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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  692,731 ratings  ·  20,532 reviews
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Emma Woodhouse is one of Austen's most captivating and vivid characters. Beautiful, spoilt, vain and irrepressibly witty, Emma organizes the lives of the inhabitants of her sleepy little village and plays matchmaker with devastating effect.
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 474 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published December 23rd 1815)
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Leland "Emma" is ultimately a mystery, a who-done-it. It's also one of the most beautifully, brilliantly written books in the English language. Read the book…more"Emma" is ultimately a mystery, a who-done-it. It's also one of the most beautifully, brilliantly written books in the English language. Read the book first! Then, and only then, watch the gorgeous, perfect interpretation (and under no circumstances any other version) that is the 2009 BBC mini-series starring Romola Garai. No one else has come close to portraying Emma as well as she did. Truly. But read it first. Austen was a genius!(less)
Michelle Zapf-bélanger Clueless is an extremely faithful adaptation of Emma in tone, characters and plot. I would say that Cher captures the character of Emma extremely well…moreClueless is an extremely faithful adaptation of Emma in tone, characters and plot. I would say that Cher captures the character of Emma extremely well. I hope you read the book!(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  692,731 ratings  ·  20,532 reviews

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Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
“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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Loved it!

Why don't I read more classics?! I'll definitely need to read her other books.

The BBC tv show was also adorable!
May 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
(deep breath)


Okay. Sorry about that. I just remembered the words "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more," and any time that happens I'm obliged to find the nearest abyss and scream into it for the next 3-5 business days.

Now that we've wrapped that up, let's get to it:

This is a perfect book.

Is this the first Jane Austen book I've rated fi
Sean Barrs
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
Jul 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
before she began writing this novel, JA said, ‘i am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.’ and sis, if that aint the truth.

its not like i hated emma - there are far worse characters out there - its just that she annoyed me to no end. no one likes a inconsiderate/conceited busy-body and, to me, i never got the sense that emma was truly sorry for her actions in the end, which makes all of her meddling unredeemable.

but i appreciate mr. knightleys character as hes the ONLY
Ahmad Sharabiani
(936 from 1001). Emma, Jane Austen

Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance.

The story takes place in the fictional village of High-bury and the surrounding estates of Hart-field, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of "3 or 4 families in a country village".

The novel was first published in December 1815 while the author was alive, with its title page listing a publication d
My dear Jane Austen,

I hope you don’t mind that I write to you, expressing my gratitude for your brilliant handling of words. And as the post office is an object of interest and admiration in your novel “Emma”, I thought a letter would be the adequate way of communicating my thoughts.

I must start by confessing that I don’t like your heroine at all. Obviously, this sounds like a harsh judgment on a classic character like Emma Woodhouse, and I wouldn’t have dared to be as honest with you as I am,
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up because of the narration.

I've noticed a lot of people hate Emma.


She's spoiled by her circumstances and self-absorbed in a way that only someone who hasn't really known any sort of hardships can be. And I get why she isn't the heroine that anyone is really rooting for in a serious way. Because if the book had ended with Emma alone with her father, it wouldn't have really broken my heart.


But here's the thing I found as I listened to this one: It wasn't really Emma that I h
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jane Austen famously wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like."

My initial take: Truer words, Jane. Truer words. Emma is wealthy and beautiful, the queen bee of society in her town, and boss of her household (since her father is a hand-wringing worrywart, almost paralyzed by his fears). She’s prideful, self-satisfied and convinced she knows best, not just for herself but for pretty much everyone in her circle. When Emma decides she’s got a gift for matchmaking,
Amit Mishra
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emma woodhouse changes from being vain and self satisfied, blind to her own feelings and dangerously insensitive to the feelings of others, in a slow, painful progress towards maturity.
Amalia Gkavea
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I must begin by stating that I may be utterly biased here. Emma is the novel that introduced me to the treasure that are Jane Austen's masterpieces. I read it when I was fourteen, and fell in love with it right there and then.

People often tend to mention that Emma Woodhouse is the least likeable heroine Jane Austen has created. It may be so, since she is rather headstrong, spoiled and with a strong tendency to plan other people's lives, without giving a second thought to all possible consequenc
Henry Avila
Aug 06, 2014 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 below her p ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf 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
Adam Dalva
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, did I love. At one point, toward the end, when the thing that Austen was working toward happened, I literally fell down from the couch to the rug. Emma herself is a unique creation, a headstrong, misguided, self-confident girl who we can't help but love, because she is honest. The love complications are innumerable, the humor is excellent, and the writing is spectacular. Without the intensely crafted plot of Pride and Prejudice, say, Austen's sentences are left to carry the book, ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Emma - a sweet satire or snobby gossip?

Emma turned out to be my least favorite Austen novel. Emma is young, rich and independent. She has decided not to get married and instead spends her time organizing love affairs, for the people around her. Her plans for the matrimonial success of her new friend Harriet, however backfire and lead her into complications that ultimately test her own determination not to get married.

Emma Woodhouse

Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse in the movie 2020

Emma is descri
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve felt the need to wallow in nostalgia these last few weeks, and in between my more recent reads, I’ve been trying to fit in some of the ones that I’ve loved in the past - and so it was that I found myself rereading Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’.

I’d forgotten how good Austen is at detailing the minutiae of her characters lives, and making them irresistible. Loved it all over again!
Feb 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
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! ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1800s, england, fiction
Book 5 of 6 completed of my accidental Austen binge. I have to say that Emma is enormously entertaining. But as I was reading this book a strange realization came over me. At this point I think I'm becoming deeply acquainted with Austen's wit and tricks, and there is one quality that I find the most incredible.

Jane Austen is amazing at writing about annoying people. There are the annoying neighbors, the annoying suitors, the annoying relatives. She recreates the inane way in which these annoyin
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
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The second reading of Emma pleasantly surprised me. When the initial embarrassment of having under-appreciated this amazing work by Jane Austen died, I was able to wallow in the pleasure this reading gave me. My former perception of the book, I realized, had arisen from my misconstruction of Emma Woodhouse. My strong dislike of her has clouded my judgment. But now the sky is cleared, I've truly fallen in love with the book, and in justice to both the book and the author, am compelled to amend ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm beginning to put in more work in my hobby - my solitary one, reading - than I've put in my career. 400 pages of this stuff is the strong stuff.

I have little to analyze here. That is because a lot of the things that can be construed, can be true of any book. Like Sam Harris said, even a cookbook, if improperly analyzed, can yield truths that can seem profoundly benevolent.

If I say that the mixture of oil and aniseed symbolizes the purity of the cookbook, that's not conductive to a balanced an
Tharindu Dissanayake
"A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing,"
“Prejudiced! I am not prejudiced.”

There aren't that many things out there, giving one a most fulfilling feeling like reading one of Jane Austen novels. While inheriting author's most beautiful style of writing, each of her works appears to have its own 'uniqueness', offering the reader a wonderful reading experience each time. Emma is no exception to this rule, easily making it to my all-time-favorite-fiction. I'll admit I was a bit apprehe
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Still not the full review, just a warm-up exercise. :)

You could not shock her more than she shocks me;
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of "brass,"
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.

- W. H. Auden, Letter to Lord Byron (1936)

"While twelve readings of Pride and Prejudie give you twelve periods of pleasure repeated, as many readings of Emma give you tha
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
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
Dilushani Jayalath
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ms Austen once said, she would create a heroine that no one would like but herself, I am not quite sure she had achieved it. Yes at first Emma's meddling ways really did get on my nerves but as I managed to get to the end I was thoroughly charmed by her.

As everyone most probably knows I am quite the Jane Austen fan and since recently have been re-reading most of her books to reignite my passion in classics (calling it classics is a long shot but I take it. Compared to the contemporary novels th
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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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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 gentr

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