Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Emma by Jane Austen

  • THE BOOK
    • Emma by Jane Austen
    • Published December 1815
    • Other works by the author: Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey.

  • THE PREMISE
    • Emma Woodhouse attends the wedding of her former governess and decides to continue matchmaking for others as she herself has no intention of marrying.
    • Two hundred-year-old spoiler: things do not go well in Emma's matchmaking attempts but all ends happily.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • I have now read all but one (Mansfield Park) of Jane Austen's 6 novels. I will try to get to that one later this year.
    • I watched the 1996 film version starring Gwyneth Paltrow last month and really enjoyed it. I've had the book on my shelves for years now and decided that I should read it while the basics of the story were fresh in my mind.
    • I also saw "Clueless", the 1995 film starring Alicia Silverstone, a couple of years ago but as a latecomer to the film I didn't love it. It was definitely cute though.
      • When it first came out I was a wife and mother, working full-time at a bank, with a 2-year-old son and a husband attending night school to finish his college degree. I was NOT the target audience!
    • Back to the novel, it was very good and I enjoyed it immensely. 
    • Emma herself is likeable despite her penchant for meddling in everyone's business. She means well. Her love interest, in his late 30s, seems to be waiting for her to mature before asking her to marry him.
    • The only character that really drove me crazy was Emma's father who was apparently a valetudinarian --- a hypochondriac who actually tends to get sick --- and who always refers to Emma's older sister and the newly married governess as "Poor Isabella" and "Poor Miss Taylor", respectively, because their marriages took them away from him. He seems much more selfish than Emma supposedly is. 
      • Emma would have been better off had her mother lived but then we wouldn't have a novel about matchmaking gone wild.
    • My Jane Austen novel ranking:
      • 1: Pride & Prejudice
      • 2: Sense & Sensibility
      • 3: Emma
      • 4: Northanger Abbey
      • 5: Persuasion (I should probably re-read this one as I have very little memory of it)
      • Unranked and unread: Mansfield Park

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