the Annotated Sense and Sensibility

TitleThe Annotated sense and Sensibility
Authors: Jane Austen; David Shapard (Ed.)
Genre: fiction (classic, with annotations)
ISBN: 9780307390769
Length: 709 pages
Published: 1811 (2011 for this specific edition)
Source: personal collection
Rating: 5/5

Reason for Reading: Firstly, this year marks the 200th anniversary of the original publication of Sense and Sensibility, Austen’s first published work. Secondly, it just so happened that the annotated edition of this book was also released this year. Therefore, I had multiple reasons to read it!

Summary (from Goodreads):

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: This is either my third or fourth reading of this book, but it was my first experience with the annotated edition. (I have read The Annotated P & P though.) Annotations aside, it never ceases to amaze me how much of my favorite books go forgotten by me between readings. I have this problem with Harry Potter, too. I know that the reason is because of the movies. Sense and Sensibility is a movie I watched many times before I read the book, but the rest of Austen’s books have movie versions I rarely watch, so the story stays truer in my mind.

As with The Annotated P & P, I really appreciated the notes. It cannot be easy deciding what deserves further explanation in some parts and what doesn’t. I think the biggest difference the notes made to me were in the area of Elinor and Lucy’s relationship. I had not really thought Lucy told Elinor of her engagement to Edward because she was marking her territory–it was a sort of, “Step off, bitch!” situation, according to Shapard. I, perhaps naively, simply thought that Lucy wanted to brag and boast, and picked Elinor to confide in because she was the more friendly sister of the two. I never contemplated why she chose that moment in time to tell of her secret. She easily could have been feeling him slipping away, not necessarily to anyone in particular, and therefore wanted to tell someone beside her sister so that she could further hold him to the engagement if he tried to squirm away.

Also, I was a little surprise as to how much time the ending took. Elinor and Edward get engaged with a couple chapters left, and then they’re married for almost a whole year before Marianne marries Colonel Brandon. I would not have realized that there was a whole year between those events if it hadn’t been for Shapard’s notes and timeline for the whole book.

I still have misgivings towards Willoughby. I feel much like Elinor in regards to him. I feel sorry for him, but he was quite in the wrong at the same time. The notations made me see a little clearer how much of his explanation to Elinor was to make himself look better than he was before revealing the whole story. So that makes me lean a little towards the “he’s just plain bad” side.

But I still love Mr. Palmer 🙂

“I did not know I contradicted anyone in calling your mother ill-bred.” (p310)

He’s very comical. (I love Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer in the 1995 movie.)

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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!)

From Prada to Nada — a Hispanic Sense & Sensibility [movie review]

From Prada to Nada (2011) is a modern film, using Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (book, 1811) as it’s basis.

I say that it is a Hispanic S&S because in this version of the story, the characters are all Hispanic. (Please forgive me if I am using the wrong term. I don’t know which is currently correct, Hispanic or Latino.) Nora and Mary learn to embrace their Mexican-American heritage when their father dies and they leave Beverly Hills to go live with their aunt in East LA. There is some Spanish thrown into the story and even the celebration of a Mexican holiday.

In all respects, I quite enjoyed the movie. I think it was very well adapted for a modern audience. There is no equivalent to Mrs. Dashwood in the movie, but, honestly, she doesn’t have a very important role in the book either. And there are a few other minor changes in the timeline of events, which make the flow of the movie better. The only thing I didn’t quite like is the part when Marianne/Mary finds out about Willoughby/Rodrigo’s “badness”. I admit that, when I read the book, I feel a TINY bit sorry for Willoughby–he truly loves Marianne, but he made his bed, so he has to lie in it.  But there was not even the smallest of redeeming qualities about Rodrigo–he is just made out to be a complete jackass. Oh, and I feel that Edward and Nora’s relationship in the movie was a tad rushed. I mean, when you look at how little time they spent together and then the very end you may think, “Wait a minute. How do they even know anything about each other?” Austen at least addressed this when Edward and Elinor spent a lot of time together before the Dashwood women left Norland.

I think that if you like S&S (book or other film versions), you should give this one a try. It may not go very deep, but I don’t think it’s the shallowest of movies either. It deserves a fair chance.

PS- One last thing I didn’t like (and this has nothing to do with the quality of the film or actors or anything), was that Camilla Belle (Nora) was orange. I mean, I believe that both she and Alexa Vega (Mary) may have honest Hispanic blood in their families. But either Camilla on her own or Camilla directed by people in charge of the film clearly tanned (whether for the role or herself). It honestly bugged me that it was so blatant that she is not naturally that color. At times I also thought Alexa looked like she tanned a bit, too. But she must have a better salon she goes to! Just look at the evidence for yourself and tell me that Camilla isn’t orange/yellow!!

Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, I’m sure you have heard or realized by now that 2011 marks the bicentenary of her first published work, Sense and Sensibility. I have just recently remembered that I haven’t done anything S&S-related this year! And I intended to 😦 So I think I might just have to devote a chunk of time before the year ends to focus on some S&S.

I already own The Annotated S&S (I loved The Annotated P&P, so I bought this earlier this year), so I need to read it! And, since I sort of enjoy spoofs, I also own S&S and Sea Monsters, a Quirk Book, that I want to read. (Reading The Annotated S&S will probably be the last thing I try to do. As I’ve read the original a few times already, I’d like to read the spoof and graphic novel versions first, to make sure I don’t run out of time in 2011. Plus, I actually annotated my own copy of S&S before the official published annotation came out–I have stuff written all over and papers taped into it with maps and instructions on how to play whist, etc. It was very fun to do!)

     

The thing I am most excited to read is the Marvel Comics rendition of S&S! I didn’t even know this existed! I just happened upon it while searching for images of S&S stuff. So, of course, I requested it immediately from my library 😀

(PS- They actually already have P&P and Emma in this format from Marvel, as well!)

I also intend to watch these two new movies from 2011, as they are based on S&S: