The story of the Novel by Jane Austen

Miss Taylor, a former governess and companion of Emma Woodhouse, has recently married Mr. Weston. Emma claims responsibility for their marriage and decides to pursue matchmaking as a hobby. Emma pursues her new obsession against the advice of her friend Mr. Knightley, who is also the brother-in-law of Emma’s older sister Isabella. She seeks to pair her female acquaintance, Harriet Smith, with the village vicar, Mr. Elton. Although Harriet loves Robert Martin, a decent, educated, and intelligent young farmer, Emma tries to persuade Harriet to reject the marriage proposal from Robert Martin. Mr. Elton, a careerist, falsely thinks that Emma loves him and proposes to her. When Emma discloses that she assumed he had feelings for Harriet, he is enraged since he regards Harriet as socially inferior. Mr. Elton travels to Bath after Emma rejects him and returns with an arrogant, nouveau-riche wife, as Mr. Knightley predicted. Harriet is upset, and Emma is ashamed for having misled her.

Mr. Weston’s son, Frank Churchill, comes for a two-week visit and makes numerous friends. Frank’s aristocratic and authoritarian aunt adopted him, whom he has had few chances to visit previously. Mr. Knightley warns Emma that, even though Frank is educated and charming, his character is superficial. Jane Fairfax travels to spend a couple of months with her aunt and grandmother, Miss and Mrs. Bates, before beginning work as a governess, owing to her family’s financial circumstances. Colonel Campbell, a friend of her father’s, has provided her with an outstanding education. She is about Emma’s age. Emma has kept a distance from Jane Fairfax because she is envious of her brilliance and finds it annoying that everyone, including Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley, is always complimenting her. Mrs. Elton takes Jane under her protection and declares that she will find her the perfect position as a housekeeper before it is needed. Emma really does have some compassion for Jane’s circumstances.

Emma concludes that Jane and Mr. Dixon, Colonel Campbell’s new son-in-law, are interested in one another, which is why she came so early. Emma confesses this to Frank, who saw Jane and the Campbells a year earlier at a vacation resort; he appears to agree with Emma’s assumption. Jane receives a pianoforte from an unnamed donor, which adds to Emma’s suspicions. Emma feels herself becoming infatuated with Frank, but by the time of his second visit, she has lost her interest in him. The Eltons’ bad treatment of Harriet culminates in Mr. Elton’s public rejection of her at the Westons’ May gala. Mr. Knightley, who had hitherto avoided dancing, invites Harriet to dance. Frank takes Harriet to Hartfield the day after the ball because she collapsed following a confrontation with local gypsies. Emma misinterprets Harriet’s thankfulness for Frank as love for him. Mrs. Weston speculates whether Mr. Knightley is fascinated by Jane, but Emma rejects the notion. Emma disagrees with Mr. Knightley’s observation that Jane and Frank have a relationship, since Frank looks to be wooing her. In June, Frank comes late to a party at Donwell, while Jane leaves early. The following day, at Box Hill, a nearby picturesque location, as Frank and Emma are joking, Emma criticizes Miss Bates jokingly.

Emma feels embarrassed when Mr. Knightley reprimands her for criticizing Miss Bates. The following day, she visits Miss Bates to make amends for her bad behavior, pleasing Mr. Knightley. During the visit, Emma discovers that Jane accepted a governess post from one of Mrs. Elton’s acquaintances. Jane gets seriously ill and declines to meet Emma or accept her presents. Meanwhile, Frank has been visiting his aunt, who died shortly after his arrival. Now he and Jane announce to the Westons that they have been secretly engaged since the fall, although Frank knows his aunt will disapprove of the union. Keeping the secret stressed the honest Jane and forced the pair to dispute, with Jane breaking the relationship. Frank’s easygoing uncle quickly grants his permission for the marriage. The relationship was publicly disclosed, leaving Emma humiliated by the realization that she had been so wrong.

Emma assumes Frank’s engagement would crush Harriet, but instead, Harriet says she loves Mr. Knightley, and while she realizes the marriage is too unequal, Emma’s support and Mr. Knightley’s generosity have given her hope. Emma is shocked to discover that she, too, loves Mr. Knightley. Mr. Knightley returns to soothe Emma after Frank and Jane’s engagement, considering her sad. When she confesses her folly, he makes a proposal, which she accepts. Harriet accepts Robert Martin’s second marriage proposal, and they become the first couple to marry. Jane and Emma make amends, and Frank and Jane pay the Westons a visit. After the time of mourning for Frank’s aunt ends, they will wed. Emma and Mr. Knightley will be wed well before the end of November, with the expectation of “perfect bliss.”


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