Emma

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Emma Woodhouse Character Analysis

The protagonist of the novel, Emma Woodhouse is the rich, beautiful, and privileged mistress of Hartfield. She lives a comfortable life with her elderly father, running the house and organizing social invitations within the high society of Highbury. Her mother died when she was young, and she was since spoilt by her governess, the newly married Mrs. Weston. At the start of the novel, her major flaw is a combination of vanity and pride: she thinks a little too highly of herself and believes herself possessed of great discernment in matchmaking. Despite these flaws, Emma’s understanding and good nature allow her to learn from her mistakes and cultivate kindness and humility. Her resolution to remain single also demonstrates an unusual prioritization of her independence and pleasure as a woman, though it is one that she later gives up in marrying Mr. Knightley.

Emma Woodhouse Quotes in Emma

The Emma quotes below are all either spoken by Emma Woodhouse or refer to Emma Woodhouse. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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Chapter 1 Quotes

The real evils, indeed, of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself: these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse
Chapter 3 Quotes

[Emma] was not struck by any thing remarkably clever in Miss Smith's conversation, but she found her altogether very engaging—not inconveniently shy, not unwilling to talk—and yet so far from pushing, shewing so proper and becoming a deference, seeming so pleasantly grateful for being admitted to Hartfield, and so artlessly impressed by the appearance of every thing in so superior a style to what she had been used to, that she must have good sense and deserve encouragement. . . . She would notice her; she would improve her; she would detach her from her bad acquaintance, and introduce her into good society; she would form her opinions and her manners. It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Harriet Smith
Chapter 4 Quotes

A young farmer, whether on horseback or on foot, is the very last sort of person to raise my curiosity. The yeomanry are precisely the order of people with whom I feel I can have nothing to do. A degree or two lower, and a creditable appearance might interest me; I might hope to be useful to their families in some way or other. But a farmer can need none of my help, and is therefore in one sense as much above my notice as in every other he is below it.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse (speaker), Mr. Robert Martin
Chapter 5 Quotes

I think [Harriet Smith] the very worst sort of companion that Emma could possibly have. She knows nothing herself, and looks upon Emma as knowing every thing. She is a flatterer in all her ways; and so much the worse, because undesigned. Her ignorance is hourly flattery. How can Emma imagine she has any thing to learn herself, while Harriet is presenting such a delightful inferiority? And as for Harriet, I will venture to say that she cannot gain by the acquaintance. Hartfield will only put her out of conceit with all the other places she belongs to. She will grow just refined enough to be uncomfortable with those among whom birth and circumstances have placed her home. I am much mistaken if Emma's doctrines give any strength of mind, or tend at all to make a girl adapt herself rationally to the varieties of her situation in life.—They only give a little polish.

Related Characters: Mr. George Knightley (speaker), Emma Woodhouse, Harriet Smith
Chapter 8 Quotes

Harriet's claims to marry well are not so contemptible as you represent them. She is not a clever girl, but she has better sense than you are aware of, and does not deserve to have her understanding spoken of so slightingly. Waving that point, however, and supposing her to be, as you describe her, only pretty and good-natured, let me tell you, that in the degree she possesses them, they are not trivial recommendations to the world in general . . . Her good-nature, too, is not so very slight a claim, comprehending, as it does, real, thorough sweetness of temper and manner, a very humble opinion of herself, and a great readiness to be pleased with other people. I am very much mistaken if your sex in general would not think such beauty, and such temper, the highest claims a woman could possess."

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse (speaker), Mr. George Knightley, Harriet Smith
Chapter 10 Quotes

I have none of the usual inducements of women to marry. Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing! but I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall. And, without love, I am sure I should be a fool to change such a situation as mine. Fortune I do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want: I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband's house as I am of Hartfield; and never, never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse (speaker)

Never mind, Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public! A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable, old maid! the proper sport of boys and girls; but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as anybody else.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse (speaker), Harriet Smith
Chapter 16 Quotes

The first error, and the worst, lay at her door. It was foolish, it was wrong, to take so active a part in bringing any two people together. It was adventuring too far, assuming too much, making light of what ought to be serious—a trick of what ought to be simple. She was quite concerned and ashamed, and resolved to do such things no more.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse (speaker), Harriet Smith, Mr. Elton
Chapter 18 Quotes

Depend upon it, Emma, a sensible man would find no difficulty in it. He would feel himself in the right; and the declaration—made, of course, as a man of sense would make it, in a proper manner—would do him more good, raise him higher, fix his interest stronger with the people he depended on, than all that a line of shifts and expedients can ever do. Respect would be added to affection. . . . Respect for right conduct is felt by every body. If he would act in this sort of manner, on principle, consistently, regularly, their little minds would bend to his.

Related Characters: Mr. George Knightley (speaker), Emma Woodhouse, Frank Churchill
Chapter 21 Quotes

Emma was sorry;—to have to pay civilities to a person she did not like through three long months!—to be always doing more than she wished, and less than she ought! Why she did not like Jane Fairfax might be a difficult question to answer; Mr. Knightley had once told her it was because she saw in her the really accomplished young woman, which she wanted to be thought herself; and though the accusation had been eagerly refuted at the time, there were moments of self-examination in which her conscience could not quite acquit her.

Chapter 25 Quotes

The Coles were very respectable in their way, but they ought to be taught that it was not for them to arrange the terms on which the superior families would visit them. This lesson, she very much feared, they would receive only from herself; she had little hope of Mr. Knightley, none of Mr. Weston.

Chapter 31 Quotes

It had been a very happy fortnight, and forlorn must be the sinking from it into the common course of Hartfield days. To complete every other recommendation, he had almost told her that he loved her. What strength, or what constancy of affection he might be subject to, was another point; but at present she could not doubt his having a decidedly warm admiration, a conscious preference of herself; and this persuasion, joined to all the rest, made her think that she must be a little in love with him, in spite of every previous determination against it.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Frank Churchill
Chapter 33 Quotes

"Insufferable woman!" was her immediate exclamation. "Worse than I had supposed. Absolutely insufferable! Knightley!—I could not have believed it. Knightley!—never seen him in her life before, and call him Knightley!—and discover that he is a gentleman! A little upstart, vulgar being, with her Mr. E., and her caro sposo, and her resources, and all her airs of pert pretension and under-bred finery. Actually to discover that Mr. Knightley is a gentleman! I doubt whether he will return the compliment, and discover her to be a lady. I could not have believed it! And to propose that she and I should unite to form a musical club! One would fancy we were bosom friends! And Mrs. Weston!—Astonished that the person who had brought me up should be a gentlewoman! Worse and worse. I never met with her equal. Much beyond my hopes. Harriet is disgraced by any comparison.”

Chapter 39 Quotes

In another moment a happier sight caught her;—Mr. Knightley leading Harriet to the set!—Never had she been more surprised, seldom more delighted, than at that instant. She was all pleasure and gratitude, both for Harriet and herself, and longed to be thanking him; and though too distant for speech, her countenance said much, as soon as she could catch his eye again.

Chapter 43 Quotes

Were she a woman of fortune, I would leave every harmless absurdity to take its chance, I would not quarrel with you for any liberties of manner. Were she your equal in situation—but, Emma, consider how far this is from being the case. She is poor; she has sunk from the comforts she was born to; and, if she live to old age, must probably sink more. Her situation should secure your compassion. It was badly done, indeed!—You, whom she had known from an infant, whom she had seen grow up from a period when her notice was an honour, to have you now, in thoughtless spirits, and the pride of the moment, laugh at her, humble her—and before her niece, too—and before others, many of whom (certainly some,) would be entirely guided by your treatment of her.

Related Characters: Mr. George Knightley (speaker), Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates
Chapter 45 Quotes

The wretchedness of a scheme to Box Hill was in Emma's thoughts all the evening. . . . If attention, in future, could do away the past, she might hope to be forgiven. She had been often remiss, her conscience told her so; remiss, perhaps, more in thought than fact; scornful, ungracious. But it should be so no more. In the warmth of true contrition, she would call upon her the very next morning, and it should be the beginning, on her side, of a regular, equal, kindly intercourse.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Jane Fairfax
Chapter 46 Quotes

[Emma] could have no doubt—putting every thing together—that Jane was resolved to receive no kindness from her. She was sorry, very sorry. Her heart was grieved for a state which seemed but the more pitiable from this sort of irritation of spirits, inconsistency of action, and inequality of powers; and it mortified her that she was given so little credit for proper feeling, or esteemed so little worthy as a friend: but she had the consolation of knowing that her intentions were good, and of being able to say to herself, that could Mr. Knightley have been privy to all her attempts of assisting Jane Fairfax, could he even have seen into her heart, he would not, on this occasion, have found any thing to reprove.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Jane Fairfax
Chapter 47 Quotes

I have escaped; and that I should escape, may be a matter of grateful wonder to you and myself. But this does not acquit him, Mrs. Weston; and I must say, that I think him greatly to blame. What right had he to come among us with affection and faith engaged, and with manners so very disengaged? What right had he to endeavour to please, as he certainly did—to distinguish any one young woman with persevering attention, as he certainly did—while he really belonged to another?—How could he tell what mischief he might be doing?—How could he tell that he might not be making me in love with him?—very wrong, very wrong indeed.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse (speaker), Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax
Chapter 48 Quotes

A few minutes were sufficient for making her acquainted with her own heart. A mind like hers, once opening to suspicion, made rapid progress; she touched, she admitted, she acknowledged the whole truth. Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet’s having some hope of a return? It darted through her with the speed of an arrow that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!

With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed to arrange everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken; and she had not quite done nothing—for she had done mischief. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley.—Were this most unequal of all connexions to take place, on her must rest all the reproach of having given it a beginning; for his attachment, she must believe to be produced only by a consciousness of Harriet's;—and even were this not the case, he would never have known Harriet at all but for her folly.

Chapter 49 Quotes

"I cannot make speeches, Emma:"—he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Mr. George Knightley

Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken; but where, as in this case, though the conduct is mistaken, the feelings are not, it may not be very material.—Mr. Knightley could not impute to Emma a more relenting heart than she possessed, or a heart more disposed to accept of his.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Mr. George Knightley
Chapter 55 Quotes

The joy, the gratitude, the exquisite delight of her sensations may be imagined. The sole grievance and alloy thus removed in the prospect of Harriet's welfare, she was really in danger of becoming too happy for security.—What had she to wish for? Nothing, but to grow more worthy of him, whose intentions and judgment had been ever so superior to her own. Nothing, but that the lessons of her past folly might teach her humility and circumspection in future.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Mr. George Knightley

High in the rank of her most serious and heartfelt felicities, was the reflection that all necessity of concealment from Mr. Knightley would soon be over. The disguise, equivocation, mystery, so hateful to her to practise, might soon be over. She could now look forward to giving him that full and perfect confidence which her disposition was most ready to welcome as a duty.

Related Characters: Emma Woodhouse, Mr. George Knightley
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Emma Woodhouse Character Timeline in Emma

The timeline below shows where the character Emma Woodhouse appears in Emma. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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The novel introduces us to the protagonist, Emma Woodhouse, a privileged young woman who lives near the village of Highbury and is blessed... (full context)
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Today, Emma sadly contemplates the departure of Miss Taylor from the Woodhouse family estate at Hartfield. Miss... (full context)
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When Emma takes credit for making the match, Mr. Knightley gently scolds her role in the affair... (full context)
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Mr. Woodhouse, who hates change so much he even dislikes marriage, begs Emma to put off with making such successful matches. Emma declares she will make one final... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Mr. Woodhouse enjoys small evening parties that Emma arranges with their neighborhood friends, preferring them to large gatherings because of his nervous disposition.... (full context)
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Emma invites these friends to dine with them one evening. Miss Goddard brings Harriet Smith, one... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Emma and Harriet develop their friendship, as Harriet comes to replace Mrs. Weston as Emma’s constant... (full context)
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Emma learns with amusement and then alarm that Harriet has been spending much of her time... (full context)
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When Emma and Harriet encounter Mr. Martin on a walk, Emma assesses him as plain and ungentlemanly.... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Mr. Knightley and Mrs. Weston discuss the friendship developing between Emma and Harriet. Mr. Knightley believes that Harriet’s admiration and ignorance will increase Emma’s vanity and... (full context)
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Mrs. Weston disagrees. She believes that Harriet will provide the companionship that Emma currently lacks, and that Emma will indeed educate Harriet in books and taste. (full context)
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In the course of their conversation, Mr. Knightley also observes that Emma has been spoiled by being the cleverest in her family, as well as the mistress... (full context)
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Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley amiably agree to disagree on the subject of Emma and Harriet, and Mr. Knightley agrees to refrain from spreading his objections to Harriet and... (full context)
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The two muse on what will become of Emma. Mr. Knightley believes that it will do Emma good to be in love, and “in... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Emma continues to speak highly of Mr. Elton to Harriet, even as she compliments Harriet’s natural... (full context)
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Emma undertakes Harriet’s portrait, and Mr. Elton avidly marks its process—as would be fitting, Emma notes,... (full context)
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...offers to take the portrait, which he declares a “precious deposit,” for framing in London. Emma contentedly reflects that he will suit Harriet perfectly, though his languishing air and flattery would... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...she has received a marriage proposal from Mr. Martin by letter and come to seek Emma’s advice. Emma is surprised by how well-written the letter is and somewhat snidely supposes that... (full context)
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Emma behaves as though it is a given that Harriet will reject Mr. Martin and advises... (full context)
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Harriet rather uncertainly suggests that she will reject Mr. Martin; Emma immediately applauds her decision, and she declares that if Harriet had married him they would... (full context)
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...rejoice over Harriet’s narrow escape, though Harriet continues to defend Mr. Martin’s amiability and goodness. Emma then proceeds to guide every sentence of Harriet’s reply letter, even as Emma insists that... (full context)
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Emma congratulates herself on saving Harriet, though the latter remains somewhat despondent over the entire affair.... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Harriet continues to spend more and more time at Hartfield with Emma. Mr. Knightley visits while Harriet is out, and he reveals that Mr. Martin asked for... (full context)
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Emma, with some amusement, shares with Mr. Knightley that Harriet has already refused Mr. Martin. Mr.... (full context)
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Emma heatedly counters that Mr. Martin is not her friend’s equal as a farmer, as Harriet... (full context)
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Mr. Knightley guesses that Emma has in mind a match between Harriet and Mr. Elton, and he informs her that... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Emma’s efforts to improve Harriet’s mind with reading make little headway, but the two enjoy collecting... (full context)
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Mr. Woodhouse and Emma discuss the visit of Isabella’s family at Christmas. During the course of the conversation, Mr.... (full context)
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When Mr. Elton visits later in the evening, Emma discerns his consciousness at having put himself forward. She shows him that they have decoded... (full context)
Chapter 10
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In mid-December, Emma and Harriet make a charitable visit to a poor and sick family near Mr. Elton’s... (full context)
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When Harriet frets that Emma will become an old maid like Miss Bates, Emma scornfully insists that the only thing... (full context)
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...with compassion for the poor. When Mr. Elton runs into them as they return home, Emma attempts to give him time alone with Harriet by various means—stopping to tie her shoe,... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Emma’s attention is taken up by Mr. John Knightley and Isabella’s visit to Hartfield. Isabella is... (full context)
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Isabella commiserates with Mr. Woodhouse’s grief over Mrs. Weston’s departure. Emma and Mr. John Knightley gently moderate their dramatization of the situation with reminders that Mrs.... (full context)
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Mr. John Knightley asks after Frank Churchill, and Emma replies that the expectation of his visit has ended in nothing. Frank’s letter is praised... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Mr. Knightley finds Emma playing with her niece one evening during Isabella’s visit, and she attempts to restore their... (full context)
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...after Jane Fairfax, Miss Bates’s niece, suggesting that she will make an amiable companion for Emma. Emma, however, is not fond of the accomplished and beautiful Jane; she finds all the... (full context)
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...nervous interference. Mr. Knightley deftly changes the subject to less passionate matters, and Isabella and Emma gradually soothe away their father’s distress. (full context)
Chapter 13
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...a Christmas Eve dinner party for their friends. Harriet, however, falls ill and cannot attend. Emma goes to see Harriet before the party and runs into Mr. Elton during her visit.... (full context)
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Mr. John Knightley suspects that Mr. Elton is romantically interested in Emma and warns her accordingly. Emma laughingly dismisses the notion. She is mildly offended that her... (full context)
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When Emma travels to the party in a carriage with Mr. Elton, they discuss Harriet’s sickness. Emma... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Upon their arrival at the Westons, Mr. Elton attentively shadows Emma, to her continued dismay. She begins to suspect that Mr. John Knightley may be right... (full context)
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Emma overhears Mr. Weston announce an upcoming visit from his son, Frank Churchill. She listens with... (full context)
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Mr. Weston mentions to Emma that Mrs. Weston suspects that Frank’s visit will be put off once more, because his... (full context)
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Emma puzzles over how a young man—particularly one who is such a favorite—should find himself so... (full context)
Chapter 15
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At the party, Mr. Elton continues to hover around Emma. He irritates her by expressing greater concern regarding Harriet’s sickness for Emma's sake rather than... (full context)
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...quickly breaks up, with Mr. Woodhouse, Isabella, and Mr. John Knightley in one carriage, and Emma followed into another by Mr. Elton. (full context)
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To Emma’s horror, once they are alone in the carriage, Mr. Elton immediately proceeds to declare his... (full context)
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Mr. Elton insists that he has been interested in Emma all along, and that Harriet has never even crossed his mind. He insinuates that Emma... (full context)
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When the extent of their misunderstanding becomes clear, Mr. Elton is in turn offended that Emma should pair him with Harriet, whom he believes below him. Emma denies that she has... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Full of pain and humiliation, Emma miserably reflects on the situation with Mr. Elton. In addition to her mortification at her... (full context)
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Emma feels little sympathy for Mr. Elton, whose showy displays of love she believes to be... (full context)
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However, Emma pauses to reflect on her own responsibility for Mr. Elton’s mistake. She reflects that her... (full context)
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Emma concludes that she has been assuming and foolish in her attempt to make matches, “making... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Mr. Elton sends a very formal, cold letter to Mr. Woodhouse—completely ignoring any address to Emma—announcing his departure for several weeks to Bath. Grateful for his absence, Emma resolves to break... (full context)
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Harriet responds with unaffected tears, and Emma admires her humility and grace in receiving the news. Harriet blames no one; she continues... (full context)
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Emma leaves feeling humbled, and she strives to find a better way to help her friend... (full context)
Chapter 18
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When, later, Emma rather disingenuously exclaims to Mr. Knightley about the Churchills’ fault for disappointing the Westons, Mr.... (full context)
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Emma counters that Mr. Knightley has never known dependency and cannot judge it; others are restricted... (full context)
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Emma anticipates that Frank will be charming and to everyone’s taste. She concludes that they are... (full context)
Chapter 19
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On a walk with Harriet, Emma decides to call on the Bateses. Though she dislikes visiting them because they are tedious... (full context)
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...are leaving for Ireland to visit their newly married daughter and her husband, Mr. Dixon. Emma, fancifully weaving together innocent details from the narrative, suspects a previous romance between Jane and... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Emma dreads her duty of calling on Jane, though she cannot quite find her own reasons... (full context)
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When Emma encounters Jane this time, she admires her remarkable elegance and beauty. Emma feels compassion, too,... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Mr. Knightley visits the next morning to congratulate Emma on her improvement in manner towards Jane, only to discover that her distaste remains intact.... (full context)
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Emma is pleased with this confirmation of the shallowness of Mr. Elton’s professed love for her,... (full context)
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...with gratitude at the goodness of their behavior, which she points out with pleasure to Emma. (full context)
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Emma is unsettled, as she considers the good-hearted Martins. She feels some discomfort at her own... (full context)
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Harriet, however, cannot stop thinking about the Martins, so Emma finally shares the news regarding Mr. Elton’s engagement to distract her. Harriet’s interest in Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Emma finds Mr. Elton even less agreeable than before with his airs of pretension, but she... (full context)
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...Mr. Elton continues, only to be distracted by a courteous visit from Mr. Martin’s sister. Emma encourages Harriet to return the visit out of civility, though she ensures that Harriet will... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...Harriet, Mrs. Martin, and the Martin sisters begin to recover their former familiarity and intimacy, Emma arrives to retrieve Harriet. The Martins perceive the intended slight of her visit’s brevity, Harriet... (full context)
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Emma and Harriet run into a cheerful Mr. and Mrs. Weston on their return, who announce... (full context)
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Emma suspects that Mr. Weston watches eagerly for a developing attachment between herself and Frank, and... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Frank and Mrs. Weston visit Hartfield again the next day, and Emma is pleased to observe his cordiality and attention to his stepmother. She also approves of... (full context)
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Mrs. Weston and Emma introduce Frank to the town. When they arrive at the Crown Inn, Frank comes up... (full context)
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Emma laughingly probes into Mrs. Dixon’s feelings about her husband’s musical preference, hinting that Jane herself... (full context)
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Emma admits that she has never been close to Jane because of the latter’s reserve; she... (full context)
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In spite of the brevity of their acquaintance, Emma feels that she knows Frank very well and that they think alike. In addition, Frank... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Emma’s high opinion of Frank is shaken when she learns that he has dashed off to... (full context)
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Emma has resolved to decline any invitation from the Coles, a nouveau-riche family, in order to... (full context)
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Mr. Woodhouse frets over the prospect of leaving his house for a dinner party. Emma insists that he had better stay home while she visits the Coles, and he reluctantly... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Frank returns with his haircut, lively and flippant about the experiences. Emma defends his behavior to Mr. Knightley, arguing that an exception should be made for silly... (full context)
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Mr. Knightley arrives at the Coles by carriage, though he usually prefers walking. Emma approves of this change, which she declares fits his gentlemanly station better. Emma anticipates a... (full context)
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...received the surprise gift of a piano, which everyone assumes to be from Colonel Campbell. Emma, however, suspects that it is a gift from Mr. Dixon and prods Frank into agreeably... (full context)
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Mrs. Weston informs Emma that Mr. Knightley has come in his carriage so that he can assist Jane home.... (full context)
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The guests call for musical entertainment, and Emma leads the piano playing with pleasure. Frank accompanies, and then Emma resigns her place to... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Emma deems her delightful evening at the Coles worth the loss in “dignified seclusion,” though she... (full context)
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...a report she has heard that the Cox daughters are interested in marrying Mr. Martin. Emma rather coldly declares the Cox family to be very vulgar. (full context)
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Emma and Harriet then go to visit the Bateses, and run into Mrs. Weston and Frank... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Emma finds Frank fixing Mrs. Bates’s spectacles and Jane at the piano. After Frank adjusts the... (full context)
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Mr. Knightley stops by the house to ask after Jane’s health. Mrs. Weston gives Emma a knowing look, but Emma shakes her head with skepticism. When Mr. Knightley learns that... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Frank persists with his scheme for a ball, and Emma assists. They plan for ten couples, measure out the dimensions of various rooms, and decide... (full context)
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...approval, and all anticipate the dance with pleasure. Frank requests the first two dances with Emma, which Mr. Weston notes with quiet delight to Mrs. Weston. (full context)
Chapter 30
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Plans for the ball are set. Emma finds Mr. Knightley’s indifference towards it annoying, as he seems determined against enjoying himself there.... (full context)
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...letter from Mrs. Churchill calls Frank home on account of her ill-health. Frank calls on Emma before he leaves, and he displays distress and hesitation. He seems about to confess something... (full context)
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Emma misses Frank after he is gone, and she reflects on his good qualities and what... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Emma continues to imagine herself in love with Frank and fantasizes various scenarios of their dalliance.... (full context)
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Mrs. Weston receives a letter from Frank, which Emma reads with great pleasure. A mention of Harriet in the letter makes Emma briefly speculate... (full context)
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...of attention for town gossip, in light of his impending arrival accompanied by his bride. Emma attempts to comfort the flustered Harriet, and she at last begs her friend to cease... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Mrs. Elton arrives, and Emma resolves to pay her respects with Harriet. The visit results in unpleasant recollections and awkwardness... (full context)
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Mrs. Elton’s following visit to Hartfield, however, convinces Emma that the new bride is a vain and self-important woman. Mrs. Elton displays many of... (full context)
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Emma concludes that Mrs. Elton is insufferable and vulgar, with many pretensions but little real grace.... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Further encounters with Mrs. Elton confirm Emma’s poor opinion of her. In response, Mrs. Elton observes Emma’s reserve and grows colder towards... (full context)
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...to join the Dixons in Ireland, but she declines and decides to stay in Highbury. Emma suspects Jane must be punishing herself regarding her feelings for Mr. Dixon. (full context)
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Mrs. Weston, Emma, and Mr. Knightley discuss Jane’s complaisance towards Mrs. Elton’s attentions. When Mr. Knightley warmly defends... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Mrs. Elton receives social attention from everyone in town. Emma plans a dinner for the Eltons at Hartfield, eager to extricate herself from any suspicions... (full context)
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...but Jane just as determinedly objects that she will continue to fetch her own letters. Emma suspects that Jane has been receiving letters from some one very dear, whom she keeps... (full context)
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The conversation turns to handwriting, and Emma’s handwriting is praised. Emma in turn praises Frank’s handwriting, but Mr. Knightley counters that it... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...The letter announces his impending visit, to the delight of Mrs. Weston, the agitation of Emma, and the indifference of Mr. Knightley. (full context)
Chapter 36
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The two are interrupted by tea. Mr. John Knightley instructs Emma regarding his sons, who are staying at Hartfield for a little while. He observes that... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Emma anticipates Frank’s return with concern that she must disappoint his feelings. She believes her own... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Emma arrives early to the ball at the special invitation of Mr. Weston, only to discover... (full context)
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...of her familiarity with Jane, and he quietly declares his dislike for Mrs. Elton to Emma. Emma responds that he is ungrateful. He protests and seems agitated. (full context)
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Though the Westons desired to give Emma the honor of leading the dance, they realize that Mrs. Elton expects it. To Emma’s... (full context)
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...leads Harriet into the dance. His chivalry thwarts Mr. Elton’s attempt to humiliate Harriet, to Emma’s immense gratitude and pleasure. (full context)
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Emma thanks Mr. Knightley warmly, and he observes that they intended to slight Emma as well.... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Emma reflects with pleasure on the events of the ball: Mr. Knightley and her own shared... (full context)
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Once Harriet’s safety is assured, Emma considers with some pleasure that the adventure may spark attraction between Harriet and Frank—though she... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Harriet arrives at Hartfield some time later, and reveals to Emma her intentions to dispose of all former “tokens of affection” from Mr. Elton that she... (full context)
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...to never marry, as the one whom she now admires is too far above her. Emma believes she means Frank, and she eagerly affirms that Harriet’s feelings are understandable, given the... (full context)
Chapter 41
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Mr. Knightley begins to suspect Frank of double dealing with Emma and Jane. He knows that Emma is ostensibly the subject of Frank’s admiration, but he... (full context)
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...to observe. Jane unscrambles Frank’s puzzle, “blunder,” with a blush of consciousness. Frank then sends Emma “Dixon,” which amuses her and angers Jane. Mr. Knightley indignantly suspects that these word games... (full context)
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Mr. Knightley stays behind to warn Emma, despite his concern that his interference with her affections for Frank will be unwelcome. He... (full context)
Chapter 42
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When Mrs. Elton’s rich relatives fail to visit, Mr. Weston suggests that their parties (Emma and her friends with Mrs. Elton and her friends) merge in an outing to Box... (full context)
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At Donwell, Emma regards her friend’s estate with pleasure and pride. Mrs. Elton badgers Jane to accept a... (full context)
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...at Frank’s delay, as he is expected from Richmond. While cooling off in the house, Emma encounters an agitated Jane. Jane appears distressed and exhausted, and she asks Emma to inform... (full context)
Chapter 43
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...initially dull during the walk, Frank livens up when they all sit down. Frank and Emma flirt excessively, though in Emma’s mind it is all meaningless play. The rest of the... (full context)
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When Miss Bates good-humoredly declares she will easily supply three dull things, Emma quips that she will have a great difficulty refraining from supplying only three. Miss Bates,... (full context)
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Mr. Weston presents a riddle in praise of Emma, and Mrs. Elton and Mr. Elton huffily excuse themselves from the game. Frank observes that... (full context)
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As the outing ends, Mr. Knightley quietly reprimands Emma for her insolent and insensitive behavior to Miss Bates. When she tries to laugh it... (full context)
Chapter 44
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Emma reflects miserably about the Box Hill expedition. She comforts herself a little regarding her good... (full context)
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Emma arrives at the Bateses to find Jane unwell, and she is ushered into the bedroom.... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Emma returns home to find Mr. Knightley and Harriet visiting. Mr. Knightley is soon to visit... (full context)
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The following day, news arrives of Mrs. Churchill’s death. Emma reflects that Frank may now be freed to marry whomever he chooses—even Harriet. (full context)
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Emma attempts to rectify her past coldness towards Jane: she invites her to Hartfield, sends her... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...after Mrs. Churchill’s death, Mr. Weston arrives at Hartfield with an urgent request to take Emma to see Mrs. Weston. At Randalls, an agitated Mrs. Weston informs Emma that Frank and... (full context)
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Emma observes Mrs. Weston’s concern for her, and she reassures her that she has had no... (full context)
Chapter 47
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Emma’s concern for Harriet fuels her anger with Frank and herself. She regrets having again mistakenly... (full context)
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...turns out she already knows about the engagement from Mr. Weston and is entirely unperturbed. Emma, surprised, soon discovers that Harriet’s interest has been in Mr. Knightley, not Frank, all along.... (full context)
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Emma is upset. And from this distress, Emma realizes that she herself is love with Mr.... (full context)
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Emma is left to reflect on how very mistaken she has been about everyone: Frank, Jane,... (full context)
Chapter 48
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Until she is threatened by his loss, Emma never knew how important it was for her to be first in Mr. Knightley’s affection... (full context)
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Emma feels certain that she would be happy if only Mr. Knightley would remain single all... (full context)
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...her engagement, and she repents allowing her affection to overpower her judgment in relation to Emma. Jane also expressed gratitude towards Emma for the kindness she displayed during her illness. (full context)
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Emma reflects with remorse that her behavior with Frank must have caused Jane considerable distress. As... (full context)
Chapter 49
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Some time later, while Emma takes a reflective walk in the garden, she encounters Mr. Knightley, just returned from London.... (full context)
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Mr. Knightley begins that he envies Frank, and Emma cuts him short to avoid hearing about Harriet. Mr. Knightley is mortified, and Emma feels... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Emma worries about breaking the news to Mr. Woodhouse and Harriet. Emma decides that she will... (full context)
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...which was due to the restrictions of his Churchill relations. He used his courtship of Emma as a cover for his engagement, believing that she was never really interested in him;... (full context)
Chapter 51
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Happily in love as she is, Emma finds herself sympathetic to Frank’s own blunder-filled love story. The letter leaves her with a... (full context)
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...to move into Hartfield, in order to avoid disturbing Mr. Woodhouse with his daughter’s marriage. Emma is moved by such a sacrifice on his part, and she approves the plan. Her... (full context)
Chapter 52
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Harriet agrees to go to London, as she wishes to consult a dentist. Emma is grateful for the postponement of a painful meeting between the two. She then decides... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Mrs. Weston gives birth to a daughter, which Emma has been hoping for. She and Mr. Knightley discuss Emma’s own childhood and Mrs. Weston’s... (full context)
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...congratulates the couple by letter; he anticipated Mr. Knightley’s engagement from his behavior in London. Emma anxiously breaks the news of their engagement to her father. Though initially distressed, Mr. Woodhouse... (full context)
Chapter 54
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Mr. Knightley arrives with news that Harriet is to marry Mr. Martin. Emma is greatly surprised, given her own knowledge of Harriet’s previous feelings, but she is delighted... (full context)
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At Randalls, Emma and Frank finally get the opportunity to talk over the recent events. After some initial... (full context)
Chapter 55
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Harriet returns to Highbury, her behavior fully convincing Emma that Mr. Martin has replaced Mr. Knightley in her affections. Emma greets her with heartfelt... (full context)
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...wait for three months to pass after Mrs. Churchill’s death before their wedding in November. Emma and Mr. Knightley hope to marry in October. Mr. Woodhouse’s misery threaten these prospects, but... (full context)