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Library Journal Review
Austen's novels (e.g., Pride and Prejudice, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/1/92) have lately received so much well-deserved media attention that another version of her first novel, in yet another format, may appear redundant to persons not sufficiently acquainted with the author's charms. However, for her many admirers, both present and future, this new audiobook is a treasure, thanks to a superb reading by actress Susannah Harker. The talented narrator is an ideal interpreter of Austen's delightful paean to the virtue of sense as she traces the struggles of her young heroines to achieve happiness. Harker skillfully captures each character's personality through subtle inflection, and she keenly, yet unobtrusively, underscores the author's delicious irony. With a reading of such quality, the romantic predicaments of the Miss Dashwoods become all-absorbing and the hours fly by too quickly. Most highly recommended for all libraries.-Sister M. Anna Falbo, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Spacks (emer., Univ. of Virginia) has a history of editing and teaching the classics of literature. She has edited several Norton anthologies, as well as other novels by Austen. This annotated edition posits that the sisters, Marianne and Elinor, are not opposites as they are often portrayed, but rather are both composed of imperfect combinations of sense and sensibility, an imbalance that diminishes, but does not resolve, by the end of the novel. Spacks also suggests that the men they marry are not truly providing a happy ending for the sisters, but merely allowing them to make the best of a bad situation, trapped as they are by want of money and power. Extensive footnotes provide definitions of words; explanations of money, history, and culture at the time of writing and original publication; popular cultural perception and interpretations of the novel; and current trends in academic discourse. The volume includes gorgeous color photos--movie stills, contemporaneous works of art, and sketches from earlier illustrated editions. Clearly a masterwork of Austen scholarship, this edition of Sense and Sensibility is based on a great deal of knowledge and love of the topic. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. R. Stone College of Mt. St. Joseph