Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen

Illustrated by Philip Bannister

Introduced by Elena Ferrante

Jane Austen’s first novel, produced in series as part of the Folio Jane Austen Collection.

Add To Wish List

Jane Austen began Sense and Sensibility when she was barely 20. It was published 16 years later, in 1811, at her own expense; the only clue to the novel’s authorship was the inscription ’By a lady’. In her introduction to this edition, the best-selling Italian author Elena Ferrante – a notoriously private figure whose true identity remains unknown – suggests that Austen’s anonymity only makes her work more intriguing. Whoever Austen was, writes Ferrante, she was ’an extremely cultured, extremely perceptive lady who was well acquainted with the ways of the landed gentry, who knew the rituals of the London bourgeoisie, who was aware of how unstable the world is – of how everything changes in spite of sense and in the tumult of sensibility’.

This Folio edition is bound in gold cloth with a blocked slipcase to match the Folio editions of Pride and PrejudiceEmma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. The illustrations are by Philip Bannister, whose work for Folio includes Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier.

Production Details

Bound in blocked metallic cloth

Set in Baskerville

344 pages

Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations

Blocked slipcase

˝ x 6¼˝

The battle between heart and head

When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s father dies, the sisters are left – thanks to the manipulation of their spiteful sister-in-law – without a home or prospects, unless they find themselves a suitable match. Calm, prudent Elinor’s relationship with the eligible but depressive Edward Ferrars proves complicated, while impetuous, romantic Marianne finds herself torn between glamorous but unreliable Willoughby and the patient war hero Colonel Brandon. At its heart, Austen’s extraordinary first novel is a portrait of the relationship between two loving but very different sisters: the battle between heart and head, Elinor and Marianne, sense and sensibility, is one of the best-loved in English literature. It brims with Austen’s characteristic wry humour, her sharp eye for the nuances of class and conversation, and her sympathy for the plight of unmarried women at a time when marriage and money were the only guarantees of a respectable future.

About Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born in Hampshire in 1775, the seventh child and youngest daughter of George Austen, rector of Deane and Steventon, and his wife, Cassandra. She began writing poems, plays and stories for her family from a young age, and her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, was released by Thomas Egerton to sell-out acclaim in 1811. Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815) followed, and these were the last of Austen’s works to come out in her lifetime. Her novels, including the posthumously published Northanger Abbey (1818) and Persuasion (1818), are today considered amongst the finest in the English language. She died at Winchester in 1817.

About Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of The Days of Abandonment (2005), Troubling Love (2006) and The Lost Daughter (2008). Her Neapolitan novels include My Brilliant Friend (2012), The Story of a New Name (2013), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2014) and The Story of The Lost Child (2015).

About Philip Bannister

Philip Bannister was born in Yorkshire and studied at the Batley College of Art. He went on to work in education, advertising and design before becoming a full-time artist in the 1980s. His distinctive watercolours have graced numerous Folio Society editions, including various Henry James novels, The Good Soldier (2008) and Germinal (2010).


You May Also Like

  1. Image of Half of a Yellow Sun book

    Half of a Yellow Sun

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Illustrated by Unyime Edet


    The first illustrated edition of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s phenomenal Half of a Yellow Sun is published by The Folio Society, with a series of stunning watercolours by artist Unyime Edet.

  2. Mansfield Park

    Mansfield Park

    Jane Austen

    Illustrated by Darya Shnykina


    Jane Austen’s most modern and controversial novel, Mansfield Park, illustrated by the award-winning Darya Shnykina and introduced by Lucy Worsley, completes Folio’s sensational Austen series.

  3. Emma


    Jane Austen

    Illustrated by Sam Wolfe Connelly


    Published as part of our Jane Austen series, this sparkling edition is introduced by Fay Weldon.