Emma & Elton: Something Truly Horrid (Twisted Austen Book 1)

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She just has absolutely no self awareness yet, and has not matured enough to change her opinions when faced with opposition. Here is where she learns how. It reminded me so much of myself at a certain age, and even on some level right now. She's a snob, she's rather a bitch at times, she's condescending, and not all that perceptive.

But I just love her anyway. Perhaps because I used to or still have those characteristics and want to believe that even those people will learn and deserve love in the end, even from a Mr. But also, I think, because Austen creates her so sympathetically, that it's hard not to love her. This book explains motivations a lot more than in the others, and one gets a few sides of the story of errors towards the end of the book, as everything is set completely right again. I liked that, that she didn't let it go, but tied up all her threads to her readers' satisfaction.

Or at least mine. My first Austen movie. Got me into the genre, really. I think it's fantastic, and very sweet, and Jeremy Northam is perfectly well cast. Also: you'll see Ewan McGregor with an awful haircut, looking completely unattractive. It's kind of funny. View all comments. My motivation to read this book stemmed from J. Rowling stating that this was one of her favourite books. I thought Emma couldn't be that bad, it's a popular classic and its rating is good.

To be honest, it's not bad, exactly, but the fact that it took me one whole month to get through it says a lot. I had lots and lots of problems with this novel. Emma Such a vain and arrogant main character. I mean, I know she is supposed to be an unlikeable character for literary reasons. But that doesn't make it any easier. Miss Bates Why bother wasting so much ink and paper on nonsense. Numerous pages of nonsense. They way people are Wait. Let me guess.

That character is - wait for it - pleasant? The nicest person in the world? Of such sweet disposition? So generous, exceptional, kind, satisfactory and pleasant. Please save me. The way people talk Hours could go by and Emma and her father could talk about nothing but the pig they owned and had slaughtered, and what they'll make of it for dinner, and how nice it was that they gave some of it to the Bates, and if it was the right part of the pig they gave away, or if they should have given something else, but no it is all fine and pleasant , and that was very generous of them, and they will surely be very gracious, since they gave away such fine piece of pork, and won't dinner be nice and kick me on the shin pleasant.

The plot Scratch pages of nonsense and nervewracking pleasantness and this could have been a book I enjoyed. Find more of my books on Instagram View all 85 comments. Fen You know, I can totally see why this would be Rowling's favorite book. It's not obvious due to the vast difference in setting and genre, but Rowling's You know, I can totally see why this would be Rowling's favorite book.

It's not obvious due to the vast difference in setting and genre, but Rowling's plotting has a lot of similarities to Austen's. Specifically, her tendency to "plant" characters at the beginning who do not become important until later and use misdirection to lead the readers away from upcoming plot twists. For example, Mr. Martin and Mr. Knightley are both mentioned early on, but the purpose of their roles in the story is not evident until the end.

The whole deal with Miss Fairfax and Mr.

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Churchill is also plotted with maximum misdirection--we think he wants to court Emma, and he is courting her, but his underlying motivation is to cover up his engagement. Compare that to the number of times Rowling makes us think Snape or another character us up to something but it turns out their motivation is totally different from what it looks like on the surface. Kai Fen wrote: "You know, I can totally see why this would be Rowling's favorite book. It's not obvious due to the vast difference in setting and genre, b Fen wrote: "You know, I can totally see why this would be Rowling's favorite book.

It's not obvious due to the vast difference in setting and genre, but Rowling's plotting has a lot of similarities to Austen's This makes total sense. I see what you mean whit the misdirection plotting. Rowling loves doing that and so apparently did Jane Austen. Jun 22, Sean Barrs the Bookdragon rated it it was amazing Shelves: love-and-romance , 5-star-reads , romantic-movement , classics. Austen paints a world of excess. That much so I found the need to swear. The sarcasm is just oozing out of her words. The thought of visiting his recently departed governess, a long-tim Austen paints a world of excess.

The thought of visiting his recently departed governess, a long-time family friend, is utterly deplorable. She lives the great distance of half a mile away; thus, the only possibility is to hire a carriage. This is clearly the only feasible solution to the problem. He is self-indulgent and spoilt, and in this Austen ushers in the origins of her heroine. Thankfully, Emma has a degree of sense. In addition, the departure of her governess is an agreeable experience. She has empathy. Whilst she misses her friend and her teacher, she is genuinely happy for her.

Unlike her farther, seeing her friend enter a love filled marriage is an occasion for joy and celebration even if she dearly misses her company. She is a strong woman. She spends her days helping her new friend Harriet; she endeavours to find her the perfect husband, and sets about trying to improve her character. But through this, and her own naivety, Emma never considers her own youth, and that she, too, is in need of some degree of improvement.

Thus sweeps in the straight shooter, the frank speaking, Mr Knightley. She considers herself a true authority on marriage, on matchmaking, but her experience, her credentials, come from one fluke partnership. Her young age breeds arrogant ignorance. Because she has created one healthy marriage, she immediately thinks she knows what love is about: she thinks she will succeed again. And as a result she makes a series of terrible mistakes. Ones Mr Knightley is only too generous to point out. Such irony! She has no idea what love is, and in her well-meant advice, she frequently mistakes simple things such as gratitude and simple kindness as romantic interest.

Austen being the wonderfully comic writer that she is, exploits this silly little misconception for the entire plot. Emma does finally get over herself. By the end she understands the feelings that are ready to burst forth from her own chest. What she needed to do, and what Mr Knightly so desperately wanted to see, was for her to grow up. And she does: happiness reigns supreme. This lacked a plot driver. This has a great deal going for it, though it is terribly slow at points. It will be very interesting to compare it to Persuasion and see which is the best. View all 12 comments.

Jul 28, Amanda rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Masochists. Shelves: untumbled-turds , blog. He's too crude and crass. I shan't give him another thought.

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I tried, but life's too short. Plus, I like 'em crude and crass. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder. View all 69 comments. For I can at least accept some of her conceited ignorance as a direct effect of the prejudice of her era, whereas you had to deal with her as a contemporary. Why, do you ask, dear Jane Austen, and rightly so, did you devour the novel then, if it has so little merit? I did it because it had the same effect as a well-scripted soap opera: I wanted to know who ended up with whom despite my shudders, and I continued to follow Emma from misconception to misconception in paralysed fascination with the vulgarity of her mind.

It had one extremely important advantage compared to a soap opera though, and that is where you may take credit, my dear Jane Austen! It had funny, sarcastic moments, and it was a delightful tribute to the beauty of the English language. That is more than any soap opera can achieve.

So thank you for that! Then I thought about the awkwardness of the characters. As you know, that is highly unusual and very brave but not very modest! I will be closing my letter by expressing my infinite gratitude. Without Emma, I might have forgotten how dull it is to be spoiled and privileged and superior! Yours truly, The devoted reader, whose family tree will probably prevent you from reading the letter View all 51 comments. Jane Austen famously wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.

Truer words. Emma is wealthy and beautiful, the queen bee of society in her town, and boss of her household since her father is a hand-wringing worrywart, almost paralyzed by his fears. On reread, I realized that Emma is a better character than I previously gave her credit for of course, Mrs Elton makes any other woman look like a saint. Not a whole lot happens in Emma , plotwise. It takes place in a small town among a limited group of people; nobody is saving the world or doing anything earth-shaking.

But Jane Austen has a gift for creating a vivid world of memorable people, and drawing believable characters both wise and foolish Emma learns and grows over the course of the novel, and ends up quite a bit wiser than when she started. Jane Austen is very cognizant of the different classes of society, even in a village. It would have been nice to see more challenges to the assumption that everyone should stay and marry in their own class.

View all 32 comments. Jun 14, Amalia Gavea rated it really liked it Shelves: favorites , british-literature. I must begin by stating that I may be utterly biased here. Emma is the novel that introduced me to the treasure that are Jane Austen's masterpieces. I read it when I was fourteen, and fell in love with it right there and then. People often tend to mention that Emma Woodhouse is the least likeable heroine Jane Austen has created.

It may be so, since she is rather headstrong, spoiled and with a strong tendency to plan other people's lives, without giving a second thought to all possible consequenc I must begin by stating that I may be utterly biased here. It may be so, since she is rather headstrong, spoiled and with a strong tendency to plan other people's lives, without giving a second thought to all possible consequences, secluded in the protection of Hartfield, her house, her bubble.

And I am an onlychild, so don't judge me In this novel, she presents all the vices of the aristocracy, all the possible ways the high and mighty use to look down on those who are less fortunate, and she does so with style and elegance, and her unique satire. Yes, Emma is a difficult character, but I think we must regard her the way we do with a younger sister or a younger cousin who has yet to experience the difficulties of the ''real'' world ''out there''.

Emma is a charming character, for all her faults. Frankly, I find her a bit more realistic than the other iconic heroines, the ever - perfect Elizabeth, the always - sensible and cautious Eleanor, or the ever - waiting, passive Anne. Emma makes many mistakes and regrets, but her heart is kind. After all, don't we become a little stupid when we fall in love? In my opinion, she gave voice to what everyone was thinking. Knightley is sensible, gentle, gallant, the true voice of reason.

I highly prefer him compared to Mr. Harriet, and Miss Taylor is a lady that I believe all of us would want as a close friend and adviser. Emma is a wonderful journey, full of satire, lively, realistic characters and the beautiful descriptions of a tiny English town. It is small wonder that there have been so many adaptations in all media, the big screen, TV and in theatre.

View all 24 comments. Okay, when I first started the book and was reading how Emma was taking happiness away from Harriet Smith by telling her that Mr. Martin wasn't good enough for her - I didn't like Emma at all. Now I can understand how Emma only wanted to do good by Harriet and that was how it was back in those days. But, as Mr. Knightely pointed out, Harriet was not from some wealthy family and Emma was doing the wrong thing in trying to find her a great husband.

Knightley went to the trouble to help Mr. Mar Okay, when I first started the book and was reading how Emma was taking happiness away from Harriet Smith by telling her that Mr. Martin in how to go about asking for Harriet's hand in marriage and Emma shut that down. But lets just say it all worked out in the end. Emma went on a journey of trying to get people together. She wanted to bring people together and have them all married off. It seemed that it always back fired. Bless her heart for trying. She really was just trying to do good even though some of her thoughts and actions were not that kind.

Emma's father, Mr. Woodhouse was a peculiar character. I can't say too much because it seemed that what they called "his nerves" back then, sounds just like some forms of my panic disorder and agoraphobia. So I'm not going to go on about him not wanting to leave the house or him hating for anyone leaving him, he had issues, so just leave him alone. It was such fun reading about the story line and all of the descriptions in the book.

But Emma was a little enchantment all on it's own. Then Emma tries to set Harriet up with Mr. Elton and that backfired as well as he had a crush on Emma. Poor Emma once again made a mistake. She might never have thought of him but for me; and certainly never would have thought of him with hope, if I had not assured her of his attachment, for she is as modest and humble as I used to think him.

There I was quite right. That was well done of me; but there I should have stopped, and left the rest to time and chance. I was introducing her into good company, and giving her the opportunity of pleasing someone worth having; I ought not to have attempted more. But now, poor girl, her peace is cut up for some time. I have been but half a friend to her; and if she were not to feel this disappointment so very much, I am sure I have not an idea of anybody else who would be at all desirable for her--William Coxe--oh!

There was just something devious about him. Emma didn't like certain things he did but she was a friend to him anyway. But getting to read about the love slowly unfolding between Mr. Knightly and Emma was so sweet. You could tell there was something there and they were both hiding it. Until the bitter end when Mr. Knightly finally confesses his love and Emma to him.

And they had their wedding. How sweet is that, Emma finally finding her own love instead of trying to find it for others. I thought the book was really good and enjoyed it a great deal. View all 20 comments. Emma, Jane Austen Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of High-bury and the surrounding estates of Hart-field, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of "3 or 4 families in a country village". The novel was first published in December while the author was alive, with its title page listing a publication date of As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian—Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters and depicts issues of marriage, gender, age, and social status.

View 2 comments. Emma , a young woman in Regency England lives with her rich, but eccentric widowed father Henry Woodhouse, in the rural village of Highbury, always concerned about his health hypochondriac, in the extreme , and anybody else's , Mr. Woodhouse, constantly giving unwanted advise to his amused friends and relatives, they tolerate the kindly old man. Miss Woodhouse they're very formal, in those days , is very class conscious a bit of a snob but lovable , and will not be friends with people below Emma , a young woman in Regency England lives with her rich, but eccentric widowed father Henry Woodhouse, in the rural village of Highbury, always concerned about his health hypochondriac, in the extreme , and anybody else's , Mr.

Miss Woodhouse they're very formal, in those days , is very class conscious a bit of a snob but lovable , and will not be friends with people below her perceived rank, the Woodhouse family, is the most prominent in the area, she likes matchmaking Weston, a close friend of their family, later regretted by both father and daughter, as her presence is greatly missed. And older sister Isabella, earlier had left to be the wife of John Knightley and moved away, she is Then Emma surprisingly chooses a protege, Harriet Smith, a seventeen year old girl with an unknown background, illegitimate?

Goddard's boarding school for girls, hoping to groom the unfortunate young lady and raise her to a higher position in society. Besides the slightly spoiled Miss Woodhouse , even her friends call her by that name, will have a companion to talk to. Woodhouse's company, lacks stimulation understandably, how much talk about illness the devoted daughter, or anyone else take? Emma believes she can discover people's emotions by watching them, know who they love, not true but that fact doesn't stop the lady from trying to marry off Harriet, thinking her own beaus, really want to marry Miss Smith instead of her, big mistakes follow, hurt feelings, embarrassing situations, ironically the clueless Emma encouraged Harriet to turn down Robert Martin, a farmer with an excellent reputation, but a lowly position in the world.

George Knightley a nearby neighbor, the older brother of John, rents the farm to Mr. Martin, he thinks very well of the young man Another neighbor , good Miss Bates a spinster, never lacks words She plays the piano quite well and sings delightfully too, better than Emma and the envious girl, becomes a rival, Miss Woodhouse has long been the local leader of society here, what there is of it The prodigal son of Mr.

Weston and his late first wife, returns, mysteriously some secrets are hidden , Frank Weston Churchill, adopted by his rich aunt and uncle. Emma and Jane are attractive to the charming gentleman , but the wise George Knightley doesn't feel he is a serious man, a bit of a fop, more interested in his appearance than anything more.

A wonderful book about manners, class rank and country society of the landed gentry, in old England, that doesn't exist anymore Feb 03, Mandy rated it did not like it. I can't do it! I can't finish it! I keep trying to get into Jane Austen's stuff and I just can't make it further than pages or so.

Everything seems so predictable and sooooo long-winded. I feel like she is the 19th century John Grisham. Sorry to all the Jane Austen fans-you inspired me to try one more time and I failed! Jun 26, Lora rated it it was amazing Shelves: surprised-me , lib-read , want-to-reread , austenlandia , summer-reads , classics , favorites , r. You see, the reason why I went for Emma as my first Austen read is because my mother has seen the latest movie adaptation, and she claims it to be her very favorite. Mind you, she hasn't read any thing of Austen's—but she loves the movie so very much that she kept pestering me to watch it I suppose I'll have to pester her to read the book now, won't I?

To which I continually said that, no, no, I will not watch the movie until I've read the book; I positively hate to watch the movie adaptation before reading the book; it virtually cancels out any chance of me ever finding enough interest in reading the actual book to its completion. So, after picking up Emma at least ten times in the past year, reading the first few chapters, only to sit it back down again, I finally —the other day—decided I wanted to read something of quality and something that is truly written well. Well, that is definitely Emma.

Emma's devotion to her father is also very admirable. And by the end, Emma seemed so much more humble and less meddling that I couldn't help but be very pleased with her character. My thoughts on Mr. Knightley are not as easily expressed; in the beginning I found him merely interesting, but somewhere in the middle he began to hold my interest as much as a mother would hold her infant if that isn't too much of an odd metaphor ; by the end he managed to surpass virtually all of the other male characters of which I've been exposed to.

Granted, Mr. Knightley isn't in Emma nearly enough for my satisfaction—but when he is, the aforesaid is all too true. I can't quite place my finger on what it is, exactly, about him that made such an impression on me—other than that I've always had a strong fascination with a true gentleman, being as that sort of thing is practically extinct in this day and age; also, I've grown very jaded with the often monotonous male characters of today.

And I do believe that my reaction to Mr. Knightley has left me at a wonder as to just want my reaction will be upon meeting the famous Mr. I really think that my hesitation in reading this—as well as Austen's other works—has nothing to do with the writing, or the story, or the pacing; because, and I know this will sound strange, but, I've always loved a book that is just about people going about their daily lives and doing things—little trivial things, even—and simply living ; people say that Emma doesn't have much story and is really just people planning balls and Emma interfering in peoples' lives—but I loved all of that!

I'll take everyday living over complex plots any day. No, I think the reason for my waiting so long is that I psyched myself out of reading something like this; I kept thinking that it would be too long or too boring or too archaic or too something or another, but in reality this is the very type of thing that I love to read about. Regency, Victorian, etc. I love to read about all of the historical periods, and I'm so very glad that I stopped procrastinating. So, I enjoyed this a great deal and I've set a goal for myself to read all of Austen's works by this time next year although I kindly ask you not you hold me to it ;.

I plan to continue with her other slightly lesser known titles, and finish with what appears to me to be the most well known and highly esteemed, Pride and Prejudice. In a summary, I plan to save the best—or what is often said to be the best—for last. Expect to see it in my future reviews. Not long thereafter, Darcy impetuously declared his intention to marry a charming young woman from Hertfordshire, whom he secretly admired, to save her from scandal and ruination at the hands of his nemesis. Read my 5 vampire questions and, especially, her answers to them. Leave your comment and add your e-mail address to enter the giveaway contest.

It is open internationally and will end on October 31 st. Here's my first question for you: it seems the world has gone vampire crazy! Why is our world so attracted by this kind of supernatural characters? At least now most of the vampires have been relegated to novels, films, and television although an active vampire subculture thrives today.

Myths surrounding demons and revenants who drink human blood go back to anitiquity, but the craze really took off in Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The desecration of graves in this manner became such a problem in the s that the Empress of Austria finally had the claims of vampires investigated and declared they did not exist.

These vampires, of course, bore little resemblance to those found in popular culture today. They were monsters — demons, witches, or the evil dead risen from the grave — who terrorized villages. Why have vampires, in some form or another, always been part of the human psyche? Probably due to a fear of our own mortality and the dark unknown — death. The current brood of vampires have the added appeal of being sensual, dark, mysterious, and complicated. Whether vampires exist or not, their mythology is immortal.

Labels: Austen-based fiction , Giveaways. Did you enjoy the movie Clueless?


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There are obvious differences; the movie is set in modern-day Beverly Hills, California, and the novel is set in Surrey County, England, during the Regency era. However, the underlying theme is the same. Like Cher, Emma is young, beautiful and free of financial concern, thanks to her rich father and likely inheritance. To fill up her time, Emma enjoys socializing with the people in her neighborhood, along with her friend, Harriet Smith, a pretty yet unsophisticated girl.


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Emma is able to use her charm and self-confidence to convince Harriet that she is correct in her matchmaking efforts, leading to some pretty interesting events that create quite a dilemma for everyone involved. Labels: Clueless , Emma , Guest bloggers. Many thanks to Karen M. Cox for being my guest and talking Jane Austen with me!

Labels: Austen-based fiction , Giveaways , Persuasion. The men are in their thirties and have young children now, their marriages are older and more settled, familiar. And, like all married men, their responsibilities have doubled. Every decision they make now affects many lives; people they love deeply depend upon them to choose what is best for their futures — each man faces unique challenges to his character.

Ever since I announced earlier this year to friends, family, and social media followers that I was writing an Austenesque novel about the Admiral and Mrs. Croft from Persuasion , people have asked me one question over and over: why Sophia Wentworth? After I get over my perverse pleasure in simply answering "Why not?

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Not the least of which is my deep and abiding love for Persuasion. No one else has written about her. At least this is true to the extent that my internet and library researches can prove. If you are familiar at all with Austenesque fiction and if you are not, Austenesque Reviews is a good place to get started , you will know that authors largely gravitate toward Pride and Prejudice , down to the minutest secondary characters.

Read her journal and admire her great pictures. Doesn't she really fit the role of an Austen heroine? To my knowledge it is, unfortunately, not possible to really step into the pages of a novel or else I believe I would have done that a long time ago! And for me the Jane Austen Festival in Bath has proven to be such a thing. The annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath in England is famous amongst Janeites, and every year it attracts hundreds of visitors from near and far, all with one thing in common, a love for this great author and her work.

For some 7 to 9 days the city of Bath is filled with people running around in Regency clothes, attending events that range from walking tours and costume talks to musical soirees and grand balls. I have had the great pleasure and privilege to be able to attend this wonderful event four years in a row now.

118 comments

This particular "Knightly", I believe, would be the last man in the world that Jane Austen's Emma would ever prefer. As a result we have an ideal contemporary couple - she is strong and decisive, while he is agreeable and calm. Makes me sick All in all, I couldn't stop thinking that I was watching something fabricated, something insincere. Too often I had an impression that the actors were simply reading their scripts. With some exceptions of course. Michael Gambon, for instance, is brilliant in the role of Emma's father.

But most importantly, the whole thing didn't smell the early 19th century and that is unforgivable. However, Jane Austen fans, be warned!! This series was far from accurate to the book! The beginning, although also not a feature of the book, I found to be interesting as it builds up the connections of certain characters at an earlier period of time, however the continual exclusion of some of the most witty and entertaining passages of script written by Jane Austen made it almost unbearable to continue watching yet I stood strong. And not surprisingly this strength was tested again through the mix up of some characters roles Mr John knightley examining and telling Emma about Mr Elton's attraction towards her, Mr Elton's immediately known attraction towards Emma with no hint of it being directed towards Harriet, and the poor choice for the role of Emma who seems too modern with common speech and lack of refinement it was all very wrong!

I have to give it some credit for if I had not read the book previously I think I would have enjoyed it but as that is not the case, I'm left to say in the words of Mr knightley, a 'badly done Emma!! I was looking forward to this adaptation of Emma, one of my favourite books; when I read some of the enthusiastic reviews on this site, I was encouraged to splash out on a full price DVD - and, wow, was I disappointed.

The worst aspect, by far, is the dreadful script: the language wanders erratically between a clumsily put together string of rather dreary twentieth not twenty-first century expressions and the very occasional emergence of mangled bits of the original dialogue. The casting, too, is awful: Emma is supposed to be young and, though rather too self-assured, essentially quite good-natured - this version has a brash and bad-mannered heroine, shouting at people, and not just getting it all wrong but scarcely recognising that she is making such a mess of other people's lives, not just her own.

Actually, from this point of view, the casting of Mrs Elton and Emma would have been much better swapped around. Knightley was a rather sad lightweight, and Mr Woodhouse far too decrepit although a valetudinarian, he should not be portrayed as older than his early 50s. Miss Bates was quite good, but given far too few lines to say; and most of the mistakes and misconceptions which give the plot its wonderful character were clumsily handled.

I had just recently found and watched for the first time the BBC adaptation, and found it utterly delightful; and for a foreshortened version, I don't think that the Kate Beckinsale one has been bettered. I really cannot see why the BBC bothered to make this version; it is so much worse than the one, and has no redeeming features that I can see at all.

Well, what to say about it? Is it actually worth the name adaptation? It depends what standards one has. Granted, the costumes are great and colourful, the sets are equally splendid, the opening credits very nice, the music beautiful and the BBC might get a few prizes for that like for their Jane Eyre-adaptation in , but for the rest there is little adaptation discernible.

All the wordy Austen-language has been taken out along with it all its subtle playfulness, which is the greatest thing about Austen. Her two main characters tend to 'play' with each other in speech, like Lizzy and Darcy did in Pride and Prefudice and Emma and Knightley Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong did in despite their severe lack of time.

Here though, there is no subtlety going on at all. Characters scream and shout at each other and run after one another without seeming restraint. It is as if watching a modern drama in older costumes. Characters furthermore speak in too modern vocabulary, are dropping their Ts, speak in an accent not remotely similar to an upper class accent, wave at each other in the street, do not bow or courtesy, open their own doors, toss their own logs on the fire, let the children fight in the street, ask for the salt to fellow table guests, let the children eat dinner with them in the dining room and more of that adamant nonsense.

As if that was not enough, Emma seems to have been toned down to a light story of two people who are right for each other but do not seem to get it yet. In fact, the original does not do that, so the adaptation has even less business to put that in. The only remotely well played and well written character must be Miss Bates Tamsin Greig and she is a character that is only a small part of the whole Highbury-world. She is at least as good as Prunella Scales in the role and the Miramax-take on the character.

The very important subplot of Churchill and Jane Fairfax is nearly wiped out apart from its conclusion and Sandy Welch managed to turn Austen's lovely and charming Churchill into the least desirable man in England. After Box Hill, one wonders how Jane actually still wants him. Emma and Knightley are also an enigma. As Emma is so immature, one is at a loss what Knightley sees in her. At some point he professes that 'until Mrs Knightley is in existence, he will manage household-matters by himself'.

That can be true, but with an immature wife he will end up doing them for eternity. I do not know what they meant by 'making her part of our lives again'. I guess neither the writer Sandy Welch , nor the controller of BBC Drama, nor the director, nor the producer have ever seen the literary shelf which might account for the stupid comment Emma makes about Mitlon: 'I've managed two pages of Milton.

Only not, of course, if one does not know how. Austen is not about looks, it is about writing alone. She never describes her characters and as such, miscasts in Austen do not exist. This drama was a shambles because Sandy Welch misunderstood Frank Churchill he that gets the readers to know the people in Highbury , Regency society and Austen's set-up to a great extent. Sugary drama without foundation, that even extended to Mr Woodhouse the most hilarious character of the work was the result.

Despite the beautiful scenery, the sparkling charm of this work was lost in the mists of desperate modernisation. Awful--barely watchable. Fidelity to character and the written word is virtually non existent in this version. The reinvented dumbed down dialogue intended to pander to contemporary sensibilities is tiresome juvenile gibberish. Save for the houses they occupy there is no effort to distinguish one class from the other.

Austen's refined, high spirited, and intellectual heroine, as played by Garcia, is actually more insipid than Harriot and as common as Mrs. The actor who plays Knightly has the accent of a clerk and is totally lacking in the stature, refinement, and commanding air of a great gentleman of that period. Once the masters of period drama, this ill conceived production is becoming typical of Britian's classical literature productions in the 21st Century. A lost art. Knightly Mark Strong is by far the best, most sharply fine tuned version of Emma.

The motion picture of the mid 90s is lovely and elegant to look at and is the most humorous take on Austen's beloved book providing a pleasant companion piece to Beckinsdale's superb take. Here is another stellar British film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. The cast of "Emma" is wonderful with an especially strong leading lady. The cinematography is splendid, and the screenplay includes all the main strands of the narrative. At four hours, the running time of the miniseries was perfect for this PBS presentation. The houses, rooms, interior decoration, and costumes were also thoroughly professional.

With the ensemble cast, the crisp dialog, and the heartfelt emotion, this film would do the author proud! If there is a time machine around, I would like to find to take a break from the rat race today and find a way to become a character in this film! I really liked this new take on an old, but much-beloved story. I liked the livelier and more robust presentation, and though it was less refined than the other "Emma" productions have been, I find I didn't really miss the refinement. I think the spirit of "Emma" was well-served here. I was also glad to see a little bit of the story through the eyes of others: Frank Churchill alone at the window, holding the most recent note from his aunt that he knows will summon back to her much too soon for his liking.

That doesn't appear in the book, but I really liked it here. Also, a few scenes taken from the day-room of the London-based Knightly family to give a fresh perspective of the events happening in Highbury. Emma actually worries that maybe she has been too much sheltered and is really not as well-traveled as a truly sophisticated person would be expected to be.

The Importance of Being Emma

The book's Emma never even considers this. It's simply never brought up, but it doesn't make it any less viable in this telling of the story. Harriet's story, which takes up the first 3rd of the book and a good part of most of the film adaptations is given a secondary treatment here, and we are at last gifted with a Mr. Elton who looks nothing like the clown he is made out to be in other adaptations, but is more true to Miss Austen's words; a pretty decent-looking young fellow. And an interesting twist on his marriage: rather than going along with his horrid, snobbish wife, he actually appears several times to be embarrassed by her behavior.

Christina Cole is fabulous as Mrs. Elton and is not given enough screen time, but they would have needed another hour at least to devote to her all the time she deserved. At last we have a Jane Fairfax who is worthy of Jane Austen's description! She is played here by Laura Pyper as delicate and as refined as she is written, but she is not the fragile, stiff and emotionless mannequin she is made out to be in every other "Emma" film I've seen.

She has feelings and shows them, both positive and negative. And for once, Mr. Knightly is played by an actor who is actually the age Mr. Knightly is supposed to be: and attractive, still-young man in only his mid's. In all the other adaptations, he's portrayed by actors much older than the 16 years that are supposed to separate Emma and Mr. Once again, I feel that Emma's father is played too harshly. He is, of course, a hypochondriac and worrywart of the worst sort, but Miss Austen writes him so much more kindly and warm-hearted than he is ever portrayed on the screen.

Miss Bates is toned down a bit here, which an avid reader of the book might not really notice, but she is not given enough time to really show the incessant chatterbox the character is in the book. In the end, it would be safe to say that Marianne Dashwood would have approved of most everyone in this story. They were all played with full feeling and emotion around an old story that is made new again.

Emma is a complete delight to watch.


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In a world where films are usually ruined by having dramatic changes made to the characters or plots, this BBC adaption is quite faithful to the book and is a wonderful "escape" to a world we no longer live in and yet are completely fascinated by. I found this version was warm hearted and funny. Emma was my favourite of all the Jane Austen novels when I read them yet I never felt that any of the previous versions did the book any justice.

This one, however, was captivating. The characters were well portrayed and the casting was brilliant. Romola Garai was light hearted and brought a fresh youthfulness to the part of Emma which I found particularly refreshing, whilst Jonny Lee Miller portrayed a perfect Mr. Knightley, bluntly truthful and sensible, yet somehow catching the "cheerful manner" Jane Austen describes him as possessing.

All in all a very good film that can be watched over and over. I would say that, if you are a true Jane Austen fanatic, this series cannot fail to enchant you! VReviews 19 August There is no doubt that the dramatization of a Jane Austen novel is immensely popular, perhaps none so much as Austen's 'Emma' which revolves around one of the few Austen heroines who is wealthy and doesn't "require" a husband to maintain her status.

The latest adaptation, written by Sandy Welch and broadcast originally as a four-part BBC television drama, is outstanding for it's visual beauty, and production values. Shot on location in the villages and parishes of southern England, you immediately are immersed into a romanticized version of 19th century England. The costumes are beautifully authentic and provide an individualized palette of color for each character that substantiates their personality and status in life. Director Jim O'Hanlon made excellent use of a continuous camera flow that follows the actors through various rooms without missing a line.

The casting choices are right on, with no distracting oddities. O'Hanion, working with this excellent cast, obviously put a great deal of emphasis on facial expression and it is a delight to watch great actors convey subtle nuances that enhance the storytelling. Note: Don't pass up watching the Special Features segment provided.

How I wish I could have given the production a 10 out of 10, it was so nearly perfect and beautifully cast except for the one glaring and frustrating exception see below. The back stories of the major characters were wonderfully presented, what a clever device. The history of the loss of Mr Woodhouse's wife, for instance, went a long way to explaining his paranoia regarding the health and welfare of his daughters.

The small touches showing poignant insights into the bleakness of Miss Bates' life, were so tenderly and subtly shown. Michael Gambon gave us a cleverly under-stated Mr Woodhouse. The locations were marvellous and the attention to the details of costume superb. Even the lighting was perfect, showing the near dark twilight in which people of the time spent half their lives - all lovely, lovely, lovely. Now the downside:- is there ever, ever, ever going to be a perfectly cast Austen adaptation? This latest almost made it but for Emma herself - where was her deportment, her cool superiority, has she never in her life walked around a room with a book on her head?

Oh dear, BBC, badly done, badly done indeed. This seemed somewhat like a Disney version of "Emma"--shiny, entertaining, and just a bit stupid. It left me with the impression that the people who made it hadn't read the book but had taken their impression of it from previous adaptations, especially in the first episode, which felt very little like Austen and quite a bit like "Vanity Fair" in the film of which, by coincidence or not, the same actress played Amelia. I assumed the makers had intended to sustain this approach throughout but that about halfway in the original story had elbowed onto center stage.

Then the serial becomes more faithful in spirit, and proportionately more involving. Unlike some recent potted Austens, this production grants the story sufficient time to develop. Unfortunately, it squanders at least a third of it in unnecessaries: set-ups for scenes that didn't require setting up, bits of business that don't reveal anything, and bits of peripheral dialogue which, if one knows the characters from the book, tend to grate a little.

As one example, most of the women often behave in a catty manner, smirking and rolling their eyes, even those for whom it seems out of character, like Knightley's sister-in-law and Emma's late governess. In the role of Emma, Romola Garai also seems to take the variorum approach, synthesizing the performances of her predecessors. But this turns out not to be a bad thing, because these give her a reliable bead on the character, and she's skillful enough to knead them into an original and coherent portrayal. Hers is probably the most accurate Emma to date. Surprisingly, it turns out like a Regency version of Drew Barrymore, and just as irritating.

This is no violation of the novel but, since the actress can't suddenly metamorphose into a different person, it diminishes the concluding scenes of the dramatization, where Emma reformed is nearly as unlikable as Emma heedless. So, while I sympathized with the mortifications the character underwent in the course of her moral education, I could feel no great joy when she attained her happy ending. In the "Making of" featurette for the production, the producer calls it "an Emma for this generation.

So it's odd that Garai is older than any of her predecessors in the part that is, according to their official ages and Jonny Lee Miller, in the role of Knightley, older than all but one. And he seems even older: he too seems to have collapsed the others' performances into his own, and to have resolved them for some reason into a state of perpetual ineffectualness, somewhere between Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton.

To me he seemed the oddest casting of an Austen hero since the plodding Matthew Macfayden essayed the dashing Darcy. The supporting performances were variable. I liked Louise Dylan's Harriet, who matched Knightley's summation of her in the novel simple, artless, unpretending and seemed at times about to evaporate into the ether. Tamsin Greig gives Miss Bates a unique but persuasive reading, as a melancholy compulsive, more like one of Dickens's spinsters.

Rupert Evans makes a suitably Brad Pitt-ish Frank, so self-centered yet so engaging that one can't help both liking him and wanting to kick him. And Dan Fredenburgh makes the most of the chance to present Knightley's brother in full, for once. Some other performances, I'm still undecided about.

Touchstones

Blake Ritson's performance as Elton, I felt, needed more direction. Admirably, he goes by the description in the novel with women every feature works but acts rather too scary for his calling and his congregation; and his later appearances officiating at marriages, etc.

A few of the best roles are wasted.