Austenprose's Bicentenary Challenge at the beginning of the year I have been exposed to many different and colourful versions of this literary classic. I have been lucky enough to end this special year with a brand new edition of the book, the Bath Bicentenary Edition.
The story is the same classic we have grown to love. A tale of two sisters dealing with family hardships as well as the toils of love all at once. The introduction by Katharine Reeve is eye-opening in terms of just how eighteenth century the book actually is. While it may not have been published until 1811, the manuscript for Sense and Sensibility, or Elinor and Marianne, was written fifteen years before, around the year 1795. It contained an underlying commentary (or even criticism) on the eighteenth century fashion for sensibility which by the turn of the new century was slowly losing steam. Yet the book was originally written in the style associated with the sentimental novel, in epistolary form. Luckily, Jane scrapped that idea to trade it in for the lovely version we have today.
And what a lovely version we are blessed with 200 years later!
The Bicentary edition delivers all sorts of the gooey Austen prettiness that Janites crave. Now that I work in an office full of Janites I had to keep slapping their hands away from this book! Why? Well firstly, the book is a hardcover edition of Sense and Sensibility. Within the covers will you not only find Austen's classic tale but the beautiful colour illustrations of Niroot Puttapipat who depicts the characters in the popular fashions of 1795. Does Puttapipat draw a hot Colonel Brandon? You bet your sweet bonnet he does! What I especially like was that aside from the large colour plates that are dispersed throughout the book, there are also smaller silhouette illustrations, adding that lovely essence of the Regency period to a Regency book. For a preview of the illustrations I have been gushing about, check out this video.
The book is out now, just in time for holiday shopping. It would make a fabulous present for any Janite in your life, even if that Janite is you!