An absolutely wonderful read. Austen is able to completely envelop the reader in the mystique of early 1800s England. The formality and decorum of the time is so beautifully illustrated you feel the sense of impropriety towards the actions of Marianne and those around her. Austen has created such a strong character in Elinor Dashwood with such binding ties that I actually felt my own heart ache upon the revealing of Miss Steele's secret. Elinor serves as the perfect voice of reason in all situations even in those that are the most detrimental to all her hopes and dreams. All the characters are beautifully written and have such strong sense of self you feel as if they were perhaps caricatures of actual people in Ms. Austen's life. Mrs. Jennings with her mockery and meddling in love lives, Colonel Brandon in his selfless love and aspiration to help those he esteems, and even the lighthearted gaiety of Marianne, a young girl completely overwhelmed by her love of the undeserving Willoughby draw the reader into being able to feel the compassion, annoyance and disappointment of the characters. My only regret is that I had not this novel sooner.