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Emma (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – 2 Jan 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (2 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486406482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486406480
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,250,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 42 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I like it... 17 Feb. 2013
By RenKyo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Emma" is the first Jane Austen novel I read and since then I have read most of Jane Austen's novels. The story takes you back to old Enland (I guess 1800s)..the main character Emma, is a smart young woman from a well to do family in England. The story pretty much revolves around our heroine in her attempts at matchmaking, the social norms of England in those times etc. Though it borders on romance, I would say it is more of drama. Of course, Knightley (though old) is an adorable character in the story. Though Emma might seem a little...spoiled to some readers, I would say she is a sensible, likeable heroine. This book is one of the classics and is a wonderful read...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of Austen's Best Novels 27 April 2013
By Ornery, Swaggering, Piece of work - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Emma I believe, is Austen's longest novel, and may be considered the most complex, indepth one.

The plot in short goes as follows: Emma Woodhouse, a wealthy, well-meaning but immature heir to Hartfield, in the village of Highbury, takes up the hobby of match-making. Emma attempts to bring together her friend Harriet Smith and Mr. Elton, with unsatisfying results. When Frank Churchill comes to visit his father, Mr. Weston, Emma and he make fast friends, much to the dismay of Mr. George Knightley, and sceme about Ms. Jane Fairfax. The story ends when Emma discovers her own true match, after many trials and tribulations.

The book starts out a touch slowly; don't give up too soon! This novel is well written (most Jane Austen stories are) and very funny, Emma Woodhouse is nearly impossible to dislike, even if you don't approve of what she's doing. There are many different characters, so you may have trouble remembering them all at first, after the first read it gets easier. You may find it helpful to see it as a movie first, Emma with Kate Beckinsale in the lead role is the best in my opinion.

This book is definately worth a read, it is most enjoyable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Welcome to the real world 23 Nov. 2011
By Pam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jane Austen was a great author who without using too complex words made simple stories, with characters you can't forget. She had insights into human nature that make her story meaningful today just as it was in the early 1800's.
Emma is a beautiful and fortunate woman who has had only good luck. She thinks she knows it all. But really it's just she hasn't experienced the world. But this belief makes her get involved in the problems of others and disrupts her peaceful life. However it's not that serious, the results are comical and teaches you the important lesson to mind your own business!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Emma Woodhouse clever, handsome, and rich.. 14 Nov. 2011
By DBesim@excite.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I first opened the novel, I realised that the book was split into three volumes, which comprised of eighteen chapters apiece. I wondered how long it would take me to get through the read. As it worked out, the organisation of the novel, and the clarity of the language makes the novel a very legible read, and one can flow through the chapters in each of the volumes with much ease. It could take less than three to four days to complete one volume, in nine by nine chapters, with active concentration.

Volume one makes for a very interesting read, as we're already introduced to Harriet and Emma's relationship, within only a few chapters in. We see that Emma's designs to interfere in Harriet's relationships is centred on her presumption that it was she who matchmade Miss Taylor's matrimony to Mr Weston. Emma wants to matchmake Harriet with Mr Elton, not Mr Martin, of Harriet's own choice. She tries to put Harriet off Mr Martin by calling him 'a gross, and vulgar farmer.' Her input breaks up Harriet's relationship with Mr Martin, and we find ourselves sympathising with Harriet, but not with Emma. Our opinion of her schemes makes readers feel critical of Emma for interfering.

In volume two, we continue to be critical of Emma. On first read, volume two can get extremely tedious, because the themes run on, and have a lot less in common with volume one. It gets particularly tedious when Austen devotes pages of the novel to Miss Bate's blabbing on and on. The themes eventually begin to link in volume three. We get a better understanding of volume two, and we can see there is something more conclusive. We continue to feel cold towards Emma throughout volume two, including because of her prejudices towards Miss Jane Fairfax, whom we find ourselves liking, and is through the novel a lot nicer, and more consistent than Emma. Emma forms false assumptions about Jane Fairfax, when she assumes there is more to her relationship with Mr Dixon than meets the eye. Mr Dixon is married to Miss Campbell, who is Jane's best friend. Jane would never do that to Miss Campbell, and Emma's presumptions are wrong. We don't like Emma, she misleads us.

By volume three, our understanding of Emma gradually grows warmer. Her feelings begin to change. She begins to realize the truth. Her understanding of Mr Frank Chruchill, and Mr George Knightley begins to change. She finds herself going to balls, and centred into some flirtation between these two men. By the end of the novel she discovers Frank Churchill has been secretly wed to Jane Fairfax. We are also surprised to see that Emma's marital status also concludes with a wedding to George Knightley, although Mr Woodhouse, Emma's father, is against this union of the two, believing that Emma has vowed never to get married to anyone, so that she can continue looking after him, and not leave.

Sometimes in Austen, it seems like if the story had continued into another volume, things might not have been happily ever after between Emma and George Knighley afterall, or between Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Divorce might have been a theme that could have gone on in Emma, if the plot had extended into a volume four, because I was quite convinced that Frank Churchill had intimate feelings for Emma. In the same way I felt Knightley felt for Fairfax. However, because of the cosy-close ending of the novel, we shall never know.

Overall, with a little patience, the novel is a very good read, especially, if readers can get through the tedious themes of volume two, and into the merits, and warmer themes of volume three.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Very Low-Stakes Game 1 Sept. 2013
By Jiang Xueqin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this timeless Jane Austen classic, Emma Woodhouse is young, rich, and beautiful. She is happy and comfortable, without any complaint in the worry, doted on by everyone around her, especially her pleasant father. A tragedy in the Woodhouse household is when someone departs -- first the eldest daughter Isabella and then the beloved governess -- but both Emma and her father are assured and comforted by the strongest belief that the two could never leave each other.

The departure of her governess has vexed Emma though, and bored and feeling mischievous Emma decides to take on a new plaything -- a young impressionable Harriet Smith -- and play match-maker. In the rustic bubble that is the lower British aristocracy, there is no crime, poverty, and disease, and everyone ends up marrying their rich, well-to-do, and articulate cousin or neighbor anyway. Marriage then is a very low-stakes game, but because it is a game people -- especially Emma -- take it far too seriously, and seek to marry for the greatest advantage possible (marriage is for "security, stability, and improvement" in her words). In her silly game-playing Emma mischievously plays with the feelings of all those around her, and in her silly mischief ends up marrying herself to the perfect man.

I did not enjoy "Emma" as much as I thought I would. Sometimes, the writing is beautiful and musical, as per Austen's intention. But sometimes it can be clunky and overwrought as well. The plot -- if what happens can be called a plot -- is low-stakes and meaningless, empty and silly gossip and chatter in people's parlour-rooms. And insight into the priorities of high-born women intent on marriage -- especially the evasiveness and trickiness of their emotions -- is better handled by Iris Murdoch and Edith Wharton.

What recommends the book -- and why it remains a timeless classic -- is that it is a perfect and timeless encapsulation of the priorities, engagements, and thinking of wealthy women in any society and in any time -- the desire to maintain peace, grace, and the veneer of friendliness in their small society, while blocking out anything unpleasant or threatening to their small society.
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