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Emma

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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  477,823 Ratings  ·  11,226 Reviews
'I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.'

Beautiful, 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 Knigh
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Hardcover, 437 pages
Published 1996 by Book-of-the-Month Club (first published December 23rd 1815)
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samsarella I saw Clueless first and I liked so much, that when I was reading Emma, some years later, I was delighted when I started finding similarities between…moreI saw Clueless first and I liked so much, that when I was reading Emma, some years later, I was delighted when I started finding similarities between both stories. They are pretty similar, and they are both really funny, too.(less)
Caitlin There is a YouTube series called Emma Approved that is a modern adaptation of the book. Since it's done in episodes, it makes it easy to watch along…moreThere is a YouTube series called Emma Approved that is a modern adaptation of the book. Since it's done in episodes, it makes it easy to watch along as you read, which is what I am doing and recommend. I did the same thing with Pride & Prejudice and The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and really enjoyed it.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Zoë
Dec 07, 2016 Zoë rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second favorite Jane Austen book, right behind Pride and Prejudice! I absolutely love Emma's character development and how she wasn't a perfect person right from the beginning. She had more than her fair share of flaws, but even so, I still really enjoyed her character? She had good intentions, even though they were truly quite selfish. Also, Mr. Knightley is my favorite Austen man ever (sorry, Mr. Darcy)!
Kelly
May 24, 2007 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans, all women
This is a book about math, mirrors and crystal balls, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Village life? Sorta. The lives of the idle rich? I mean, sure, but only partially and incidentally. Romance? Barely. A morality tale of the Education of Young Lady? The young lady stands for and does many more important things than that. These things provide the base of the novel, the initial bolt of fabric, the first few lines of a drawing that set the limits of the author to writing about these thous ...more
Bookdragon Sean
Austen paints a world of excess.

She’s just so fucking brilliant. That much so I found the need to swear. The sarcasm is just oozing out of her words. She doesn’t need to tell you her opinions of society: she shows them to you.

Simply put, Emma’s farther is a ridiculous prat. There’s no other word for it. He spends his day lounging around eating rich and expensive food and doesn’t bother to exercise his body or mental faculties. The thought of visiting his recently departed governess, a long-tim
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Amanda
Jul 28, 2009 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists
Shelves: untumbled-turds, blog
My interpretation of the first 60+ pages of Emma:

"Oh, my dear, you musn't think of falling for him. He's too crude and crass."
"Oh, my dear Emma, you are perfectly correct. I shan't give him another thought."
"Oh, my dear, that's good because I would have to knock you flat on your arse if you were considering someone of such low birth."

Yawn. I tried, but life's too short. Plus, I like 'em crude and crass.

Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
Okay, when I first started the book and was reading how Emma was taking happiness away from Harriet Smith by telling her that Mr. Martin wasn't good enough for her - I didn't like Emma at all.

 :

Now I can understand how Emma only wanted to do good by Harriet and that was how it was back in those days. But, as Mr. Knightely pointed out, Harriet was not from some wealthy family and Emma was doing the wrong thing in trying to find her a great husband. Mr. Knightley went to the trouble to help Mr. Mar
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Lora
Although using this trite doesn't mean that the fact is any less true, it is still at the risk of sounding cliché when I say that Jane Austen's classic, Emma, is like a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed to the miasmal novels in the publishing market today; especially for someone who has been on a YA binge of late.
You see, the reason why I went for Emma as my first Austen read is because my mother has seen the latest movie adaptation, and she claims it to be her very favorite. Mind you, she has
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Henry Avila
Aug 06, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emma , a young woman in Regency England, lives with her rich, but eccentric widowed father, Henry Woodhouse, in the rural village, of Highbury, always concerned about his health (hypochondriac, in the extreme), and anybody else's , Mr. Woodhouse, constantly giving unwanted advise to his amused friends and relatives, they tolerate the kindly old man. Miss Woodhouse ( they're very formal, in those days), is very class conscious, a bit of a snob ( but lovable), and will not be friends with people b ...more
Mandy
Feb 03, 2008 Mandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't do it! I can't finish it! I keep trying to get into Jane Austen's stuff and I just can't make it further than 150 pages or so. Everything seems so predictable and sooooo long-winded. I feel like she is the 19th century John Grisham. You know there's a good story line in there somewhere, and if you could edit out 60% of the words it would be fantastic. Sorry to all the Jane Austen fans-you inspired me to try one more time and I failed!
Amy
Jun 21, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all of Austen's books - and I've read them all several times - I learn the most from Emma. I believe that one of Austen's goals in writing is to teach us to view the rude and ridiculous with amusement rather than disdain. And in Emma we have the clearest and most powerful picture of what happens when we don't do this: when Emma speaks out against Miss Bates. Though rude on Emma's part, we can't help but love her for her mistake and feel her shame because we've all been there. When I feel I ca ...more
Kai
Nov 06, 2016 Kai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2016, classics
“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.”

Personally, I may have lost my self-control, but not my heart.
My motivation to read this book stemmed from J.K. Rowling stating that this was one of her favourite books. A few years ago I read my first Jane Austen, which was Pride and Prejudice, and I really enjoyed it.
I thought Emma couldn't be that bad, it's a popular classic and its rating is good. To be honest, it's not bad, exactly, but the fact that it took me one whole month to get throu
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Renato Magalhães Rocha
"With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley."

Regarded as one of Jane Austen's most important works, Emma is a novel about a handsome, clever and rich young woman - Miss Woodhouse - who lives on the fictional estate of Hartfield, in the Surrey village of Hig
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Lizzy
I hope not to raise any of my friends’ sensibilities when I tell you that although I liked Emma, I did not love it. Emma simply did not move me.
"With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley."

I liked the hilarity of her well-meaning but misdirected attempts a
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s.penkevich
Jun 10, 2012 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, austen
Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.
Emma Woodhouse, the heroine and namesake of Jane Austen’s last novel to be published within her lifetime, spends her days of leisure playing matchmaker and offering the reader her keen eye for the character of the locals of Highbury. However, this keen eye may not be as accurate as she would wish it to be. Through her inaccurate impressions
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Would it be bad to say I like Mr Knightley better than Emma herself? Jane Austen famously wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." Truer words, Jane. Truer words.

Upcoming April 2017 group read with Catching Up on the Classics. Emma gets another shot with me.
Diane
This was the perfect book to reread during my Christmas break. I am a devoted fan of Jane Austen's work, but even so, I find "Emma" to be particularly charming and insightful.

The story of the "handsome, clever and rich" Emma Woodhouse, who is determined to be a matchmaker among her friends but is constantly making blunders, is one that always makes me smile when I read it. I especially like the descriptions of Emma's neighbors and of Highbury. Indeed, the novel is so vivid I feel as if I could
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mark monday
Jane Austen seems to be a rather divisive figure as of late. You love her for her wit, her irony, her gentle but pointed depictions of manners and love. Or you hate her because she seems to be harking back to an age of prescribed gender roles and stultifying drawing room conversation. I am of the former camp.

Emma may be one of her more divisive novels and the title character one of her more controversial creations. Or perhaps that should be – one of her more irritating creations. She exasperates
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Apatt
Jan 06, 2016 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Upon my word! After reading a couple of chapters of Emma I do declare—with all due respect—that Miss Emma Woodhouse is one silly cow. I have sought assurance from my dear friend—the very learned Mrs. Roberts from a nearby vicarage—regarding correct usage of the term “silly cow”, and she has given me her approbation with the greatest felicity.



Yes, Emma Woodhouse is clueless, so much so that the wonderful 1995 movie Clueless is entirely based on her story. Emma likes to make matches, and I don’t m
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Brad
I'm pretty impressed with this busybody know-it-all. :)

As a character novel, the entire thing is extremely dense and interesting and oh-so-convoluted.

As a plot novel, it's not so much of anything. :)

Fortunately, I was in the mood for something that would lift individual silly characters from the realm of the opinionated and silly and and arrogant to the level of real humanity with eyes flying open.

Honestly, Austen is great at this kind of zinger. It's all about the self-realizations and the gr
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Yani
Oct 15, 2016 Yani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Gracias, Jane Austen, por no decepcionarme aún. Se nota que este libro lo escribió durante la madurez, porque ni Sentido y sensibilidad ni Orgullo y prejuicio tienen una trama que parece muy sencilla y que logra construir algo más complejo. Uno de los motivos puede llegar a ser una protagonista que no lleva un cartel pidiendo que el lector la quiera (salvo en ocasiones puntuales) y muchos personajes que dan falsas impresiones. No pueden faltar las descripciones de los entretenimientos de zonas r ...more
*eKa*
Not gonna lie, I am soooo happy that I can eventually close this book. And by that means I have read it all from the very beginning to the end / every single page of it / not a cowardly DNF. I'm so proud of my self.



Thank you.

The main problems of this book, that it took me so long to finish it, in my opinion, are:

1. The thickness of this book (no wonder Lol)

2. The mind-numbing life of high class society that makes the reading felt so repetitious. And also the minority of conflict that leads to a
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Yaz *The Reading Girl*
Warning: If you are a fan of Jane Austen and her "amazing" work, then don't read this. This will be a very negative review. And I am going to be pretty mean. And have been confirmed that I am the only who will never like Jane Austen!

October 27th, 2013 edit


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Don't know what to rate THIS stars!!
(Maybe I will be nice and give it 1 star)

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Ugggggggggggghhhh!!!!!!!! So you might ask yourself why did I even read a book by Jane Austen after I had a pretty bad experience with Pride and Prejudice, but I am
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Mike
May 07, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continuing our trip down Jane Austen Blvd! Emma has much the same style that Persuasion does, but with a much, MUCH lighter tone. It can afford it; while Anne spends pretty much all of Persuasion pining for lost love, Emma is far too busy meddling in everyone else's love lives to get too weepy about her own. Where they ever to meet, Emma would role her eyes, tell Anne to get over herself and then arrange some meeting with a local gentry that would probably involve a chapter-long scene where ever ...more
Jason Koivu
Wow, what a lot of effort Austen put into her annoying characters in this one! Just to make sure I'm clear, I'm not saying I didn't like Emma because of this. I mean there are two or three characters that are intentionally annoying and Austen spent a lot of time constructing each, offering up plenty of examples for the reader. Miss Bates is incessantly chatty, okay. Mrs. Elton is bossy, I get it. It's important to establish these traits, but there's a difference between planting seeds and buryin ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 27, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, chick-lit
I approached this book with some trepidation; my smart lady friend here in Goodreads advised me to bear in mind, while reading Emma, that this book is a satire. Oh well, I did. But the more I try hard to be interested on the Georgian (1714-1830) or even Victorian (1837-1901) period, the more I get to question myself what is the use? I still could not relate to the people and practices of those British eras and what they did in their lives. Single women oogling on single men hoping to get their a ...more
Helle
Emma is going to turn 200 this December, and I can confirm, with this latest reading of her, that she is as feisty, opinionated and full of herself as ever. For a bicentenarian, she’s in cracking good form and hasn’t aged a bit.

I, too, have gotten older since I last met her (and am possibly in slightly less good shape since I first laid eyes on her), and I find that I’m ready to forgive her much more this time round. In fact, though Emma is the Austen heroine who has divided opinions most, I fo
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Paul Bryant
Oct 17, 2007 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
The only thing I can remember about this beloved novel is that I read it on the bus to work. That's it. On the bus. Sorry.

The three stars is because I like reading on buses.
Erin
Oh, Emma. <3

It's been three years since the only other time I've read this book. This re-read has definitely pushed it more towards the top of my "Favorite Austens" list. So much to love, and all the more so because other people don't appreciate Emma enough. It's lonely at the top!

Why I Love This Book
Emma is such a witty read. Each character has its place and purpose, and they make decisions I can understand instead of doing whatever will move the plot forward most conveniently. I was immerse
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Roy Lotz
It was a delightful visit—perfect, in being much too short.

The first time I ever read a Jane Austen novel, I had no idea what I was getting into. The book was Sense and Sensibility, and I began it immediately after finishing Lolita. My dear reader, I hope you never suffer such a complete literary shock; it was like being pushed into a pool on a cold winter’s day. After such scandal, such literary rhapsody and tragedy, such depravity and bliss as found in dear Humbert’s tale, how could I get en
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Ashley


September 2016: This is the fifth in my series of posts wherein I write reviews for classic books in the form of letters to the characters so as to avoid actually writing a review for a book that has been written about by everyone’s mother’s second cousin’s uncle twice removed from a monkey. I’m re-reading all of Jane Austen’s books in 2016, and it has so far been a fun experience. July was Emma month, and I was very much looking forward to it, since I’ve liked it more and more every time I’ve r
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Natalie Monroe
Fine, I went "Awwww" at the end.



In many ways, Emma is the forerunner of contemporary romances. A perky naive girl tries her hand at matchmaking, only to discover she's fallen in love with the man she's pairing up with her friend. It provides an interesting discourse on female friendship because Emma and Harriet's relationship is terribly unequal.

The first half is really slow though. If I didn't have to read this for school, I would've given up at page 20.
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Jane Austen 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 and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry
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“Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.” 2102 likes
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