Gifts for Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

My first thoughts as I read this were “this is better than Pride and Prejudice.” Of course, I suspect this is because I read P&P in high school and kept interrupting the book to take the required notes. I also read P&P nearly 10 years ago, so that could say something, too.

Anyway. I love how snarky Jane Austen is in this book (and I assume her others). I really need to read a biography on her to see how her snarkiness hurt or helped her in real life.

I read an early passage to my boyfriend that made him put his hand over my mouth to quiet me. It was Marianne (age 17) talking about Colonel Brandon (age 35) being essentially way too old to even think of marriage. “Colonel Brandon is certainly younger than Mrs Jennings, but he is old enough to be my father; and if he were ever animated enough to be in love, he must have long outlived every sensation of the kind. It is too ridiculous!”. Of course, my boyfriend is 45 while I’m 26. Marianne has something to say about my age, too. “A woman of seven and twenty…can never hope to feel or inspire affection again, and if her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, I can suppose she might bring herself to submit to the offices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife. In his marrying such a woman therefore there would be nothing unsuitable. It would be a compact of convenience, and the world would be satisfied. In my eyes it would be no marriage at all, but that would be nothing. To me it would seem only a commercial exchange, in which each wished to be benefited at the expense of the other.”

My boyfriend didn’t like to hear that one either.

My only complaint about this book is that Colonel Brandon’s feelings towards Marianne are only seen from a 3rd person perspective and we don’t get to see much of Marianne’s changing feelings towards him.

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