Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen

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"Sense and Sensibility" is a novel by Jane Austen that was published anonymously in three volumes in 1811 and that became a classic. The satirical and comic work offers a vivid depiction of 19th-century middle-class life as it follows the romantic relationships of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.

The novel is about the Dashwood family of Sussex, England. They live in comfort and luxury at their home, Norland, until the death of Mr. Henry Dashwood. His wife and three daughters suddenly lose almost everything. Although Elinor and Marianne, the two eldest daughters, are opposite in every way, they find love even in the midst of adversity and loss.

At the beginning of the story, we see the Dashwood family right at the loss of Mr. Henry Dashwood. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, a younger sister of 13. As English law of the day dictates, women could not inherit property, and so all that the girls have known is bequeathed to Mr. Henry Dashwood's son from his first marriage, Mr. John Dashwood. John is fairly good-natured, but easily manipulated by his 'narrow-minded and selfish' wife. The three girls inherit a thousand pounds each, but they are dependent on John to provide for them any additional money they might need. However, John's wife, Fanny, slowly manipulates him into giving the girls very little on which to survive. This situation is the origin of the events to come...
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