Dust off your Classics : Emma by Jane Austen

December 16, 2014 Book review, Dust off Your Classics 23 ★★★★

Once upon a time there were two bookworms who wanted to read Classics.  But they were afraid, a little intimidated and needed encouragement so they bonded together to form the Dust off your Classics challenge to support each other.  Dee from Dee Read’s and myself read our way through some good classics, some great classics and found so much in these books that is surprisingly still relevant.  So much so that I want to continue reading them and will continue to share my thoughts here on any I get through.


This time around I’m dusting off Emma and giving you ten reasons why you might considering dusting it off too.


Dust off your Classics : Emma by Jane AustenEmma by Jane Austen
on 1915
Genres: Classic, Emotions & Feelings, Historical Fiction, Love & Romance
Pages: 474
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Freebie

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others.

But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships

Ten Classic Reasons to read Emma :

It’s good fun!  I know classics and good fun don’t often go hand in hand but I think they do here.  It’s a comedy of misunderstanding and errors and it all got so ridiculously confused that it just made me smirk.

There are riddles in it.  They don’t make a lot of sense to me but they add to the confusion.

Jane Austen thought no one would like Emma “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”.  And I can’t deny that Emma irritates the life out of me at times but with her good nature wins me back around each time.  I love flawed heroines and Emma is on the balance of it all a charming character.

It’s insightful into the rules and restrictions of society at the time.  Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned British upper class taste of life from time to time.  There is dancing and romancing and piano playing.  Come on, that just has guilty pleasure written all over it!

Mr Knightley is no walkover.  Everyone is charmed by Emma but Mr Knightley can see right through her.  I love the battles of wit between them.

It’s not insta-love!

It will make you appreciate how much easier it is being a woman in todays world.  Classic books are entertaining to read now and again but women had such a restrictive life that I always give a sigh of relief to return to the modern world.

I love how the book mocks Emma.  She is portrayed as clever but she gets everything wrong.  She is many things but insightful is not one of them.

If you enjoyed the movie Clueless, then it’s pretty interesting to go back to the original source and see what was carried over to the movie and what got lost in translation.

There is great character growth during the novel.  Emma matures from a spoilt, vain, meddlesome girl into a far less arrogant woman with (somewhat) less snobbish ideas.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Emma by Jane Austen?

If none of my top ten reasons have won you over, then I have to admit defeat.  If however you enjoy Jane Austen novels with their tender love stories and great settings, then go for it.


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23 Responses to “Dust off your Classics : Emma by Jane Austen”

  1. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    I love this book. Emma is THE heroine you just love to hate! 😀 but by the end, Ohhh so cute. Mr. Knightley is such a great character, I love how Austen writes men. I mean, she writes women main characters and heroines sooo flawlessly, but her men are different yet dreamy. Even the flawed love interests have something redeeming.
    Glad you read this one!
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Book Casting: Exquisite Captive by @Heather Demetrios

    • trish

      Exactly, I want to slap her at times but I can’t hate her! She is just too good natured and well meaning 🙂 And I love Mr Knightley and how he’ll argue everything out with her! I’m really loving all the Austen books I’ve read this year, her romances are the best 🙂

    • trish

      The only one I’ve seen is Clueless :O Which I love! I would like to see the Emma movie with Gwyneth Paltrow in it. Maybe over Christmas…

  2. Alma @ Journey Through Fiction

    I have to confess: I was expecting to hate Emma when I read it! I know, not the best way to start a book, teehee! I was so surprised that I actually loved the book, and I love how imperfect Emma is. All her flaws make her more likeable, and in honesty, perfection is just plain boring to read about! 🙂

    I think it helped me so much that I avoided having to read all Austen books in school! If I ‘had’ to read them, I think I would have ended up hating them for all eternity. My cousin had to read Emma for her leaving cert, and she HATED it 🙁 (Plus, I think she thought I was joking when I told her I actually loved it, hahaha!) It’s a shame how things like school can influences us, especially with the classics.
    Alma @ Journey Through Fiction recently posted…Top 10 Books I Read in 2014

    • trish

      When I first starting reading classics, that is exactly the way I felt. But once I gave them a chance I found they really had a lot of offer. I listened to this one on audio and it’s such a fun way to do it. I can understand your cousin’s feelings though, that is the way I felt about Persuasion but time is a great healer and it’s my favourite Jane Austen book now. However at one stage all I wanted to do was burn it and never mention it again!

    • trish

      Confession, I don’t that edition, it’s just my fav cover of Emma! I’m going to keep an eye out for those Penguin Threads though, they are adorable and I’d love to own some of them 🙂

  3. Berls

    I think you’re right, I need to dust this one off. It was always one if my favorites because of the way Mr. Knightley sees through Emma. And their banter! Lol love this boom, thanks for making me think if it again.
    Berls recently posted…The One by Kiera Cass

  4. acps927

    I read this one year too and really enjoyed it (other than some of the confusing parts or infuriating parts, as you mentioned)! Though Emma is pretty dense she does win you over in the end, and Knightley and Harriet are great to read about! It’s my favorite Austen I’ve read so far!
    acps927 recently posted…Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

    • trish

      It was your post earlier this year that put it back on my book radar. Emma is so dense which is hilarious as she thinks she is really insightful. LOL. But I just can’t dislike her, she is too good natured and has more good points than bad ones.

    • trish

      It’s good, I really enjoyed it. And after reading I watched the mini series on Netflix which I just adored. I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much if I didn’t already appreciate the characters from reading the book.

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