Katie's Reviews > Emma

Emma by Jane Austen
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Sep 14, 10

bookshelves: all-time-favorites, classics, women
Read in August, 2010

Something about Jane Austen makes me want to put on my petticoat and bonnet and time-travel my way to Georgian England.

I absolutely adore Emma. So much of that adoration comes from the characters -- each is so well-developed that you start to know them as your own little townsfolk neighbors: our scheming heroine Emma, her ascetic father, chatty Miss Bates, sweet but silly Harriet, juvenile Frank Churchill, ostentatious Mrs. Elton...I should stop here, because otherwise I'll just list every character in the book, and that might bore you.

Emma is lighter than most of Austen's novels, which is sometimes used as a criticism, but I find the story to be wonderfully crafted and rich with dialogue and comedy-of-manners humor. Plus, we get to see a woman from the 19th century acting something beyond prim and proper: Austen said in creating Emma she created a character only she, the author, could love, but as a modern gal who grew up in an outspoken family, I can't even imagine having to repress every thought I had that wasn't perfectly pleasant and benign.

One last thought: Please don't judge me, but thanks to my vast knowledge of all things Clueless, I loved Emma even more. After (finally -- and embarrassingly late in my reading career) reading Emma, I can now fully appreciate the absolute, uncontested genius of Amy Heckerling.
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