Sense and Sensibility: Episode 1, Chapters 1-5

In this episode, we read the first five chapters of Sense and Sensibility. We give a brief publishing history, and talk about the themes of sense and sensibility, the lack of dialogue in the first chapter, how much money the Dashwoods have, the emphasis on caring about the arts, how very young the girls are, and the lack of presentation of Edward.

We discuss the characters of John and Fanny Dashwood, then Ellen talks about wills and marriage settlements, and Harriet gives an overview of the popular culture adaptations, modernisations, continuations and variations on the book.

Things we mention:


Adaptations of the book:

Modernisations of the book:

Variations on the book:

Creative commons music used:

1 thought on “<em>Sense and Sensibility</em>: Episode 1, Chapters 1-5”

  1. So glad to see this back!
    I was interested to hear your comment that John Dashwood was a ‘villain’ because of the enclosure situation.
    What about the fact that he broke a death bed promise to his dad and was perfectly fine with his stepmother and half sisters living in poverty?
    He shared a house with them for several months and must have overheard them talk about having to dispose of their possessions or the cost of the places they are looking at and yet he never feels guilty or offers to help.
    Maybe they are too proud to come right out and ask him but surely tactless Marianne would be ok with saying ‘we really liked the sound of XXX but it’s just TOO EXPENSIVE for us.’
    He has his mother’s inheritance as well as the income from Norland. Overrule Fanny and slip them some cash!
    And I find the lack of social stricture strange.
    Wasn’t there anyone to take him aside and point out he should be helping his family more? Noone in his circles condemns him or finds it in the least strange that he’s chucked his stepmother and half sisters out onto the world without an extra penny.


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