all!
Oh dear. My rankings would be very similar ro yours, but I like S & S rather more than you did. I particularly liked the focus on two sisters and their relationship.
Like Anbolyn, I would place Emma at the bottom of the pile, so I shall be very curious to see your reaction,
I hated Emma as well when I first read it. Mind you that was in high school so it probably deserves a re-read at some stage. Not looking forward to giving it another go…I found Emma to be the most annoying character!!
Okay, okay – HAD to post this:
(My favorite scene from Sense & Sensibility. D
What an all star cast! Despite not loving the book I would definitely watch this adaptation… I’ll put it on my to do list 🙂
[…] the major novels, let alone any of the short/ unfinished stuff. So here was my opportunity, and Sense and Sensibility was dusted off. As you may have read – I didn’t like it! But other people do! It is […]