A high-spirited young woman meddles in other peoples' love lives in this classic comedy of errors set in nineteenth century England.
For Emma, raised to think well of herself, has such a high opinion of her own worth that it blinds her to the opinions of others. The story revolves around a comedy of errors: Emma befriends Harriet Smith, a young woman of unknown parentage, and attempts to remake her in her own image. Ignoring the gaping difference in their respective fortunes and stations in life, Emma convinces herself and her friend that Harriet should look as high as Emma herself might for a husband--and she zeroes in on an ambitious vicar as the perfect match. At the same time, she reads too much into a flirtation with Frank Churchill, the newly arrived son of family friends, and thoughtlessly starts a rumor about poor but beautiful Jane Fairfax, the beloved niece of two genteelly impoverished elderly ladies in the village.
As Emma's fantastically misguided schemes threaten to surge out of control, the voice of reason is provided by Mr. Knightly, the Woodhouse's longtime friend and neighbor. Though Austen herself described Emma as "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like," she endowed her creation with enough charm to see her through her most egregious behavior, and the saving grace of being able to learn from her mistakes. By the end of the novel Harriet, Frank, and Jane are all properly accounted for, Emma is wiser (though certainly not sadder), and the reader has had the satisfaction of enjoying Jane Austen at the height of her powers.
This edition inludes:
-A concise introduction that gives readers important background information
-A chronology of the author's life and work
-A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
-An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations
-Detailed explanatory notes
-Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
-Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
-A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.
About the Author
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, in England. Her father, an Anglican clergyman, encouraged her literary pursuits from a young age and by her mid-twenties, Austen had drafted three novels. Following the success of Sense and Sensibility in 1811, she went on to publish Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published posthumously in 1818. Despite her fondness for marriage plots-all six of her novels end in weddings-Austen never married, living with her mother and sister in the years leading up to her death. She died on July 18, 1817, in the city of Winchester. Over two centuries later, Austen's novels remain beloved classics, and she is considered one of the foremost writers in English literary history.