As a Jane Austen novice, I was intrigued to read about one of her most popular novel characters, Emma, of whom Austen stated, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” Whether you find the protagonist endearing, well-meaning, a busybody, snobby or annoying — Emma is an entertaining read and is understandably a classic that transcends time. The residents of the novel’s village, Highbury, may speak with the proper English terms of the 1800s, but the subject matter is very much current. Without spoiling the book for those who have yet to read it, Austen’s character, shines a light on love, matchmaking and how it’s affected by class and status in society. The subject of matchmaking — in a world where online dating and romantic relationship matching apps are prevalent — makes Emma’s nineteenth-century approach on the matter that much more enticing to read. Even more captivating, is finding out whether this self-proclaimed Cupid, will end up with a match of her own. As Emma’s relationships with various gentlemen progress during the story, readers can appreciate the growth displayed in her personality as well as increasing character dimension.
The witty exchanges, along with funny, awkward mishaps, and attempted love connections, make Emma a great story for any generation. With such timeless themes, Austen’s work has become an adaptation gold-mine. From graphic novels, audiobook dramatizations, a mini-series and a number of movies, Emma is far from falling into the forgotten books of a distant past. With such an introduction into the wonderful world of Jane Austen fiction, my interest is piqued to delve into her other works. With fond admiration, I highly recommend that you check out the book, ebook or audiobook versions. To sweeten the experience, watch one (or all) of the screen adaptations to see how they compare and portray this intriguing heroine. Below are a few of the most popular adaptations.
To gain more insight on this novel and its adaptations, become a part of Irmo Branch Library’s Multimedia Book Club. Join other novel and film lovers in sharing your thoughts on some of literature’s greatest works.
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