At this point there isn’t a Jane Austen novel I haven’t already read, but such joys should never be experienced only in the singularity. So it was with anticipation that I picked up Emma after many years of first experiencing it.
In addition to reading the novel, I decided to watch a newer adaptation of it – a 2009 four-part series produced by the BBC.
I love watching these adaptations because it gives the screenwriter and actors a chance to provide their own interpretations of Ms. Austen’s world. I must say, the characters were marvelous and truly provided an enhancement to reading the book this time. For instance, the comedic ramblings of Miss Bates going on and on about Jane Fairfax, was even more humorous in this BBC version, and allowed Emma Woodhouse an equally witty reaction to her character.
But more than a timeless story of people’s inability to correctly judge others (or themselves), Emma is a marvelous social satire of it’s day. And if that isn’t enough, throw in a beautiful romance borne of friendship, and you have a book deserving of more than one romantic sigh. Can Mr. Knightley’s words possibly be more swoon-worthy?
“I cannot make speeches, Emma…If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.”
5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2003 (originally published in 1815)
Amazon Book Preview of “Emma”