I have been told often and much of the merits of the Jane Austen books, of their delicate femininity and beauty. So at last, I decided that I wanted to see if the reports were true. I bought Sense and Sensibilty .
The story is about the Dashwood sisters, their romances and their follies. Elinor, the eldest, is a wise girl, more level-headed than any of the rest of her family. Marianne is a few years younger, with a intense and loving heart. They live in the perfect setting for timeless romance: an English cottage in the beautiful and quaint English countryside of rolling hills, downs and dew. Now that I have got that in your head, dear reader, here are the romances. Elinor, who is cautious to a fault, though not wholly without heart, has found herself falling hesitantly in love with Edward Ferrars, an equally quiet young man. Though no real, legal attatchement occurs, everybody, even Elinor, are sure of the impending marriage of the two. For Marianne’s part, she falls passionately in love with the handsome and heroic John Willoughby, and it seems that he truly loves her in return. The two girls’s story is full of twists and turns, unexpected incidents and rivalry.
I was simply not expecting a lesson in the wisdom of courtship from this book, but there was one, and that surprised me quite a lot. Although it is not overt, the "moral" (if you must picture me as Mary Bennet, you must) is that a wise mentor to help guide you through the most important decision of your life is most definitely not to be scoffed at. The Dashwood sisters had no wise person to counsel them as to their courtships, the only interested, qualified people in their lives were just as impressionable and gullible as themselves. This made me realize that because not everybody is going to have a wise person to counsel them, having one should truly be counted as a blessing.
This book was Jane Austen's first novel, and as such I found that it often had trouble moving forward. Especially in comparison to Pride and Prejudice (which Austen herself called "her own darling child"). It tends to feel as if it is dragging in some places. However, this does not take away from the overall slendidly colorful portrait of regency England.