Reviews for Annotated Sense and Sensibility

Book News Reviews
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first novel, was published 200 years ago. This annotated edition makes it accessible to today's readers and students. About 2,000 annotations, on everything from the rules of inheritance that could leave a wealthy man's daughters almost penniless to the fashionable cult of sensibility that Austen satirizes, appear on facing pages for easy interpretation. The notes offer explanations of historical context, definitions and clarifications, literary comments and analysis, and citations from Austen's life and other writing. Many notes refer the reader to other pages where more complete information about a topic exists. In addition to the notes, about 100 b&w historical illustrations are included of homes and buildings, dress and accessories, and outdoor and indoor scenes of daily life. An introduction gives background on Austen's life and writing, the culture of sensibility, literary trends of the period, and critical reception of her writing. The bibliography lists editions of Sense and Sensibility, other works by Jane Austen, works relating to Jane Austen, and many works of historical background in many categories. There is also a detailed chronology of events in the book. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Library Journal Reviews 2011 May #1

Shapard's third annotated edition of Austen's work follows The Annotated Pride and Prejudice and The Annotated Persuasion. As with the other volumes in the series, this one contains detailed and accessible annotations, a brief introduction, an extensive bibliography, a helpful chronology, and a series of maps, as well as copious illustrations depicting architecture, dress, landscape, and objects relevant to the text. There are other recent scholarly editions of Sense and Sensibility (e.g., the Norton Critical Edition, edited by Claudia L. Johnson), but this version will appeal to the modern reader through its facing-page annotations (eliminating the need to turn to the back of the chapter or text) and its topical bibliography on everything from outdoor sports to the fashions of the period. Austen purists may object to Shapard's invented chapter headings, while other readers may find them a useful addition. VERDICT Recommended. High school through graduate school students will find this of value; casual readers and book club members will appreciate the thorough annotations and helpful supplementary materials.--Alison M. Lewis, formerly with Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia

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