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The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Volume…

The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Volume IV: Emma (original 1816; edition 1988)

by Jane Austen (Author), R. W. Chapman (Editor)

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28,57939261 (4.08)3 / 1533
Title:The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Volume IV: Emma
Authors:Jane Austen (Author)
Other authors:R. W. Chapman (Editor)
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (1988), Hardcover, 536 pages
Collections:Your library, Great Books ~ 300

Work details

Emma by Jane Austen (Author) (1816)

  1. 164
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Flora is very clearly modeled on Emma.
  2. 72
    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. 40
    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)
  4. 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)
  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. 24
    The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (dizzyweasel)
    dizzyweasel: Adorable remake of Emma, set in a coffeehouse with a matchmaking barista.
  8. 411
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
1810s (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 369 (next | show all)
'Emma' was delightful. My reading was perhaps over-informed by the '90s film adaptions starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Alicia Silverstone, but they didn't impinge on my enjoyment of the novel as a separate entity. Both 'Clueless' (95) and 'Emma' (96) are impish and revel in a character who is so confident in her judgement of people she can't be bothered to see the truth or the consequences of her actions. The light comes, but nothing touches on the subtlety of Emma's dawning personal growth in her reflections with each revelation of her misjudgment of a situation, from Harriet's marriage prospects, Frank Churchill and the entire situation of Jane Fairfax, and Mr. Knightly.

When the novel begins Emma is at the pinnacle of her small world, caring for her father and catering to his whims on health and company, calling on the right people and secure in the knowledge that she knows all that it is suitable to know. The marriage of her friend and former governess leaves her alone as mistress of Hartfield, and all the more marriageable. She rejects the notion for herself, but decides it is good enough for others. In being unwilling to marry she is already setting herself apart, but she lacks the introspection to move beyond the boundaries of women - with no future husband to prepare for, all she can think to do is make matches for others. There are none who can pierce her bubble of self-importance, or even wish to, except her father's friend and neighbor Mr. Knightly whose younger brother married her elder sister. He challenges her absolute opinions when everywhere else she goes there is deference and praise. The films have to speed up the process and emphasize their spars, but Emma becomes increasingly thoughtful - beyond the polite consideration required in society - in sincere fashion only on the page.

It was so much more than I was expecting. 'Emma' is funny and a pleasing document of the life of a specific class 200 years ago, but it was also a sharply written account of a young woman's path to maturity. Which is something, that Austen makes clear, that is not always certain. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
The Audible Original with Emma Thompson and Joanne Froggatt is excellent!!! A must-listen for Emma lovers.
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Emma is a classic novel that still delights after all this time. It follows the spoilt but well-intentioned titular character as she develops schemes to fix her friends up with suitable husbands. For the most part, they all backfire, leaving some of her acquaintances worse off than they were before. Despite this, you can't help but still like Emma. All of the characters, including her, are very well developed and have humorous quirks and interactions throughout the story. Folks who like the movie "Clueless" might like this book as it is the very closely related basis for the film. ( )
  underthebookpile | Jan 27, 2019 |
This is a review of the Penguin Audiobooks version, read by Fiona Shaw. Given that so many versions of Emma are listed at LibraryThing, the prospects of separating out printed books from audiobooks (both abridged and unabridged), and even movie versions, seems hopeless. This recorded Penguin Classics version is abridged on 4 cassettes and is about 6 hrs in length. The abridgement is well done, and of sufficient length that the listener gains a thorough picture of the plot. (Nevertheless, although I had already been familiar with the characters, I did wonder at times whether a neophyte would find it easy to keep them straight). Fiona Shaw reads the text, and while she does not try to supply the characters with entirely different voices, she succeeds at imparting their personalities through tone and inflection. I can recommend this 6 hr abridgement as a good introduction to Emma, although other audio versions (such as one published by Blackstone) have the advantage of cutting not a word from what arguably is Jane Austen's finest novel. ( )
1 vote danielx | Dec 24, 2018 |
Emma is from the leading family in Highbury, living alone with her widowed father at Hartfield. She loves to play matchmaker, feeling her skills quite superior after her friend's marriage went exactly as she hoped. Now Emma has set her sights on Harriet, a young woman of unknown parentage whom Emma wishes to match with the local vicar. The book is a comedy of misunderstandings and secrets. People often don't talk about how they really feel, leaving things up for interpretation, and often misinterpretation.

I really enjoyed Emma. The prose is very simple, making it an easy read. I like that Emma herself is a flawed character who comes to recognize her flaws and works to correct them. Not everyone in the story is as self-aware as she is, and that's part of the fun. Austen created a cast of characters here whom you could easily recognize in real life. (How many of us know a talkative Miss Bates?) It's a romantic comedy where the matchmaker lead has no desire for marriage herself, which is perhaps unusual in this genre (and also serves to make the story more interesting).

I wholeheartedly recommend reading Emma. It's a fun, low-stakes comedy, with lovable characters and a happy ending. ( )
1 vote Jessiqa | Dec 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 369 (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 (131 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, JaneAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beechey, WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blythe, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brock, C. E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, StellaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hassall, JoanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hough, GrahamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcus, StevenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morgan, VictoriaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moulton, CarrollAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praz, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stafford, FionaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamaki, JillianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Emma (1948TVIMDb)
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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.
Deemed her finest and most representative novel by many modern readers, Emma was something of a mystery to Austen's contemporaries when it appeared in 1816. (Introduction)
The drama and the comedy of Austen's novels are dependent on a sharp awareness of fine social distinctions. (Appendix A: Rank and Social Status)
Whether it took place in private houses, or at public assemblies held at inns or purpose-built assembly rooms, social dancing in polite society was governed in Austen's time by strict rules of etiquette, the broad outlines of which dated back to Beau Nash's 'Rules to be observ'd at Bath' of 1706. (Appendix B: Dancing)
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Mix-match my neighbors
Cutest narcissist am I
Don't listen to me
(city girl)
Bossy know-it-all
Privileged and doted on
Meddles. Learns lessons.
She can do no wrong
Matchmaking busybody
Knightley sets things right.

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 10 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 84 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439580, 0141028092, 0143106465, 0141199520

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175951, 1909175315

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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