Posted in Fiction

Emma by Jane Austen


…and it really was too much to hope even of Harriet, that she could be in love with more than three men in one year.

I probably consider Emma my second favorite Jane Austen novel next to Pride and Prejudice but I have to read Northanger Abbey to make a definitive statement and that novel is on my list to read this month.

With Emma, I got that familiar “twinkle” in Austen’s eye as the novel unfolds – that twinkle that I didn’t see as much in Mansfield Park or Persuasion. Emma Woodhouse is not necessarily as likeable a character as some of Austen’s other heroines; however, Emma’s snobbery comes across like a character from Seinfeld. Yes, we know about her selfishness but she’s going to make us laugh, anyway.

Then there’s all the carrying on about minutiae: how to have the best ball and who writes the best letters – more reminders of Seinfeld. Whoever said Jane was ahead of her time wasn’t kidding.

For me, though, the funniest aspect of the novel was the long-running “gag” about Harriet Smith. Harriet goes from an Emma-protege to an Emma-annoyance all because of Emma’s own doing.

It made me laugh out loud.

I read Emma for the Jane Austen Read-All-Along hosted by James over at James Reads Books.

Jane Austen Read All

7 thoughts on “Emma by Jane Austen

  1. I’m happy to see you enjoyed Emma. While I didn’t exactly love the book this time around, I’ve never found Emma, the character, annoying. With all of her faults, she has always struck me as funny. I’m not sure I’d feel that way if I knew her in real life, but on the page she has always been amusing rather than annoying.

    1. I agree with you about Emma. I also found the cast of characters very humorous as a whole group. Thanks for hosting this read along – it’s been very enlightening!

  2. I think I find Emma Woodhouse exasperating, rather than annoying. I like spending time with her in the book and various adaptations, but I spend a lot of time shaking my head at her and saying, “Oh, come on, Emma, stop already!” in my head.

    However, i also laugh a LOT over this book, so while it’s not one of my top 3 fave Austens, I do really enjoy it 🙂

    1. Interesting! I have discovered a lot of readers who do not like this novel – even though I would say that this and Pride and Prejudice are Austen’s most well-known works or at least most talked about. I’m looking forward to Northanger Abbey and then I will have read all of them!

  3. Emma – Seinfeld…LOL (well actually I didn’t LOL, I sort of snickered to myself STM), regardless marvelous comparison. One I never would have thought of explicitly, but now that you point it out…

    1. It was the lengthy conversation about writing letters that immediately reminded me of Seinfeld but then after I thought about it, I could see other aspects of the novel through a Seinfeld lens. Even though Emma wasn’t likeable, I liked her.

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