Friday, 14 January 2011

Austen, Jane "Emma"

Austen, Jane "Emma" - 1816

Jane Austen is my favourite author ever. I have read all her novels and try to read everything else she ever pinned down.

"Emma" is not necessarily the most famous of Austen's novels. Emma Woodhouse, a rich clever girl who lives with her father is quite spoiled. She doesn't want to get married as she has enough money herself but looks out for everyone else. Jane Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."

She might be right there. However, there is something likeable in Emma, after all. She is rather selfish and starts a lot of different things only to abandon them later but she means well with other people. She might be too intelligent for her time, women were not supposed to think.

Emma is Jane Austen's only heroine without money problems, that's already a difference to her other novels. Maybe that's what makes it so interesting.

I have reviewed "Emma" a second time as a member of The Motherhood and Jane Austen Book Club. Find that review here and a list of all my "motherhood" reviews here.

From the back cover: "'I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like,' wrote Jane Austen in planning Emma (1816).Yet few readers have failed to enjoy the ironies of Emma's high-handed vanity, or to warm to her liveliness and wit. While she devotes her formidable energies to matchmaking between friends and acquaintances in the village of Highbury, the plot turns on a romance of which she is wholly unaware. Her own falling in love delights readers who have been anticipating it as profoundly as it perplexes Emma, who has not.'Of all great writers, she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness,' wrote Virginia Woolf of Jane Austen. This is never more true than in Emma, as Fiona Stafford discusses in her introduction to this new Penguin Classics edition."

I read a lot of novels by or about Jane Austen. Find a link to all my reviews here.

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