Sense and Sensibility by JA–a graphic rendition

TitleSense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen (Nancy Butler, writer)
Illustrator: Sonny Liew
Genre: graphic novel/fiction (classic)
ISBN: 9780785148197
Length: 120 pages
Published: 2010
Source: public library
Rating: 5/5
Resolutions/Challenges: none

Reason for Reading: 2011 marks the bicentenary of the publication of Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility. So I’m trying to focus a bit of time on S&S. So far I’ve watched a new film, called From Prada to Nada (review here), which puts a Hispanic twist on the story. I’ve thought for a while that it’d be interesting to read a graphic novel version of Jane Austen’s works. So I looked into it and found that Marvel comics was publishing the books as a comic series, then publishing the whole book at the end 😀

Summary (from Goodreads):

‘The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

My Thoughts: I loved this story as a graphic novel! I think any Austenite out there should give this one a try. Especially if you think you’d like a nice break from the original S&S or any of its spoofs. There were a few major differences from the original story, such as Mrs. Dashwood and Elinor being presented as much more confrontational and confident (respectively). Oh, and also that romantic moment when Colonel Brandon rescues a certain person–not in this one 😦

I realized when I read this that I don’t necessarily think that Austen is someone everyone should read. I was thinking of the possibility that this was published to get younger readers more interested in some classics. But I actually prefer it as a way for Austen lovers to get another way of experiencing Austen, not as a way to attract more readers. I tried reading Austen when I was younger. But I wasn’t mature enough as a reader to appreciate her stories until I was 17.

Thoughts on the Artistic Style: This was definitely made to look like a cartoon. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually quite liked it. I especially loved that Fanny always looked as if she were sucking on a lemon 🙂

Below are a few pages as examples of the style (and also to display Mrs. Dashwood’s confrontational side and Elinor’s confident side, both of which I think were liberties taken on the story).
(I apologize for the crappy-ness of the scans my printer made!)


4 thoughts on “Sense and Sensibility by JA–a graphic rendition

  1. I am not usually one for graphic novels but I think this would be an exception. Sense and Sensibility is the only Austen that I didn’t love, so maybe this could change my opinion.

  2. bookworm says:

    Oh this looks interesting. I don’t care much for graphic novels but if anything could make me change my mind it would be a Jane Austen graphic novel. Do you know if there are similar renditions for her other works?

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