In honor of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s first published novel, Laurel Ann of Austenprose is hosting ‘The Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge 2011‘.
As Sense and Sensibility is one of my six favorite novels by Jane Austen, I’ll be joining. I’m going for the ‘Disciple’ level (5-8 selections). I look forward to reading and reviewing these books throughout this year.
Stating simply that it was “By a Lady”, Sense and Sensibility was the first of Jane Austen’s novels to be published. Jane Austen first wrote Sense and Sensibility in epistolary form. At that time — sometime 1795-1797 — it was called Elinor and Marianne. She later rewrote it and it was published in 1811 — 200 years ago.
In April 1811, Sense and Sensibility was in the hands of a publisher, Thomas Egerton of the Military Library publishing house in London. On April 25, Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra,
I am never too busy to think of S. and S. I can no more forget it than a mother can forget her sucking child; and I am much obliged to you for your inquiries. I have had two sheets to correct, but the last only brings us to Willoughby’s first appearance. Mrs. K. regrets in the most flattering manner that she must wait till May, but I have scarcely a hope of its being out in June. Henry does not neglect it; he has hurried the printer, and says he will see him again to-day.
(The rest of this letter can be found on The Republic of Pemberley)
The story follows the lives of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, and their sisterly devotion to each other. Displaced from their home by the death of their father, they move to Barton Cottage with their mother and younger sister. Although they each fall in love with a man that, for different reasons, they are unable to marry, they have very different ways of dealing with their grief. Throughout their troubles, they each grow in character, and, in their different ways, find happiness.
I am definitely planning on reading these five books:
Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma (Readers’ Guides to Essential Criticism), by Annika Bautz (ISBN: 0230517137)
The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film, by Emma Thompson (ISBN: 1557042926) — See my review.
I would commit to reading/watching these, only I’m not certain that I will be able to get ahold of them. However, if I can get them, I will read and review them along with the others I listed above.
The Annotated Sense and Sensibility, edited by David M. Shapard (ISBN: 0307390764)
If I am able to procure all of these selections, I will have read through Sense and Sensibility three times this year!
Make sure you visit Austenprose for details about the Challenge and for Laurel Ann’s monthly reviews of the books and movies that she is reading/watching. Her reviews are enjoyable. They are one of the reasons that her blog has become my favorite Jane Austen-related website. She will be hosting giveaways each month as well, so there are plenty of incentives for sticking around. The deadline for signing up is March 1, 2011.