Monday, August 1, 2016

Emma - Jane Austen

Finally one Jane Austen read. This is an omnibus edition I'd picked up years ago with 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Mansfield Park' accompanying Emma. I decided to read one and picked Emma. It was written in 1815.

Emma Woodhouse, rich, beautiful, intelligent and single (and a bit pig headed and meddlesome one may add) fancies herself as a matchmaker after she successfully fixes the match of her governess to one Mr. Weston. She decides that she will better others lives (a fatal folly I must say that most pig headed people suffer from - I know) and tries to fix up a young girl Harriet with one Mr. Elton. Now there's one dark and brooding Mr. Knightley in the background who directly opposes her every move including the above match. Anyway much matchmaking and failures later it turns out that Knightley had a better understanding of human nature than she. Push comes to shove when Harriet confesses that she actually loves Knightley and Emma realises that she wants Knightley for herself!

The life of Jane Austen (1775-1817) was short at 41 years. Her works  consisted of six major novels. Apparently she saw little fame as a published author during her days with only Pride and Prejudice going into a second edition. She died in 1817 - two books got published after her death. Her nephew wrote a book 'A Memoir of Jane Austen' 52 years after her death in 1869 and that's when she was introduced to a wider audience and found fame. I find the lives of writers far more interesting than their stories. Now why did I not read 'pride and Prejudice' first I wonder.

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