A charmingly delightful story about one woman’s unsuccessful matchmaking skills!
Emma Woodhouse has decided that, at the tender age of 20, her life is settled and content and therefore she has no need or desire to marry…ever. She does, however feel the need for everyone else to settle down and live in perfect matrimonial harmony. And so begins her project of securing a husband (of distinguished pedigree) for her friend, Harriet Smith.
Although she has a tendency towards snobbery and arrogance, I actually really like the character of Emma. She is easily led astray and may speak before she thinks but she does have a wonderful little conscience on her shoulder in the form of Mr Knightley.
There are many interesting characters in this story – Mr. & Mrs Weston, Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax, Harriet Smith, Mrs & Miss Bates, Mr & Mrs John Knightley, and Mr George Knightley. Oh yeah! There are also a couple of not very nice ones, namely Mr & Mr Elton. How anyone could put up with the snide, rude and overbearing Mrs Elton is anyone’s guess. Had the story been written now, I’m sure that Emma would have had a few choice words to say to Mrs Elton, but as it is everyone seems to just tolerate her, although I do believe that Mr Knightley does get a little payback on Mr Elton towards the end.
Emma’s attempts at matchmaking her friend, Harriet, all seem to backfire and being so wrapped up in her efforts she does not see what is right in front of her. It is a beautiful story of friends-to-lovers, that moment when the lightning bolt finally strikes and everything becomes clear. Mr Knightley is perfectly suited to Emma. He is her calming influence and would do anything for her. Is Emma deserving on Mr Knightley? I think so. Mr Knightley confesses that he has loved her since she was 12 years old, and I believe that if Emma thought hard about it she would realise that she has loved him for just as long.
This is a story filled with misunderstandings, secrets, and romance. Love her or hate her, Emma is definitely one of my favourite romance heroines.
Clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.