‘Sense and Sensibility’

  • F. B. Pinion
Part of the Literary Companions book series (LICOM)


This was the first of Jane Austen’ s novels to be completed in its initial form. The second version was begun in November 1797, according to her sister Cassandra, who was confident that ‘something of the same story and character had been written earlier and called Elinor and Marianne’. This was completed in 1796, before Jane began First Impressions, the original of Pride and Prejudice; her niece was certain that it was ‘first written in letters, and so read to her family’. How much it was altered before Susan was written is uncertain; internal evidence shows that a much later revision was made, and this can be assumed to have taken place at Chawton some time during 1809 – 10, for in April 1811, Jane was reading proof-sheets of Sense and Sensibility. On this, her first publication, she probably bestowed great pains; she was ‘never too busy’ to think of it at proof-stage; ‘I can no more forget it, than a mother can forget her sucking child’, she wrote (Letters, 272).


Internal Evidence Young Lady Principal Character Direct Revelation Marriage Proposal 
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  1. 1.
    See the Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen, 3rd ed., pp. 400 ff., and the article by P. B. S. Andrews in Notes and Queries, Sept. 1968.Google Scholar

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© F. B. Pinion 1973

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  • F. B. Pinion

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