Emma  By  cover art

Emma

By: Jane Austen
Narrated by: Jenny Agutter

Publisher's summary

Exclusively from Audible

Emma can be enjoyed as a charming love story, a detective story, and a comic and lively picture of English life 200 years ago.

Austen's beautiful, clever, wilful but fallible heroine Emma Woodhouse believes she knows best. Perfectly content with her life she sees no need for either love or marriage, yet nothing pleases her more than meddling in the romantic lives of others. But when she fails to heed the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and schemes to arrange a suitable match for her protégée, Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. She discovers that she understands the feelings of others as little as she does her own heart.

With a cast of unforgettable characters, it is a lively comedy of manners that explores the concerns of genteel women living in Regency times.

Jane Austen was an English writer known primarily for her six major novels which focused on the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Her plots often explore women's dependence on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.

Narrator Biography

Jenny Agutter began her acting career as a child in 1964's East of Sudan and is well known for appearing in three adaptations of The Railway Children. She starred in the critically acclaimed 1971 film Walkabout as well as receiving a string of Hollywood roles. She won an Emmy for her role in The Snow Goose (1971), as well as a BAFTA for her role in Equus (1997).

More recently she has appeared in several television dramas, including Spooks (2002-2003), and Call the Midwife since 2012. She has performed in numerous theatre productions, including roles with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has also narrated audiobooks like Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, and featured in the Doctor Who audio dramas inThe Bride of Peladon, and The Minister of Chance. In 2012 she was appointed OBE for her charity work.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Emma

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Story
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

pure pleasure

Jenny Agutter gives one of the best readings I've heard here. This is a wonderful, witty, and wise rendering of the novel. Her characterizations are subtle and smart; it's clear she's given such care and attention to the novel and to Austen's world. Her skill in delivering the meaning and emotion of the words makes this such a delightful journey. Loved it!

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Needs chapter breaks fixed

For some reason the chapter breaks that are in the book are not the correct ones.
When the chapter changes, it is said, however the breaks that are seen are not correct. Once I was so lost that I listened to a whole chapter again, because I couldn’t find where the next one started.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun story, but narrator could have done better

Listening to this on audio was only my first time reading Emma and my third time reading a book by Jane Austen, and it did not disappoint. I just love how Austen makes me feel I am being transported into another time in history and how lifelike and fun her characters and stories can be. It is not necessarily my favorite Austen novel, but Emma's antics trying to be a matchmaker were very enjoyable, and I will definitely read it again someday.

To rate the technical side of things, the performance of the narrator, Jenny Agutter was not awful, but it was not the best either. Jenny has a pleasant voice and reads with clear pronunciation, but she did not always do quite enough in the way of changing her voice for different characters' dialog and because Jane Austen also did not always use dialog tags when there was a back-and-forth between two characters I sometimes got confused as to who was speaking or who had just done what and ultimately had to look the book up online to clarify as to whether or not I had understood things correctly. Since listening to this book I have since discovered a narrator by the name of Juliet Stevenson who has become my favorite narrator when it comes to Jane Austen. She does much better in the way of giving the characters unique voices and pausing to be sure the listener knows the speaker of the dialog has changed and I will and have gone out of my way to make sure any Jane Austen novel I want to listen to is narrated by her and no one else

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love Story - performance, not so much

I have read all of Ms. Austen's books many times. Recently listened to Pride and Prejudice and thought it was great - allowed me to enjoy the genius of her writing in a whole new way. So looked forward to this version of Emma. What a disappointment. Voice is shrill, story telling lacks nuance and overall is read too quickly. I won't finish it.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Matchmaker thy name is Folly

This age old favourite by Jane Austin is always pleasing. The characters are well drawn and interesting. The main character, Emma may be, " handsome, clever and rich" and have an exceptionally pleasant lot in life but she has some important lessons to learn.
Humility and being less judgmental of those around her are two for a start and then there is her profound belief that she is a matchmaker without exception!
Many of her views on those she believes beneath her station or attention might be held to be unacceptable today. However, at the time the book was written her views would have been considered quite correct and "proper" for a young lady born in her circumstances. For all her failings it must be said that she has a good heart and luckily for her she has Mr Knightly as her conscience and guardian angel so all ends happily.
I like Jenny Agguter but in this instance the speed at which she read the book was disappointing and had I not known the story so well I might have had to re-listen in some sections. Hence the 4 stars for performance.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Disappointed

What a disappointment! I was all set to enjoy Emma, really my first non-movie Austen, when it became apparent Jenny Agutter, an actress of some experience, has only one voice, her own. No way to even tell between male and female. Why do recording companies allow this?

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Emma

Jenny Agutter does a superb job as narrator. She "does" each character's voice to just the degree needed for the listener to discern them without the voices being grating or annoying. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Am I too old?

When I was much younger, close to half my current age, I read this book and absolutely loved it. I recently reread a different Jane Austen book and it enjoyed it so much more than when I was younger, I decided to revisit more books of hers. Through almost this entire book, I kept asking, what is WRONG with her, referring to Emma. At one point I complained to a friend, this spoiled little brat, spoilers, etc. Don't misunderstand me. I know that is likely the point, the description of her in the very first few lines pretty much states it right out. But when that is your main character, it got old fast! So then why did I love this book so much when I was younger? Did I relate to her more? Am I just too old now?

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Biting Satire of Manners

I greatly enjoyed the book and the narration. This is only the fourth Jane Austen novel that I have listened to/read and found it very different than the others. It is much more biting in its satire of the life, manners, and prejudices of the English country gentry. Unlike the other novels that I am familiar with- Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion - the main character is not particularly likable as are almost all of her acquaintances except for Mr. Knightley and Jane Fairfax. I especially liked the fact that by the author focusing on describing the interactions of the many characters, I could not determine the final outcome of the plot until almost the end of the novel. The narrator was terrific. It is obvious that Ms. Agutter is a very experienced and talented actress; she was able to bring all of the novel's many characters to life, each with their own distinctive personality.I recommend this Audible recording most highly.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I know this is a "classic" and I love the classics, but I felt as though there was a lot of rambling and babbling. Not my cup of tea.

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