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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather (pHeather) Post here all general discussion on Emma.


message 2: by Vanda (new)

Vanda (agapemay) | 12 comments first and foremost is i love Emma; if there is no P&P, Emma is my #1 Jane Austen's.

there is only one objection i have about Emma.

Mr. Knightley's age was almost twice her age; in real i have no prob with that but in a novel...please...be more idealistic!

imagine if Emma lives to be 45, how old would Mr. Knightley be?

someone pls stop time...



message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments Jane Austen wrote that Emma was a heroine only she (Jane) could love and, indeed, many readers do not warm to her. Does anyone out there LIKE Emma herself? I always did; I think that sometimes she did act for purely selfish purposes, but most of the time she meant well although her approach was misguided. Interesting throughout is her admiration of Mr. Knightley as everything a true gentleman should be, although this included traits she did not cultivate in herself until the end (such as tolerance).




message 4: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments Also, what do you think of the portrayal of marriage in "Emma."

I think Austen makes it clear in all her novels that marriage was often arranged for financial security or owing to societal expectations--especially on the woman's part; so often her "lesser characters" like Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins "succumb" to this. Her "unworthy" men and women marry for money or position (Willougby, Lucy Steele, Mr. Elton). I think, however, that all the heroines marry for love; perhaps it is not a love that we may consider perfect today but in the context of that day, I think all the women get a good catch because they married men who respect something unique about them -- they love them as individuals -- and who have some tenderness for them. Perhaps a usually-happy but sometimes-imperfect companionship was infinitely preferable to the social and financial ostrification of being poor and unmarried. Remember in "Emma" where Harriet asks Emma why she is not afraid to become an old maid like Miss Bates and Emma replies most matter-of-factly that Miss Bates is a POOR old maid, but an unmarried lady of good fortune is always respectable. In this case, of course, we might perhaps view Emma and Mr. Knightley's union as one of the most perfect love-matches in Austen's works because neither needed the wealth or position afforded by the union.



message 5: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Wood | 49 comments Hey great comment on Austen anti-heroes marrying for money! It's true that men who marry for money are bad guys in Austen, but their aren't many unmonied matches in Austen...
Austen shows Emma to be wrong to look down on Harriet's Smiths wealthy farmer, but that's a class and not a money issue...
I think Austen was for "no marriage" if there wasn't monied, love match to be had. No one married JUST for love and were happy...look at Fanny Price's parents.


message 6: by Ann (last edited Oct 10, 2008 06:10PM) (new)

Ann | 69 comments SPOILERS!!!!

Really great insights, Kathryn!! I think those are very good points!
I love Emma, too! And I ADORE the Paltrow/Northam version! so delightful!!!
And while yes, it is rather strange to think of the large age difference between Emma and Mr. Knightly, I suppose he *was* only 35 (I think?) so I could see a twenty-year-old being okay with that at the time. But, it's hard to really relate to now. I love the line that's in the movie (I'm not sure if it's in the book):
Knightly: "I was 16 when you were born."
Emma: "Yes, but hasn't the lapse of 21 years closed the gap?"
Knightly: "...narrowed it" :D

And while I totally see what you mean Michaela, (I do think Austen was clear that having money made life much easier) I think Harriet's marriage was supposed to be happy, and I doubt there was much money there. I haven't read Fanny's book yet though, so I don't have that to reference. But overall, Austen's main heroines did end up marrying (I think) for love, but money did end up coming along with it.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments Hm... I just thought

Sense and Sensibilities SPOILERS!

what about Elinor and Edward? They don't really get much money? Though I guess we're to assume that Brandon helped the whole family out.


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (AndreaG) | 5 comments SPOILERS


Regarding the age gap between Emma and Mr. Knightly. There are certainly happy couples out there with gap in their ages that large or larger. I think it depends on maturity level and personal background. My brothers are 14 and 16 years older than I am, and by parents were in their early 40's when they had me. Growing up I was mature for my age and was used to being around people who were older. If the right man had come along who was 15 years older after I was in my 20's, I don't think I would have thought twice about the age difference.

I think the book shows a critical maturing of Emma, that makes her suitable for Mr. Knightly and allows them to move beyond the more sibling-like relationship they had previously.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments SPOILERS

Andrea,

Great point about maturity! SO true!!! And I think that's actually a good way to view "EMMA" because I do think the book is about her maturing, and Mr. Knightly waiting, in a way, for her to do so. Once they are more "on a par" then, like you said, the relationship changes.


message 10: by Michaela (last edited Oct 13, 2008 02:54PM) (new)

Michaela Wood | 49 comments I have to say, I think there WAS money in the Harriet and farmer match in "Emma" - he had lots of property and cash. It was class snobbery that Austen was "poo-pooing" by having Emma be wrong and Knightly be right about HArriet and her farmer's suitability: Austen thinks class should be somewhat mallable based on intellectual and practical merit, but NOT MONEY. THERE ARE NO UNMONIED MATCHES IN AUSTEN> NONE (LOL).
Zero, zip zilch, Austen really, really, thought money was the basis for a good marriage. No money, no love. Remember how cheerfully Elizabeth gives up Wickam? That's Austen practicality.
Of course money without love was just as wrong. There had to be something to live on, and then feelings should be honored. No woman should marry FOR money, and certainly not WITHOUT it.

Emma and Knightly have, I think, a strange/ Woody Allen type relationship. HE "molds" her mind from a certain age up and acts the "big brother" to her (incestual without actual genes, please see Clueless). I can appreciate where the attraction comes from...power relationships wonderfully askew can create good sexual tension. I think it, however, not an equal power relationship, as were, I think, Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. I think Emma is looking for someone older, mature and decisive, to step in and take care of her father... who seems more of a grandfather.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments I imagine you're right, Michaela, about the Harriet/farmer class match.

And interesting points about Emma and Knightly. I'll always love that line from the movie (I don't know if it's directly from the book, but I think it's so delightful): "If Heartfield must be your home, then let it be mine as well." ;>


message 12: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1398 comments Mod
I wonder if the times and the experience of the characters in Emma had more to do with the match of Emma and George Knightly. For example, even as late as my own grandparents era (1920s-1930s rural America) people met each other at the small social gatherings of the community and never strayed too far from that geographically to find a mate.

It seems that Emma's world was much like that. So could Emma and Knightly have found a match in each other more from sharing the same society, background, family, education and views? After all, they were neighbors and their brother and sister had already become husband and wife (same with my grandparents). I picture it as more of a shared-power relationship. Even though she was young as the story takes place, I picture them as a well-matched couple by the time 12 years or so have passed.


message 13: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1398 comments Mod
I wanted to comment on one thread that you folks discussed earlier -- the marrying for money. I think it is interesting and probably emphasizes how social class limited women. Women like the main characters of Austen's stories had to depend so much on that income from the well-made marriage. They might receive inherited income of course, but could not respectably EARN any at any future time. A woman of slightly lower rank could acceptably sew, sell garden crops, hire out housekeeping for a neighbor who had given birth, etc.

But it seems the upper class woman couldnt afford to marry for little money, because she was doomed to possibly never have any if her husband didnt improve their circumstances.


message 14: by Kathryn (last edited Oct 14, 2008 08:08AM) (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments You make some great points, Michaela. I took your view of the Emma/Knightley match when I read it, Sarah. Smaller social circles, families already connected--not to say that love didn't blossom between them eventually, but I do think it was much more usual back then for such age differences in a union. (Consider in P&P how Lydia is such good friends with the Col.'s wife--I think they were peers--with whom she goes to stay in Brighton and the Col. is certainly far beyond 16 years of age.)

It seems a popular POV is that Knightley molds Emma and then marries her because she is exactly what he wanted (unless I misunderstand)...? I always took a different view: that Knightley didn't start to love Emma or even consider her in that way UNTIL she began to learn her OWN lessons and move beyond some of her own dilusions. That for so long it WAS an older-brother/younger-sister sort of relationship (due to their ages and the fact that he was, indeed, practically her brother-in-law) and, yes, he did instruct her in some way as suitable to that role BUT once Emma began to "grow-up" she was more independent of Mr Knightley (her whole infatuation with Frank, for example--then the idea that Harriet might marry Mr Knightley) and that separation is what ultimately brought them together. They had to see one another in a different light--as romantic attractions for someone else--in order to move beyond their standard roles with one another and see the possibilities there for a mature, equal romantic relationship.


message 15: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Wood | 49 comments I certainly do think older men/younger women matches were more usual in that era - women could have more children if they were married younger, while men had more time to aquire money and further a career. I also think it was as natural for Knightley and Emma to marry as say Emma and Frank Churchill in the sense that social standing and familial connections counted towards most matches.

However keep in mind he was not just marrying someone YOUNGER but someone for whom he had been a familial figure.

As for personal preferences, I don't think that Knightley's affection is all that recent. Although partially in jest, at one point Knightley claims he has been in love with emma " ever since you were thirteen at least." He has not, in that time period, though he is of age, seen fit to court any other women of his acquaintance, although he does like to "interfere", as he puts it, in Emma's day to day business. As a girl he was constantly disapproving of one thing she wanted or another, the end result being, he did not,

"believe I did you any good. The good was all to myself, by making you an object of the tenderest affection to me."

If their are different kinds of sexual tension; poor/ rich is a common unequal power relationship" that tittilates... as is ugly/ beautiful (a "Beauty and the Beast" story, or "Phantom of the Opera romance)... I hazard an "Lolita" or "Electra" ruling on this particular relationship.

I also don't think Emma was ever independent of Mr. Knightley, she hangs on his approval as she was ever wont to do as a child. His disapproval "dwelt with her" when she is apart from him.



message 16: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments SPOILERS!!!!

Some great points, Sarah, Kathryn and Michaela!!
Yes, I, too think that Knightly and Emma's relationship evened out as time went by.

And I tend to agree with Kathryn, I don't think Knightly started to love Emma as more than a brother until she was 20 or 21. But, that could just be how I read it. I think he did act as an older brother until then, helping her, teaching her... but no more or less than a parent would a child, I don't think. And as their ages grew I think those 'teachings' lessened. Doesn't he make a remark about "I must tell you these things while I can" inferring that after she married Churchill he wouldn't be able to point out her flaws? I like to think that, once Emma and Knightly married—while I'm sure they continued to try to improve the other—it was much more equal. :)
And Michaela, that's and interesting point about Emma seeking Knightly's approval. I guess I looked at it, though, not that she was too dependent on him, but that it was his opinion which truly mattered most to her, and to have him disapprove of her or something she'd done, made her recollect her own actions and make herself better in the long run....
And yes, the fact that they were both in the same social circles probably did play a large factor. I always think it's interesting in the Austen books that there is so much emphasis on "do you know anything of his/her character." For better or worse we don't have too much of that anymore at our disposal as our "social circles" keep growing.

Also, Sarah, really interesting points about the money issue. I hadn't thought of it that way - that a woman could risk to loose her status if she married into a "lower" class.


message 17: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1398 comments Mod
I have to say I am really loving this conversation we are having. Austen makes us ponder these ideas so carefully --- this is great.

I am realizing that I love Austen's characters, but as importantly, I love the fascination of the times, the manners, the relationships, etc. and how her world "worked." A couple years back I became interested in the legal property arrangements during her time, but that only scratches the surface of my interest in her world.


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments I agree, Sarah! These discussions are so great because it not only lets you go over the books again, but it really is interesting and relevant discussions!:D

Do you have a favorite book/website for Austen-era information? It is a very interesting era and I think that's so neat that you've begun to research it! Has it changed your views of Austen's books at all?


message 19: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1398 comments Mod
Ann, I was really involved in looking into Austen a couple of years ago. I looked at a lot of information online, but I believe the best source I found was a book at my public library. I hope I kept the file on that, I will take a look and let you know.

I am sure the more I learned about the times Austen lived in, it let me see how limited women were. Actually, I remember thinking that the property laws were in a "Catch-22" themselves. They were set up to preserve those vast estates and to protect the families' wealth. They weren't meant to be against women, but since laws and property in general were already set up to leave women out, there was no choice but to set the property up to designate ownership to the men.

What I didn't do was follow up on when those laws were actually changed and those property settlements went out of fashion. So many subjects - so little time! haha


message 20: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments Sarah,
Already that's so fascinating! I can see why you got into researching "Austen-era";> That's such an interesting point about preserving the estates for the families. I mean, I can see what you mean about it not being against women, per say, just there weren't other options at that time.
No worries if you can't find the name of the book you used, but, if it's easy to find it does seem like it would be interesting.



message 21: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Wood | 49 comments One of the more interesting feminist discussions about property and political rights spanning that era to this one, I think, is that many men currently will claim the "person" or "man" in legal documents or political tracts can be reinturpreted for women as well, without any major changes. I think that doesn"t always work, as you can"t just tack on women - they have a different political history (oppressed) and that leads to different place in social fabric now, they have different bodies (to childbear), different expectation within families (no job, or motherhood as well) and different power as an social individual (rape was still legal in many states - within marriage - well into the 1970"s).
I think in Austen"s time this difference was more recognized than it is today - it wasn"t just the wording in these documents that made them binding - but society was a stronger barrier to change legal documents or inheritence rites. Imagine all these women as monied as men - they might start to get ideas about joining Parliment. They might hand money to THEIR daughters!


message 22: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Wood | 49 comments Yeah! Try leaving a piece of land to a daughter - the only hitch being she"s not allowed to own it! LOL


message 23: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Jul 03, 2009 09:28AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) I have just completed reading "Emma" for the umpteenth time. This novel just gets better and better each time I read it!

"Emma" is a fun read! This is, I believe, Jane Austen's most polished novel; and it shows. It is, if you'll indulge me for a moment, a mystery with a series of smaller mysteries inside of it. The reader is constantly trying to keep track of little details and facts that help inform one to what is actually going on. Austen skillfully keeps the reader off-balance, or even confused, as we move from character to character and event to event. All is most certainly not what it seems until near the very end of the novel, with delightful surprises along the way. One almost needs a little scorecard to jot down notes to help keep one's thoughts organized; which I surmise is just what Jane Austen wanted us to do. Her object lesson is to be observant and true (which our little Emma learns along the way).

The reader can't help but fall in love with the vivacious Emma and her 'apparent' match-making skills. Again, Jane Austen does a wonderful job of placing us in the minds and manners of a group of interesting characters in the bucolic English countryside in the early 19th century. It was wonderful to watch the attraction and love between Emma and Mr. Knightley become more apparent in spite of Emma's missteps. Jane Austen's insertion of her subtle humor makes this novel every bit as enjoyable as her 'laugh-out-loud' "Pride and Prejudice." "Emma", of all of Austen's beautiful novels, is always the book to pick up and immerse one's self in on a beautiful spring day.


message 24: by Ruth (new)

Ruth (ruthef) | 35 comments What I like about the novel is that, in her own way, Austen created Emma to be every woman. Women, in general, tend to be very in tune to love and relationships and at the same time hold fears (usually unrealistically) deep inside of being unlovable. Emma is like so many of us, telling herself those little lies that if her friends and family are happily attached she can find her happiness in theirs. She tries to rise above the need we hold inside for love and attachment--again, perhaps, because she does not believe herself lovable, or deserving of the affections of another. At the same time, just as in real life, those of us looking in can see the adorable character that she cannot see in herself. Being female myself, and having raised three daughters, I find that the novel Emma speaks to what it is to be female-- the intense longing for love, the youthful matchmaking that girlfriends do, the blindness of self and the slow coming of age and the surprise upon finding oneself desirable after all.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Kathryn wrote: "Also, what do you think of the portrayal of marriage in "Emma."

I think Austen makes it clear in all her novels that marriage was often arranged for financial security or owing to societal exp..."


I think you are absolutely correct, Kathryn, Austen created Emma as her only financially secure heroine; yet she was somewhat morally, or perhaps better put socially, bereft through the meat of the novel. Emma had everything money, good family, loving family, loads of friends; but she lacked good judgment. Ultimately, this was brought home with the Box Hill debacle.

So, you see that Austen plays this theme (man loving woman - woman loving man) from every different angle, i.e., with money, without money, some money, young, older, with family, without much family, aristocratic, or meritocratic. If you think about it, in each of her six completed novels she has covered just about every eventuality. Throw in the early epistolary novella "Lady Susan" and you have the female rake, the equivalent of Willoughby or Wickham.

Your comment was excellent! Cheers! Chris


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) I have just gone through and thoughtfully read all of the comments in this thread. I am so impressed with all of the direct and spot-on observations related to Austen's "Emma".

A couple of observations though. First, I am a little troubled by the concern that some have for the age difference between Emma and George Knightley. This has nothing to do with an "Electra Complex", or father-daughter thing at all. It is what it is, at least in Austen's eyes. As several of you pointed out above, women in that time worked to find matches that were secure and stable; this most necessarily involved more mature men who had learned to manage their business and personal affairs in a professional manner. It had no more to do with a daughter wanting to find a father-figure than it does for a woman today.

Frankly, most young men in their late-teens or early twenties, with few exceptions, are nowhere near ready for the emotional and financial responsibility of a marriage. Finally, I will admit that the gap between men and women has been closed (at least in some countries) due to education and societal beliefs; such that men and women can marry and establish successful family relationships more easily at an earlier age.

I also do believe that Austen was aware of of what might be termed the proto-feminist movement in her day, i.e., the work of Mary Wollstonecraft; however, I also believe that she was well grounded in the society of Georgian and the later Regency Britain. She knew, very well, the limitations that were placed on men and women in the social classes in the time she was writing of. Her comparisons and contrasts of the the life of the aristocracy and those advanced by meritocracy are well documented in her novels, "Persuasion" being just such an example.

As much as we'd like to, I think it dangerous and even inadvisable to place today's interpretations and belief systems on her work. Was Austen concerned about women's rights? Yes, I believe she was. Did Austen believe women were the equal of men in her society? Yes, I believe she did. Did Austen fully understand and recognize the profound strictures placed upon men and women by her society? Yes, she did. This is what she wrote about; the inequities, and the injustices. She wanted her readers to examine these issues in her own time and hopefully in the future.

I hope this makes sense; my ultimate goal being that we should read and interpret these beautiful novels just as they are; written in the time that they were written in. They informed then, and they continue to inform now. Cheers! Chris


TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) Kathryn wrote: "Jane Austen wrote that Emma was a heroine only she (Jane) could love and, indeed, many readers do not warm to her. Does anyone out there LIKE Emma herself? I always did; I think that sometimes sh..."

Oh, I adore Emma! I realize she wasn't "adorable" in the conventional sense, but she's just so fascinating! I realize PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is generally considered to be Austen's "sunniest" novel, but EMMA is my favorite.




message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahazhar) | 3 comments I love Emma too :). I think of all Austen characters she was one of the most natural one along with Mr. Knightley. I think they are the best couple.


TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) That's how I feel about them, too. I just fell in love with Emma the moment I started reading about her. I like her a lot more than Elizabeth Bennet. I like Elinor Dashwood, but that might just be because I like Emma Thompson. Emma is still my all time favorite Austen character, though. And EMMA is my favorite Austen book.


St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures ||| ♥ Zin Uru ♥ |||| Strangely, Emma is the only JA I have never been able to read till the last page. Something always came up. I really liked the 1996 movie adaptation of the book. Mr. Knightley was portrayed true to life, I didn't feel the age difference at all. I felt he was a more serious person when compared to Emma who was given to flights of fancy about love and marriage and suitable matches. She is, however, a very well written heroine. I have also wondered a bit about the hair colour thing in the movie, and how it was used to portray Emma's liking for Frank Churchill. It seemed like a subtle message, something maybe you wouldn't notice from reading. What I like most about Emma is that he is liked by all, even if she is a little too free with her remarks on elderly ladies and lesser priveleged women. Mr.Knightley and Emma make it in my top ten period couples in literature.This is because of two reasons, one being Emma beseeching Jane Fairfax to un-love Mr.Knightley and the other being the confession of Mr. Knightley to Emma. Here, I feel it beats P&P in the romantic sense as P&P is more about the humbling of Mr. D and Elizabeth giving him a second chance at a proposal.


TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) sTAR pRINCESS wrote: "Strangely, Emma is the only JA I have never been able to read till the last page. Something always came up. I really liked the 1996 movie adaptation of the book. Mr. Knightley was portrayed true to..."

That was the one with Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, wasn't it? I've not seen that one as I'm not a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow. She ruined "Possession" (the movie) for me. LOL I have seen the one in which Kate Beckinsale plays Emma. While I don't think it's long enough, I do think Kate looks more like I pictured Emma than Gwyneth does. Emma was not a blonde.

I agree with everything else you wrote. I enjoyed your insight.



message 32: by St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures (last edited Sep 22, 2009 05:44PM) (new)

St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures ||| ♥ Zin Uru ♥ |||| Gabrielle gee cool, thanks, I love it when I get it right :)

Yes you are right about the movie.

I haven't seen the Kate Beckinsale movie, I would really like to. She has done so well with the vampire stuff in Underworld I can't picture her doing something wholesome as Austen's Emma. Frankly, I wasn't keen on Gwyneth either, but if you watch her in a few movies she kind of grows on you (no pun intended). I happened to like her in Shallow Hal, Proof, Shakespeare in Love around the same time as Emma and decided she's not all that bad if it is a real good story.

I liked EmmaThompson's S&S role too.


TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) I did like her in "Shakespeare in Love," too.


St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures ||| ♥ Zin Uru ♥ |||| Just read Sarah's post..there's gonna be a new movie with Romola Garai. And it will be 4 hours long, Yay!!


TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) sTAR pRINCESS wrote: "Just read Sarah's post..there's gonna be a new movie with Romola Garai. And it will be 4 hours long, Yay!! "

She doesn't look like I picture Emma Woodhouse, but I don't care. I like her, and I'm glad the film will be four hours long. :)




St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures ||| ♥ Zin Uru ♥ |||| <<<<< Gabrielle wrote "She doesn't look like I picture Emma Woodhouse, but I don't care. I like her, and I'm glad the film will be four hours long. :)">>>>>


:) yeah!


message 37: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6 comments I love Emma, she is my favourite of Jane Austen books!
:) Anyone saw Emma, the bbc serie?




message 38: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments Not yet, Nina - is it good?


message 39: by Anne (new)

Anne (pemberley) | 1 comments I loved the new BBC mini series about Emma. Brilliant TV. Certainly one of the best JA adaptations. The Casting was superb, the script was amazing, so is the production. I urge you to watch it on PBS when it airs in January.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Jump over to Austen on Film - Austen's Emma (bottom 1/4) in this group (Jane Austen)

There has been a running review of the new adaptation. Everyone seems to like it after they get into week 2. We'll have to wait in the US until January. :(


message 41: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments Thanks Anne and Jeannette!! I'll definitely have to check it out:)


message 42: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1398 comments Mod
They were discussing Emma in the "Not Strictly Victorian" section of the Victorian group here on GoodReads and some interesting points were brought up about economics, property, and estates. That peaked my interest and I found a really good paper online through JASNA (& authored by Sheryl Craig). See it here, if you would like:

Money in Emma
http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-l...

It really isn't isn't too technical and I think it will actually make Emma more interesting while reading or rereading to think about all these fine points that Austen gifted us with through this smart novel.


message 43: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1398 comments Mod
Also remember, Emma has been nominated by one of our members, so it may come up as a group read sometime soon.


message 44: by Megan (new)

Megan (megme) | 4 comments In response to the scruples about the age difference between Emma and Mr. Knightly, Mr. Knightly says in reference to Frank Churchill's marriage to Jane Fairfax "So early in life--at three-and-twenty--a period when, if a man chooses a wife, he generally chooses ill." At another point in the book it is remarked that a man does is not financially stable eanough to marry until thirty. While there were these beliefs about men, women were expected to marry early. A man was considered the right age if he was marrried at thirty and a woman was considered old if she married at thirty. Even in modern society there are large age gaps. I think that if there is true love why should age be the judge?

I also think that Mr. Knightley and Emma have been in love for a long time. They had always thought of eachother in a sibling sense but in their hearts they loved eachother. Because neither of them realized their love for the other completely neither was able to love anyone else. Both swore to never marry as both thought the other loved someone else, when really (such as in Emma's relationship with Frank)she wanted to love someone else because that would be easier.

The first time through I didn't like Emma's character at all. On second reading I saw the goodness in her and why Mr. Knightley could fall in love with her. Although Emma's meddling doesn't help anyone, it was done with purely good intentions. She did not try to match Harriet and Mr. Elton out of selfish desire to make her look like a good match-maker, she tried to make the match because she wanted to make them happy. Emma is human and makes mistakes but that is part of her charm. She also owns up to her mistakes wich is a lovely trait.




message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

I think we should close this thread and start again with our new group read discussion next week.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (other topics)