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Emma (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen
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Emma (Penguin Classics) (original 1815; edition 2003)

by Jane Austen

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24,41333645 (4.09)2 / 1307
Member:Hermyoni
Title:Emma (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Emma by Jane Austen (1815)

  1. 164
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Flora is very clearly modeled on Emma.
  2. 62
    The Makioka Sisters by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (Sarasamsara)
    Sarasamsara: Like Austen's novels, The Makioka Sisters traces the daily lives and romances of an upper-class family-- the only difference is that this is pre-war Japan, not Regency England. Like in one of Austen's works, when you close the novel you feel like you are closing the door on someone's life.… (more)
  3. 63
    Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both Emma and Miss M are about ambitious, capable upper class women who can only express themselves as social hostesses. Both heroines are managing and bossy - Miss M, a generation younger, is played more for laughs, but there is a strong parallel. And both end in utter satisfaction for heroine and reader alike.… (more)
  4. 20
    Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: In some ways the heroines in these two novels are alike, but they are very different in other respects, and more strikingly, their respective journeys to the altar/married life go in diametrically opposite ways, in a sense! Both are true classics in my estimation; reading these two novels exposes the reader to two of the greatest English-language novelists of all time in the height of their respective powers. While all readers and critics do not and will not share this superlative view, few would dispute these are two early female masters of the form and are well worth a read on that humbler basis ;) Enjoy!… (more)
  5. 22
    The Scandal of the Season: A Novel by Sophie Gee (SandSing7)
  6. 23
    The Victorian Governess by Kathryn Hughes (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Though Austen is writing before the Victorian age, Hughes' book helps give an idea of the kind of life Jane Fairfax was facing.
  7. 25
    The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (dizzyweasel)
    dizzyweasel: Adorable remake of Emma, set in a coffeehouse with a matchmaking barista.
  8. 311
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
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Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
Interfering Emma means well, but can be slightly annoying. Still I applaud her unshakable belief in love and the "perfect match." ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
Mr Knightley > Mr Darcy. Discuss.

***

Let me just get this out of the way: I love Jane Austen. I’ve read all of the major novels. I’m not an expert or anything, and I haven’t read much in the way of the juvenalia or Sanditon or anything, but it’s telling that I would have a hard time ranking five of those six novels in any sort of sensible order. This one, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion are probably my favourites, but I don’t have an order in which I could sensibly put them. Then Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey sort of bounce around somewhere below that – they both have things I mildly dislike but I don’t think I’d go so far as to find actual fault in them. I loathe Mansfield Park but that’s down to me just plain (probably unreasonably) hating the main character.

But if I had to pick one heroine that I identify the most with, for worse and for better, it’s Emma.

I feel like she’s got a bit of that “only-child” syndrome (despite not actually being one). She’s headstrong, and self-assured, and like a lot of people, definitely thinks she could run other people’s lives better than they could. Unlike Emma, I’m not comfortably wealthy (or, at least, I wasn’t brought up wealthy). So my machinations have mainly been contained to complaining archly to my boyfriend. But, I don’t know, there’s just something about me that loves Emma’s silliness, loves how she really does think she’s doing the right thing, and how she learns to finally actually do it.

Her relationship with Mr Knightley can seem a little bit weird to a modern audience. He’s a bit older than her, and he can tend to be a bit paternalistic towards her. What I liked about their relationship, though, and why I tend to be forgiving towards it, is that it has a naturalness and, in particular, an honesty which I felt was refreshing. Mr Knightley is never double-faced to Emma (or at least not intentionally. It’s arguable that his jealousy of Frank led him to criticise him more strongly than was necessary to Emma, but I’d wager that was not consciously done, as such). He tells her what he thinks because he respects her enough to know that she can handle it. In a lot of ways, he does actually treat her as an equal – he knows the upstanding kind of person she can be and he expects her to live up to that. Mr Knightley would never be rude or sullen in the mode of a Mr Darcy.

One thing I enjoyed even more this time around was the relationship between Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Because I was properly watching out for it this time, I noted a lot more of the clues from before Mr Knightley airs his first suspicions of the truth. I enjoy Frank’s enthusiasms, even though they don’t always come from a place of sense. And I like Jane a lot more than I did previously. Also, this book has some of Austen’s best side characters – Mrs Elton is a particular treat. She’s so excruciating that I couldn’t help but cringe every time she opened her mouth.

Emma has had several modernisations recently, including the Austen Project one I mentioned earlier, but probably more notably the Emma Approved series brought to you by Pemberley Digital, the Youtube channel that created The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s not as good as LBD – the characterisation and cast weren’t quite as on point – but it’s definitely worth a watch if you enjoy Austen and like modernisations of her work. In particular, the actors who play Emma, Mr Knightley, and Frank, are really interesting, fun interpretations of what the characters could be in a modern day setting. Harriet is a bit one note, and I had a strong dislike for their characterisation of Jane Fairfax, but I think that was mainly due to the slight change to the nature of her relationship with Emma which I felt made it deeply inappropriate for her to behave as she did.

There’s very little for me to say about this book that hasn’t been said already. I’d encourage anyone who’s read Pride and Prejudice to go here next. Emma is a deeply flawed heroine, but I think that’s why I love and identify with her so much – even the most flawed of us can come good. Even the most flawed of us can be loved.

I give Emma ten out of ten. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Jan 30, 2016 |
Mr Knightley > Mr Darcy. Discuss.

***

Let me just get this out of the way: I love Jane Austen. I’ve read all of the major novels. I’m not an expert or anything, and I haven’t read much in the way of the juvenalia or Sanditon or anything, but it’s telling that I would have a hard time ranking five of those six novels in any sort of sensible order. This one, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion are probably my favourites, but I don’t have an order in which I could sensibly put them. Then Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey sort of bounce around somewhere below that – they both have things I mildly dislike but I don’t think I’d go so far as to find actual fault in them. I loathe Mansfield Park but that’s down to me just plain (probably unreasonably) hating the main character.

But if I had to pick one heroine that I identify the most with, for worse and for better, it’s Emma.

I feel like she’s got a bit of that “only-child” syndrome (despite not actually being one). She’s headstrong, and self-assured, and like a lot of people, definitely thinks she could run other people’s lives better than they could. Unlike Emma, I’m not comfortably wealthy (or, at least, I wasn’t brought up wealthy). So my machinations have mainly been contained to complaining archly to my boyfriend. But, I don’t know, there’s just something about me that loves Emma’s silliness, loves how she really does think she’s doing the right thing, and how she learns to finally actually do it.

Her relationship with Mr Knightley can seem a little bit weird to a modern audience. He’s a bit older than her, and he can tend to be a bit paternalistic towards her. What I liked about their relationship, though, and why I tend to be forgiving towards it, is that it has a naturalness and, in particular, an honesty which I felt was refreshing. Mr Knightley is never double-faced to Emma (or at least not intentionally. It’s arguable that his jealousy of Frank led him to criticise him more strongly than was necessary to Emma, but I’d wager that was not consciously done, as such). He tells her what he thinks because he respects her enough to know that she can handle it. In a lot of ways, he does actually treat her as an equal – he knows the upstanding kind of person she can be and he expects her to live up to that. Mr Knightley would never be rude or sullen in the mode of a Mr Darcy.

One thing I enjoyed even more this time around was the relationship between Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Because I was properly watching out for it this time, I noted a lot more of the clues from before Mr Knightley airs his first suspicions of the truth. I enjoy Frank’s enthusiasms, even though they don’t always come from a place of sense. And I like Jane a lot more than I did previously. Also, this book has some of Austen’s best side characters – Mrs Elton is a particular treat. She’s so excruciating that I couldn’t help but cringe every time she opened her mouth.

Emma has had several modernisations recently, including the Austen Project one I mentioned earlier, but probably more notably the Emma Approved series brought to you by Pemberley Digital, the Youtube channel that created The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s not as good as LBD – the characterisation and cast weren’t quite as on point – but it’s definitely worth a watch if you enjoy Austen and like modernisations of her work. In particular, the actors who play Emma, Mr Knightley, and Frank, are really interesting, fun interpretations of what the characters could be in a modern day setting. Harriet is a bit one note, and I had a strong dislike for their characterisation of Jane Fairfax, but I think that was mainly due to the slight change to the nature of her relationship with Emma which I felt made it deeply inappropriate for her to behave as she did.

There’s very little for me to say about this book that hasn’t been said already. I’d encourage anyone who’s read Pride and Prejudice to go here next. Emma is a deeply flawed heroine, but I think that’s why I love and identify with her so much – even the most flawed of us can come good. Even the most flawed of us can be loved.

I give Emma ten out of ten. ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Mr Knightley > Mr Darcy. Discuss.

***

Let me just get this out of the way: I love Jane Austen. I’ve read all of the major novels. I’m not an expert or anything, and I haven’t read much in the way of the juvenalia or Sanditon or anything, but it’s telling that I would have a hard time ranking five of those six novels in any sort of sensible order. This one, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion are probably my favourites, but I don’t have an order in which I could sensibly put them. Then Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey sort of bounce around somewhere below that – they both have things I mildly dislike but I don’t think I’d go so far as to find actual fault in them. I loathe Mansfield Park but that’s down to me just plain (probably unreasonably) hating the main character.

But if I had to pick one heroine that I identify the most with, for worse and for better, it’s Emma.

I feel like she’s got a bit of that “only-child” syndrome (despite not actually being one). She’s headstrong, and self-assured, and like a lot of people, definitely thinks she could run other people’s lives better than they could. Unlike Emma, I’m not comfortably wealthy (or, at least, I wasn’t brought up wealthy). So my machinations have mainly been contained to complaining archly to my boyfriend. But, I don’t know, there’s just something about me that loves Emma’s silliness, loves how she really does think she’s doing the right thing, and how she learns to finally actually do it.

Her relationship with Mr Knightley can seem a little bit weird to a modern audience. He’s a bit older than her, and he can tend to be a bit paternalistic towards her. What I liked about their relationship, though, and why I tend to be forgiving towards it, is that it has a naturalness and, in particular, an honesty which I felt was refreshing. Mr Knightley is never double-faced to Emma (or at least not intentionally. It’s arguable that his jealousy of Frank led him to criticise him more strongly than was necessary to Emma, but I’d wager that was not consciously done, as such). He tells her what he thinks because he respects her enough to know that she can handle it. In a lot of ways, he does actually treat her as an equal – he knows the upstanding kind of person she can be and he expects her to live up to that. Mr Knightley would never be rude or sullen in the mode of a Mr Darcy.

One thing I enjoyed even more this time around was the relationship between Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Because I was properly watching out for it this time, I noted a lot more of the clues from before Mr Knightley airs his first suspicions of the truth. I enjoy Frank’s enthusiasms, even though they don’t always come from a place of sense. And I like Jane a lot more than I did previously. Also, this book has some of Austen’s best side characters – Mrs Elton is a particular treat. She’s so excruciating that I couldn’t help but cringe every time she opened her mouth.

Emma has had several modernisations recently, including the Austen Project one I mentioned earlier, but probably more notably the Emma Approved series brought to you by Pemberley Digital, the Youtube channel that created The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s not as good as LBD – the characterisation and cast weren’t quite as on point – but it’s definitely worth a watch if you enjoy Austen and like modernisations of her work. In particular, the actors who play Emma, Mr Knightley, and Frank, are really interesting, fun interpretations of what the characters could be in a modern day setting. Harriet is a bit one note, and I had a strong dislike for their characterisation of Jane Fairfax, but I think that was mainly due to the slight change to the nature of her relationship with Emma which I felt made it deeply inappropriate for her to behave as she did.

There’s very little for me to say about this book that hasn’t been said already. I’d encourage anyone who’s read Pride and Prejudice to go here next. Emma is a deeply flawed heroine, but I think that’s why I love and identify with her so much – even the most flawed of us can come good. Even the most flawed of us can be loved.

I give Emma ten out of ten. ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
This is my third favorite Austin book ( )
  JDHoliday | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
The institution of marriage, like the novel itself, has changed greatly since Austen’s time; but as long as human beings long for this kind of mutual recognition and understanding, “Emma” will live.
added by danielx | editNew York TImes, Adam Kirsch (pay site) (Dec 27, 2015)
 

“Perhaps the key to Emma’s perfection, however, is that it is a comic novel, written in a mode that rarely gets much respect. It’s exquisitely ironic.”

“The presiding message of the novel is that we must forgive Emma for her shortcomings just as she can and does learn to excuse the sometimes vexing people around her. There is, I believe, more wisdom in that than in many, many more portentous and ambitious novels. Emma is flawed, but ‘Emma’ is flawless."
added by danielx | editSalon.com, Laura Miller (Dec 23, 2015)
 
It’s a small but striking and instructive demonstration, the careful way Emma appraises the character of the various men who jockey for her attentions and those of the women around her. We could all learn from her example.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Anna Holmes (pay site) (Dec 1, 2015)
 
"In January 1814, Jane Austen sat down to write a revolutionary novel. Emma, the book she composed over the next year, was to change the shape of what is possible in fiction."

"The novel’s stylistic innovations allow it to explore not just a character’s feelings, but, comically, her deep ignorance of her own feelings. "

"Those who condemn the novel by saying that its heroine is a snob miss the point. Of course she is. But Austen, with a refusal of moralism worthy of Flaubert, abandons her protagonist to her snobbery and confidently risks inciting foolish readers to think that the author must be a snob too"
 

» Add other authors (177 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Austenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blythe, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brock, C. E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, StellaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hassall, JoanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morgan, VictoriaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moulton, CarrollAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Emma (1948TVIMDb)
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Emma Woodhouse was een aantrekkelijke en intelligente jonge dame van zeer goeden huize.
Quotations
Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.
"I thank you; but I assure you, you are quite mistaken. Mr. Elton and I are very good friends, and nothing more, and she walked on, amusing herself in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for every falling into..." (Emma)
"I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other."
Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure.
I have seen a great many lists of her drawing up at various times of books that she meant to read regularly through--and very good books they were--very well chosen and very neatly arranged--sometimes alphabetically and sometimes by some other rule.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Emma is perhaps too accustomed to thinking of herself as the queen of her genteel Surrey village. Petted by her invalidish father and her former governess, idolised by old Mrs Bates and her garrulous, good-hearted daughter, she finds only Mr Knightley ready - too ready - to criticise her. He deprecates her schemes for the pretty foundling Harriet and her coolness towards the elegant, reserved Jane Fairfax. And, unaccountably, he seems to disapprove of the handsome Frank Churchill... With cheerful self-confidence Emma interferes in the lives and loves of all her circle. A plot as intricate as a classic detective story leaves the reader as astonished as its heroine when the true state of affairs is revealed. She arrives, almost too late, at a self-knowledge which humbles her considerably. This masterpiece of social observation and comic plotting offers inexhaustible pleasure, laughter and enlightenment.
Haiku summary
Mix-match my neighbors
Cutest narcissist am I
Don't listen to me
(citygirl)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439580, Paperback)

Of all Jane Austen's heroines, Emma Woodhouse is the most flawed, the most infuriating, and, in the end, the most endearing. Pride and Prejudice's Lizzie Bennet has more wit and sparkle; Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey more imagination; and Sense and Sensibility's Elinor Dashwood certainly more sense--but Emma is lovable precisely because she is so imperfect. Austen only completed six novels in her lifetime, of which five feature young women whose chances for making a good marriage depend greatly on financial issues, and whose prospects if they fail are rather grim. Emma is the exception: "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." One may be tempted to wonder what Austen could possibly find to say about so fortunate a character. The answer is, quite a lot.

For Emma, raised to think well of herself, has such a high opinion of her own worth that it blinds her to the opinions of others. The story revolves around a comedy of errors: Emma befriends Harriet Smith, a young woman of unknown parentage, and attempts to remake her in her own image. Ignoring the gaping difference in their respective fortunes and stations in life, Emma convinces herself and her friend that Harriet should look as high as Emma herself might for a husband--and she zeroes in on an ambitious vicar as the perfect match. At the same time, she reads too much into a flirtation with Frank Churchill, the newly arrived son of family friends, and thoughtlessly starts a rumor about poor but beautiful Jane Fairfax, the beloved niece of two genteelly impoverished elderly ladies in the village. As Emma's fantastically misguided schemes threaten to surge out of control, the voice of reason is provided by Mr. Knightly, the Woodhouse's longtime friend and neighbor. Though Austen herself described Emma as "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like," she endowed her creation with enough charm to see her through her most egregious behavior, and the saving grace of being able to learn from her mistakes. By the end of the novel Harriet, Frank, and Jane are all properly accounted for, Emma is wiser (though certainly not sadder), and the reader has had the satisfaction of enjoying Jane Austen at the height of her powers. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:02 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Emma Woodhouse is one of Austen's most captivating and vivid characters. Beautiful, spoilt, vain and irrepressibly witty, Emma organizes the lives of the inhabitants of her sleepy little village and plays matchmaker with devastating effect.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 48 descriptions

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