Jane Austen’s Emma: The Ultimate Insider

February 14, 2020 | 1 book mentioned

With another film adaptation coming soon, Jane Austen‘s Emma is back in the cultural conversation. For JSTOR Daily, Erin Blakemore examines the popularity of the novel’s matchmaking protagonist, questioning whether she or another character, Jane Fairfax, is the true heroine. “Well-behaved and wary in public and witty in private, Austen chafed at societal obsessions with marriage, rank, and social status,” Blakemore writes. “That makes Emma a decided aberration. Unlike her other novels, which star put-upon women trying to navigate social systems that constrain them, Emma stars the ultimate insider, the kind of woman for whom those structures of hierarchy have been designed.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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