Emma (novel)

Emma is a novel about youthful hubris and romantic misunderstandings, written by Jane Austen. It is set in the fictional country village of Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls and Donwell Abbey, and involves the relationships among people from a small number of families.[2] The novel was first published in December 1815, with its title page listing a publication date of 1816. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in GeorgianRegency England. Emma is a comedy of manners.

Title page of first edition, volume 1 of 3
AuthorJane Austen
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreNovel of manners
Set insouthern England and Yorkshire, early 19th century
Published23 December 1815[1] (title page gives 1816)
PublisherJohn Murray
Media typePrint: hardback
Pages1,036, in three volumes
LC ClassPR4034 .E5
Preceded byMansfield Park 
Followed byNorthanger Abbey 
TextEmma at Wikisource

Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like."[3] In the first sentence, she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition... had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."[4] Emma is spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.

Emma, written after Austen's move to Chawton, was her last novel to be published during her lifetime,[5] while Persuasion, the last complete novel Austen wrote, was published posthumously.

The novel has been adapted for a number of films, television programmes and stage plays.

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