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Emma by Jane Austen

January 1, 2013

Emma is a light, funny look at high-class society in England. Emma Wodehouse is a young woman of significant means and breeding, who feels that she knows what is best for everyone. She goes about attempting to set up various relationships between friends and acquaintances, taking a young woman named Harriet under her wing and trying to find her a suitable partner.

Things go awry, and one after the other of Emma’s attempted matches fail to work out. She herself, who did not think she would want to ever be married, ends up marrying the only man who dared to criticize her.

Emma is easy, enjoyable reading, but the dirty secret is that Emma, the character, while she is supposed to be satirical, is just thoroughly unlikeable to most modern readers. She is obsessed with class, finds offense in small things, and criticizes others behind their backs – mostly those who, while annoying, are well-intentioned and kind.

Also, Clueless is better.

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