Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: Sense and Sensibility
- When Written: 1790s
- Where Written: Steventon, Hampshire, England
- When Published: 1811
- Literary Period: Classicism/Romanticism
- Genre: Novel of manners
- Setting: Late 18th century England, at various country estates and in London
- Climax: Edward unexpectedly shows up to Barton Cottage, tells Elinor that his engagement with Lucy has fallen through, and proposes to her.
- Antagonist: Willoughby is in a sense the antagonist to Marianne, as he is the main barrier to her happiness for much of the novel. For Elinor, Lucy Steele fulfills this role, blocking her hopes of marrying Edward for most of the novel.
Jane Who? Austen originally published Sense and Sensibility under the pseudonym “A Lady.” It was only published under her name after her death.
Elinor and Marianne. Austen originally wrote Sense and Sensibility as an epistolary novel, i.e. a novel told through a series of letters. This early version was entitled Elinor and Marianne. Some letters still remain in Sense and Sensibility, and Elinor and Marianne are still the novel’s protagonists. But, Austen changed the novel’s title to reflect the tendencies of character that each protagonist exemplifies.