Emma by Jane Austen #
Jane Austen is an accomplished writer who polarises her audience; they either passionately adore or absolutely abhor her.
Regardless of your tastes, she is a writer of merit and maintains a tremendous influence on the development of the English Novel.
Her Novels deal with the lower nobility, a leisured class but without the ostentatious wealth and position of the landed Dukes and Earls of the higher nobility.
Perhaps most intriguing is that, though her novels are set in the turbulent times of the Napoleonic wars and a period of great social unrest in rural England, her characters appear entirely concerned only with their parochial affairs and to be totally and blissfully oblivious of anything happening in the national or international fields. Her critics decry this narrowness and insularity while her fans celebrate the niche portraits she draws.
Many claim that she is the first modern novelist for focussing on character development through action, interactions and conflict. It is through the development of her characters, her experimental narrative techniques and the design of her novels that we can discover her main concerns.
Emma could be compared to the two plot lines of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, with Emma and Mr Knightely’s situation compared to Benedick and Beatrice’s bantering before finding each other.