Format: Mass Market Paperbound
Dimensions: 576 pages, 6.75 × 4.13 × 1.44 in
Published: April 15, 2004
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Books
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1593080891
ISBN - 13: 9781593080891
About the Book
Emma Woodhouse is a wealthy, exquisite, and thoroughly self-deluded
young woman who plots her way through provincial balls, drawing
rooms, and a memorable gallery of Austen's finest personages. Every
romantic scheme is steeped in Austen's delicious irony.
Stephen Marcus is a much-honored Professor Emeritus at Columbia
University, and the author of more than 200 publications.
Read from the Book
From Steven Marcus''s Introduction to Emma The first sentence of Emma is only less well known than the legendary opening of Pride and Prejudice . "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." The immediate effect of this statement is to stop us, we readers, in our tracks. It is also a heads-up or alert, signaling to us as the narrator''s adherents and collaborators to step up the volume and fine-tune the attentiveness that we direct toward the page. It begins with a broadside of affirmations and modulates into a conclusion that intimates serious problems may exist in the offing. Emma is very good looking in a rather striking and forceful way (not pretty or, here, beautiful); she is intelligent and quick-witted; and she is more than affluent when it comes to material means. She takes pleasure as well in the amenities of an established place in which to live, the establishment being part of a settled order in which she also feels at home. And best of all, perhaps, she is blessed with a "happy" temperament or general tone of well-being. With all these fortunate and combined bestowals, is there anything else to ask for? Well, yes—since they amount, the narrator remarks without pausing, to no more than "seemed." The dubiety carried in that ironic reservation turns the sentence aroun
From the Publisher
, by Jane Austen
, is part of the
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reader''s understanding of these enduring works.
Emma Woodhouse is a wealthy,
exquisite, and thoroughly self-deluded young woman who has "lived
in the world with very little to distress or vex her."
Jane Austen exercises her taste for cutting social
observation and her talent for investing seemingly trivial events
with profound moral significance as Emma traverses a gentle satire
of provincial balls and drawing rooms, along the way encountering
the sweet Harriet Smith, the chatty and tedious Miss Bates, and her
absurd father Mr. Woodhouse-a memorable gallery of Austen''s finest
personages. Thinking herself impervious to romance of any kind,
Emma tries to arrange a wealthy marriage for poor Harriet, but
refuses to recognize her own feelings for the gallant Mr.
Knightley. What ensues is a delightful series of scheming escapades
in which every social machination and bit of "tittle-tattle" is
steeped in Austen''s delicious irony. Ultimately, Emma discovers
that "Perfect happiness, even in memory, is not common."
Virginia Woolf called Jane Austen "the most perfect artist among
women," and Emma Woodhouse is arguably her most perfect creation.
Though Austen found her heroine to be a person whom "no one but
myself will much like," Emma is her most cleverly woven,
riotously comedic, and pleasing novel of manners.
Steven Marcus is
Professor of English and Comparative Literature and George
Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, and a
specialist in nineteenth-century literature and culture. A fellow
of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy
of Literary Studies, he has received Fulbright, American Council of
Learned Societies, Guggenheim, Center for Advanced Study in the
Behavioral Sciences, Rockefeller, and Mellon grants. He is the
author of more than 200 publications.
About the Author
Steven Marcus is Professor of English and
Comparative Literature and George Delacorte Professor in the
Humanities at Columbia University, and a specialist in
nineteenth-century literature and culture. A fellow of both the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Literary
Studies, he has received Fulbright, American Council of Learned
Societies, Guggenheim, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral
Sciences, Rockefeller, and Mellon grants. He is the author of more
than 200 publications.