Jane Austen

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Emma Woodhouse

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… read analysis of Emma Woodhouse

Mr. George Knightley

The long-time friend and trusted confidante of the Woodhouses, Emma’s brother-in-law. Mr. Knightley is a true gentleman in lineage, estate, and virtue. He lives at Donwell Abbey, the spacious estate that he manages. He… read analysis of Mr. George Knightley

Frank Churchill

Mr. Weston’s son and Mrs. Weston’s stepson. Raised by his aunt and uncle in Enscombe, Frank is anticipated as a suitor for Emma, though his real love is Jane. His lively… read analysis of Frank Churchill

Jane Fairfax

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… read analysis of Jane Fairfax

Mr. Woodhouse

Emma’s father and the Woodhouse patriarch. Mr. Woodhouse is a rather silly, excessively nervous, and frail old man who dotes on his daughter. He hates change and possesses a narrow-minded and even selfish outlook… read analysis of Mr. Woodhouse
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Minor Characters
Harriet Smith
A sweet-looking young woman of uncertain parentage who boards at Mrs. Goddard’s school. Harriet is pretty and good-tempered, but simple-minded. She adores Emma, who socially takes her under her wing.
Mrs. Weston
Formerly Emma’s governess and beloved companion, Miss Taylor marries Mr. Weston to become Mrs. Weston at the novel’s start. She is kind and dedicated to Emma, whom she has pampered as a child.
Mr. Weston
Husband to Mrs. Weston and owner of Randalls. Mr. Weston is agreeable and sociable, delighting in his friends and his son by a previous marriage, Frank Churchill.
Mr. Elton
The vicar of Highbury. Well-respected and generally liked, Mr. Elton initially seems like an agreeable, if somewhat fawning, young man. However, his subsequent behavior towards Harriet reveals him to be conceited and superficial.
Mr. Robert Martin
A young farmer living at Abbey-Mill Farm with his mother and sisters. Mr. Martin is sensible, good-hearted, and generous, and though he comes from a lower class of farmers, Mr. Knightley attributes some virtues of real gentility to him in his kindness.
Miss Bates
The middle-aged spinster aunt of Jane Fairfax. Miss Bates is a middle-aged, garrulous spinster with neither beauty, nor fortune, nor wit. However, her good temperament and kindness render her generally well liked in the neighborhood.
Mrs. Bates
Miss Bates’s mother and Jane’s grandmother.
Isabella Knightley
Emma’s older sister and Mr. John Knightley’s wife.
Mr. John Knightley
Mr. Knightley’s brother and Emma’s brother-in-law.
Mrs. Elton
Mr. Elton’s wife from Bath, formerly Miss Augusta Hawkins. Mrs. Elton lands on the scene as a self-important, vain, and vulgar woman, and very full of what she has (which is limited to some fortune and a rich brother-in-law).
Mrs. Churchill
Frank Churchill’s aunt and guardian, and Mr. Weston’s former sister-in-law. Mrs. Churchill is a snobbish and domineering woman who exerts considerable influence over her husband and Frank.
Mr. Churchill
Mrs. Churchill’s husband and Frank’s guardian.
Colonel Campbell
Jane’s guardian and adoptive parent who cares for Jane after his friend—Jane’s father—dies in combat.
Mrs. Dixon
Colonel Campbell’s daughter and Jane’s childhood friend.
Mr. Dixon
Husband to the Campbell’s daughter. Emma suspects that there was a romantic involvement between Jane and Mr. Dixon, prior to his marriage.
Mrs. Goddard
Mistress of the local boarding school where Harriet Smith boards.
Mr. Perry
Mr. Woodhouse’s favored doctor in the neighborhood.
Elizabeth Martin
Mr. Martin’s sister and Harriet’s friend, during their early acquaintance.
Mr. and Mrs. Cole
A nouveau-riche family of tradespeople. Emma considers the Coles to be below her social set, and she desires to teach them a lesson about their inferior social standing by turning down their dinner invitation.