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Perhaps the out-and-out funniest of Jane Austen's books. Telling the story of a heroine Austen feared readers would actively dislike, Emma has turned out to be a character whose creation was necessary to the development of the spoiled rich kid genre of literature, TV and movies. Since Emma knows what's best for everybody, she sets about trying to straighten the world out. It doesn't work. Fortunately, before completely screwing up everyone else's life, she gets her head screwed on straight and for the first time sees what it's all about.

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Blunders and Blindness

In the quiet and picturesque village of Highbury there lived a self-professed matchmaker of little experience and expertise yet she believed herself to be in possession of superior observational skills and the ability to see into everyone's heart. Emma Woodhouse, our twenty-one year old matchmaker of Highbury, rates the marriage of her governess to a wealthy and respected gentleman, Mr. Weston, as one of her laudable matchmaking successes and decidedly takes on the challenge of finding a suitable wife for the vicar of Highbury, Mr. Elton. Alas, Emma is not the talented matchmaker she thinks she is and makes frequent blunders in judgment and is often blind to the romantic inclinations of the people around her... What then ensues is a spectacular comedy of manners that is heartwarming, satirical, lively, and charming. Mr. George Knightley, brother-in-law to Emma, does not approve of Emma's new matchmaking hobby or her new friendship with Harriet Smith, "the natural daughter of nobody knows whom." Harriet Smith, a seventeen year old parlour border at the local school, is inferior to Emma in sophistication and sense. Mr. Knightley would much rather see Emma with a companion that is her equal in intelligence and influence her positively. Mr. Knightley is one of the few people in Emma's life that recognizes her faults; and believing her too often indulged and spoiled he makes no qualms about admonishing her for these faults. Unfortunately, Emma is often willful and ignores Mr. Knightley's wise counsel. Jane Austen is quoted to have said Emma was a "heroine whom no one but myself will much like." This is true for some Austen fans who rank Emma Woodhouse as one of their least favorite heroines. However, there many readers that find her likable and claim her to be one of their favorite Austen characters. Emma Woodhouse is unique in that she is wealthy and well provided for, thus giving her little inducement to marry. In addition, even though she enjoys pairing up her friends and neighbors, Emma has little inclination or interest in finding love for herself and declares that she will never marry. (So much for having a romantic heroine!) Nonetheless, I am very fond of Emma, her lack of experience in the world has made her naive and the indulgence of her family has swelled her head, but she is not an unworthy or unlikable heroine. Throughout the course of this novel Jane Austen beautifully depicts the journey of Emma's maturation and displays her blossoming into a self-aware, humble, and sensible woman. My favorite thing about "Emma" is the charming village of Highbury and all who reside within. There is such a pleasant mix of endearing and exasperating characters: Miss Bates, a poor spinster who dearly loves to share news with her neighbors; Mr. Woodhouse, such a generous and a caring man who suffers from nervous anxieties about the health of his family and friends; Mr. Weston with his jolly and sanguine temperament; and Mrs. Elton, who believes hersel


Emma is a great classic novel and probably one of Jane Austen's best! If you like this book I also suggest the wonderful movie adaptations. Both the one starring Gwynneth Paltrow and the one starring Kate Beckinsale are quite lovely!


This book is one of the best books by Jane Austen. It is well up there with Pride and Prejudice. This book clearly was one that glowed with the brightness of Austens fresh sence of humor. You will find yourself laughing out loud at almot all of the book. It is a little longer that Pride And Prejudice, but it still has the same magic that only Jane's books could produce. Emma Woodhouse is one that almost everyone can relate to. You cant help but learn to love her, laugh at her, and get angry with her, after she makes a couple of mistakes. She really is horrible at "matchmaking" and creates trobble when she trys it out on her friends. She is one with a kind soul, but still has weaknesses that all humans have, such as jelousy and pride. She also has the heart that will never fall for a man. (or does she?) You will be taken on a ride as Emma finds out what she can handle and what will happen when things go wronge. This book will take you into the hearts and minds of all of the charachters in the book. They will become a part of your life and you will find that you can not stop thinking of them until you put the book down after finishing it. It draws you in, as does every Jane Austen book, and it will not leave you disaponted in the end. This whole book is jam-packed with romance, humor, and social status. Did I mention that this book is very halarious???? It is a MUST READ for anyone out there that likes a good plot woven with love and friend ship. It will leave you smiling and sighing that it is over. It really is one of the best books written!...


Emma is basically a darling snob. She has a kind, loving heart, and really wants to do good, but makes a tangle of everybody's lives, including her own. I'm sick of flawless, shallow, empty heroines, so Emma's faults and conquering of faults endear her. The unabridged book is slightly complicated (such as old-fashioned language) but if you savor it slowly it is well worth it. The plot is clever, sweet, funny and leaves a satisfied, warm kind of glow in the pit of your stomach. The perfect ending makes you want to cry. Don't spoil THIS novel with any trashy sequels. TRY WATCHING the Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam "Emma."

A beautiful story about relationships

I definitely recommend this book to first time Jane Austen readers, and especially to young girls, for it is so cute and so amusing. I wish I were "forced" to read this in High School for I would have surely written good papers on it. I can't see how anyone can dislike this classic. Jane Austen's character "Emma" has her faults of course, be she is a true character that is amusing and utterly charming, unlike those characters in Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, which by no doubt are wonderful books, but Emma truly has to be my favorite Austen work. It is predictable, even without having seen the movie that was based on this work (that mind some of you was written over 200 years before Alicia Silverstone existed...gosh!) but the predictability of it made it all the more enjoyable, like a sort of mystery in romance. I definitely recommend this book to anyone over the age of 11 or 12. I know I'll make my kids read it some day. It is superb!

Edition Details

Publisher:Bantam Classics
Lowest Price:$3.59
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