Sense and Sensibility was Austen's first published novel and Pride and Prejudice remains her most popular one. Both feature families of daughters whose precarious position in society is threatened by their lack of money. In Sense and Sensibility, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood lose their home since the laws of inheritance give the entire estate to the oldest son. They move to Barton Cottage in Devonshire on a very limited income and proceed to have a series of romantic adventures, culminating in marriage for both sisters.
There are a number of similarities between the books. Both feature a man trapped in a marriage with a silly and frivolous wife (Mr. Bennett and Mr. Palmer), both feature a wild courtship by a scandalous young man (Wickham and Willoughby) and both have a strong undercurrent which emphasizes the importance of good character and highlights the perils of nineteenth century British society and how quickly a reputation can vanish. But there is also an undercurrent of hope that someone who is also of good character can see past gossip and scandal to recognize the good character of the heroine.
Austen clearly saw the flaws in the rules of British society and in the way courtship was expected to progress. Couples were expected to form a suitable lifelong attachment without exposing themselves to scandal and do it through a series of public balls, dinners and entertainments, all highly chaperoned. But she offers a ray of hope to the young ladies who must have been overwhelmed by the restrictions and expectations. If one is of good character and insight, then it is possible to overcome any difficulty or objection and find true happiness. Of all the marriages, only Lydia's has a foreshadowing of doom lurking over it. The others can all be presumed to have a happily ever after, regardless of wealth. Virtue will be rewarded in Austen's world, no matter how bleak the situation may seem.