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Emma (Dover Thrift Editions) by Jane Austen

Emma (Dover Thrift Editions) (original 1815; edition 1998)

by Jane Austen

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25,38134844 (4.08)3 / 1397
Title:Emma (Dover Thrift Editions)
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Dover Publications (1998), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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. 64
    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. 23
    The Scandal of the Season: A Novel by Sophie Gee (SandSing7)
  6. 24
    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. 26
    The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (dizzyweasel)
    dizzyweasel: Adorable remake of Emma, set in a coffeehouse with a matchmaking barista.
  8. 312
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
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Showing 1-5 of 327 (next | show all)
Jane Austen challenges her readers from the outset with the character of Emma Woodhouse - "handsome, clever and rich" - who dominates this complex and subtly humorous novel, a Bildungsroman in which painful life-lessons will lead its heroine to new self-knowledge. It is not difficult to imagine the surprise that Emma caused contemporary readers, accustomed to fictional heroines who were lifelessly perfect; while modern readers struggle with Emma's almost shockingly foregrounded faults---her vanity, officiousness and snobbery. Such is Austen's art, however, that she manages to hold our attention and sympathy while unfolding around her deeply flawed heroine a nuanced portrait of the society that produced her, and of the stifling restrictions that existed for a young woman of Emma's age and social standing. Intelligent, energetic and outgoing, Emma yet stands before as as a girl with nowhere to go, few friends her own age, and very little to do with her time. Driven back upon herself, Emma indulges an active, even overactive imagination: a habit that ceases to be a harmless pastime when her egotism leads her confuse her wish-fulfillment fantasies with actual judgement, and to try and force real life to coincide with her imaginings. In this, Austen returns to a theme that she first addressed in Northanger Abbey (published later, but written many years earlier), warning of the dangers, not of imagination, as such, but of allowing it to intrude upon the realities and duties of life. In Emma, however, this theme is handled much more seriously, with Emma's actions having consequences far beyond a few moments of personal humiliation, and for others beside herself. The most disturbing aspect of this novel is the dangerously unbalanced relationship that develops between Emma and the pretty but unintelligent Harriet Smith, who is dignified with the title of "friend", but is treated like a life-sized doll, played with, posed and forced into whatever position Emma chooses. Having ruthlessly prevented Harriet's marriage to a young farmer---for Harriet's own good, Emma tells herself, but in fact because she doesn't want to give up her new toy---Emma sets about making her the focus of a series of matchmaking schemes, each more ill-judged than the last; until finally she is confronted with the appalling realisation that in encouraging Harriet in vanity and ambition, she may inadvertently have lost her own chance at happiness... Emma's meddling forms a thread that runs through Austen's narrative of daily life in and around the village of Highbury, an area populated by some of the author's most wonderful characters, from the self-obsessed Mr Woodhouse, to the hilariously logorrheic Miss Bates, to the ghastly Mrs Elton (who is, in effect, Emma's evil twin), to the steadfast and insightful Mr Knightley. (Another point of connection with Northanger Abbey is the tacit presentation of a man with a sense of humour as not merely attractive, but sexy.) Life in Highbury, ordinarily numbingly dull, is disrupted - pleasantly and otherwise - by a series of rare events. Jane Fairfax, the granddaughter and niece of, respectively, Mrs and Miss Bates, the widow and daughter of the previous vicar, returns for a visit after a two-year absence. Knowing that she is destined for a dreary life as a governess, and prompted both by Mr Knightley's urgings and her own conscience, Emma tries to get over her instinctive resentment of the "perfect" Jane, but soon finds herself provoked by her wary reticence into weaving about her a series of lurid fantasies. The arrival of Mrs Elton, the new bride of the Reverend Mr Elton, is painful for Emma, a constant reminder of the embarrassing failure of her first matchmaking scheme; and it is with relief that she turns her attention to another new arrival, Frank Weston Churchill. The grown son of the popular Mr Weston, Frank was surrendered as a child to the wealthy relatives of his mother following her early death, but has made his father's remarriage the occasion of a long-expected but frequently put-off visit. Frank has always been viewed as "belonging" to Highbury; even, perhaps, as "belonging" to Miss Woodhouse; and when she discovers that the young man is not only handsome and lively, but perfectly ready to admire and flirt with her, Emma finds herself mentally toying with the idea of marriage But many things are going on in Highbury that are beyond Emma's ken; and several severe shocks lie in wait for her: shocks that will teach her to know her own mind and heart...

    Emma continued to entertain no doubt of her being in love with Frank Churchill. Her ideas only varied as to how much... Though thinking of him so much, and, as she sat drawing or working, forming a thousand amusing schemes for the progress and close of their attachment, fancying interesting dialogues, and inventing elegant letters, the conclusion of every imaginary declaration on his side was that she refused him. Their affection was always to subside into friendship. Every thing tender and charming was to mark their parting; but still they were to part. When she became sensible of this, it struck her that she could not be very much in love; for in spite of her previous and fixed determination never to quit her father, never to marry, a strong attachment certainly must produce more of a struggle than she could foresee in her own feelings.
    “I do not find myself making any use of the word sacrifice,” said she.---“In not one of all my clever replies, my delicate negatives, is there any allusion to making a sacrifice. I do suspect that he is not really necessary to my happiness. So much the better. I certainly will not persuade myself to feel more than I do. I am quite enough in love. I should be sorry to be more.”
    Upon the whole, she was equally contented with her view of his feelings.
    “He is undoubtedly very much in love---every thing denotes it---very much in love indeed!---and when he comes again, if his affection continue, I must be on my guard not to encourage it..."
2 vote lyzard | Oct 18, 2016 |
کتاب عالی و خواندی ای است ( )
  shahpouri.s | Oct 14, 2016 |
Emma by Jane Austen; (4 1/2*)

Austen's prediction that her Emma was not a person many people would like certainly came to fruition. In point of fact Emma is one of the least likable characters in British literature. She comes across as a snob. She is a rich and manipulative character whom I found to be rather despicable throughout the novel. But for this reader, Emma came to be a character I loved to hate, so to speak.
The novel is quite funny and the characterizations I found to be well rounded, not flat, and I could easily identify with most all of them. There were the irritating Bates', the hypochondriac Father, the dashing, the elegant neighbor & brother in law, the accomplished Jane Fairfax of whom Emma is fiercely jealous, and the fawning lower class friend Emma wants to 'match up' with someone of a higher class.
The comic exchanges between characters, the complexity of the plot and the witty conversations/bickerings between the characters makes reading Emma a great deal of fun indeed. The reader has no need to like or agree with Emma in order to enjoy this great piece of literature. If not for Jane Austen's brilliant use of the English language, which pulls the reader right in and holds one captive for the duration, I could have never gotten through this book with so much joy and entertainment.
But it is exactly the author's control of language which makes the novel the masterpiece it is and why we still enjoy it some 200 years later. Emma is filled with complexity and interesting, funny interludes. The dialogue between the characters is quite brilliant. Emma is highly enjoyable to read and to re-read. I highly recommend this novel. ( )
  rainpebble | Sep 25, 2016 |
This is my favorite Jane Austen novel, one that I come back to again and again because I love it so much.

I think the reason that I love Emma is because out of all the heroines in Austen's novels, Emma is the most relatable. She is well off, and she don't need no man. She is also a friend that everyone has: one that gets into your business with the best intentions and then when it doesn't work out, you remain friends because you can't really hate her. While everything she did was selfish, it was in the best interest of her friends.

I find the best thing about Emma is that she truly matures during the book, which is shown mostly by her friendship with Harriet. In the beginning, there was no way Emma would let Harriet marry a farmer, but in the end, Emma accepted that it was Harriet's choice and not hers. ( )
  Kaitlynmurmaid | Sep 16, 2016 |
Maybe I shouldn't have listened to this as an audio book because I found it kind of boring. I'm looking forward to listening to more of her books. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 327 (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 (133 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
Stafford, FionaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamaki, JillianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.
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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
(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 11 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)

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56 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439580, 0141028092, 0143106465, 0141199520

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