Emma (Collector's Library)
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Emma (Collector's Library)

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by Jane Austen
     
 

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Emma Woodhouse is a wealthy, exquisite, and thoroughly self-deluded young woman who has "lived in the world with very little to distress or vex her."

Jane Austen exercises her taste for cutting social observation and her talent for investing seemingly trivial events with profound moral significance as Emma traverses a gentle satire of provincial

Overview

Emma Woodhouse is a wealthy, exquisite, and thoroughly self-deluded young woman who has "lived in the world with very little to distress or vex her."

Jane Austen exercises her taste for cutting social observation and her talent for investing seemingly trivial events with profound moral significance as Emma traverses a gentle satire of provincial balls and drawing rooms, along the way encountering the sweet Harriet Smith, the chatty and tedious Miss Bates, and Emma’s absurd father Mr. Woodhouse—a memorable gallery of Austen’s finest personages. Thinking herself impervious to romance of any kind, Emma tries to arrange a wealthy marriage for poor Harriet, but refuses to recognize her own feelings for the gallant Mr. Knightley. What ensues is a delightful series of scheming escapades in which every social machination and bit of "tittle-tattle" is steeped in Austen’s delicious irony. Ultimately, Emma discovers that "Perfect happiness, even in memory, is not common."

Virginia Woolf called Jane Austen "the most perfect artist among women," and Emma Woodhouse is arguably her most perfect creation. Though Austen found her heroine to be a person whom "no one but myself will much like," Emma is her most cleverly woven, riotously comedic, and pleasing novel of manners.
 

Introduction by Steven Marcus
The author of more than two hundred publications and a specialist in nineteenth-century literature and culture, Steven Marcus is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. A fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Literary Studies, he has received Fulbright, American Council of Learned Societies, Guggenheim, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Rockefeller, and Mellon grants.

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, the seventh of eight children, in the Parsonage House of Steventon, Hampshire. An avid reader from earliest childhood, she began writing at age twelve. Her first two extended narratives, "Elinor and Marianne" and "First Impressions," were later reworked into Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, respectively. All of Austen’s novels were published anonymously, including Mansfield Park, Emma, and the posthumous Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817, and is buried in Winchester Cathedral.


"Jane Austen among all our novelists is unsurpassed in pursuing arguments to logically consequent ends. It is part of her genius that such pressure often leads to comically absurd conclusions."—from the Introduction by Steven Marcus

Editorial Reviews

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  • Footnotes and endnotes
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  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760748626
Publisher:
Sterling Publishing
Publication date:
09/21/2003
Series:
Barnes & Noble Collector's Library
Edition description:
Pocket-Sized Unabridged Edition
Pages:
590
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 5.94(h) x 1.21(d)

Read an Excerpt

Volume One

Chapter One

Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.

She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father; and had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses; and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.

Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr. Woodhouse's family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor's judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.

The real evils, indeed, of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

Sorrow came—a gentlesorrow—but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness.—Miss Taylor married. It was Miss Taylor's loss which first brought grief. It was on the wedding-day of this beloved friend that Emma first sat in mournful thought of any continuance. The wedding over, and the bride-people gone, her father and herself were left to dine together, with no prospect of a third to cheer a long evening. Her father composed himself to sleep after dinner, as usual, and she had then only to sit and think of what she had lost.

The event had every promise of happiness for her friend. Mr. Weston was a man of unexceptionable character, easy fortune, suitable age, and pleasant manners; and there was some satisfaction in considering with what self-denying, generous friendship she had always wished and promoted the match; but it was a black morning's work for her. The want of Miss Taylor would be felt every hour of every day. She recalled her past kindness—the kindness, the affection of sixteen years—how she had taught and how she had played with her from five years old—how she had devoted all her powers to attach and amuse her in health—and how nursed her through the various illnesses of childhood. A large debt of gratitude was owing here; but the intercourse of the last seven years, the equal footing and perfect unreserve which had soon followed Isabella's marriage, on their being left to each other, was yet a dearer, tenderer recollection. She had been a friend and companion such as few possessed: intelligent, well-informed, useful, gentle, knowing all the ways of the family, interested in all its concerns, and peculiarly interested in herself, in every pleasure, every scheme of hers—one to whom she could speak every thought as it arose, and who had such an affection for her as could never find fault.

How was she to bear the change?—It was true that her friend was going only half a mile from them; but Emma was aware that great must be the difference between a Mrs. Weston, only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house; and with all her advantages, natural and domestic, she was now in great danger of suffering from intellectual solitude. She dearly loved her father, but he was no companion for her. He could not meet her in conversation, rational or playful.

The evil of the actual disparity in their ages (and Mr. Woodhouse had not married early) was much increased by his constitution and habits; for having been a valetudinarian all hi's life, without activity of mind or body, he was a much older man in ways than in years; and though everywhere beloved for the friendliness of his heart and his amiable temper, his talents could not have recommended him at any time.

Her sister, though comparatively but little removed by matrimony, being settled in London, only sixteen miles off, was much beyond her daily reach; and many a long October and November evening must be struggled through at Hartfield, before Christmas brought the next visit from Isabella and her husband, and their little children, to fill the house, and give her pleasant society again.

Highbury, the large and populous village, almost amounting to a town, to which Hartfield, in spite of its separate lawn, and shrubberies, and name, did really belong, afforded her no equals. The Woodhouses were first in consequence there. All looked up to them. She had many acquaintance in the place, for her father was universally civil, but not one among them who could be accepted in lieu of Miss Taylor for even half a day. It was a melancholy change; and Emma could not but sigh over it, and wish for impossible things, till her father awoke, and made it necessary to be cheerful. His spirits required support. He was a nervous man, easily depressed; fond of every body that he was used to, and hating to part with them; hating change of every kind. Matrimony, as the origin of change, was always disagreeable; and he was by no means yet reconciled to his own daughter's marrying, nor could ever speak of her but with compassion. . .

What People are saying about this

Harold. Bloom
"To me, as an American critic, Emma seems the most English of English novels....It is Austen's masterpiece, the largest triumph of her vigorous art."

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Emma 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 711 reviews.
Jakabooboo More than 1 year ago
I'm deleting from my nook and re-purchasing the B&N Classics edition. This one has tons and tons of mistakes. Boooo!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not finish reading the book so many mistakes!!!! GET ANOTHER VERSION!!!!! For instance, instead of s in house there was A making houae instead of house!!! GET ANOTHER VERSION
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really hard to read random symbols and spaces fill this book, it really disappointed me :(
Alison Roane More than 1 year ago
Do not download!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many misprints! Whats the point of a free book if you cant read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only first volume with many misprints
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow at first but in the middle it gets good. Emma is such a funny character. And mr knightley is charming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The text of this free book is decent-definitely better than a lot of other free nook books! A few missing words and random symbols for letters, but I could usually make it out. I'd read it before though. The book itself is excellent. The copy is alright
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a ton of romance but this edition is not good just on one page there are a ton of mistakes for instance it says sxteen instead of sixteen and another word I can't even tell what it is but I love Jane Austen
V_LynnTX More than 1 year ago
Another masterpiece by Harvard University Press!! If you love Jane Austen's works, you're going to LOVE this as well! The story is wonderful all in itself, but the addition of the notations & illustrations along the margins gives the reader more detail & understanding of the times when this was written. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I knew I would - I also own the previous two annotated editions done by HPU in this format, Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion. Can't wait for the rest of them to done so that I can add them to my collection!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The hard cover copy is the best way to read the book print is small but that is why the pocket edition is the best because it doesn't take much room
LynnLD More than 1 year ago
In this timeless piece by Jane Austen, Emma of Highbury, is the self-indulged daughter of Mr. Woodhouse. Her governess has just married and at 21, she is left to figure life out on her own. She falls into the trap of matchmaking and it becomes a Comedy of Errors, so to speak. She vows to never marry because she doesn’t want to leave her father unattended. However, others in her town begin to make unlikely mate selections and those around are caught off guard. When young Harriet, who is under her tutelage, professes her love for Emma’s mentor, Mr. Knightley, Emma’s heart almost gives out. She is surprised by her own emotions. Read this this classic work and see how things turn out. It will entertain for hours, days and even weeks!
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?. ?.
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The poor copies of this novel were those produced before 2010.  The rest appear OK.
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I love and adore this book, but there are so many typos it is hard to enjoy rrading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: You're blind. <p> Age:*Drops dead* <p> Gender: Female <p> Personality: Meet me <p> Rank: Assasin <p> Theme song: Landslide by the Dixie chicks <p> Mate/crush/kits: Nope <p> Siggy: &delta &xi &omega