Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility

Classical Academy | Romantic Period | On This Day


2011 marks the 200th year of Jane Austen's captivating novel Sense and Sensibility, published by Thomas Egerton on 30th October 1811.  The book follows sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood following the death of their father as, moving to their new home, they both experience romance, heartbreak and the sense and sensibility of life and love.


Popular since its first publication, the story has everything for readers - strong and passionate heroines, comical busybodies, sharp wit, dashing gentleman and villainous swines. With some suggesting that Elinor and Marianne were intended to reflect Jane and her beloved elder sister Cassandra, it's clear that the young write intended to vindicate Elinor's self-restraint. Yet the book unfolds in a more complex way, perhaps as Austen began to have a change of heart as to whether emotionalism should triumpth over sensibility.


When Thomas Egerton of the Military Library agreed to take on the book, Austen paid for its publication (more than a third of the household income) and gave him a commission on sales. Yet, this budding writer and entrepreneur still made a profit - a sume of £140 on the first edition, which sold all 750 printed copies in less than two years.


Why not pick up a copy of Sense and Sensibility with this beautiful album as your soundtrack - a selection of music from Austen's era 1775-1817.