Emma by Jane Austen, Fiction, Classics, Romance, Historical, Literary

Emma by Jane Austen, Fiction, Classics, Romance, Historical, Literary

by Jane Austen

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Overview

Emma Woodhouse has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her friend and former governess, to Mr Weston. Having introduced them, Emma takes credit for their marriage and decides that she likes matchmaking.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598186789
Publisher: Alan Rodgers Books
Publication date: 10/01/2005
Pages: 364
Sales rank: 463,614
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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 British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. With the publications of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, eventually titled Sanditon, but died before its completion. Her novels have rarely been out of print, although they were published anonymously and brought her little fame during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation 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.

Date of Birth:

December 16, 1775

Date of Death:

July 18, 1817

Place of Birth:

Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England

Place of Death:

Winchester, Hampshire, England

Education:

Taught at home by her father

Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents

About the Seriesv
About This Volumevii
About the Textxi
Part 1Emma: The Complete Text in Cultural Context
Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts3
The Complete Text21
Contextual Documents and Illustrations382
A Riddle385
Robin Adair386
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 2Emma: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism
A Critical History of Emma405
Gender Criticism and Emma425
What Is Gender Criticism?425
Gender Criticism: A Selected Bibliography437
A Gender Studies Perspective: Claudia L. Johnson, "Not at all what a man should be!": Remaking English Manhood in Emma441
Marxist Criticism and Emma456
What Is Marxist Criticism?456
Marxist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography470
A Marxist Perspective: Beth Fowkes Tobin, Aiding Impoverished Gentlewomen: Power and Class in Emma473
Cultural Criticism and Emma488
What Is Cultural Criticism?488
Cultural Criticism: A Selected Bibliography503
A Cultural Perspective: Paul Delany, "A Sort of Notch in the Donwell Estate": Intersections of Status and Class in Emma508
The New Historicism and Emma524
What Is the New Historicism?524
The New Historicism: A Selected Bibliography538
A New Historicist Perspective: Casey Finch and Peter Bowen, "The Tittle-Tattle of Highbury": Gossip and the Free Indirect Style in Emma543
Feminist Criticism and Emma559
What Is Feminist Criticism?559
Feminist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography569
A Feminist Perspective: Devoney Looser, "The Duty of Woman by Woman": Reforming Feminism in Emma577
Combining Perspectives on Emma594
Combining Perspectives: Marilyn Butler, Introduction to Emma597
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms615
About the Contributors635

What People are Saying About This

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."

From the Publisher

"No one creates silly English characters better than Austen, and Wanda McCaddon is up to the challenge." —-AudioFile

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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