So wrote Jane Austen to her sister in April 1811, while the sheets of the first edition were coming off the press. disappointed in her first attempt to publish a novel, Jane Austen had turned to a work which she had started many years earlier, "Elinor and Marianne". This story, re- named Sense and Sensibility, was the first of her novels to be publi- shed. While the story centres on the personalities of the two sisters, whose contrasting temperaments are examined as they undergo comparable expe- riences in the loss of the men they love, it rejoices also in a wealth of minor characters such as the comic Mrs Jennings and Sir John and Lady Middleton, drawn with consummate satiric skill.
Mrs Dashwood and her two daughters must leave the family home and move to a small house in another part of the country. Soon Marianne and Elinor both fall in love, but they must first learn some terrible secrets before they find true happiness. "Penguin Readers" is a series of simplified novels, film novelizations and original titles that introduce students at all levels to the pleasures of reading in English. Originally designed for teaching English as a foreign language, the series' combination of high interest level and low reading age makes it suitable for both English-speaking teenagers with limited reading skills and students of English as a second language. Many titles in the series also provide access to the pre-20th century literature strands of the National Curriculum English Orders. "Penguin Readers" are graded at seven levels of difficulty, from "Easystarts" with a 200-word vocabulary, to Level 6 (Advanced) with a 3000-word vocabulary. In addition, titles fall into one of three sub-categories: "Contemporary", "Classics" or "Originals". At the end of each book there is a section of enjoyable exercises focusing on vocabulary building, comprehension, discussion and writing. Some titles in the series are available with an accompanying audio cassette, or in a book and cassette pack. Additionally, selected titles have free accompanying "Penguin Readers Factsheets" which provide stimulating exercise material for students, as well as suggestions for teachers on how to exploit the Readers in class.