This version of Emma is a 79-page re-write. It has large print, different text from the original opening, and is about a sixth the size of the original book by Jane Austen. There is no indication in the description that it is not the full text of the original. I can't tell if it was written for children, or as a summary for someone who hasn't read the book. The other reviews refer to it as a French edition but it is only in English. The ISBN also refers to a French edition. Readers should know that it's a summary.
Emma is one of Austen's and my least favorite characters. Most matchmakers are bossy types and are universally in the MYOB (mind your own business) crowd. Sometimes she is definitely mean-spirited. She could have more positively spent her time perfecting her musicianship or working on her artistic talent. The illustrations were a reminder of the dress of the time and the households as well.
It was fun to compare the movies available as well. The British BBC production definitely had the better casting. How would you feel about marrying someone 16 years your senior? The women of Austen's time had some issues we would not cope with as well.The book is definitely an eye-opener on Austen as an early Women's Lib advocate. We don't realize how good we have it. We can do anything we want these days.
How did this get good reviews? Either it is in desperate need of an editor or it is a bad translation. I only got a chapter in because of the gibberish-like quality. Take this passage, for example: "How turned into she to undergo the trade?—It changed into proper that her buddy turned into going only half of a mile from them; but Emma was conscious that incredible have to be the distinction between a Mrs. Weston, only 1/2 a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor within the house; and with all her benefits, herbal and home, she become now in top notch hazard of tormented by intellectual solitude." I ended up downloading a different version, which reads much better.
I would of probably not have read Austin for awhile if not brought to my attention by the late Patrick Obrian. I found it interesting that thew super masculine author of Master and Commander + the 21 volumes that followed -would so often dedicate his books to Jane Austin. The few existing interviews that exist of Obrian also quote him as listing Austin as one of his main literary idols. I therefore read Emma and thoroughly enjoyed it with the psychological factors --just like Obrian- being the standout element. Emma resembles a person who has many character defects due to her high society upbringing and blood ties. This type of character sets the stage for interesting insights in to human nature in relation to types of control that people have on others. Emma enjoys moving people around like pieces of chess. She finds satisfaction in the cause and effect of social situations involving people and a unhealthy interest in being in control of others destiny. Emma is a character study of a person who, due to a higher class in society, employs a convoluted or almost perverse sense of ethics in relation to the importance of socioeconomic status. This story is important because it shows how higher classes of people form their own subculture based on degree of wealth or mainly in the times of Emma--blood ties. These deviations of the equlibrium in socio-climate can lead to some very mean spirited people such as the negative qualities of Emma. Emma is an interesting case because she begins to see the light and changes for the better throughout. I am not giving away anything by saying this because it is apparent from the beginning. The beauty of this story is watching the changes. This seemed to me to be advanced in the psychological/satirical elements such as the father who's intelligence level is constantly poked fun at indirectly. Austen is darkly comedic with her repition on her father always turning to topics such as the weather or the temperature of the room to indicate Emmas and her fathers cultered/acedemic differences. I have read very lightly about anagrams in Austins work and i feel the father figure represent the standard male dominance of the time. As an author speaking through her fiction i feel she is making an early woman's power statement hidden within the character of her father and Emmas intellectual divide. We often find Emma separating herself to talk to her friends that are on her level trying to escape her father. Emma is a strong character and we see her battle with her own demons and attempt to fix her own faults. I did not get the feel that this was primitive due to the time it was written. I felt like i was reading a deep character study with very smart psychological elements.
The illustrations weren't really helpful for the enjoyment of the book, but overall I liked it.
There is no better title for this book than Emma. Even when the book is told in third person, we mostly follow her point of view, which at time it was really annoying. Emma was judgemental, vain and she thinks she is better than everyone. Honestly, I don't think we are suppose to like her, but somehow, someway, I wished for her happiness and I felt bad for her.
Anyways, I really loved part 3. I got excited at the very end...
"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.—