Jane Fairfax: The Secret Story of the Second Heroine in Jane Austen's Emma

Overview

Jane Austen's Emma has been a favorite novel for Austenites since 1816. In the mid-1990s it became a favorite movie for millions of new admirers.

A key reason for Emma's success is that the story has two heroines-Emma Woodhouse and Jane Fairfax. In Austen's novel, Jane's backgound is left obscure, and the turmoil underlying her current reduced circumstances in mysterious.

At last we learn her whole story in Joan Aiken's superb retelling of ...

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Overview

Jane Austen's Emma has been a favorite novel for Austenites since 1816. In the mid-1990s it became a favorite movie for millions of new admirers.

A key reason for Emma's success is that the story has two heroines-Emma Woodhouse and Jane Fairfax. In Austen's novel, Jane's backgound is left obscure, and the turmoil underlying her current reduced circumstances in mysterious.

At last we learn her whole story in Joan Aiken's superb retelling of Emma-this time from Jane Fairfax's point of view. When Jane Fairfax was published in hardcover, Aiken's wit, style, and skill prompted Booklist to say, "Brilliant...extraordinarily will done and highly recommended."

This worthy companion to the great original is for the first time now available in paperback.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Others may try, but nobody comes close to Aiken in writing sequels to Jane Austen." —Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A companion to Jane Austen's Emma, released to coincide with the video release of the Gwynneth Paltrow film. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312157074
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 859,124
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Aiken, the daughter of Conrad Aiken, is an award-winning author. She divides her time between London and New York.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2004

    Fairly Good

    This novel was an interesting way to look at Jane Austens 'Emma'. Though of course it's not perfect, I thought that it protrayed the characters fairly well. Emma definitely was a spoiled brat, as she was in the Emma book. I think the reason that she is portrayed nicer in the actual Emma novel is because she is the heroine. Now, about Jane settling for Frank, I don't think she really did. Prehaps she 'thought' she liked the other men, but I think in the end she realized that they weren't that spectacular. Besides, Frank seemed ecstatic about her and if she didn't marry him she'd have to become a governess which was infinitely more worse. The ending wasn't 'happily everafter' but it was exactly Joan Aikens style. I don't think she believes in happy endings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2000

    Completely Austen

    This is by far the best Austen attempt I have read so far. The author has captured the proper style, and the plot is more typically Austen and less outrageous that in some of the other Austen sequels that have been attempted (read: Emma Tennant and Julia Barrett P&P sequels). I now find it difficult to separate this account of 'Emma' from what happens in the actual novel, which says a lot for Joan Aiken's talent. A must-read for lovers of 'Emma'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    The Rest of the Story...

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this companion book to "Emma". I then saw so many details in my rereading of "Emma" that I had missed before. I highly recommend this book to lovers of Jane Austen: Joan Aiken does a "superior" job.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Jane

    Honestly, I finished Emma and immediately picked up Jane Fairfax, anxious to read more about Emma's most intriguing character. I thought the book was utterly fabulous, well-written, and very Jane Austen. This book is perfect for travel, a day in the sun, or curled up on the sofa by a smoldering fire. Thank you Ms Aiken, for this lovely treat!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2003

    As the stars say, 'Okay, but not great.'

    One of my fellow critics said that she doesn't like the way Emma is portrayed as a 'spoiled, rotten brat' while Jane is portrayed as a 'martyred angel.' I totally agree with her. I admit that when I first stumbled upon this book when I was 12 at the local Barnes & Noble, I was stunned. I thought it was a great idea to retell the story through Jane's POV, and I couldn't put it down at first. But upon closer examination, I would say that I really didn't like that Emma became a demi-villainess, preventing Jane from blossoming. And this whole idea of Jane falling in love with Mr. Knightley was a bit disconcerting, considering that she never really knew him THAT well (or at least that's what Jane Austen implied). Finally, the fact that she settles for Frank Churchill only because she can't have Knightley and Matt can't have her is utterly bogus! I just don't think Jane Austen would appreciate these insinuations, which are all totally unfounded. But in the final analysis, it's OK. Just don't get too frustrated, and definitely don't expect a grand AUSTEN rehash.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2000

    Not bad, but not good either.

    I am a serious Jane Austen fan, and so naturally I thought this was a must-read. It's interesting, certainly, but if JA ever read it she would roll over in her grave. The things that happen are too dramatic, too modernized, too Hollywood-ish. Also, I don't like how it portrays Emma. She appears to be the most spoiled, rotten brat in existence and Jane Fairfax, by contrast, is a martyred angel. Mr. Knightley is still pretty good, but even he's not up to Austen's portrayal. Don't read it if you like Jane Austen's other novels. Better to stick with re-reading her 6 masterpieces.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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