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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.
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"I should like to see Emma in love, and in some doubt of return; it would do her good," remarks one of Jane Austen's characters in Emma.
Quick-witted, beautiful, headstrong and rich, Emma Woodhouse is inordinately fond of match-making select inhabitants of the village of Highbury, yet aloof and oblivious as to the question of whom she herself might marry. This paradox multiplies the intrigues and sparkling ironies of Jane Austen's masterpiece, her comedy of a sentimental education through which Emma discovers a capacity for love and marriage.Review:
"Whatever age you are, Austen has something for you. I would go further, in fact, to assert that a reader never comes away from an Austen novel empty-handed" (Joanna Trollope)
"That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements of feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with" (Sir Walter Scott)
"I'd like to write a play as perfect as Emma" (Simon Gray)
"Austen's characters are unquestionably one key to her greatness. Her understanding of the human heart is forensic and also frosted with the necessary detachment that gives deeper meaning to her rendering of human frailty" (Guardian)
"It is the cleverest of books. I especially love the dialogue - every speech reveals the characters' obsessions and preoccupations, yet it remains perfectly natural...absolutely gripping" (Susannah Clarke)
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