Item description for Emma (Classic Fiction) by Jane Austen...
Jane Austen (1775-1817) is considered by many scholars to be the first great woman novelist. Her novels revolve around people, not events or coincidences. Miss Austen sets her novels in the upper middle class English country which was her own environment.
Her novels have increased in stature over time. Her skills of writing, including a dry humor and a witty elegance of expression have attracted generations to her work.
Miss Austen completed six novels and part of a seventh, "Sense and Sensibility", "Pride and Prejudice", "Mansfield Park", "Emma", "Northanger Abbey", "Persuasion" and the partial "Lady Susan". Quiet Vision publishes all seven.
Outline 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
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Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.
Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.
Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.
Reviews - What do customers think about Emma (Classic Fiction)?
Comedy of Errors on a Georgian Stage Jul 4, 2008
A smug but goodhearted society girl learns her judgment isn't as incisive as she thinks it is. "Emma" is a fun, lighthearted version of Jane Austen, with enough misunderstandings and crossed signals to form the basis of a modern sitcom. For all its pleasant enjoyability, however, the novel is also a fascinating character study of one woman being elevated to a nobler level by being taken down several notches.
In this respect, "Emma" is a prime example of the fact that although many see Jane Austen as something of a proto-feminist, she often gave her male characters the most admirable constitutions of her entire cast. Although the female Emma may be the heroine we hope will triumph, the male Mr. Knightley (like Colonel Brandon of "Sense and Sensibility") is the unimpeachably noble person, and the one who helps Emma ascend to a higher plane of virtue when she might otherwise have been left in despair at her failures. In the end, Austen's fourth novel (and the last published during her lifetime) is not a feminist manifesto. Rather, it transcends the gender wars and remains a touching comedy of errors with a profoundly subtle commentary on human pride and folly.
classic Jun 18, 2008
It was a good book, but older writing styles are hard for me to get used to. I liked the characters, but the movie ruined it for me. ALWAYS read the book before you see the movie.
Emma Jun 17, 2008
I had already read this Jane Austen classic twice. I decided to buy a copy of my own so that when I want to read it again, I will have a copy here at home. This is one of my favorites.
Bargain on a classic Jun 9, 2008
I purchased 10 of these for my reading club. They were delighted with the attactive, light weight book, and the great price!
Poor KINDLE edition Apr 19, 2008
I'm writing in reference to the Kindle version of this book. Since I like the book itself, I gave 2 stars; however, this version was lacking in extras. I was seriously disappointed to find no footnotes, no introduction, no nothing. Just the book pure and simple. To top it off, there were many instances of multiple words jammedtogetherlikethis. I wish the 'sample' had been available when I ordered it from my Kindle. I certainly would have chosen another one of the available editions.