Emma

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Jane Fairfax Character Analysis

Miss Bates’s niece and Mrs. Bates’s granddaughter. As another accomplished and beautiful young woman of similar age, Jane incites Emma’s jealousy and admiration. Her reserved temperament frustrates Emma, even as Emma admires Jane’s elegance of look and manner. Jane’s lack of fortune and good family leave her dependent on the good will of others and force her to seek employment, but her marriage to Frank saves her from the latter fate.

Jane Fairfax Quotes in Emma

The Emma quotes below are all either spoken by Jane Fairfax or refer to Jane Fairfax. 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 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 41 Quotes

The word was blunder; and as Harriet exultingly proclaimed it, there was a blush on Jane's cheek which gave it a meaning not otherwise ostensible. Mr. Knightley connected it with the dream; but how it could all be, was beyond his comprehension. How the delicacy, the discretion of his favourite could have been so lain asleep! He feared there must be some decided involvement. Disingenuousness and double dealing seemed to meet him at every turn. These letters were but the vehicle for gallantry and trick. It was a child's play, chosen to conceal a deeper game on Frank Churchill's part.

Related Symbols: Riddles and Word Games
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
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Jane Fairfax Character Timeline in Emma

The timeline below shows where the character Jane Fairfax appears in Emma. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
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...the merits of their favored physicians, Mr. Perry and Mr. Wingfield respectively. Isabella asks after Jane Fairfax, Miss Bates’s niece, suggesting that she will make an amiable companion for Emma. Emma,... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...mentioning the Coles, flattering Mr. Elton, and finally bringing up a letter from her niece Jane Fairfax. Orphaned at a young age, Jane lives with her guardians Colonel and Mrs. Campbell... (full context)
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Miss Bates reports that Jane will be visiting Highbury next week, as the Campbells are leaving for Ireland to visit... (full context)
Chapter 20
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After the death of Jane’s father in battle and her mother from grief at the age of three, Jane was... (full context)
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With Miss Campbell recently married to Mr. Dixon, Jane anticipates her time with the Campbells drawing to a close. She has resolved at the... (full context)
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Emma dreads her duty of calling on Jane, though she cannot quite find her own reasons for dislike justifiable: Jane’s coldness and reserve,... (full context)
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When Emma encounters Jane this time, she admires her remarkable elegance and beauty. Emma feels compassion, too, for her... (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. The Bateses bursts into the room to... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...will drop by the Bates residence, to pay a visit to his acquaintance from Weymouth, Jane Fairfax. (full context)
Chapter 24
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...where he encountered the inescapably chatty Miss Bates. When Emma asks about his impression of Jane, Frank expresses distaste for her pale complexion. Emma learns that Frank saw much of Jane... (full context)
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Emma laughingly probes into Mrs. Dixon’s feelings about her husband’s musical preference, hinting that Jane herself must have felt such favor to be inappropriate from a man engaged to be... (full context)
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Emma admits that she has never been close to Jane because of the latter’s reserve; she has no reason to think poorly of Jane, but... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Mrs. Cole shares that Jane has received the surprise gift of a piano, which everyone assumes to be from Colonel... (full context)
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...informs Emma that Mr. Knightley has come in his carriage so that he can assist Jane home. Mrs. Weston imagines a match between Mr. Knightley and Jane, but Emma reacts violently... (full context)
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...leads the piano playing with pleasure. Frank accompanies, and then Emma resigns her place to Jane, whose talent she acknowledges to be superior. After several songs, Mr. Knightley prevents the company... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...loss in “dignified seclusion,” though she feels some guilt about sharing her unfavorable suspicions towards Jane with Frank. Reflecting on Jane’s superior musical performance, Emma practices piano. As she is playing... (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 piano for her, Jane plays delightfully. When Frank... (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.... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...they get second opinions from their neighbors. He runs off to fetch Miss Bates and Jane. Miss Bates gives her warm approval, and all anticipate the dance with pleasure. Frank requests... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...slighted, but she considers his attitude to be evidence for his lack of interest in Jane, who anticipates the ball with pleasure. (full context)
Chapter 33
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...Mrs. Elton observes Emma’s reserve and grows colder towards her. She pours out affection on Jane instead, whom she socially takes under her wing. To Emma’s surprise, Jane seems to accept... (full context)
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Jane receives a second invitation to join the Dixons in Ireland, but she declines and decides... (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 Jane’s judgment, Emma teases him... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...she does). When Harriet cannot come, Emma takes the opportunity of amending her neglect of Jane and invites her instead. She also invites Isabella and John Knightley, who will be in... (full context)
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During the party, Mr. John Knightley talks with Jane, solicitously scolding her for walking through the rain to fetch her letters. Jane blushes but... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...retire to the drawing room after dinner, Mrs. Elton continues to impose her services on Jane. After failing to get her way with the letters, she insists on helping Jane attain... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Frank restlessly awaits the guests, and he runs out to escort Miss Bates and Jane. Mrs. Elton behaves officiously, lavishly praising Frank and greeting guests as though she were herself... (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 reads symptoms... (full context)
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...word game in which they unscramble alphabet tiles. Mr. Knightley seats himself near to observe. Jane unscrambles Frank’s puzzle, “blunder,” with a blush of consciousness. Frank then sends Emma “Dixon,” which... (full context)
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...affections for Frank will be unwelcome. He tells her about his suspicions regarding Frank and Jane, but she laughingly assures Mr. Knightley that she can answer for Frank’s complete indifference towards... (full context)
Chapter 42
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At Donwell, Emma regards her friend’s estate with pleasure and pride. Mrs. Elton badgers Jane to accept a governess position that she has found for her, and Jane finally removes... (full context)
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...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 the others that she... (full context)
Chapter 43
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...a well-matched marriage, given that brief acquaintances before marriage do not often turn out well. Jane objects that such acquaintances only sour in the face of weak, irresolute characters. Frank playfully... (full context)
Chapter 44
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Emma arrives at the Bateses to find Jane unwell, and she is ushered into the bedroom. Miss Bates’s gratitude further humbles Emma. Emma... (full context)
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...for Richmond on Mrs. Churchill’s summons the previous evening. The contrast between Mrs. Churchill’s and Jane’s situation strikes Emma with particular poignancy, as she reflects on the former’s power and the... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Emma attempts to rectify her past coldness towards Jane: she invites her to Hartfield, sends her food, and attempts to visit her. Jane pleads... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...to see Mrs. Weston. At Randalls, an agitated Mrs. Weston informs Emma that Frank and Jane have been secretly engaged since Weymouth. Emma is astonished, torn between mortification at her unflattering... (full context)
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...with him for deceiving and courting her; she also believes he has behaved poorly towards Jane in many regards. (full context)
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...everything by letter. She insists that Frank, too, has suffered from misunderstandings between him and Jane. Upon learning that Jane has accepted a governess position, Frank went frantically to his uncle... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...She regrets having again mistakenly encouraged Harriet’s affections for a man. She also now understands Jane’s recent coldness towards her as motivated by jealousy. Emma is happy for Jane, and generously... (full context)
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Emma is left to reflect on how very mistaken she has been about everyone: Frank, Jane, Harriet, and herself. She realizes that she has always loved Mr. Knightley; her love for... (full context)
Chapter 48
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Mrs. Weston arrives at Hartfield, having just visited Jane. She relates that Jane has suffered greatly during the concealment of her engagement, and she... (full context)
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Emma reflects with remorse that her behavior with Frank must have caused Jane considerable distress. As a gloomy evening sets in, she considers what a loss Mr. Knightley’s... (full context)
Chapter 50
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...that she was never really interested in him; he also believed she suspected his secret. Jane, however, disapproved of his behavior to Emma, and they quarreled about it at Donwell Abbey.... (full context)
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Jane then broke off the engagement by letter, but in the chaos of Mrs. Churchill’s death... (full context)
Chapter 51
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...reading Frank’s letter, though he still feels Frank’s flaws and his unworthiness in comparison to Jane. Mr. Knightley then proposes to move into Hartfield, in order to avoid disturbing Mr. Woodhouse... (full context)
Chapter 52
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...the postponement of a painful meeting between the two. She then decides to call on Jane. They do not speak openly of the secret engagement because of Mrs. Elton’s presence, but... (full context)
Chapter 54
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...deserved in their respective matches. When Frank is lively and flippant about the painful past, Jane amusedly rebukes him, and Emma reflects on Mr. Knightley’s superiority to Frank. (full context)
Chapter 55
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Jane returns to the Campbells, where she and Frank wait for three months to pass after... (full context)