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The Annotated Sense and Sensibility

Cover of The Annotated Sense and Sensibility

The Annotated Sense and Sensibility

From the editor of the popular Annotated Pride and Prejudice comes an annotated edition of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility that makes this tale of two sisters in love an even more enjoyable read. Here is the complete text of the novel with more than 2,000 annotations on facing pages, including:

-Explanations of historical context
-Citations from Austen's life, letters, and other writings
-Definitions and clarifications
-Literary comments and analysis
-Multiple maps of England and London
-An introduction, bibliography, and detailed chronology of events
-More than 100 informative illustrations

Filled with fascinating information about everything from the rules of inheritance that could leave a wealthy man's daughters almost penniless to the fashionable cult of sensibility that Austen so brilliantly satirizes, David M. Shapard's Annotated Sense and Sensibility is an entertaining and edifying delight.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the editor of the popular Annotated Pride and Prejudice comes an annotated edition of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility that makes this tale of two sisters in love an even more enjoyable read. Here is the complete text of the novel with more than 2,000 annotations on facing pages, including:

-Explanations of historical context
-Citations from Austen's life, letters, and other writings
-Definitions and clarifications
-Literary comments and analysis
-Multiple maps of England and London
-An introduction, bibliography, and detailed chronology of events
-More than 100 informative illustrations

Filled with fascinating information about everything from the rules of inheritance that could leave a wealthy man's daughters almost penniless to the fashionable cult of sensibility that Austen so brilliantly satirizes, David M. Shapard's Annotated Sense and Sensibility is an entertaining and edifying delight.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex (1). Their estate was large (2), and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner, as to engage (3) the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper (4) in his sister. But her death, which happened ten years before his own, produced a great alteration in his home; for to supply her loss, he invited and received into his house the family of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate (5), and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it. In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old Gentleman's days were comfortably spent. His attachment to them all increased. The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from goodness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish to his existence.

    By a former marriage, Mr. Henry Dashwood had one son: by his present lady, three daughters. The son, a steady respectable young man, was amply provided for by the fortune of his mother, which had been large, and half of which devolved on him on his coming of age (6). By his own marriage, likewise, which happened soon afterwards, he added to his wealth (7). To him therefore the succession to the Norland estate was not so really important as to his sisters; for their fortune, independent of what might arise to them from their father's inheriting that property, could be but small. Their mother had nothing, and their father only seven thousand pounds in his own disposal; for the remaining moiety of his first wife's fortune was also secured to her child, and he had only a life interest in it (8).

    The old Gentleman died; his will was read, and like almost every other will, gave as much disappointment as pleasure (9). He was neither so unjust, nor so ungrateful, as to leave his estate from his nephew;--but he left it to him on such terms as destroyed half the value of the bequest. Mr. Dashwood had wished for it more for the sake of his wife and daughters than for himself or his son:--but to his son, and his son's son, a child of four years old, it was secured, in such a way, as to leave to himself no power of providing for those who were most dear to him, and who most needed a provision, by any charge on the estate (10), or by any sale of its valuable woods (11). The whole was tied up for the benefit of this child (12), who, in occasional visits with his father and mother at Norland (13), had so far gained on the affections of his uncle, by such attractions as are by no means unusual in children of two or three years old; an imperfect articulation, an earnest desire of having his own way, many cunning tricks, and a great deal of noise, as to outweigh all the value of all the attention which, for years, he had received from his niece and her daughters (14). He meant not to be unkind however, and, as a mark of his affection for the three girls, he left them a thousand pounds a-piece.

    Mr. Dashwood's disappointment was, at first, severe; but his temper was cheerful and sanguine, and he might reasonably hope to live many years, and by living economically, lay by a considerable sum from the produce of an estate already large, and capable of almost immediate improvement (15). But the fortune, which had been so tardy in coming, was his only one twelvemonth. He survived his...

About the Author-
  • Jane Austen (1775--1817) was born in Hampshire, England, where she spent most of her life. Though she received little recognition in her lifetime, she came to be regarded as one of the great masters of the English novel.

    David M. Shapard is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, The Annotated Persuasion, The Annotated Sense and Sensibility, and The Annotated Emma. He graduated with a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California at Berkeley; his specialty was the eighteenth century. Since then he has taught at several colleges. He lives in upstate New York.



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