I remember being forced to read Jane Austen in high school and not liking it at all. Now many years later I decide to try again, imagine my surprise at how good I find her books. Jane Austen had an incredible talent at characterization. Change the setting and the language and the characters are as true as when they were written. Austen's sly, subversive social commentary is hard to match. The fun in reading Emma doesn't come from the basic plot, but in the way Austen lampoons the social mores of her times.
Loved it. This is the first Jane Austen book I've read since high school, when I didn't really care for them. I'll admit the main character, Fanny, is a little vapid for my taste, but the supporting characters are so well written and real that it didn't really matter.
You can tell that this one of Austen first efforts, she is much heavier handed than she is in later books. The story is choppy, she starts things and doesn't finish them. Worth reading if you like Austen, it really helps highlight her growth as an author.
This book contains some good information about social and government institutions of that period in London. It provides some wonderful background for the literature of that era, what is going on politically and socially. It was written by a man of that time for that time, and so he assumes that his audience is familiar with the current events and people.
It leaves you with the feeling of reading the Sunday supplements of ten years ago, interesting but no emotional attachment.