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Emma (Wisehouse Classics - With Illustrations by H.M. Brock) (2016) Paperback – 17 Aug 2016
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About the Author
Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels which interpret, critique and comment upon the life of the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Her most highly praised novel during her lifetime was Pride and Prejudice, her second published novel. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. The author's major novels are rarely out of print today, although they were first published anonymously and brought her little fame and brief reviews during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation as an author occurred in 1869, fifty-two years after her death, when her nephew's publication of A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider audience. Austen's most successful novel during her lifetime was Pride and Prejudice, which went through two editions at the time. Her third published novel was Mansfield Park, which (despite being largely overlooked by reviewers) was successful during her lifetime. All of Austen's major novels were first published between 1811 and 1818. From 1811 to 1816, with the publication of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published author. Austen wrote two additional novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818) and began another, eventually titled Sanditon, before her death. During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries Austen's writings have inspired a large number of critical essays and literary anthologies, establishing her as a British author of international fame. Her novels have inspired films, from 1940's Pride and Prejudice starring Laurence Olivier to more recent productions: Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship (2016).
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From the moment Fanny arrives to live at Mansfield Park all the Bertram family except Edmund make it very clear that they think her inferior because of her lack of wealth and education. As the years pass and her education surpasses that of her indulged cousins Maria and Julia nothing changes, and when the lively Henry and Mary Crawford come to visit they are made to feel more welcome than Fanny ever is.
Immediately the Crawfords set about attaching themselves to the Bertram family with Mary setting her sights on Edmund rather than the drunken playboy heir Tom, and Henry waists no time in flirting with the already engaged Maria. While the family seem bewitched by the Crawfords Fanny appears to be the only one to see their scheming behaviour, however even she becomes entangled in their web when Henry appears to fall in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage. She refuses based on his poor character and also because she loves Edmund, and this puts her in less favour with her uncle than before. Eventually the canker of the Crawfords is seen by all and Fanny is vindicated, and those who deserve what they get are rewarded by their fate. A lovely edition of a great classic.
Having this book on kindle makes it more valuable as you have a dictionary to hand, making its study more complete. Thoroughly recommended, both kindle and this book.
I'm enjoying the clear diction of Jenny Agutter, and as I've been reading the first chapters along with her on CD, I can confirm that it really is word-for- word.
Audio books can take a bit of getting used to. I've listened to some where the voice of the auditor is plain wearying especially after listening to it for hours. Until you find a favourite "voice" to follow it can be a hit-and-miss choice.
So - I'll look for more of J.A's unabridged work ... both Austen, and Agutter.
Downside? It may be personal thing, but I found at first that the story is narrated at a faster clip than I would have read it myself. Of course, there is a whole book to narrate, and it's 12 discs long, already! I'm getting used to the brisker pace.
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