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Emma (Toby Classics Series)

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In Jane Austen's comic masterpiece, the inimitable Emma Woodhouse, a self-proclaimed matchmaker, just may find herself the victim of her own best intentions by the novel's conclusion.

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Emma (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

In Jane Austen's comic masterpiece, the inimitable Emma Woodhouse, a self-proclaimed matchmaker, just may find herself the victim of her own best intentions by the novel's conclusion.

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What People Are Saying

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

  • ISBN-13: 9781592640041
  • Publisher: Toby Press LLC, The
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Series: Toby Classics Series
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 510

Meet the Author

Jane Austen (1775—1817) was born in Hampshire, England, where she spent most of her life. Though she received little recognition in her lifetime, she came to be regarded as one of the great masters of the English novel.

Biography

In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.

Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      December 16, 1775
    2. Place of Birth:
      Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      July 18, 1817
    2. Place of Death:
      Winchester, Hampshire, England
    1. Education:
      Taught at home by her father

Read an Excerpt

Emma


By Jane Austen

Vintage

Copyright © 2007 Jane Austen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307386847

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 thedisadvantages 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 gentle sorrow-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 his 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 acquaintances 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 everybody 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, though it had been entirely a match of affection, when he was now obliged to part with Miss Taylor too; and from his habits of gentle selfishness, and of being never able to suppose that other people could feel differently from himself, he was very much disposed to think Miss Taylor had done as sad a thing for herself as for them, and would have been a great deal happier if she had spent all the rest of her life at Hartfield. Emma smiled and chatted as cheerfully as she could, to keep him from such thoughts; but when tea came, it was impossible for him not to say exactly as he had said at dinner:

"Poor Miss Taylor! I wish she were here again. What a pity it is that Mr. Weston ever thought of her!"

"I cannot agree with you, papa; you know I cannot. Mr. Weston is such a good-humoured, pleasant, excellent man, that he thoroughly deserves a good wife; and you would not have had Miss Taylor live with us for ever, and bear all my odd humours,1 when she might have a house of her own?"

"A house of her own! but where is the advantage of a house of her own? This is three times as large; and you have never any odd humours, my dear."

"How often we shall be going to see them, and they coming to see us! We shall be always meeting! We must begin; we must go and pay our wedding-visit very soon."

"My dear, how am I to get so far? Randalls is such a distance. I could not walk half so far."

"No, papa; nobody thought of your walking. We must go in the carriage, to be sure."

"The carriage! But James will not like to put the horses to for such a little way; and where are the poor horses to be while we are paying our visit?"

"They are to be put into Mr. Weston's stable, papa. You know we have settled all that already. We talked it all over with Mr. Weston last night. And as for James, you may be very sure he will always like going to Randalls, because of his daughter's being housemaid there. I only doubt whether he will ever take us anywhere else. That was your doing, papa. You got Hannah that good place. Nobody thought of Hannah till you mentioned her-James is so obliged to you!"

"I am very glad I did think of her. It was very lucky, for I would not have had poor James think himself slighted upon any account; and I am sure she will make a very good servant; she is a civil, pretty-spoken girl; I have a great opinion of her. Whenever I see her, she always curtseys and asks me how I do, in a very pretty manner; and when you have had her here to do needlework, I observe she always turns the lock of the door the right way and never bangs it. I am sure she will be an excellent servant; and it will be a great comfort to poor Miss Taylor to have somebody about her that she is used to see. Whenever James goes over to his daughter, you know, she will be hearing of us. He will be able to tell her how we all are."

Emma spared no exertions to maintain this happier flow of ideas, and hoped, by the help of backgammon, to get her father tolerably through the evening, and be attacked by no regrets but her own. The backgammon-table was placed; but a visitor immediately afterwards walked in and made it unnecessary.

Mr. Knightley, a sensible man about seven or eight-and-thirty, was not only a very old and intimate friend of the family, but particularly connected with it, as the elder brother of Isabella's husband. He lived about a mile from Highbury, was a frequent visitor, and always welcome, and at this time more welcome than usual, as coming directly from their mutual connections in London. He had returned to a late dinner after some days' absence, and now walked up to Hartfield to say that all were well in Brunswick Square. It was a happy circumstance, and animated Mr. Woodhouse for some time. Mr. Knightley had a cheerful manner, which always did him good; and his many inquiries after "poor Isabella" and her children were answered most satisfactorily. When this was over, Mr. Woodhouse gratefully observed:

"It is very kind of you, Mr. Knightley, to come out at this late hour to call upon us. I am afraid you must have had a shocking walk."

"Not at all, sir. It is a beautiful moonlight night; and so mild that I must draw back from your great fire."

"But you must have found it very damp and dirty. I wish you may not catch cold."

"Dirty, sir! Look at my shoes. Not a speck on them."

"Well: that is quite surprising, for we have had a vast deal of rain here. It rained dreadfully hard for half an hour while we were at breakfast. I wanted them to put off the wedding."

"By the bye, I have not wished you joy. Being pretty well aware of what sort of joy you must both be feeling, I have been in no hurry with my congratulations; but I hope it all went off tolerably well. How did you all behave? Who cried most?"

"Ah! poor Miss Taylor! 'tis a sad business."

"Poor Mr. and Miss Woodhouse, if you please; but I cannot possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor.' I have a great regard for you and Emma; but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence! at any rate, it must be better to have only one to please than two."

"Especially when one of those two is such a fanciful, troublesome creature!" said Emma playfully. "That is what you have in your head, I know-and what you would certainly say if my father were not by."

"I believe it is very true, my dear, indeed," said Mr. Woodhouse, with a sigh. "I am afraid I am sometimes very fanciful and troublesome."

"My dearest papa! You do not think I could mean you, or suppose Mr. Knightley to mean you. What a horrible idea! Oh, no! I meant only myself. Mr. Knightley loves to find fault with me, you know-in a joke-it is all a joke. We always say what we like to one another."

Mr. Knightley, in fact, was one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them; and though this was not particularly agreeable to Emma herself, she knew it would be so much less so to her father, that she would not have him really suspect such a circumstance as her not being thought perfect by everybody.

"Emma knows I never flatter her," said Mr. Knightley, "but I meant no reflection on anybody. Miss Taylor has been used to have two persons to please; she will now have but one. The chances are that she must be a gainer."

"Well," said Emma, willing to let it pass, "you want to hear about the wedding; and I shall be happy to tell you, for we all behaved charmingly. Everybody was punctual, everybody in their best looks: not a tear, and hardly a long face to be seen. Oh, no; we all felt that we were going to be only half a mile apart, and were sure of meeting every day."

"Dear Emma bears everything so well," said her father. "But, Mr. Knightley, she is really very sorry to lose poor Miss Taylor, and I am sure she will miss her more than she thinks for."

Emma turned away her head, divided between tears and smiles.

"It is impossible that Emma should not miss such a companion," said Mr. Knightley. "We should not like her so well as we do, sir, if we could suppose it: but she knows how much the marriage is to Miss Taylor's advantage; she knows how very acceptable it must be, at Miss Taylor's time of life, to be settled in a home of her own, and how important to her to be secure of a comfortable provision, and therefore cannot allow herself to feel so much pain as pleasure. Every friend of Miss Taylor must be glad to have her so happily married."

"And you have forgotten one matter of joy to me," said Emma, "and a very considerable one-that I made the match myself. I made the match, you know, four years ago; and to have it take place, and be proved in the right, when so many people said Mr. Weston would never marry again, may comfort me for anything."

Mr. Knightley shook his head at her. Her father fondly replied, "Ah! my dear, I wish you would not make matches and foretell things, for whatever you say always comes to pass. Pray do not make any more matches."


From the Paperback edition.

Continues...

Excerpted from Emma by Jane Austen Copyright © 2007 by Jane Austen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

About the Series v
About This Volume vii
About the Text xi
Part 1 Emma: The Complete Text in Cultural Context
Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts 3
The Complete Text 21
Contextual Documents and Illustrations 382
A Riddle 385
Robin Adair 386
from Unfortunate Situation of Females, Fashionably Educated, and Left without a Fortune. (1787) 387
from Letter to His Son (1750) 389
from Essays on the Picturesque (1810) 390
from Our Domestic Policy. No I. (1829) 391
Opinions of Emma (Ca. 1816) 392
Crossed Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra (June 20, 1808) 398
The Frolics of the Sphynx (1820) 399
Square Pianoforte (1805) 400
A Barouche Landau (1805) 401
A View of Box Hill, Surrey (1733) 401
The Lincolnshire Ox (1790) 402
Part 2 Emma: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism
A Critical History of Emma 405
Gender Criticism and Emma 425
What Is Gender Criticism? 425
Gender Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 437
A Gender Studies Perspective: Claudia L. Johnson, "Not at all what a man should be!": Remaking English Manhood in Emma 441
Marxist Criticism and Emma 456
What Is Marxist Criticism? 456
Marxist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 470
A Marxist Perspective: Beth Fowkes Tobin, Aiding Impoverished Gentlewomen: Power and Class in Emma 473
Cultural Criticism and Emma 488
What Is Cultural Criticism? 488
Cultural Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 503
A Cultural Perspective: Paul Delany, "A Sort of Notch in the Donwell Estate": Intersections of Status and Class in Emma 508
The New Historicism and Emma 524
What Is the New Historicism? 524
The New Historicism: A Selected Bibliography 538
A New Historicist Perspective: Casey Finch and Peter Bowen, "The Tittle-Tattle of Highbury": Gossip and the Free Indirect Style in Emma 543
Feminist Criticism and Emma 559
What Is Feminist Criticism? 559
Feminist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 569
A Feminist Perspective: Devoney Looser, "The Duty of Woman by Woman": Reforming Feminism in Emma 577
Combining Perspectives on Emma 594
Combining Perspectives: Marilyn Butler, Introduction to Emma 597
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms 615
About the Contributors 635
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Reading Group Guide

1. Describe the class and rank of various characters in the village of Highbury. Compare the positions of Mr. Weston, Mr. Elton, Miss Taylor, Harriet, and Emma with others in Highbury. How do matters of class affect the interaction of these characters, and would you describe class as being rigid or flexible as it is depicted by Jane Austen? To what extent can class be said to be of central importance to the development of the novel, since it is one of the most important considerations in marriage? Does class seem to be treated differently by those in Highbury than it does by outsiders, for example Frank Churchill and Mrs. Elton? Do you think it is significant that no woman in Highbury is of Emma's age and rank?

2. How does the relationship between Mr. Knightley and Emma change throughout the course of the novel? Although Austen does not directly tell us what their relationship was like during Emma's childhood, their long and intimate friendship is established at the novel's opening. In light of their occasional quarrels and Knightley's criticisms of Emma, for example, the criticism he made on Box Hill, how does Mr. Knightley feel about Emma? Do Mr. Knightley's feelings change as the novel progresses? If they do, what incidents account for the changes in his feelings?

3. Does Emma act as a good friend to Harriet Smith? Are Emma's concerns for Harriet's education and refinement born of an honest desire to help, or is it something less altruistic? Are Mr. Knightley's criticisms of Emma's interference with Mr. Martin's marriage proposal justified? Does Harriet ultimately benefit from Emma's friendship or her attempts to help her?

4. While matchmaking isthe central device in Emma, both for the plot and as a backdrop to develop characters, not all of the matches made in the novel are good. Compare the matches made between Mr. Weston and Miss Taylor, Emma and Mr. Knightley, Harriet and Mr. Martin, Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, and Mr. Elton and Mrs. Elton. Which are good matches and which are bad? What character traits in the couples make them suited or unsuited for each other? Why are the mismatches so important to the story?

5. In the final analysis, is Emma a sympathetic character? Does she seem to have good intentions only marred by a slight desire to interfere with other people's lives, or is she thoughtless and unconcerned with the effects she has on others? In your estimation, is Emma ultimately moral or immoral? What specific incidents in the novel lead you to that conclusion?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 754 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 756 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2010

    Not a good copy

    While I enjoyed the book the copy was not good. There were words missing and signs in their place. It was not a good copy.

    26 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Do not get this edition!!!

    I'm deleting from my nook and re-purchasing the B&N Classics edition. This one has tons and tons of mistakes. Boooo!!!

    21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    HORIBLE LOTS OF TYPE MISTAKES

    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

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Bad quality pdf

    Do not download!

    12 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Terrible format

    Really hard to read random symbols and spaces fill this book, it really disappointed me :(

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Typos galore

    So many misprints! Whats the point of a free book if you cant read it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    review

    This is actually the whole book but it has many misprints

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    review

    Only first volume with many misprints

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Emma

    Slow at first but in the middle it gets good. Emma is such a funny character. And mr knightley is charming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Decent

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Emma

    Loved it! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Romance

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    Highly Recommend - Beautifully done!

    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!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Good book but typos....you get what you pay for ..

    Loved it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    Great book bad copy

    While the book never disapoints this version had some problems making it hard to read. Random foot notes in the middle of paragrphs and punctuation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    One of the first novels I ever read

    Emma is one of the first novels I recall reading as a preteen. I immediately fell in love with Mr. Knightley, and the cheeky banter he shares with the heroine. I saw a lot of myself in Emma as a young girl, flaws included, and knew I wanted an amazing declaration of love from my very own Mr. Knightley one day. I have a tattered paperback copy, beautiful leather bound bookshelf copy and now a new electronic copy for my nook. The story is witty, charming and full of loveable characters. A good rainy weekend read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    great

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    The poor copies of this novel were those produced before 2010.  

    The poor copies of this novel were those produced before 2010.  The rest appear OK.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Badly Converted

    I love and adore this book, but there are so many typos it is hard to enjoy rrading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Dawn

    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

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