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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  774,748 ratings  ·  25,357 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 September 23rd 1815)
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  • Emma by Jane Austen

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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)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.03  · 
    Rating details
     ·  774,748 ratings  ·  25,357 reviews

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    Start your review of Emma
    (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
    Kai Spellmeier
    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.
    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 very popular classic and its rating is good. To be honest, it's not bad, exactly, but the fact that it took me an entire month to get through it says a lot. I had lots and lots of problems with this novel.

    1. Emma

    Such a vain and arrogant mai
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Ahmad Sharabiani
    (Book 936 from 1001 Books) - 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 p
    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
    Lisa of Troy
    I really wanted to like this, but I didn't. Jane Austen and I do not get along.

    Emma apparently has nothing better to do than try to pair her friend Harriet up with essentially any male that is more wealthy than Robert Martin.

    This book was so boring. I didn't care about the characters at all. Most of the book was utter non-sense, particularly women talking about unimportant things like apples or using too many apples, Maple Grove. There was talk about how wonderful it is that someone wrote a le
    Jul 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
    Recommends it for: Masochists
    Shelves: blog, untumbled-turds
    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
    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,
    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    I decided to just add books to an existing review. This new book of Emma is like the Pride and Prejudice. I’ll leave some pictures here and I have a big ole review below from back in the day when I wrote big ole reviews! 4.5 Stars ⭐️

    Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

    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 Har
    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.
    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
    myo (myonna reads)
    “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich” she is the moment
    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
    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
    There is not much I can add about this novel that it wasn't already said. I love Jane Austen but this was not my favourite. I know that I am not supposed to like a character to appreciate a novel but Emma was really insufferable. Also, the subject did not hold a lot of interest for me. I liked it but Pride and Prejudice is still my favourite. I might write more when I have a bit more time or I may not. ...more
    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 passed, I was able to wallow myself 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 ...more
    May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction, 1800s, england
    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
    Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: classic
    Austen's comedy of manners, which depicts interactions within an elite community that raises the issues of courting and marriage, expected gender roles, age and social status within the world of Victorian values and sees Austen deliberately create an unlikable protagonist in the super privileged and at times maddeningly narrow minded in how she sees others, Emma; a work that doesn't quite do it of me, despite smatterings of great wit.

    Austen is so good at creating the unlikeable character that I
    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!
    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
    I personally think that: “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more” is one of the most beautiful declarations in the history of literature.
    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
    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
    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
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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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