Here is the discussion schedule, which can also be found on our discussion calendar:
Wednesday August 28 - The Courtship full discussion
Emma - Amazon $0.00 B&N $3.99
The Courtship - Amazon B&N $1.99
Feel free to read ahead, but please don't post any spoilers. If there's something you absolutely have to talk about, feel free to post it in the comments here, under a spoiler tag. Thanks!
*A note about the B&N edition of Emma - There are free ebook versions of the book available for the Nook.Since it's public domain though, a lot of them are self published and I'm not sure how good the copy is, which is why I linked to the B&N classics edition.
Will you be joining our discussions for the new books?
Robin Leigh Morgan here, I'm a new member to Live Journal as I've just found out about it. This naturally makes me a NewBie member to this group; so please excuse my ignorance here about how things are done as I'm still getting my feet wet. This is one of the groups I've join which coincides with my writing.
I'm a retired NYCity employee who's been married for 20 years [November 2013] with no children. My written commentaries for a community newspaper for several years prior to June 2006. My first romance writing endeavor for a novel is a YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss entitled "I Kissed a Ghost" which got self-published on December 20, 2012, the KINDLE addition got released on May 12, 2013. I'm currently writing a still untitled adult Contemporary with a paranormal element running through parts of the storyline.
As I'm a newcomer to this community as well as to LiveJournal I'm looking to make some friends here.
Please check out my journal.
Favourite romance authors: Nora Roberts, Anne Gracie, Jennifer Estep, J. R. Wrad, Laurann Dohner, Laurell K Hamilton, Laurenston Shelly, Lora Leigh, Patrica Briggs and Patricia Grasso that just some.
Favourite romance books: some are the prefect rake by Anne Gracie and To Love A Princess by Patricia Grasso.
Other favourite genres, books, or authors: Fantasy, Science-Fiction, young adult, historical and paranormal.
About yourself: I am studying retail and just had my 18th in November.
Hello all! This weeks post will go up tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, the end of summer has been insane and I'm moving soon.
Until then, don't forget to be awesome. ;)
- Current Location:US, Massachusetts, Watertown Town, Middlesex, Union St, 59
The Box Hill party is not a success. The party splits into groups, not interacting much with each other. Emma carelessly insults Miss Bates. Frank also makes a comment later that sometimes matches made on public acquaintance become regrettable later. After the party ends, Mr. Knightley reprimands Emma for her comment to Miss Bates. Emma is greatly upset by this.
The next day, Emma goes to visit Miss Bates. She feels terrible about what she said, and feels worse after Miss Bates is exceedingly kind to her. Jane is not present for Emma's visit, being shut in her room with a headache. Emma learns that Jane as taken a governess position with an acquaintance of Mrs. Elton. She will be leaving in two weeks. Emma is surprised and concerned for the upset her departure will cause everyone, and is ashamed of her earlier thoughts about Jane and Mr. Dixon.
Emma returns to Hartfield to find that Mr. Knightley and Harriet have been by during her absence. Mr. Knightley is heading to London to visit his brother, Isabella, and the children. Emma is surprised by his hastiness. Before leaving, Mr. Knightley takes Emma's hand as if to kiss it, but doesn't. Emma is surprised at this.
The next day unexpected news arrives - Mrs. Churchill has died. Emma thinks that this will improved Harriet's chances with Frank. Emma also tries to offer her assistance to Jane, who is still not feeling well. All of her offers are declined, and it seems as though she is avoiding Emma in particular.
Mr. Weston later arrives to escort Emma to Randalls. He clearly has news which he thinks will upset her, but wants Mrs. Weston to be the one to tell her. When Emma arrives, Mrs. Weston tells her that Frank has been secretly engaged to Jane Fairfax since the previous October. They kept it secret because they knew that Mrs. Churchill wouldn't approve. Since his wife's death, though, Mr. Churchill has given his consent and blessing to the match, though he wishes them to keep it secret until more time has passed. Emma reassures Mrs. Weston that she had no romantic feelings for Frank, which was the Westons' concern. Emma is, however, angry at Frank's behavior toward her and Jane.
Emma is concerned with Harriet, believing her to be in love with Frank. She also understands Jane's behavior, and realizes that Jane must have seen her as a rival. When Harriet arrives at Hartfield, she already knows about the engagement, having run into Mr. Weston on her way there. Emma is surprised at Harriet's composure after hearing the news. When she asks about it, she finds that there has been some miscommunication between them. Harriet has never had feelings for Frank; it is Mr. Knightley who has captured her heart. Emma is completely shocked, and asks if Harriet has reason to believe that Mr. Knightley returns her regard. She recounts several instances when Mr. Knightley has shown her special attention, and Emma remembers many of them as well.
When Harriet leaves, Emma realizes that she has been wrong about everything, and that she herself is in love with Mr. Knightley. She does not believe that he returns her feelings, and imagines that even if he does, she still will not marry him. She will not leave her father alone.
Mrs. Weston comes for a visit, and explains that Jane was very distressed about the secretive nature of her engagement with Frank. She blames herself for her misjudgment and acknowledges Emma’s kindness during her sickness. Hearing this account, Emma again expresses anger at Frank’s behavior. She is also sorry that she has not been a better friend to Jane.
Emma goes for a walk in the garden. To her surprise, Mr. Knightley joins her. He has just returned from London. She worries that Knightley will confess his feelings for Harriet, and she offers her news about Frank and Jane’s secret engagement. Knightley already knows about it and offers his consolation, but Emma assures him she has never had feelings for Frank. She explains and expresses regret for her behavior, and Knightley is strangely silent. Finally, he admits he may have underrated Frank and expresses envy at his circumstances. Worried that Knightley is about to discuss Harriet, Emma quickly silences him. He is mortified, and seeing his pain Emma invites him to speak after all, saying she will be glad to hear him as a friend. He says he does not wish her friendship and declares his love. She is surprised, thrilled, and by the time they reach the house they are engaged to marry. Knightley is surprised as well—he was convinced that Emma was in love with Frank; he departed for London to cool his feelings for her, and he has returned thinking she would need comfort. He has moved from resigned despair to perfect happiness in half an hour.
That night, Emma lies awake worrying about Harriet and her father. She decides she will write a letter to Harriet explaining what has happened and arrange for Harriet to visit Isabella in London to give both of them some time to adjust to the new situation. She decides that she and Knightley must postpone their wedding until after her father dies.
Mrs. Weston forwards a very long letter to Emma, written by Frank. He apologizes to Emma, explaining that he knew Emma to not be attached, and that he was under the impression that she knew about him and Jane. He goes on to explain that he and Jane quarreled over his behavior to Emma, because she thought it inappropriate. Jane later broke their engagement. When Frank heard about her governess position, he threw himself on the mercy of his uncle, and rushed to Highbury after receiving his uncle's approval. He and Jane then reconciled, and Frank admits that he is happier than he deserves to be.
Emma completely forgives Frank. She has Mr. Knightley read the letter. He is not quite as forgiving as Emma, but admits that maybe he's not as bad as he thought. They discuss their engagement, and what to do about Mr. Woodhouse. Mr. Knightley tells her that he has been thinking about it. He knows that Mr. Woodhouse will not go to Donwell, so he suggests that he move to Hartfield. The more Emma thinks about it, the more she likes the idea.
Harriet agrees to go to London, and Emma decides not to tell her father of her engagement until Mrs. Weston has had her baby. Emma pays a visit to Jane, although she can't speak openly because Mrs. Elton is there and the engagement with Frank is still supposed to be a secret. Emma realizes that Mrs. Elton must know, because she keeps making really obvious remarks and allusions to it, assuming that Emma does not know. Mr. Elton arrives, upset because Mr. Knightley has missed a meeting with him. Emma assumes that he is waiting for her at Hartfield and takes her leave. Jane walks her out, and the two reconcile, both thinking they owe the other an apology.
Mrs. Weston safely delivers a baby girl, and Emma is thrilled. She and Mr. Knightley break the news of their engagement to Mr. Woodhouse. At first he is shocked and upset, but he gradually resigns himself to the change with some help from Mrs. Weston. There is also news from London - Harriet has become engaged to Robert Martin. Mr. Knightley thinks that Emma will be upset, but she is very happy with this news.
Harriet and Robert Martin are the first to be married in September, followed by Emma and Mr. Knightley in October, and Jane and Frank in November.
1. How do you feel about Jane and Frank' secret engagement? Did you have any idea that there was something going on between them?
2. Do you think Emma has changed much in the course of the book?
3. How do you feel about Emma's engagement to Mr. Knightley? What about their plan to live at Hartfield?
4. In general, how did you like the book?
5. What would you rate the book? Any other thoughts?
Next Wednesday, August 28th, we'll be discussing The Courtship in its entirety.
When this section opens, Emma, her father, the Westons, and Frank Churchill are at Randalls discussing and planning a ball to be held shortly after Frank is supposed to return to his aunt and uncle. They eventually decide to have in at a nearby inn, and Frank receives word from his Aunt that he can extend his visit. He ends up being called back to Enscombe, though, due to his aunt's illness, and the ball is postponed indefinitely. Emma finds that Highbury society is greatly diminished with Frank gone, and thinks that she must be at least a little in love him. After further reflections, she realizes that her happiness does not depend on Frank, and decides that she would refuse him if it came down to it.
Shortly after Frank returns to Enscombe, village gossip turns to Mr. Elton, who will soon be returning with his new bride. Upon first meeting her, Emma chooses reserve judgement, attributing Mrs. Elton's poor manners to the awkwardness of the situation. After spending more time with Mrs. Elton, though, Emma dislikes her greatly. Mrs. Elton becomes aware of Emma's dislike and returns the sentiment. Emma assumes that Mr. Elton told his wife about the misunderstandings with Emma and Harriet, to whom the Eltons are particularly rude.
Mrs. Elton decides to take Jane Fairfax under her wing, and Jane lets her. Emma is puzzled by this, and discuses it with Mr. Knightly. He defends Jane's decision, and Emma takes this opportunity to probe him about his feelings for Jane. Mr. Knightly, flustered and embarrassed, tells Emma that he is not in love with Jane and Emma is satisfied that she was right.
In order to fulfill her social obligation, Emma hosts a dinner party for the Eltons. Harriet bows out, but Emma invites Jane in her place. Jane is heartily admonished about walking to the post office by Mrs. Elton, who is soon joined by other members of the party. Later, Mr. Weston arrives, with the news that Frank will be returning to Highbury shortly.
Because Frank will be returning, the plans for the previously canceled ball are taken up again. The ball is a success, but for one episode. Harriet is left without a partner for one dance, and Mr. Elton, who is free for the dance, very pointedly snubs her. Harriet is quite embarrassed, by Mr. Knightly steps in to dance with her, though he had chosen not to dance at all that evening. Emma is very pleased, and later expresses her gratitude. She admits that he had been right about Mr. Elton's character before, and he acknowledges that Harriet has more admirable qualities than he previously thought.
The episode with Mr. Elton at the ball does serves one good purpose at least - it cures Harriet of her lingering affection for him. She and Emma burn a few trinkets that Harriet had kept, and Harriet tells Emma of an affection she has for an unnamed someone else of a higher rank. Emma vows not to interfere, but warns Harriet to be more cautious in her affections this time around. Emma thinks that she is referring to Frank Churchill, but tells Harriet not to tell her.
Emma, Harriet, the Westons, Frank, Jane, Miss Bates, and Mr. Knightly are out for a walk, and the party stops at Hartfield for tea. After making observations during the walk and at tea, Mr. Knightly begins to suspect that something is going on between Jane and Frank. He wishes to warn Emma because he thinks there might be some affection on her part for Frank. Emma pretty much laughs him off, saying that she can assure him that there is no affection on Frank's part for Jane, and that she doubts there is any on Jane's part either.
After a trip to Box Hill is postponed due to a lame horse, Mr. Knightly, half joking, invites a party to visit his esate. Mrs. Elton seizes the idea, and would have completely taken over the planning if not for Mr. Knightly's firm insistence that he had it handled. During the trip, Emma takes the opportunity to wander and observe Donwell Abbey (Mr. Knightly's estate). She overhears Mrs. Elton trying to talk Jane into a governess position she has found for her, and Jane resisting. Later, Emma runs into an agitated Jane, who asks that Emma let everyone know that she has walked home. Emma agrees. Shortly after, Frank arrives in an ill humor. In the course of his conversation with Emma, he says that he would ilke to travel abroad. Emma teases him out of his bad mood and he promises to join everyone for the Box Hill trip.
1. Do you think that Emma truly believes that she is in love with Frank, or that she even truly understands what it means to be in love?
2. How do you feel about Mrs. Elton, and do you think Emma's dislike of her is warranted?
3. Why do you think that Jane so readily accepts Mrs. Elton's attentions?
4. Do you think that Mr. Knightly is right about something going on between Jane and Frank?
Next Wednesday, August 21 we'll be discussing Emma in its entirety.
Emma's schemes go awry when Mr. Elton, a social climber, fancies Emma is in love with him and proposes to her. Emma's friends had suggested that Mr. Elton's attentions were really directed at her, but she had misread the signs. Emma, rather shocked and a bit insulted, tells Mr. Elton that she had thought him attached to Harriet; however Elton is outraged at the very idea of marrying the socially inferior Harriet. After Emma rejects Mr. Elton, he leaves for a while for a sojourn in Bath, and Harriet fancies herself heartbroken. Emma feels dreadful about misleading Harriet and resolves—briefly—to interfere less in people's lives.
Mr. Elton, as Emma's misconceptions of his character melt away, reveals himself to be arrogant, resentful, and pompous. He soon returns from Bath with a pretentious, nouveau-riche wife who becomes part of Emma's social circle, though the two women soon loathe each other. The Eltons treat the still lovestruck Harriet deplorably, culminating with Mr Elton very publicly snubbing Harriet at a dance. Mr Knightley, who had until this moment refrained from dancing, gallantly steps in to partner Harriet, much to Emma's gratification.
An interesting development is the arrival in the neighbourhood of the handsome and charming Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son, who had been given to his deceased wife's wealthy brother and his wife, the Churchills, to raise. Frank, who is now Mrs. Weston's stepson, and Emma have never met, but she has a long-standing interest in doing so. The whole neighborhood takes a fancy to him, with the partial exception of Mr. Knightley, who becomes uncharacteristically grumpy whenever his name is mentioned and suggests to Emma that while Frank is clever and engaging, he is also a rather shallow character.
A third newcomer is the orphaned Jane Fairfax, the reserved, beautiful, and elegant niece of Emma's impoverished neighbour, the talkative Miss Bates, who lives with her deaf, widowed mother. Miss Bates is an aging spinster, well-meaning but increasingly poor; Emma strives to be polite and kind to her, but is irritated by her constant chattering. Jane, very gifted musically, is Miss Bates' pride and joy; Emma envies her talent, and although she has known Jane all her life has never warmed to her personally. Jane had lived with Miss Bates until she was nine, but Colonel Campbell, a friend of her father's, welcomed her into his own home, where she became fast friends with his daughter and received a first-rate education. But now Miss Campbell has married, and the accomplished but penniless Jane has returned to her Bates relations, ostensibly to regain her health and to prepare to earn her living as a governess.
Still, Emma sees something mysterious in Jane's sudden return to Highbury and imagines that Jane and Miss Campbell's husband, Mr. Dixon, were mutually attracted, and that is why she has come home instead of going to Ireland to visit them. She shares her suspicions with Frank, who had become acquainted with Jane and the Campbells when they met at a vacation spot a year earlier, and he apparently agrees with her. Suspicions are further fueled when a piano, sent by an anonymous benefactor, arrives for Jane.
(Totally yoinked the summary from wikipedia again)
1. We are introduced to a few new characters in this section. What are your thoughts about them??
2. Do you like Emma more or less now that at the beginning of the book?
3. After the debacle with Mr. Elton, Emma resolves to be done with matchmaking. Do you believe that she'll stick to this, or will she fall into it again?
4. Mrs. Weston confides in Emma that she thinks that Mr. Knightly has formed an attachment to Jane Fairfax. Do you agree? Why do you think Emma so vehemently disagreed with Mrs. Weston?
5. Any other thoughts about this section?
Next Wednesday, August 7 we'll be discussion Volume 2 Chapter 11 through Volume 3 Chapter 6.
Emma Woodhouse, aged 20 at the start of the novel, is a young, beautiful, witty, and privileged woman in Regency England. She lives on the fictional estate of Hartfield in Surrey in the village of Highbury with her elderly widowed father, a hypochondriac who is excessively concerned for the health and safety of his loved ones. Emma's friend and only critic is the gentlemanly George Knightley, her neighbour from the adjacent estate of Donwell, and the brother of her elder sister Isabella's husband, John. As the novel opens, Emma has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her best friend and former governess. Having introduced Miss Taylor to her future husband, Mr. Weston, Emma takes credit for their marriage, and decides that she rather likes matchmaking.
Against Mr. Knightley's advice, Emma forges ahead with her new interest, and tries to match her new friend Harriet Smith, a sweet, pretty, but none-too-bright parlour boarder of seventeen —described as "the natural daughter of somebody" i.e. the illegitimate daughter of someone — to Mr. Elton, the local vicar. Emma becomes convinced that Mr. Elton's constant attentions are a result of his attraction and growing love for Harriet.
But before events can unfold as she plans, Emma must first persuade Harriet to refuse an advantageous marriage proposal. Her suitor is a respectable, educated, and well-spoken young farmer, Robert Martin, but Emma snobbishly decides he isn't good enough for Harriet. Against her own wishes, the easily-influenced Harriet rejects Mr. Martin.
(totally yoinked the summary from wikipedia. It's too hot to think properly, you guys.)
1. When talking about Emma, Jane Austen said, "I'm going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." Do you like Emma?
2. Early on in the novel, Emma states that she will not marry. Do you think she'll stay true to this declaration? How realistic do you think it is, taking into consideration the time period as well as Emma's station in life?
3. Do you think that Emma's advice to Harriet in regards to Mr. Martin was good advice? Do you think it was wise for her to convince Harriet to set her cap, so to speak, for Mr. Elton?
4. There have been many characters introduced to us so far. Who is your favorite?
5. Any other thoughts on this section?
Next Wednesday, July 24, we'll be discussing volume 1 chapter 15 through volume 2 chapter 10.
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