The History of Literature #388 – Sense and Sensibility

388 Sense and Sensibility

“I am never too busy to think of S&S,” Jane Austen wrote to her sister, referring to her 1811 novel by its initials, “I can no more forget it, than a mother can forget her suckling child.” Sense & Sensibility was Jane Austen’s first published novel. First begun when she was in the throes of her doomed dalliance with Thomas Lefroy, the novel contains the familiar Austen project of a Hero, a Heroine, a Search for Love, and the Obstacle Called Money. In this case, the heroines are two sisters named Elinor and Marianne, representing the “sense” (prudence, restraint) and “sensibility” (passion, impulsiveness) of the title.

In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the writing of Sense & Sensibility; the still common themes contained within this classic novel; and the 1995 film adaptation, in which Emma Thompson, herself in the midst of an Austen-like entanglement, nevertheless drives a shiv into Jacke’s battered old heart.

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