Monday, May 21, 2012

Emma Book Study: chapters 1-10

  I am quite glad about doing an Emma book study and I am sure, simply sure that I shall have fun! It will last through the 21st to the 26th. I shall do ten chapters at a time and do the last five on Saturday. So thank you and hope you all are satisfied with my ideas. :) OH... and I shall add pictures from both Emma's as the scenes go along. My thoughts are in brackets.

 Chapter Summaries and Key Quotes

1) The lovely beginning conveying the truth that Miss Taylor (Emma's former governess) is to be married and the bringing about of it was all Emma's idea. And so begins the lovely story.  
   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.
Highbury, the large and populous village, almost amounting to a town, to which Hartfield, in spite of its separate lawn, and shrubberies, and name, did really belong, afforded her no equals. The Woodhouses were first in consequence there. All looked up to them. She had many acquaintance in the place, for her father was universally civil, but not one among them who could be accepted in lieu of Miss Taylor for even half a day. It was a melancholy change; and Emma could not but sigh over it, and wish for impossible things, till her father awoke, and made it necessary to be cheerful.

"All right I didn't want to have to do this but you leave me no choice... here comes the smolder." 

Mr. Knightley, a sensible man about seven or eight-and-thirty, was not only a very old and intimate friend of the family, but particularly connected with it, as the elder brother of Isabella's husband. He lived about a mile from Highbury, was a frequent visitor, and always welcome, and at this time more welcome than usual, as coming directly from their mutual connexions in London. He had returned to a late dinner, after some days' absence, and now walked up to Hartfield to say that all were well in Brunswick Square..." 

"Emma knows I never flatter her," said Mr. Knightley, "but I meant no reflection on any body. Miss Taylor has been used to have two persons to please; she will now have but one. The chances are that she must be a gainer." (Mr.Knightley about Emma)
Emma turned away her head, divided between tears and smiles. 

There is surly enough room for you as well, Mr. Weston!
"Ever since the day--about four years ago--that Miss Taylor and I met with him in Broadway Lane, when, because it began to drizzle, he darted away with so much gallantry, and borrowed two umbrellas for us from Farmer Mitchell's, I made up my mind on the subject. I planned the match from that hour; and when such success has blessed me in this instance, dear papa, you cannot think that I shall leave off match-making." (Emma triumphing over her ‘success’ in matching Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston)

2) Tells a bit of Jane Fairfax and also Mr. Frank Churchill. And also tells a little of Mr. Woodhouse's disposition. 
“Mr. Frank Churchill was one of the boasts of Highbury, and a lively curiosity to see him prevailed, though the compliment was so little returned that he had never been there in his life. His coming to visit his father had been often talked of but never achieved.”

There was a strange rumour in Highbury of all the little Perrys being seen with a slice of Mrs. Weston's wedding-cake in their hands: but Mr. Woodhouse would never believe it.” (Mr. Woodhouse’s thoughts)
3) Emma meets Harriet and is delighted with her sweetness and simpleness. 
“As she (Emma) sat one morning, looking forward to exactly such a close of the present day, a note was brought from Mrs. Goddard, requesting, in most respectful terms, to be allowed to bring Miss Smith with her; a most welcome request: for Miss Smith was a girl of seventeen, whom Emma knew very well by sight, and had long felt an interest in, on account of her beauty. A very gracious invitation was returned, and the evening no longer dreaded by the fair mistress of the mansion.

[ So Miss Harriet Smith comes to Hartfield ]

Harriet Smith was the natural daughter of somebody. Somebody had placed her, several years back, at Mrs. Goddard's school, and somebody had lately raised her from the condition of scholar to that of parlour-boarder. This was all that was generally known of her history. She had no visible friends but what had been acquired at Highbury, and was now just returned from a long visit in the country to some young ladies who had been at school there with her.
She was a very pretty girl, and her beauty happened to be of a sort which Emma particularly admired. She was short, plump, and fair, with a fine bloom, blue eyes, light hair, regular features, and a look of great sweetness, and, before the end of the evening, Emma was as much pleased with her manners as her person, and quite determined to continue the acquaintance.” (meeting Harriet)

4) Emma and Harriet’s friendship strengthens as they get to know the other better. Harriet says she favours a young farmer (Mr. Martin) and Emma’s plan for her and Mr. Elton to marry still is in her heart (or rather the thought that Mr. Elton's heart will be Harriet's) and she is by no means wanting Harriet to continue her association with the Martins.   

“Harriet Smith's intimacy at Hartfield was soon a settled thing. Quick and decided in her ways, Emma lost no time in inviting, encouraging, and telling her to come very often; and as their acquaintance increased, so did their satisfaction in each other...” 
“They met Mr. Martin the very next day, as they were walking on the Donwell Road. He was on foot, and after looking very respectfully at her, looked with most unfeigned satisfaction at her companion. Emma was not sorry to have such an opportunity of survey; and walking a few yards forward, while they talked together, soon made her quick eye sufficiently acquainted with Mr. Robert Martin. His appearance was very neat, and he looked like a sensible young man, but his person had no other advantage; and when he came to be contrasted with gentlemen, she thought he must lose all the ground he had gained in Harriet's inclination. Harriet was not insensible of manner; she had voluntarily noticed her father's gentleness with admiration as well as wonder. Mr. Martin looked as if he did not know what manner was.” (Emma and Harriet meet Mr. Martin after talking of him)
"To be sure," said Harriet, in a mortified voice, "he is not so genteel as real gentlemen." (Harriet gives defence for her friend after Emma voices her opinion of him)
"Mr. Knightley's air is so remarkably good that it is not fair to compare Mr. Martin with him. You might not see one in a hundred with gentleman so plainly written as in Mr. Knightley. But he is not the only gentleman you have been lately used to. What say you to Mr. Weston and Mr. Elton? Compare Mr. Martin with either of them. Compare their manner of carrying themselves; of walking; of speaking; of being silent. You must see the difference." (Emma to Harriet)
"I wonder he did not remember the book"--was all Harriet's answer, and spoken with a degree of grave displeasure which Emma thought might be safely left to itself. She, therefore, said no more for some time.”
[ and so Emma persuades Harriet to think a little less well of the farmer ] 

5) Mr. Knightley comes to Randalls (Mr. Weston’s home) and conveys his thoughts to Mrs. Weston that Harriet and Emma’s intercourse may not end agreeably and Mrs. Weston does not see it that way. 

"She always declares she will never marry, which, of course, means just nothing at all. But I have no idea that she has yet ever seen a man she cared for. It would not be a bad thing for her to be very much in love with a proper object. I should like to see Emma in love, and in some doubt of a return; it would do her good. But there is nobody hereabouts to attach her; and she goes so seldom from home." (Mr. Knightley about Emma)

In this chapter Mr. Elton whom Emma has thrown into Harriet’s life asks her (Emma) to indeed, do a water colour of Miss Smith. Emma agrees and starts. And is delighted to see that his attachment seems to grow stronger toward her friend.
No sooner was she (Harriet) out of sight, than Emma exclaimed,
"What an exquisite possession a good picture of her would be! I would give any money for it. I almost long to attempt her likeness myself. You do not know it I dare say, but two or three years ago I had a great passion for taking likenesses, and attempted several of my friends, and was thought to have a tolerable eye in general. But from one cause or another, I gave it up in disgust. But really, I could almost venture, if Harriet would sit to me. It would be such a delight to have her picture!" (Emma to Mr. Elton)
Not a FRACTION, Miss Smith!!!
The sitting began; and Harriet, smiling and blushing, and afraid of not keeping her attitude and countenance, presented a very sweet mixture of youthful expression to the steady eyes of the artist. But there was no doing any thing, with Mr. Elton fidgeting behind her and watching every touch. She gave him credit for stationing himself where he might gaze and gaze again without offence; but was really obliged to put an end to it, and request him to place himself elsewhere. It then occurred to her to employ him in reading.
"If he would be so good as to read to them, it would be a kindness indeed! It would amuse away the difficulties of her part, and lessen the irksomeness of Miss Smith's."
You have captured Miss Smith to PERFECTION!
"You have made her too tall, Emma," said Mr. Knightley. (after the painting is complete) 
8) Mr. Elton leaves for London to have the finished picture framed and Harriet comes to Hartfield saying she has received a proposal from Mr. Robert Martin. Emma is not pleased and convenes her friend though she does not mean to meddle of course to refuse the proposal. And also hints of Mr. Elton’s regard for her (Harriet).

"Who could have thought it? She was so surprised she did not know what to do. Yes, quite a proposal of marriage; and a very good letter, at least she thought so. And he wrote as if he really loved her very much--but she did not know--and so, she was come as fast as she could to ask Miss Woodhouse what she should do.--" Emma was half-ashamed of her friend for seeming so pleased and so doubtful. (Harriet to Emma)

9) Mr. Knightley comes to call on Emma to tell her that Robert Martin has very likely already purposed to her little friend and is quite delighted over it. But when Emma acquaints him with the fact the Harriet has refused Mr. Martin Mr. Knightley is surprised. They begin to quarrel and he leaves after giving Emma a sound scolding for her meddling.
"I saw her answer!--nothing could be clearer."
"You saw her answer!--you wrote her answer too. Emma, this is your doing. You persuaded her to refuse him." (Emma and Mr. Knightley quarrel)
    "A degradation to illegitimacy and ignorance, to be married to a respectable, intelligent gentleman-farmer!" (Emma and Mr. Knightley quarrel about Harriet and Mr. Martin)

[They quarrel and he leaves leaving Emma to think about her conduct] 
10) Mr. Knightley remains quiet and calm and Emma is not quite forgiven yet. Mr. Elton returns, the picture is hung and Emma receives praise from all who see it. Emma and Harriet begin to collect riddles and Mr. Elton contributes one that Emma concludes must be addressed to Harriet.

"Take it," said Emma, smiling, and pushing the paper towards Harriet--"it is for you. Take your own."
But Harriet was in a tremor, and could not touch it; and Emma, never loth to be first, was obliged to examine it herself.
To Miss--
My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease.
Another view of man, my second brings,
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!
But ah! united, what reverse we have!
Man's boasted power and freedom, all are flown;
Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.
Thy ready wit the word will soon supply,
May its approval beam in that soft eye!
(Mr. Elton’s charade)

10)  Emma and Harriet by chance meet Mr. Elton and Emma is quite in raptures to see that he as well as her friend are getting along splendidly. Nothing of significance happens excepting this. 

Comparisons with other Jane Austen novels

Perhaps there is. I have not really seen anything that may be close to any other of JA novels. Mr. Woodhouse is quite a character and there cannot be two of him... to be quite sure. Emma is matchmaker and no other JA heroine is. (of course). But here are some things I saw.

*~* Emma's matchmaking ideas are like Mrs. Jenning's in Sense and Sensibility. :-) Almost... she is not married and Mrs. Jennings was. That was very likely the most silly thing I've write in the post! 
*~* Jane Fairfax's situation is like Fanny Price's in Mansfield Park. I have not read the book so please tell me if I am wrong about this idea. :)

Possible Debate Questions 

1. Mr. Knightley's scolding of Emma seems too harsh! Does anyone else think as I do?!
2. Mr. Elton seemed honourable at the first and I can think that he would be a good match for Harriet (if I overlook the fact the he has set his cap at Emma)! I have no idea if men set there caps at anyone so... skip to the end! Did you think that Mr. Elton was a good match for Harriet the first time you read the book or watched the movie?
3. I can see why Emma may annoy some at the starting of the story. She is quite meddlesome but all if well at the end.
4. Mr. Martin is respectable! Emma may not think so but he is. Even though he is a farmer his a very well off and is honourable. 


 I have notes today. Excuse them please. :) OH... did you know we have a wonderful piece of news? Jane Austen's Emma Week is starting 8th of June. Read all about the exciting thing here.

Thank you and God Bless.


  1. I loved reading this! You have a wonderful talent for writing. BTW, what program do you use to make your header?

  2. Wonderful post just wonderful :P You most be busy doing this. Keep up the good post. I love them <3
    Have a great day and GOD BLESS

    Marissa Kathryn

  3. Miss Woodhouse
    Thank you very much for your compliment! I'm sending you an e-mail about my header. :)

    Thank you and I am VERY busy doing this. Believe me or no I stayed up almost to 12:30 midnight last night!!! :) *yawn*

  4. oh My You poor dear you should take a break LOL. A friend cant stand still when her friend is in despair!!!!!!!


    Marissa Kathryn

  5. OH yes I am quite overpowered! LOL! You are so fun. LOVE YOU GIRL! Oh I knew you would say that you dear thing. :)

  6. Oh yes i do agree with some of your thought

    1. I do think he was a little bit harsh but she had said said such mean things about Miss bates :)

    2. NOPE i like Harriet and i could not EVEN think of Mr Elton marrying her :)............Now Emma don't go match making again :)

    3. She is a annoying at first but better at the end <3

    4.I agree he is a honourable man

  7. Marissa

    1. I was meaning the part where he scolds her for interfering with Harriet and Mr. Martin. :) The BBC Emma made that clearer than in the 1996 Emma. ;)

    2. Oh... Mr. Elton would never do! Indeed, he would never do for anyone. Mrs. Elton suited him to be sure!!!

    3. I cannot know why I said such a mean thing about Emma. LOL!

    4. Mr. Martin was always so nice and never seemed NOT like a gentlemen.


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Thank you.


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