Sense and Sensibility, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Context 5

Summary 6

Characters 7

Colonel Brandon 7

Mrs. Dashwood 7

Elinor Dashwood 7

Henry Dashwood 7

Fanny Dashwood 7

John Dashwood 7

Margaret Dashwood 7

Marianne Dashwood 7

Mrs. Ferrars 7

Edward Ferrars 7

Robert Ferrars 8

Miss Sophia Grey 8

Mrs. Jennings 8

Lady Middleton 8

Sir John Middleton 8

Mr. Thomas Palmer 8

Mrs. Charlotte Palmer 8

Anne Steele 8

Lucy Steele 8

John Willoughby 8

Themes with Supporting Quotations 9

Women and Femininity 9

Society and Class 11

Love 13

Language and Communication 18

Marriage 24

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans 29

Analysis 36

Sample Answers 37

Critics have claimed that the whole plot of Sense and Sensibility depends on the tension between what is concealed and what is shared with others--the private and the public. Do you agree with this statement? 37

What were the advantages and disadvantages of Austen's decision to publish this novel anonymously? 38

Style in Sense and Sensibility 39

Irony in Sense and Sensibility 40

Critical Reception of Sense and Sensibility 41

Context

In 1811, Sense and Sensibility became the first published novel of the English author Jane Austen (1775-1817). The first version of the novel was probably written in 1795 as an epistolary novel (novel in letters) entitled "Elinor and Marianne." At this point, Austen was still living in the home of her father, George Austen, a local Anglican rector and the father of eight children. She rewrote the early manuscript in 1797-98 as a narrated novel and then further revised it in 1809-10, shortly after she moved with her mother and sister Cassandra to a small house in Chawton on her brother Edward's estate. In 1811, Thomas Egerton of the Military Library in Whitehall accepted the manuscript for publication in three volumes. Austen published on commission, meaning she paid the expenses of printing the book and took the receipts, subject to a commission paid to the publisher. The cost of publication was more than...

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