Anche in Italia pubblicato con il titolo Emma. Un classico della letteratura inglese che, a oltre 200 anni dalla pubblicazione, è ancora uno dei romanzi più letti e riconosciuti.
I am a huge fan of Jane Austen’s novels and, while Pride and Prejudice is my favourite of her novels, Emma is a very close second. It had a been a few years since I last read it so, a few weeks ago, I decided to do a reread and it was like meeting old friends. It also gave me an excuse to buy a new copy as my old one was quite battered.
The novel is set in the village of Highbury, sixteen miles from London. The good people of Highbury have not much to do but socialize and gossip. “Handsome, clever, and rich” Emma Woodhouse lives alone with her father after her former governess, “poor Miss Taylor”, left to get married.
And while her father spends his time worrying about other people’s health, Emma enjoys the company of her friends. Mr. Knightley, “was one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who told her of them”; naïve Harriet, who Emma takes under her wing; her former governess, now Mrs Weston and her charming newly-in-town stepson Frank Churchill. And while Emma enjoys interfering in the lives of her friends and playing matchmaking, she vows to never marry…
Emma is a fantastic character. Beautiful and smart, she is also spoiled and flawed. Even though she’s convinced she is always right, she makes mistakes. She is well-aware of her high social status, but she still takes care of the poor. Throughout the novel, we see Emma develop and mature and becoming a little wiser.
The story is entertaining and engrossing and Mr. Woodhouse’s worries about everyone’s health make for a funny read. Emma is one of my favourite novels, one I will keep rereading and I also recommend you watch the movies adapted on the novels. There is a version from 1996 featuring Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma which I watched many years ago and I remember enjoying. And the latest version that came out in 2020 which I watched just recently, and I loved it. It is very well-made and I laughed a lot watching it.