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Jane Austen's Emma - New Classic Fiction For Study
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Yet another Midwest Journal Writers' Club Selection  now available.

About this book:

Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters.

Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.

Emma Woodhouse, aged 20 at the start of the novel, is a young, beautiful, witty, and privileged woman in Regency England. She lives on the fictional estate of Hartfield in Surrey in the village of Highbury with her elderly widowed father, a hypochondriac who is excessively concerned for the health and safety of his loved ones. Emma's friend and only critic is the gentlemanly George Knightley, her neighbour from the adjacent estate of Donwell, and the brother of her elder sister Isabella's husband, John. As the novel opens, Emma has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her best friend and former governess. Having introduced Miss Taylor to her future husband, Mr. Weston, Emma takes credit for their marriage, and decides that she rather likes matchmaking.

Against Mr. Knightley's advice, Emma forges ahead with her new interest, and tries to match her new friend Harriet Smith, a sweet, pretty, but none-too-bright parlour boarder of seventeen —described as "the natural daughter of somebody" i.e. the illegitimate daughter of someone — to Mr. Elton, the local vicar. Emma becomes convinced that Mr. Elton's constant attentions are a result of his attraction and growing love for Harriet.

But before events can unfold as she plans, Emma must first persuade Harriet to refuse an advantageous marriage proposal...
(source: Wikipedia)

About the author:

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.
Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer.
(source: Wikipedia)

About the Midwest Journal Writers' Club:

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Downton Abbey & Jane Austen; Or, in Praise of Lady Mary | Journal ... - Like Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse, Lady Mary has more than her fair share of "unlikeable" moments, but when Mary expresses her point of view so clearly, it is difficult to stop oneself from standing up and screaming, ...
The Similarities between Families in Frankenstein and Emma | jane ... - In Jane Austen's Emma, Emma is described as a "handsome" and "clever" girl who grew up with an older sister, a father and a governess named Miss Taylor (5). Emma's mother had died "too long ago for her to have more ...
ASU students play role in 'Emma' production | ASU News | The State ... - Arizona Theatre Company's first production of 2013 takes audiences back to 18th century England with a lavish musical adaption of Jane Austen's "Emma" with an ensemble featuring four ASU students. The musical follows ...
Emma Woodhouse-Powerfully in Love | Inkwell - Stetson University - Jane Austen's Emma, while essentially a marriage plot concerned with the niceties, formalities, and strictures of a hierarchical society, portrays a heroine vastly different from the majority of Austen's female characters. From the ...
Jane Austen and the Ethics of Care - Better Living through Beowulf - My Faculty Book Group's current work, Fruits of Sorrow; Framing Our Attention to Suffering, makes an interesting use of Jane Austen's Emma. Exploring whether women have a natural "ethics of care," as some feminists have ...
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