"Sense and Sensibility" is an emotionally powerful, beautifully written
tale about two very different sisters, and the rocky road to finding a
lasting love. As you can imagine, there are romantic problems aplenty
for both of them -- along with the usual entailment issues, love
triangles, sexy bad boys and societal scandals. Austen writes in such a
romantic way that you wish you could be there in person to experience
every word, and now you can!
When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies, leaving all his money to his first wife's son John Dashwood, his second wife and her three daughters are left with no permanent home and very little income. Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret are invited to stay with their distant relations, the Middletons, at Barton Park.
Stuck in a modest rural cottage, the eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, despair over their prospects for society or marriage. However, they soon discover many new acquaintances, including the retired officer and bachelor Colonel Brandon, and the gallant and impetuous John Willoughby, who rescues Marianne after she twists her ankle running down the hills of Barton in the rain.
Practical Elinor, silently pining over a romance that never had the chance to blossom, tries to steady her flighty, energetic sister, as Marianne is swept off of her feet by dashing country gentleman, John Willoughby. As passions are flamed, the "sensible", or highly sensitive, Marianne must learn to look hard at the man who seems like a perfect match. But Elinor, whose "sense," or caution, prevents her from expressing her deeply-felt emotions, must learn to believe that, against all hope, love may still find its way back to her.
Book in Detail
Characters To Personalise
Henry Dashwood - The father of John Dashwood and, by a second marriage, of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret Dashwood. He dies in the opening chapter of the novel and bequeaths his estate at Norland to his son, leaving his wife and daughters impoverished.
Mrs. Dashwood - The kind and loving mother of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret and second wife to Henry Dashwood. She has inherited no fortune of her own but wants the best for her daughters and shares Marianne's romantic sensibilities.
Elinor Dashwood - The nineteen-year-old eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood and the heroine of Austen's novel. Elinor is composed but affectionate, both when she falls in love with Edward Ferrars and when she comforts and supports her younger sister Marianne.
Edward Ferrars - The sensible and friendly older brother of Fanny Dashwood and Robert Ferrars. He is shy, kind, and retiring, preferring a quiet life to the distinction that his mother and sister wish for him. Edward develops a close relationship with Elinor while staying at Norland and ultimately marries her, after he is freed from a four-year secret engagement to Lucy Steele.
Marianne Dashwood - The seventeen-year-old second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood. Marianne's spontaneity, excessive sensibility, and romantic idealism lead her to fall in love with the debaucherous John Willoughby, though he painfully spurns her, causing her to finally recognise her misjudgment of him. After this turn of heart, she ultimately marries her long-standing admirer, Colonel Brandon.
John Dashwood – Mr Dashwood’s only son, he is selfish and the money-grubbing heir to the Norland estate. At his wife Fanny's suggestion, he leaves his mother and sisters with very little money and remains largely unconcerned for their welfare.
Margaret Dashwood - The thirteen-year-old, good-humored youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood, Margaret shares her sister Marianne's romantic tendencies. She is included in most social invitations that the Dashwoods are invited to, though she is neither a child nor an adult, which is perhaps an awkward position for her.
Colonel Brandon - A retired officer and friend of Sir John Middleton who falls in love with Marianne Dashwood and acts kindly, honorably, and graciously towards the Dashwoods throughout the novel. Colonel Brandon is the affluent suitor and eventual husband of Marianne Dashwood.
Fanny Dashwood - The selfish, snobbish, and manipulative wife of John Dashwood and the sister of Edward and Robert Ferrars.