Jane Austen, Emma : pictures, slide show, quiz
Jane Austen (1775-1817), who remained an unknown author for a long time, is nowadays considered one of the major English novelists. Emma, her best novel, was published anonymously and has grown to be one of the English classics.
Emma Woodhouse, aged about twenty, has lost her mother and lives with her hypochondriac father in Hartfield, their manor close to the village of Highbury. The family belongs to the gentry and Emma is very conscious of the fact that she belongs to the elite due to her fortune and her culture. Looking for an occupation, she decides to find a husband for a young, poor girl, Harriet Smith. She will not be able to realize this project due to her lack of experience, but it will be a learning process for her. She will discover that underneath their appearances, people have ambitions, feelings and interests that guide their acts and she learns that social convention masks this inner life. Saying that Emma is a feminist would be an anachronism but she is an intelligent and sensitive girl who doesn’t want to be totally subjected to a man.
This novel has numerous characters, sometimes of a very secondary nature, and offers a rather rich view of the English provincial society at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It gives an accurate description of the lifestyle of the landed gentry: domestic comfort, visits and invitations, small trips with horse and carriage.
Emma has been published numerous times. Hereby an illustration of different editions (click on the image):
Cinema and TV have also been interested by Emma whose character has recently been interpreted by:
- Romola Garai
- Kate Beckinsale
- Gwyneth Paltrow
For those who are in to digital books: a free download of Emma and other novels by Jane Austen is available in English and in French translation (for instance on Alkido for Android Market)
The following link to Wikipedia allows you to obtain more detailed information about the novel:
And finally here is a Power Point slide show with a quiz on Jane Austen: