by Jane Austen | Grades 9-12 | Lexile 810
In 1811, Jane Austen’s first published work, Sense and Sensibility, marked the debut of England’s premier novelist of manners. Believing that “3 or 4 families in a country village is the very thing to work on,” she created a brilliant tragicomedy of flirtation and folly. Romantic walks through lush Devonshire and genteel dinner parties at a stately manor draw two pretty sisters into the schemes and manipulations of landed gentry determined to marry wisely and well. Neither sense nor sensibility can guarantee happiness for either—as romantic Marianne falls prey to a dangerous rascal, and reasonable Elinor loses her heart to a gentleman already engaged. Wonderfully entertaining yet subtle and probing in its characterizations, Sense and Sensibility richly displays the supreme artistry of a great English novelist.