Lesson #107: Creating Drama with Description: A Look at Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (Part 1)


When you live in the countryside, you have a tendency to pay attention to the weather. Your mood and plans for the day can be affected by it. Today, my morning walk was put on hold (suspended) because of the sporadic (sudden, unpredictable) showers.

A passage in Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility (1811), came to mind. She describes how a sudden change in the weather can have a profound effect on the Dashwood sisters.

You may have already seen the movie that featured Emma Thompson and Kate Winslett in 1995, even if you haven’t read the book yet.

📘 ‘The high downs which invited them from almost every window of the cottage to seek the exquisite enjoyment of air on their summits, were a happy alternative when the dirt of the valleys beneath shut up their superior beauties; and towards one of these hills did Marianne and Margaret one memorable morning direct their steps, attracted by the partial sunshine of a showery sky, and unable longer to bear the confinement which the settled rain of the two preceding days had occasioned.’

Take a look at my next post reviewing the second half of that quote. I will provide guidance on how to comprehend the meaning of a sentence by parsing it.

by J. E. Gibbons

English language tutor and researcher at 'Learn English Through Literature' (2023)