Hi friends! I hope your Mondays are off to a great start! As you might already beware, the talented, award-winning author Karen Cox has a new book about to release and it is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this – I love Emma, I love Mr. Knightley, and I love Karen Cox’s writing! Karen has prepared IMHO an amazingly insightful and astute post about Emma Woodhouse. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Emma Woodhouse: Jane Austen’s gift to you, the modern woman.
At first glance, it seems impossible that a 200-year-old character from Regency England could speak to me, a modern-day reader, but Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse is, in my opinion, a heroine for modern times.
A lot of readers aren’t too thrilled with Emma, and it’s easy to see why. It’s all about her (except it really isn’t—more on that later.) For heaven’s sake, even the novel itself is named after her! From the first phrase of the book, we are primed to envy her when we learn she is “handsome, clever, and rich.” She’s the kind of heroine that sparks a reader’s resentment—for what she has and for the blessings conferred on her by birth and good genes, through no effort of her own. In the little town of Highbury and on her estate, Hartfield, she is privileged with a capital P.
And then there’s her behavior during the novel. A gentleman’s daughter with a limited view of the world, she comes off as vain about her own intelligence and her dubious importance. She’s nosey. She’s a snob. She’s wrong-headed, self-deluding, and headstrong. No wonder Austen called her “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.”