In 1811, Sense and Sensibility became the first published novel "by a lady" whom the world would come to know as Jane Austen (1775-1817). Perhaps to maintain her privacy, Austen published all her books anonymously and no one, apart from immediate family, would know who the "lady" was until after her death in 1817.
Today Sense and Sensibility is often overshadowed by Jane Austen's other works, such as Pride and Prejudice, which was published next and coincidentally is The Quintessentially English Jane Austen Book Club's book for July. However that doesn't mean Sense and Sensibility should be ignored. I found it a perfectly enjoyable read about two very different sisters and the social conventions of the time.
Mr. Dashwood has died, leaving his wife and three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) with very little income. Inheritance went to the eldest son in those days and Mr. Dashwood hoped the son from his first marriage, John, would look after his stepmother and half-sisters. However, John Dashwood is a half-wit and is easily manipulated by his wife to believe his "family" will be perfectly fine without any contributions from him.
Which brings me to one final point, what was the point of Margaret? Margaret who you might justifiably ask. Margaret, the daughter I mentioned in one of the first paragraphs and never mentioned again. Pretty much exactly what Jane Austen did with Margaret but worse, because Austen forgot to write about her for pretty much the entire book. Oh I'm sorry, you're right, there was that one line at the end in which she states that Mrs. Jennings is happy because now Margaret is of marrying age. Congratulations Austen, you could have saved yourself some ink for all the use she was in Sense and Sensibility.
Q: What did you think of Sense and Sensibility? Will you be joining us in July to read Pride and Prejudice?