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Emma & Knightley: Perfect Happiness in Highbury: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Emma

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  393 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
" ... the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union."
Thus the last line of Jane Austen's Emma. A year later, Emma and Knightley are still living at Hartfield, surrounded by the Westons, the Eltons and the Bateses. But as events unfold, the coupl
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ebook, 370 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,339)
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
After reading reviews of this book and "Perfect Happiness" earlier edition of "Emma and Knightly" and seeing that many people had criticized this book, I was skeptical to give it try. Since there aren't many good sequels to "Emma" out there, I was willing to try something that was not raved about.

I wasn't disappointed. The story was intriguing, perhaps not the greatest sequel written. But overall, ended up being a bit of a page turner!

We find Emma a year or more into her marriage with Mr. Knig
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Jennifer Gentry
I really wanted to like this book as "Emma" is one of my favorite Jane Austen novels (not as well-loved as "Pride and Prejudice", but that's beside the point). Upon reading the sample, I was thoroughly intrigued with the idea of discovering what Mr. & Mrs. Knightley's ever-after resembled. How was life at Hartfield? How did they adjust to living as husband and wife after viewing each other for so long as friends--and friends with such a disparity in ages? How did the marriages of some of the ...more
Ceri
This is a sequel to Jane Austen’s Emma, beginning around 18 months into the Knightley’s marriage and all is not well in Highbury. The story begins really quite depressingly; news of a death, and the realisation that Emma and Knightley are emotionally not very close – they have kept up their respective roles of spoiled child and advisor. The story then moves onto a bankruptcy and another death. I had to take a break from this book and come back to it, misery piles upon misery and through it all E ...more
Cassandra
As soon as I finished reading Emma, I turned to this book. I think the author did a pretty good job keeping both Emma and Knightley (individually) true to the original. However, I felt like their relationship with each other was not what Austen would have written. The two enjoyed a good verbal sparring in Emma but it seemed as if they had NO communication in the sequel. As a result, there were misunderstandings galore. In Emma, they were not afraid to tell each other what they felt even if they ...more
Jenna
May 05, 2011 Jenna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
***SOME SPOILERISHNESS***

Like my rating, I thought this was ok. I've never read Billington before, so I don't know if this is typical...it wasn't that it was so bad; it just was definitely no Jane Austen. Perhaps she was not trying to imitate Austen's style and perhaps I should not have expected her to. There was just none of the laugh-out-loud wit that I enjoy with Austen, merely a few chuckles here and there. Of course, the focus was more towards the "what happens after the happily-ever-after"
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TheAromaofBooks
Emma & Knightly was a delightful little read.

Billington explores the the most obvious potential pitfall of the marriage between these two characters–the fact that Knightly has grown up regarding Emma as his personal young charge, to admonish and guide. Through the story, they learn to relate to each other two adults, husband and wife. Old characters appear, and even Mr. Woodhouse has his opportunity for romance.

I would give this happy story an easy 3/5. It would be a 4, except for Frank Ch
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Mirah W
Jul 28, 2011 Mirah W rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a good continuation of Emma and Knightley's story. I thought the growth experienced by Emma in Jane Austen's novel was completely forgotten about by the author. I don't recall Emma feeling such distaste for certain characters and nd there seemed to be too much of a disconnect between Emma and Knightley. Although, I do have to admit, I love the path the author chose for Ms. Bates...for some odd reason I think it actually worked.
LeOta
Jun 05, 2008 LeOta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that have not read Emma
Shelves: austen-sequels
This book is billed as PERFECT HAPPINESS IN HIGHBURY, but it seemed pretty depressing to me.

Emma and Kightley go through a great deal of unhappiness for most of the book. Both Frank Chruchill and John Knightley were also very unhappy. The author took two other Austen beloved characters developed into different characters with the same names.

Bottom line, I didn't enjoy this book and am not able to recommend it.
Sara
Jan 25, 2009 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The character of Emma is well done. She still has lessons to learn about her haphazard snobbery. New and interesting characters are introduced, and familiar friends like Mrs Elton and Miss Bates do not disappoint. But it seems that Billington did not know what to do with Jane and Frank Churchill. That particular subplot is bizarre and distracting.
Amelia
2.5 Stars



I love Jane Austen huge amounts. I generally buy any Austen "sequels" I come across on my trawls through secondhand books because, although they rarely come close to her writing, they still usually give me the warm fuzzies. Most of these sequels are based on her most popular book, Pride and Prejudice so you can imagine my happiness at coming across one based on a different book - Emma. Unfortunately, in my excitement I forgot that Emma is my least favourite of Austen's novels.

You see,
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Charity U
It was fine, but I had a few problems. Nothing bad or objectionable. But there were some editing errors (Selina Suckling called Serena multiple times) and a lot of quotation marks were dropped. The writing wasn't that great, and I won't be keeping the book. Good if you love Jane Austen's "Emma" but otherwise...
Megan
Apr 14, 2010 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tons of typos and missing quotation marks. Plot -- average. Characterization -- eh. Didn't really feel like Frank Churchill or Miss Bates or Mrs. Weston was really the character they were in the Jane Austen original. A little bit of a let down.
The Hobbit
Jan 24, 2016 The Hobbit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sequel to Jane Austen's Emma. The first 19 months of marriage do not go smoothly for the couple. Emma feels he still treats her like a child, refuses to confide in her. But Emma too is keeping secrets, secrets regarding Frank Churchill and his tragic circumstances. Emma both pities and despises Frank, but cannot bring herself to tell Knightley about him. And Emma misreads her husband's attentions to Harriet Martin, newly wealthy. A drastic change in lifestyle for her sister and John Knightley, t ...more
Kate
"The irrepressible Emma is restless ... And Mr. Knightley's apparently endless patience is tried, not only by her strong mind and high spirits but also by the problems of his brother John and the return of the widowed Frank Churchill.

"After a year of marriage, Emma wants Knightley to stop treating her like a child, Knightley meanwhile wants his young bride to love him as a husband, not as the man she's always looked up to. With tragedy in the offing, and events unfolding that include beloved cha
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Kayla Gutierrez
The aspect I most enjoyed in this “Emma” sequel is the insight it provides into Emma’s character. Like many of Austen’s other heroines, she has serious flaws. Emma is haughty and superior. She resents the upward mobility of others (e.g. Harriet Martin’s newly found inheritance, the expansion of her house, and the Martin family’s acquisition of Abbey-Mill). She judges harshly the choices of people socio- and economically beneath her (e.g. Mrs. Tidmarsh’s origins as a foundling, Ms. Jane Fairfax’s ...more
Jess Swann
Sep 25, 2013 Jess Swann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Une très bonne idée de départ...J'aime énormément le parti pris de l'auteur sur le couple Emma/Knightley. La différence d'âge est très bien exploitée même si les "fans" du couple auront peut-être un peu de mal. Emma est particulièrement caractérisée et je trouve que l'auteur met subtilement en valeur son décalage avec Knightley. Ce dernier est touchant dans son désir de protection d'Emma, même si on sent bien qu'il l'infantilise... Mr Woodhouse est plus pénible que jamais et j'aime VRAIMENT lire ...more
QNPoohBear
This very long sequel to Jane Austen's Emma follows many of the conventions of a marriage of convenience novel. The plot drags on and on without any change in character. I knew what Emma's problem was and the solution to it and I kept waiting for her to realize it and act on it but Emma remains just as spoiled, childish and snobby as she ever was until the end of the novel, some 500 pages later. Knightley is just as dull and enigmatic as he is in the original novel. I liked Miss Bates a lot. She ...more
Maria Grazia
"Emma Knightley, handsome, clever and rich, with a husband whose affection for her was only equalled by her affection for him, had passed upward of a year of marriage in what may be described as perfect happiness: certainly this is how she described it to herself as she sat at her writing desk from which she had an excellent view of her father, Mr Woodhouse, taking a turn rould the shrubbery on the arm of her beloved Mr Knightley".
With this promising opening I was ready to dive into a joyful fam
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Menna  Emad
Emma & Knightley: Perfect Happiness in Highbury
that mocking book title

I hate how she turned such a delightful story and characters to a depressing, sad and lonely.
I kept reading waiting for the reconciliation between Emma and Mr. Knightley, which I in some point thought it'll never happen, but it did happen in the very very End and wasn't very satisfying.
Kirsten
This novel as a sequel to Jane Austen’s Emma has much to live upto considering her predecessor. I found Billington a little too fussy with details. Her way with detail does not compare well to Austen’s. Austen’s detail gives such insight into the mores and manners of her time without seeming to be interested in the petty. In saying that the story does become more compelling as it evolves. The storyline is much better than some other Austen sequel’s out there. I found that I wanted to finish it ...more
Erin
Jun 23, 2010 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I always approach these Austen sequels with trepidation. I have read many that I haven’t liked. I have to admit that while I am a huge Jane Austen fan, Emma has never really been one of my favourite books of Austen’s. I have always found Emma to be a terribly annoying and pretentious character, but I guess the fact that I tend to find her so annoying is a testament to how amazing a writer Austen was and how she can bring characters to life. I found that this book really dragged and I had to forc ...more
Nicki
I personally LOVED this book. It takes place after the events of Emma, who has just been married to Mr. Knightley

Pros
-Mr. Knightley is even more charming in this book than he is in Emma.
-Great new plots that are well thought out and full of drama.
-Loved the plot surrounding Mr. Churchill

Cons
-Emma is kind of annoying in this book. She never manages to really do anything, and just complains and wonders why things are happening.

I did really love this book though. I always wondered whether things wo
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Laura
I happened upon this book while browsing at the library. I want to buy this book and place it on my bookshelf right next to my copy of Emma.

This book was very much in the style of Jane Austen herself. The major theme of the book was Emma's view of herself and how she assumes Knightley views her. With such an age difference between the 2, how can happily ever after work? Emma wants to be a strong woman and to be seen as a woman, not the child that Knightley watched grow up. She meets a Mrs. Tidm
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Nikii
Aug 16, 2008 Nikii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Austen geeks
Shelves: austenalia
If I had imagined what the plotlines of a sequel to Emma might include, I would not in a million years have dreamed up any of these. The unexpected works in this novel, wherein Emma and her Mr. Knightley travel the hard road to Austen's promised "perfect happiness" in their second year of marriage. The characters are well-drawn and true to Austen, though they are changed by their experiences, which is exactly as it should be.
The ending felt a bit rushed, as if the author had thrown all she coul
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Cissy
Dec 31, 2009 Cissy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not brilliant, a little tedious, but I think I will finish.

Now finished, still not brilliant. The whole plot so depended on Emma's selfishness and self-centeredness, that I'm afraid to read the "old" Emma. I remembered her having enough redeeming qualities to balance the snobbishness. Also, the characters came off so melodramatically that I could hardly stand reading their actions and reactions. Honestly, does Austen's Emma read that way? I can't remember. (I'm assuming here that the author of
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Brenda
Nov 11, 2014 Brenda marked it as avoid  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler)
Allison Riehl
Amazing book!
Tina
Jul 01, 2009 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tina by: JA Fans Sick of P&P Sequels
I usually find these Austen sequels a tad disappointing and this one while better than some, is no exception. It was refreshing to read an "Emma" sequel for a change, but I could not buy Emma and Knightly's marriage woes resulting in her jealous hatred toward Harriet. The author seemed to forget that they were friends. It had it moments, but it took me forever to get through this. I know, I should stick to the real deal, but I am sadly a sucker for these Austen rip-offs!
Brooke Gearhart
Jan 01, 2013 Brooke Gearhart rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This book had huge lulls with little to keep the reader engaged. Emma was portrayed as petulant, conceited and downright selfish and childish. She was made to seem even more so by the contrast of her character to Mr. Knightley, who was patient and kind and altogether indulgent to his Emma's ridiculousness. Emma as a character in this book, was IMPOSSIBLE to like and made the book painful to read.
Maia B.
Mar 05, 2011 Maia B. rated it did not like it
Yuck. Jane Fairfax dies, Mr. Knightley is suspected of an affair with none other than Harriet Smith and Frank Churchill tries to have an affair with Emma herself. And it's written in a very, very poor pastiche of Austen's prose - at times it seems much more like The Clique, and then it's the poor pastiche. Doesn't hang together, way too long, and written badly.

Do not recommend.
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