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Emma, A Love Story by Jane Austen MP3 Audio Book

Emma thinks she knows what is best for everybody, including herself. This is one of many editions of this 1815 novel. Emma, when first published in 1816, was written when Jane Austen was at the height of her powers. In it, we have her two greatest comic creations -- the eccentric Mr. Woodhouse and that quintissential bore, Miss Bates. In it, too, we have her most profound characterization: the witty, imaginative, self-deluded Emma, a heroine the author declared "no one but myself will much like," but who has been much loved by generations of readers. Delightfull funny, full of rich irony, Emma is regarded as one of Jane Austen's finest achievements.

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. 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 but none-too-bright parlour boarder of seventeen —described as "the natural daughter of somebody"— 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 young gentleman farmer, Mr. Martin, but Emma snobbishly decides he isn't good enough for Harriet. Against her own wishes, the easily-influenced Harriet rejects Mr. Martin.

Emma's schemes go awry when Mr. Elton, a social climber, proposes to Emma herself. Emma's friends had understood that Mr. Elton's attentions were the result of his attraction to Emma and his ambition in marrying her, although she had not. Emma, rather shocked, 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 now tries to convince Harriet that Mr. Elton is beneath her after all....
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