Sense & Sensibility
Publisher: The Copyright Group Ltd.
Date: May 2017
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes
In Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen comments on the financial situation of women. Elinor and Marianne are virtually penniless in a world where the 'marriage market' is largely governed by money. They lose their home on their father's death ? as did the author herself ? and receive more kindness from strangers than they do from their own brother. This means they are forced to accept the hospitality and company of those they would rather avoid, but despite such 'hardships', they maintain their dignity throughout.
1.Displacement - Chivalry and romance. Following Henry Dashwood's death, his widow and daughters Elinor, Marianne and Margaret lose their home to John, the son from his first marriage. John's wife Fanny persuades him not to assist the women financially, thus forcing them to move to Barton Cottage in Devonshire, which is offered to them by Sir John Middleton, a distant relative. Here, they meet Colonel Brandon, a friend of the family. Out walking one day, Marianne sprains her ankle and is carried home by a stranger, John Willoughby. He courts her, and her family await their engagement.
2. A Secret Engagement - Perplexing behaviour - A favour asked. Marianne indecorously visits Willoughby's home, giving rise to gossip. However, he is suddenly called away, much to her distress. Edward Ferrars, Fanny's brother and Elinor's friend, visits the Dashwoods, but he is cool towards Elinor. A few weeks later, the Middletons introduce Marianne and Elinor to the Misses Steele. Lucy Steele tells Elinor that she has long been engaged to Edward, but that his financial dependence on his mother prevents their marriage. Lucy entreats Elinor to influence her brother into granting Edward, who wants to be a clergyman, the living of Norland Church. Elinor hides her true feelings for Edward.
3. Shocking News - An evasive lover - Broken hearts. Mrs Jennings, Lady Middleton's mother, asks Elinor, Marianne and Lucy to stay with her in London. There, Marianne sends several letters to Willoughby and expects him to call on them at any moment. Only Colonel Brandon comes, telling Elinor that Marianne's engagement is generally acknowledged and that he hopes Willoughby may deserve her. Later, when the sisters meet Willoughby at a party, Marianne reacts with wild emotion, but he ignores her. Next day, he sends a note to apologize for misleading Marianne, and announces that he will soon be engaged. Marianne is devastated.
4. Confusion Abounds - Wickedness revealed - Hints of another engagement. Colonel Brandon calls on Elinor and tells her of the tragic loss of his first love, and of her daughter's seduction by Willoughby. Shortly after, Willoughby is married to a wealthy woman. John Dashwood calls on his sisters and informs Elinor that it is hoped Edward Ferrars will marry an heiress, the Honourable Miss Morton. At a dinner given by John and Fanny, Lucy meets Mrs Ferrars and believes she has made a good impression on her potential mother-in-law. Next day, Edward calls on Elinor and is embarrassed to find her with Lucy.
5. Family Feud - Marriage forbidden - A living for a clergyman. At a musical evening, Elinor is introduced to Edward's brother Robert. Fanny resolves to invite the Misses Steele to come to stay in preference to her sisters-in-law, and during their visit, Edward's engagement to Lucy is discovered by his mother. Furious, Mrs Ferrars settles her estate on Robert and cuts out Edward. Elinor and Marianne are invited to go to Somerset with Mrs Jennings' daughter and family, the Palmers, and Colonel Brandon. Elinor is asked by the Colonel to tell Edward that he wishes to present him with the living of the parish of Delaford. Edward is delighted by the news.
6. Fever Strikes - Pride and contempt. Calling on Fanny in London, Elinor meets Robert Ferrars, who is contemptuous of Edward's lot in life and choice of bride. In Somerset Elinor rejoices to be free of Lucy's false friendship. Unfortunately, Marianne falls ill with a fever and her life is believed to be in danger. Elinor nurses her tirelessly while the Colonel breaks the news to Mrs Dashwood.
7. The Truth about Two Lovers - Repenting at leisure - Message from a false friend. Elinor is shocked when Willoughby arrives unannounced. Believing Marianne to be close to death, he has come to ask forgiveness. He gives his side of the story, saying that he did not realize how much he loved Marianne until it was too late. When Mrs Dashwood arrives, she is delighted to hear that her daughter is out of danger. She also tells Elinor that Colonel Brandon has spoken of his love for Marianne. Back at Barton, Marianne shows great resolve in recovering from her illness. She also overcomes her love for Willoughby, although she is relieved when Elinor reveals that he is less wicked than they had feared. Soon afterwards, Lucy sends word via the Dashwood's serving man that she is married. Elinor is, therefore, amazed when Edward arrives out of the blue and tells her that Lucy is, in fact, married to his brother.
8. Wedding Days - Reconciliation - Respect turns to love. Elinor is delighted to accept Edward's proposal of marriage. They realize that Lucy must have schemed to win Robert's hand, and that the message she gave was an act of malice. Eventually, Edward wins back his mother's favour, as well as her grudging consent to his marriage. After the wedding, Edward and Elinor are visited by Lucy, who has wormed her way into Mrs Ferrars' affection. Finally, Marianne marries Colonel Brandon out of regard for him. In time, however, she becomes wholly devoted.