Sense and Sensibility


Jane Austen wrote the first draft of the novel in the form of a novel-in-letters (epistolary form) sometime around 1795 when she was about 19 years old, and gave it the title Elinor and Marianne. She later changed the form to a narrative and the title to Sense and Sensibility.[2] "Sense" in the book means good judgment or prudence, and "sensibility" means sensitivity or emotionality. "Sense" is identified with the character of Elinor, while "sensibility" is identified with the character of Marianne. By changing the title, Austen added "philosophical depth" to what began as a sketch of two characters.[3] The title of the book, and that of her next published novel, Pride and Prejudice (1813), may be suggestive of political conflicts of the 1790s.[4]

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