Emma Jane Austen, 1816

The final book in my Austen rereading odyssey, Emma, isn’t among my favourites. My main reason: I don’t really like Emma, herself. She is well drawn as a know-it-all-better-than–anyone else young woman, particularly in affairs of the heart. It is how her character develops and mellows in the last 1/3 of the novel as she comes to see her own blindness that redeems the story for me. Her father and the dread Elkins are exaggerated to the point of annoyance but serve their purpose in the context for Emma’s evolution. Mr. Knightly, her knight undeclared and then revealed, is credible as a family friend, but as her lover? It’s a bit creepy to me that so many years her senior he admits to loving her since she was thirteen. Still the romance and happy ending please. 6.7/10

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