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Emma (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   402
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.7" Width: 5.15" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 15, 2008
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0199535523  
EAN  9780199535521  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Emma is considered by many to be Austen's finest and most representative novel. The story of Emma Woodhouse's matchmaking, and her awakening to the true feelings of others as well as herself, is told with consummate wit and humour. This new edition contains lively notes and an introduction that explores how Austen transmutes the everyday into the revelatory.

Publishers Description
'I wonder what will become of her '
So speculate the friends and neighbours of Emma Woodhouse, the lovely, lively, wilful, and fallible heroine of Jane Austen's fourth published novel. Confident that she knows best, Emma schemes to find a suitable husband for her pliant friend Harriet, only to discover that she understands the feelings of others as little as she does her own heart. As Emma puzzles and blunders her way through the mysteries of her social world, Austen evokes for her readers a cast of unforgettable characters and a detailed portrait of a small town undergoing historical transition.
Written with matchless wit and irony, judged by many to be her finest novel, Emma has been adapted many times for film and television. This new edition shows how Austen brilliantly turns the everyday into the exceptional.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Buy Emma (Oxford World's Classics) by Jane Austen, James Kinsley, Adela Pinch, Boris Podrecca, Damjan Prelovsek, Daniel G. Reid & Ana Planella from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780199535521 & 0199535523

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More About Jane Austen, James Kinsley, Adela Pinch, Boris Podrecca, Damjan Prelovsek, Daniel G. Reid & Ana Planella

Jane Austen Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

Jane Austen was born in 1775 and died in 1817.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Blunders and Blindness  Feb 5, 2010
In the quiet and picturesque village of Highbury there lived a self-professed matchmaker of little experience and expertise yet she believed herself to be in possession of superior observational skills and the ability to see into everyone's heart. Emma Woodhouse, our twenty-one year old matchmaker of Highbury, rates the marriage of her governess to a wealthy and respected gentleman, Mr. Weston, as one of her laudable matchmaking successes and decidedly takes on the challenge of finding a suitable wife for the vicar of Highbury, Mr. Elton. Alas, Emma is not the talented matchmaker she thinks she is and makes frequent blunders in judgment and is often blind to the romantic inclinations of the people around her...

What then ensues is a spectacular comedy of manners that is heartwarming, satirical, lively, and charming.

Mr. George Knightley, brother-in-law to Emma, does not approve of Emma's new matchmaking hobby or her new friendship with Harriet Smith, "the natural daughter of nobody knows whom." Harriet Smith, a seventeen year old parlour border at the local school, is inferior to Emma in sophistication and sense. Mr. Knightley would much rather see Emma with a companion that is her equal in intelligence and influence her positively. Mr. Knightley is one of the few people in Emma's life that recognizes her faults; and believing her too often indulged and spoiled he makes no qualms about admonishing her for these faults. Unfortunately, Emma is often willful and ignores Mr. Knightley's wise counsel.

Jane Austen is quoted to have said Emma was a "heroine whom no one but myself will much like." This is true for some Austen fans who rank Emma Woodhouse as one of their least favorite heroines. However, there many readers that find her likable and claim her to be one of their favorite Austen characters. Emma Woodhouse is unique in that she is wealthy and well provided for, thus giving her little inducement to marry. In addition, even though she enjoys pairing up her friends and neighbors, Emma has little inclination or interest in finding love for herself and declares that she will never marry. (So much for having a romantic heroine!) Nonetheless, I am very fond of Emma, her lack of experience in the world has made her naive and the indulgence of her family has swelled her head, but she is not an unworthy or unlikable heroine. Throughout the course of this novel Jane Austen beautifully depicts the journey of Emma's maturation and displays her blossoming into a self-aware, humble, and sensible woman.

My favorite thing about "Emma" is the charming village of Highbury and all who reside within. There is such a pleasant mix of endearing and exasperating characters: Miss Bates, a poor spinster who dearly loves to share news with her neighbors; Mr. Woodhouse, such a generous and a caring man who suffers from nervous anxieties about the health of his family and friends; Mr. Weston with his jolly and sanguine temperament; and Mrs. Elton, who believes herself to be the first in consequence in the town and is extremely vulgar and conceited. According to Miss Bates "there are few places with such society as Highbury." How very true!

While "Pride and Prejudice" is the most famous and popular of Jane Austen's six major novels, I believe that "Emma" is truly an excellent, accomplished novel that is not to be overlooked. I may not recommend it to someone for their first experience with Jane Austen, as it is a bit lengthier than the others, but I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy traveling to the time and world of Jane Austen whether it be in book or on screen!

Austenesque Reviews
It's such a happiness when good people get together  Jan 5, 2010
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition" is a suitable heroine for Jane Austen's lightest, frothiest novel. While "Emma" is not nearly as dramatic as Austen's other works, it is an enchanting little comedy of manners in which a young woman with the best intentions meddles in others' love lives... with only the faintest idea of how people (including herself) actually feel.

After matchmaking her governess Miss Taylor, Emma Woodhouse considers herself a natural at bringing people together. She soon becomes best buddies with Harriet, a sweet (if not very bright) young woman who is the "natural daughter of somebody." Emma becomes determined to pair Harriet with someone deserving of her (even derailing a gentleman-farmer's proposal), such as the smarmy, charming Mr. Elton. When Emma's latest attempt falls apart, she finds that getting someone OUT of love is a lot harder than getting them INTO it.

At around the same time, two people that Emma has heard about her entire life have arrived -- the charming Frank Churchill, and the reserved, remote Miss Jane Fairfax (along with rumors of a married man's interest in her). Emma begins a flirtatious friendship with Frank, but for some reason is unable to get close to Miss Fairfax. As she navigates the secrets and rumors of other people's romantic lives, she begins to realize who she has been in love with all along.

Out of all Jane Austen's books, "Emma" is the frothiest and lightest -- there aren't any major scandals, lives ruined, reputations destroyed, financial crises or sinister schemes. There's just a little intertwined circle of people living in a country village, and how one young woman tries to rearrange them in the manner that she genuinely thinks is best. Of course, in true comedy style everything goes completely wrong.

And despite the formal stuffiness of the time, Austen wrote the book in a languidly sunny style, threading it with a complex web of cleverly orchestrated rumors and romantic tangles. There's some moments of seriousness (such as Emma's rudeness to kind, silly Miss Bates), but it's also laced with some entertaining dialogue ("Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way") and barbed humor (the ridiculous and obnoxious Mrs. Elton).

Modern readers tend to be unfairly squicked by the idea of Emma falling for a guy who's known her literally all her life, but Austen makes the subtle relationship between Knightley and Emma one of affectionate bickering and beautiful romantic moments ("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").

Emma is a character who is likable despite her flaws -- she's young, bright, well-meaning and assured of her own knowledge of the human heart, but also naive and sometimes snobbish. She flits around like a clumsy butterfly, but is endearing even when she screws up. Mr. Knightley is her ideal counterpoint, being enjoyably blunt and sharp-witted at all times. And there's a fairly colorful supporting cast -- Emma's neurotic but sweet dad, her kindly ex-governess, the charming Frank, the fluttery Miss Bates, and even the smarmy Mr. Elton and his bulldozing wife.

"Emma" is the most lightweight and openly comedic of all Jane Austen's novels, with a likable (if clueless) heroine and a multilayered plot full of half-hidden feelings. A lesser delight.
Emma a masterpiece with nice supplemental material  Oct 6, 2008
For me, reading Jane Austen's novel Emma is a delight. However, not all readers have been in agreement with me over the years including Jane Austen herself who warned her family before publication "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like." She was of course making fun of herself in her own satirical way; - her critics on the other hand, were quite serious. When the book was published in 1815, Austen sent a copy to her contemporary author Maria Edgeworth who gave up reading the novel after the first volume, passing it on to friend and complaining, "There is no story in it." Others had mixed feelings offering both praise and blame for its focus on the ordinary details of a few families in a country village. One important advocate of Emma was Sir Walter Scott, whose essay published in the Quarterly Review of 1815 represents the most important criticism on Austen's writing during her lifetime. Even though the review was published anonymously, she must have been quite giddy when the reviewer heralded her Emma as a `new style of novel' designed to `suit modern times'. Heady stuff to be sure. When it was later learned that Scott had contributed the review, it would placed Jane Austen in a whole other league of writers.

Emma can be enjoyed on different levels, and for pure humour and witty dialogue it may reign as Austen's supreme triumph. Just Google quotes from Emma and you might agree that it has the best bon mots of any of her novels. Modern critics claim it as her masterpiece, and I do not doubt it. Pride and Prejudice may be the most beloved and well know of her works, but Emma represents Austen at the height of her writing skill and power as a story teller. Like some of Austen's contemporaries, the modern reader might find challenges in its minutiae and supposed lack of story. Not to worry. There are many sources available to assist in understanding Jane Austen's subtle and often witty dialogue, her unique characterizations, and help place the novel in historical context.

One source to consider is the new 2008 edition of Emma, by Oxford World's Classics. Recently revised in 2003, this re-issue contains the same supplemental and textual material with a newly designed cover. For a reader seeking a medium level of support to help them along in their understanding you will be happy to find a thoughtful 23 page introduction by associate Professor of English and Women's Studies Adela Pinch of the University of Michigan. The essay contains a brief introduction, and segments on Shopping and Suburbia, Narrative Voices: Gossip and the Individual, The Politics of Knowledge, and Emma: Much Ado About Nothing?. Her emphasis is on understanding Austen's choice of writing about the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of the lives of its heroine Emma Woodhouse and her circle of family and friends in Highbury, a small English village in which she sets about to match make for all of its singletons blundering hilariously along the way. I particularly appreciated Prof. Pinch's positive comments throughout the essay.

"Austen makes voices stick in the mind through her use of free indirect discourse, which makes character's voice seem indelible, capable of soaking into other beings. But she also uses the same technique for representing thought. Her cultivation of this mode of representing her heroines' minds has made her novels crucial to the history of the English novel, markers of a movement when the novel as a literary genre perfects its inward turn, and begins to claim human psychology as its territory. Above all it creates the feeling of intimacy with her heroines that many readers prize." Page xvii-xviii

If I may be so bold and interject as the everyman Austen reader for a moment, parts of this essay are scholarly and touch on areas beyond my immediate understanding, especially when she delves into the philosophical and psychological pedantry. For the most part, Prof. Pinch's essay is written in accessible language and is reverent and admiring to the author and the heroine. I found this outlook refreshing since the heroine Emma, and the novel Emma have received some criticisms for their shortcomings over the centuries. The novel is about so much more than the "no story" that Maria Edgeworth hastily condemned it to be. I especially adore Emma's little friend Harriet Smith and think her much maligned in the recent movie adaptations, and well - can there ever be enough praise bestowed upon Mrs. Elton? She is comedic genius and worthy of a nomination to the literary comedy hall of fame.

Professor Pinch has also supplied the helpful explanatory notes throughout the text which are numbered on the page allowing the reader to refer to the back of the book for explanation. Honestly, I prefer them to be footnoted at the bottom of the page instead of riffling back and forth, but that is a quibble on convenience. The remainder of the supplemental material; Biography of Jane Austen, Note on the Text, Select Bibliography, Chronology of Jane Austen, Appendix A: Rank and Social Status, and Appendix B: Dancing are repeated throughout the other Jane Austen editions in this series and discussed in our previous reviews. As always, I will defer to my learned colleague and co-reviewer Prof. Ellen Moody on the on-going discussion on the textual changes that have evolved since Emma's first publication in 1815.

This Oxford edition is a sweet little volume at an incredible price if you are in the market for a middlin amount of supplemental material from reputable sources containing an authorative text edited for the modern reader. If you enjoy matchless wit and irony, unforgettable characters, and a unique story that turns the everyday imaginings of a young Georgian era woman into an extraordinary story filled with a comedy of manners and romance, then take note; - Miss Emma Woodhouse commands you to purchase this book immediately!

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