By: Jane Austen
Goodness gracious, the cuteness. I'm swimming in 'awwww's'. Jane Austen is a master, but then the world already knew that (and I already knew it, too).
I'm convinced that winter is the perfect time to read Austen. It makes you feel all cuddly and warm inside.
Emma Woodhouse: Before reading this I was prepared to dislike Emma. That's what I've heard from a lot of people, that she is one of Austen's least likeable lead characters. I am happy to say that I did not find that to be the case at all. I love Emma! She's kinder than people give her credit for. She really tried to do what was best for the people in her life. She differs from Elizabeth Bennett in many ways, but I think they both stand on their own as worthy heroines. Emma is witty and smart in the ways of society. I also love how she was always quite willing to apologize when she was in the wrong (as she is quite a few times in this book). Overall I think she is a lovely, well-developed character.
Mr. Knightley: LOVE. Rivaling my love for Mr. Darcy, is my newfound love for Mr. Knightley (possibly exceeding it). He's steadfast and caring. He's open to both giving and receiving advice with Emma. Their relationship works because it's grounded in true friendship. He's considerate as well as smart.
Both Mr. Knightley and Emma have their fair share of faults, but they accept and love one another because of them. They each see the other as one of the best people in existence. Their relationship is charming and warm.
The common misconception about Austen's work is that they're about romance alone. But this is a story about a small community and the inner workings of their relationships. It's about society and relationships, with people you like, people you hate, people you are close with.
I think Jane Austen is a master of characters, both relatable and ridiculous. She knows society and relationships and is an expert at showing them in their truest light. Even now, when the forms of socializing common back then are outdated, she still brings essential truth to the relationships between her characters. We all know our own Mr. and Mrs. Elton, our own Jane Fairfax, or Miss Bates, or Harriet. These are characters that are known to us, just in a slightly different way. Because of that, these books strike the perfect balance between feeling like you are in another time and place altogether and feeling like you're somewhere that is, at root, familiar.
That is why her books have managed to transcend age and progress. That's why they are classics, and rightfully so.
This wasn't my first Austen and it certainly won't be my last. An expert storyteller like her cannot be anything but loved.
"Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief."
"It will be a small party, but where small parties are select, they are perhaps the most agreeable of any."
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
“There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.”
‘Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.’