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was first written around 1795 but wasn’t published until 1811, and from what I can remember, Austen worried that it was out of date by the time it appeared in print.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:

Northanger Abbey
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Mansfield Park

Sweeping Sense and Sensibility aside and putting it down to experience, I am moving onto Emma. The conquering of Austen is nigh.