Emma

An Audible Original Drama
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,546 ratings)

Regular price: $9.95

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About This Audible Original

A lush recording, featuring a full cast of A-list talent, updates Jane Austen’s masterwork. Emma Thompson, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, brings her empathetic intelligence and droll wit to her narration of Emma. Thompson’s gifts shine alongside actors including Joanne Froggatt, Aisling Loftus, and Isabella Inchbald, who deftly voices Emma Woodhouse with all her delights and complications. A comedy of manners, which deliciously satirized pomp and pretension, Emma endures as a crowd-pleasing classic. (Oh and did we mention... this 1816 novel inspired the quintessential 1990s rom-com, Clueless?)

“Handsome, clever, and rich” (in Austen’s description), Emma Woodhouse prides herself on being a gifted matchmaker—even if she doesn’t always choose wisely for her friends and almost misses her own Mr. Right. The accomplished cast and sumptuous sound design bring the novel’s iconic characters (noble Mr. Knightley, sly Frank Churchill, gentle Miss Bates, and, of course, the delightful, exasperating Emma) and 19th-century British society to vivid life.

© 2018 Audible, Ltd

Go Behind The Scenes of Emma

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Few books make the reader as happy as Emma, because few depict so well the joy of being understood…The institution of marriage, like the novel itself, has changed greatly since Austen’s time; but as long as human beings long for this kind of mutual recognition and understanding, Emma will live.

- The New York Times
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Our favorite moments from Emma

Emma Thompson introduces Emma Woodhouse.
Parting words from Mrs. Weston.
Emma and Harriet compare gentlemen.
A father-daughter chat.

  • Emma
  • Emma Thompson introduces Emma Woodhouse.
  • Emma
  • Parting words from Mrs. Weston.
  • Emma
  • Emma and Harriet compare gentlemen.
  • Emma
  • A father-daughter chat.

About the Cast

Dame Emma Thompson is a British actress and screenwriter known for her sophisticated, skillful performances and her arch wit. Born in London into a family of actors, she launched her acting career with Cambridge University’s Footlights Dramatic Club, where members of Monty Python first met. Moving from comedy, she found her niche in period drama. In 1993, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the Merchant-Ivory film Howards End. She went on to gain acclaim for her roles in The Remains of the Day (1993) and Sense and Sensibility (1995), for which she also wrote the screenplay, winning her a second Academy Award. Thompson’s other notable screen credits include Wit (2001, HBO), Love Actually (2003), her portrayal of P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks (2013), and her role as a conflicted High Court judge in The Children Act (2017).

Joanne Froggatt is best-known for playing Anna Bates in all six seasons of Downton Abbey, receiving three Primetime Emmy Award nominations and winning a coveted Golden Globe in the process. Her other powerhouse performances include the suspense series Liar, Dark Angel, and the film In Our Name (2010). An Audible sensation, Froggatt won the UK Narrator of the Year Award for 2017’s Thriller of the Year, Silent Child, before lending her voice to Austen’s classic comedy of errors.

Isabella Inchbald shines as the titular heroine of Emma. As a winner of the 2017 BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award, Inchbald was awarded a coveted spot with the BBC Radio Drama Company. Classically trained and undeniably talented, she is a stand-out rising star in this exceptional cast.

Morgana Robinson is an English actress and comedian, best known for her sketch comedy and impressions on The Morgana Show and Morgana Robinson’s The Agency. After winning Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist at the 2012 British Comedy Awards for her work on Very Important People, she portrayed Julie on House of Fools and Pippa on The Windsors.

Jane Austen

About the Author

Jane Austen is trending—permanently—and continues to attract top actors to Audible Studios, all eager to perform Austen’s witty and engaging dialogue. In an era when women didn’t put their own names on their work, Jane Austen quietly wrote six perfect novels that are present-day hot commodities; her celebrity, amazingly, is still growing. Austen’s work, which is sharply satiric, yet full of pathos, continues to delight contemporary listeners.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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background noise

the background noise is distracting and much too loud. the noise takes much away from the story and from the wonderful actors. I'm glad I didn't pay for this book!

42 of 49 people found this review helpful

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Well, that was wonderful

What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson's narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story.

I've read Emma many times over the years, and it was always my favorite besides Pride & Prejudice. I must say though, this adaptation really made me see the story in a new way. It's funny how reading it in your own head, you interpret it differently. I never realized the character of Emma to be so unlikable. Of course she is a little immature and grows into herself, but in this rendition she comes off quite conceited and, perhaps, even a little mean. It makes me want to reread the book and see how much I've missed!

Personally, I love this style of audiobook where each character is voiced by someone. I listened to this in less than 24 hours and wished it would never be over. I hope audible makes a dramatized version of all the Jane Austen novels.

86 of 103 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Background sonds RUINED this

I couldn't find a more polite place to complain. I bet the readers/actors are frustrated, too. There is silverware noise to show they're at dinner, but it sounds more like the dishwashing station at a restaurant. There is a clock ticking (maybe) to show people sitting around, but it was too loud, and ruined the rhythm of the delivery.

I've had to stop listening, and it's a shame.

I hope you will consider releating it without any background sound, or leave a tiny MUCH SOFTER bit, and don't make it continuous throughout a scene. It's painful.

All their reading work is buried in horrible added-on noise.

50 of 60 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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More of a Radio Drama than an audiobook

This is an excellently produced production on the part of Audible. The performers do a great job with their roles. I think it needs to be pointed out though that this is more like a radio/podcast drama than a book reading. If you consider it in that frame of mind it might make the sound effects easier to tolerate. They also add atmosphere and make it more convincing that they are actually in the homes or environment of the story. My only complaint is that music between chapters is a bit much.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mary
  • Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 09-09-18

ticking sound in background annoying

one of my favorite stories from one of my favorite performers. Would have been perfect but for a ticking sound in the background, not loud enough to ruin everything just enough to be annoying.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • C
  • 09-12-18

So Disappointed

Of course I was really looking forward of what seemed to be a great new production of a much loved classic, but they have layered background sounds over the speech and it is too loud and too distracting and I couldn't keep listening. I hope they will re-engineer this production WITHOUT the background sound track, and just let it be the spoken words. The background sound track was probably meant to provide more dimension, but it failed to accomplish that for me, and was just "noise" and really annoying. Very disappointing.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Emma

This is the first time I have listened to an adaption of a book with reading and acting. I enjoyed this type I am sure due to the wonderful performances from all. I recognized Joanne Froggatt as mrs Weston. I am a big fan of hers watching downton Abby. The music and the time period was perfect. Thank you for creating this delight

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Hard to Follow

Do not recommend. Narration made it hard to follow and keep up with. Could barely even stay awake trying to listen.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Rustburg, VA, United States
  • 09-11-18

I’m glad it was free. Just ok

There was no real depth of the characters. I kept listening hoping it would get better.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Emma Thompson would make the tax code interesting

The cast was perfect. Narration was the best choice by far. To me Emma Thompson is the voice of Jane Austen. I thoroughly enjoyed this and cannot wait to listen to other titles.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Milly_87
  • 09-06-18

Emma brought to life

What a wonderful listen this has been! Would definitely recommend it for any Jane Austen fan!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Rhi07
  • 09-19-18

Brought to life by Emma Thompson

This is a really refreshing performance of Emma, entirely because of Emma Thompson's superb narration which keeps the story light, emotive and relatable. The casting is good, and it is performed well by all. An excellent adaption Audible - an enjoyable listen and true to the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • liza wrigley
  • 09-18-18

A classic told in the stunningly beautiful

way, you will fall in love with Jane Austen all over again. can't wait to listen to more . Thank you .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-18

Fantastic adaptation!

This adaptation keeps the heart of the original story while retelling it in a fresh way. The performances from all the voice actors were very good and I truly enjoyed the time spent listening to this version of Emma, would highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lily
  • 09-07-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

This is a lovely drama that really brings the book to life. I enjoy Jane Austen’s books, but sometimes find them heavy going in places. With this drama, though, I’m totally immersed in the story. Each character is brilliantly performed by a very talented cast and Emma Thompson is just wonderful as the narrator.

If you’re a fan of Austen I also recommend Northanger Abbey, another drama which was a joy to listen to.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-18

Highly enjoyable

A wonderful production, could not have enjoyed it more. And what an exquisite performance, such a pleasure to listen to!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Howlett
  • 09-23-18

If you need an abridged version then this is quite fun

The actors are great and the abridged story well planned but thus is very abridged and will not stand for true Austen fans or those studying the text.
I could have done without the soppy tinkly music as well.
Otherwise not “ badly done Emma”!

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  • StitchFreak
  • 09-21-18

Wonderful

A great adaptation, beautifully narrated by our own Emma Thompson, every part clear and easy to hear different people, great sound and was sensitively done in Jane Austen‘s style. It didn’t matter a bit that I knew the story! Really enjoyed it. Thank you.

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  • Wosul
  • 09-20-18

Excellent performance, predictable story

Beautifully performed. The story gives insights to the small mindedness and lives of the time, but can't help but be a little tiresome and predictable. Would have been pretty impressive in its day none the less.

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  • Moray Hospitality
  • 09-13-18

Austen purists beware!

This isn't at all the unabridged text of 'Emma': it's been abridged and added to.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful