Jamie's Reviews > Emma

Emma by Jane Austen
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's review
Mar 25, 15

bookshelves: books-i-read-2010, favorites, jane-austen, owned

I have always loved the story of "Emma" since I was a pre-teen girl. But I had some hurdles to clear in actually trying to read the book.
The first time I tried to read it, I thought, for some reason, that it was too wordy. I'm not sure where I got that idea from, as I had only got as far as the first few chapters. Then a friend of mine put me off reading it when I went in for my second attempt by telling me it was boring and that Miss Bates ramblings went on for entire chapters. So, yet again I stowed my copy of Emma back on the bookshelf and went on to what I believed were bigger and better books. Which brings us to January 2010. The new BBC adaptation of Emma was set to begin in a matter of weeks, and my interest in the story was renewed. I already had a preconceived notion of what Emma was like in my head, based on Gwyneth Paltrow's portrayal of the character in the 1996 film. But I wanted to see the characters my way, before seeing how the next film was going to portray them. So I set out with renewed determination and began reading at once, so that I would have completed the book before the miniseries began. I cannot think what could have changed this time around, (other than maturity or some such rubbish) but I absolutely adored Emma from the first. I found the novel terribly, terribly funny.
And what is more, the depth Emma beguins to show as the story progresses kept me intrigued. I loved how Jane Austen lets us inside Emma's head, to see what she is thinking and feeling. I also appreciated her growth from self absorbed teenager to compassionate and understanding young woman. Mr. Knightly was gorgeous, Mr. Woodhouse hilarious, Mr. Elton both creepy and annoying, and Harriet delightful.
"Emma" is right at the top of the list of my favorite of Jane Austen's novels, and I must say, of my favorite novels, period.

Oh...and by the way, the BBC's 2009 adaptation of "Emma" staring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller was brilliant. It is now my favorite of all the adaptations I have seen...but the book will always be the best.

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Quotes Jamie Liked

Jane Austen
“Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief.”
Jane Austen, Emma

Jane Austen
“Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.”
Jane Austen, Emma

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