Emma (Penguin Classics)
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The culmination of Jane Austen's genius, a sparkling comedy of love and marriage
Beautiful, clever, rich—and single—Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
the whole evening; and it is that dreadful habit of opening the windows, letting in cold air upon heated bodies, which (as you well know, sir) does the mischief.” “Open the windows! but surely, Mr. Churchill, nobody would think of opening the windows at Randalls. Nobody could be so imprudent! I never heard of such a thing. Dancing with open windows! I am sure, neither your father nor Mrs. Weston (poor Miss Taylor that was) would suffer it.” “Ah! sir—but a thoughtless young person will sometimes
not to delay coming back beyond the next morning early; but that Mr. Frank Churchill having resolved to go home directly, without waiting at all, and his horse seeming to have got a cold, Tom had been sent off immediately for the Crown chaise, and the ostler had stood out and seen it pass by, the boy going a good pace, and driving very steady. There was nothing in all this either to astonish or interest, and it caught Emma’s attention only as it united with the subject which already engaged her
more. I shall soon have done. What a letter the man writes!” “I wish you would read it with a kinder spirit towards him.” “Well, there is feeling here. He does seem to have suffered in finding her ill. Certainly, I can have no doubt of his being fond of her. ‘Dearer, much dearer than ever.’ I hope he may long continue to feel all the value of such a reconciliation. He is a very liberal thanker, with his thousands and tens of thousands.—‘Happier than I deserve.’ Come, he knows himself there.
with their contraventions, that the characters in Emma—most notably Emma herself—meaningfully but unconsciously dramatize. Once Emma has made this admission of being limited and “fixed” to herself, she is prepared to try out the attitude it leads to. Mrs. Weston informs her that Frank Churchill has had to postpone his maiden trip to Highbury. Emma in turn announces this news to Knightley, and “proceed[s] to say a good deal more than she [feels] of the advantage of such an addition to their
transcend and resolve such differences and discords, she gave expression to them in a memorable narrative structure and the dramatic and inward representation of a heroine so full and rich and inexhaustible that they may be equaled, but it is unlikely that they will be surpassed. STEVEN MARCUS is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and a specialist in nineteenth-century literature and culture. A fellow of both