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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island book
Please, if you have never read Emma, please do judge this book by any film or TV adaptation you may have seen. The classic mistake of adaptors is to squeeze out a plot where there is none, trying to turn it into another Pride and Prejudice. (I love P & P, but Emma is better.)

This novel is about characters and is a wickedly funny observation of the society,...
Published on 8 Nov 2009 by Wizteria

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic Austen
If not for the character of Emma, this book would have been brilliant!! It sounds mad, I know, but could there possibly be any other fictional character in all of literary history to provoke such feelings of annoyance?! More than once I found myself screaming at her in my head to 'MIND HER OWN BUSINESS!' And her father wasn't much better. However annoying Emma might be...
Published on 17 July 2010 by madaboutbooks


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island book, 8 Nov 2009
This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Please, if you have never read Emma, please do judge this book by any film or TV adaptation you may have seen. The classic mistake of adaptors is to squeeze out a plot where there is none, trying to turn it into another Pride and Prejudice. (I love P & P, but Emma is better.)

This novel is about characters and is a wickedly funny observation of the society, the manners and the daily lives of the early 19th century. It sparkles with humour.

This is a truly great book that does not give up all its secrets at the first (or even the tenth reading.) Nothing happens in Emma, everything happens in Emma.

Read, savour, re-read.

(Who am I to praise the great Jane?. Unworthy. I will just genuflect and go.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly my favourite novel of all time, 11 Aug 2011
This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Five stars seems inadequate for this absolute gem. I have read it at least six times and I have listened to the BBC audio tape more times than I can count and there is always another layer, another turn of phrase I hadn't noticed. If I have had a stressful day a few chapters of this masterpiece transfers me immediately to the nineteenth century and at once I am involved again in Hartfield life.

There is not a character out of place, it has a wonderful sense of time and place and the reader is beguiled by Emma even though it has to be said she is snobbish, interfering and judgmental. Emma is blind to her destiny though a careful reader will see it signaled from the earliest chapters. In some senses, besides being both a romance and a social commentary it is an intriguing puzzle, It sparkles with wit, I love the passage where Mr John Knightley is reluctantly going out to dinner and his fears for the dullness of the evening are timeless.. who has not thought that way about an evening out, even now?
In my opinion this is Jane Austen's finest work by far, outstripping the more popular Pride and Prejudice by a mile. If you are new to Jane Austen, or indeed to nineteenth century literature, I recommend you start here. If you were force fed it at school and it was perhaps poorly taught please try it again now
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt, the best Austen, 5 Jun 2011
This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I never really imagined myself to be a potential Jane Austen fan as I normally read sci-fi, fantasy and historical novels but once I read Pride and Prejudice I could not help but speed through the rest of her works in pretty quick succession. Austen has an amazing talent for writing about the most mundane every day events in a most interesting and entertaining way. Gossip about people whom one does not know (which is essentially what her books are!) should by all rights be incredibly boring, but then Austen depicts her characters so well that you feel that you do know them. She does not do this so well in any other work as she does in Emma.

Emma is a character who is very easy to relate to, in spite of (or possibly because of) the fact that she is so flawed. Jane Austen referred to Emma as 'heroine whom no one but myself will much like' but how wrong she was. In spite of all her flaws Emma is very likeable indeed. She is highly intelligent and can actually be very shrewd in picking up some social cues.. the audience's entertainment is in the manner in which she misinterprets them! Her main redeeming feature is in the fact that she doesn't realise her own faults, but once she does, she is utterly sorry for them.

Emma is snobbish, her understanding of the events around her is imperfect and she takes a pleasure in interfering in the lives of others. Moreover she is selfish, vain about her intellect and standing in the community and has a tendency to look down her nose at people who do not posess the same qualities she believes herself to have. Poor Emma does not see it this way at all, she is unaware of her own flaws - aren't we all? and it all comes back to bite her in the backside in the end when she not only causes her friend to suffer but also causes her to adopt some of Emma's own negative personality traits which is perhaps one of the key reasons for Emma's epiphany about just how ugly those traits are and just how badly she has behaved. But then, Emma is only 17, and what 17 year old does not make these mistakes? The concept of a teenager may not have existed back in 1815, but teenage behaviour clearly did!

The main amusement for the reader is in seeing things from Emma's perspective but then also seeing it from a perspective that Emma cannot (ie the truth of the situation!) and picking up the clues that Emma misses or misinterprets. It is an entertaining, easy and funny read which I highly reccomend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 31 Mar 2010
This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Recently every book I have been reading seems to be a badly written, trashy novel. I decided it was time to (once again) attempt a classic. After consulting a very unhelpful librarian on where to start, I chose this book quite randomly. Having previously tried S&S after watching the brilliant BBC adaptation (but not getting further than the first couple of chapters due to the confusing way it was written) I wasn't really expecting to finish Emma - which is very long; and divided into three 'books'.
However, I instantly loved it. The language is beautiful and the characters real. Most of all, the plot is very believable - I can imagine this book being written now. The plot is one which could be very trashy - a girl trying to fix up her friends - yet the way it is written almost makes you forget this.
My only problem is that it is possibly too long a book for the amount of things that happen and some of the dialogue is very confusing. However, I think this is a great starting point if you do want to get into classic literature and I have been inspired to read other books from the era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun., 21 April 2010
By 
Craig Hall (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I have read Emma twice now and fully intend to read it again. It is full of charm and wit - and it is one of my favourite books, certainly my favourite Jane Austin novel.
The central story is around the development of Emma, a somewhat foolish young woman who (initially) sees life through her simple and somewhat prejudiced eyes. Without malice, her interference and inappropriate meddling have adverse impacts on those around her. She is NOT Elizabeth Bennett and has many flaws that do not endear her, however her intentions always flow from the motivation to help - she is simply slightly deluded and arrogant.
Austin has carefully constructed her 'growing up', leading to the realisation of the devastation she has caused; at the end, you can forgive Emma for having been so childish throughout the majority of the story.

Without dwelling further on this central character, a large part of the charm of the novel lies in the range of the other characters, my favourite being Emma's father Mr Wodehouse. He is an amiable and extremely gentle person who believes that his household is the best place on earth. He is continually perplexed as to why the governess got married and left - 'Poor Miss Taylor. I wish she were here again. What a pity it is that Mr Weston ever thought of her'. I loved the discussion between him and his other daughter over who has the best doctor - this gentle competition is so very amusing it has you laughing out loud.
Mr Wodehouse has poor digestion and has lost the sight of the fact that other characters do not suffer the same problems - when offering his guests cake, he insists on the tiniest portion in order to ensure their digestive health.

I fully recommend this book for all adults. At the risk of sounding patronising, do bear in mind that the book was first published in 1816 and uses the language of the time. I lent the book to an avid SciFi reader who was trying to expand his range, but he could not get into it because of the language. It was a shame, because I think after a couple of chapters you cease to notice this and get embroiled in the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it, because we all secretly want an Austen hero of our own...!, 14 Jun 2011
This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I am a huge Jane Austen fan and have read all her novels multiple times, never getting tired of the plots or characters. I love the wit of her writing, the sarcasm and irony add real humour and depth to what are very simply good love stories. OK, there is narrative on society at the time, the values applied to literature / religion / class etc, which are illustrated very accessibly in her work, but essentially this is chick-lit at its best.

In Emma we have a real anti-heroine, a young lady who is inherently flawed and ought to be considered quite unlikeable. She is selfish, snobby and smug, constantly judges and interferes with her supposed friends lives, and while accepting minimal blame when proven wrong in her actions is somehow always able to still justify them to herself as well-intentioned if badly executed. And yet, you like her regardless! You find yourself wanting to affectionately scold her, as the scrummy hero of the piece Mr Knightley does, rather than despising her, which I guess is testament to Jane Austen's abilities to create such an interesting character as Emma.

The various love trianges which appear in this plot are all believable and realistic, but portrayed in a lovely romantic fashion to make you feel all warm and smushy, and there are several twists and turns which when you are reading this for the first time you won't necessarily predict the outcome of.

It's one of those books you can't bear to put down, and the happy ending is as lovely as you expect from a Jane Austen. Highly recommend all her books, but this is second only to the Pride & Prejudice in my opinion as an absolute romantic classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all Jane Austen fans., 3 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I really love Emma by Jane Austen, it's one of my favourite stories and a must read for anyone who like Jane Austen style of book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money., 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I love this story and bought it to sent to a friend in Italy to improve her English as well as introducing her to Jane Austen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Wordsworth book, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Good user friendly. Great prices. Good to look at at. You could buy two copies one for highlighting ect one for the bookshelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great value, 15 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Emma (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Bought this for my Mum for Xmas along with 11 other classics, all Wordsworth classics. She's thoroughly enjoying reading them all and excited to have some new books to read as the local library doesn't stock a great amount of classics. The books are good quality and great value.
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Emma (Wordsworth Classics)
Emma (Wordsworth Classics) by Jane Austen (Paperback - 2000)
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