Thursday, 14 April 2011

Sense & Sensibility's 200th Anniversary

2011 marks the milestone 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, and to help celebrate, I'll be making sure that it's on my reading list for this year. I can honestly never decide which of Jane Austen's novels is my favourite. Like many readers, I find Mansfield Park difficult to get on with (or rather, Fanny Price, the story's heroine), but between the others, I'm always torn. Sense & Sensibility is as beautifully written and observed as any other Austen work, but I confess to holding a really soft spot for Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. I've also long promoted the cause of Colonel Brandon - often sniffed at as Marianne's eventual husband - but really, Willoughby (though dashing) is not to my taste at all...too preening and arrogant by far.

"They sang together."

As well as celebrating Miss Austen with an inaugural reading, I also wanted to celebrate on this blog by sharing a discovery: Irish illustrator Hugh Thomson. During the late nineteenth century, he created a series of beautifully thought out drawings to accompany Jane Austen's works, and an edition of Sense & Sensibility, which feature them can be found, in entirety on Project Gutenberg.

"Listening at the door."

The costumes are late eighteenth century in style, with a heavy dose of Victorian styling, but it's the expressions of the characters that Thomson manages to truly capture, and a wonderful way to mark 200 years of the timeless story of Sense & Sensibility.

All Hugh Thomson images courtesy of Project Gutenberg.


  1. 200th anniversary? Really? It seems like yesterday ;-D I think I should put that on my ever expanding reading list...Those illustrations look great, expecially the top one. I hope you're well and have better luck than me ;-) xo

  2. It is 200 years already... Time flies. I too cannot decide which one is my favourite.

  3. What a landmark - 200th anniversary!
    I am mad about Jane Austen's work - seen all the films and read all the books. I adore these illustrations, too. Warmly hope you are well. XX

  4. Carole - Glad to see someone else has an ever-expanding reading list, too. I'm very well thanks! Will send you an explanatory email as soon as I can! x

    Ingrid - It's always a tough decision. I think there's an Austen for every mood, so Mansfield Park aside, they're all my favourites...

    Fashion, Art... - So glad you like these drawings. They're all so well observed! :)