Advent with Austen

Sense & Sensibility Readalong, Part III

Welcome to part III of the Advent with Austen Sense & Sensibility Readalong! If you’re new to Advent with Austen and want to read more/sign up to be part of the fun, read this post; if you want the schedule for Sense & Sensibility, read this post!

Part II covered 14 chapters and brought us, according to my Project Gutenberg edition, to the end of Volume 2.

Before I go any further… Happy Birthday Jane!

I couldn’t fit all the candles on the cake, but here are 200 candles in a box instead, and I’m sure you can have 2 cakes with 18 candles each to bring it up to 236.

OK, back to Sense & Sensibility.

I am struggling with this section; they’ve been in London too long, I loathe the Miss Steeles, I can tell that Lucy knows Elinor loves Edward but I don’t think Elinor knows Lucy knows?

I did feel really sorry for Marianne, ill-used as she was by Willoughby. And the subsequent revelations by Colonel Brandon… I feel like I’m reading the Wickham plotline of P&P. Anyone else now have a deep distrust of men whose names begin with W? I’m confused as to what W’s motives were – Marianne wouldn’t have eloped with him, so he would have had to marry her eventually if he wanted to carry on the relationship, but she had no money, so…

“He had left the girl whose youth and innocence he had seduced, in a situation of the utmost distress, with no creditable home, no help, no friends, ignorant of his address!”

Umm, Wickham, much?

I found Marianne’s wailing and sleeping and the-world-has-ended misery a bit much… but in keeping with her character. The relationship between the sisters is quite fun to see developing. Elinor was more emotional than I expected about Marianne’s disappointment:

“Elinor was employed in walking thoughtfully from the fire to window, from the window to the fire, without knowing that she received warmth from one, or discerning objects through the other”

I thought she would be all rational and “it’s for your own good”.

This London phase is a bit dull, really; there’s a lot of dinners and calling at people’s houses… but I am really enjoying the references to actual places in London that I know! Holburn, Conduit St, Berkeley St – I work at most of these places.

I’m also tired of all the nasty/boring/grumpy people – now we’ve been introduced to Mr Robert Ferrars:

“bestowing another glance on the Miss Dashwoods, but such a one as seemed rather to demand than express admiration,”

And John Dashwood is still really annoying:

“Having now said enough to make his poverty clear, and to do away the necessity of buying a pair of ear-rings for each of his sisters”

So I’m waiting for all of the threads to be neatly wrapped up in part 4 of the readalong!

Join in the chat below.


7 thoughts on “Sense & Sensibility Readalong, Part III”

  1. During my post I’ve written Wickham three times, when I wanted to write Willoughby, so I guess that yeah, I’m making the connection as well 🙂

    I thought that Robert Ferrars’ scenes were hilarious, from the moment we meet him choosing the tabacco case until his conversation with Elinor. Such a pompous ass!

  2. I agree, there is definitely something Wickham-y going on here! Also, I’m with you on the idea that the London bit with all the dinners etc. is a bit long. But at the same time I can see why she drags it out, perhaps to bring home the message that both Miss Dashwoods are utterly miserable (I actually get the feeling they both want to leave but feel like they can’t because whatever silly social conventions of the time) – what do you think?

    1. I’m not sure about Elinor wanting to leave; she probably does a bit (she never wanted to go in the first place) but feels obliged and is hopeful of seeing Edward even if she can’t be with him (there’s a quote about what delight to see him, what misery to see him in Lucy’s company). Marianne definitely wants out of there.

  3. I mostly look at this middle portion of S&S, outside of the great character bits of Mrs. Jennings, Mrs.Palmer, and Sir John in Chapter 32, as what has to happen to make the happiness at the end fully appreciated and possible. I do like seeing how the sisters try to help and care for each other though, even when they don’t always get it right. The love they have for each other is beautiful in its sincerity.

    My thoughts on this section of the reading are here:

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