The trouble with Emma is that it’s a novel of such scintillating brilliance, and so quick on its feet, that anything a reader can say about it seems doomed to bathos. If you were to hear the Amadeus Quartet playing Mozart on a summer evening in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles with your lover on your arm and a glass of Bollinger 1990 fizzing on your tongue, it would probably be vain to try to put the sensations into words.
Faulks on Fiction, by Sebastian Faulks
I will not promise even to equal the elegant terseness of Mrs Elton, by calling you Mr K.
Emma to Mr Knightley, Emma by Jane Austen
She had always wanted to do everything, and had made more progress both in drawing and music than many might have done with so little labour as she would ever submit to. She played and sang;—and drew in almost every style; but steadiness had always been wanting; and in nothing had she approached the degree of excellence which she would have been glad to command, and ought not to have failed of. She was not much deceived as to her own skill either as an artist or a musician, but she was not unwilling to have others deceived, or sorry to know her reputation for accomplishment often higher than it deserved.
Emma by Jane Austen
This is my life.
To add another to our Hate List, we have the vulgar Mrs Elton, who is spine-grating from the very moment she appears to the last time we hear of her. We hate. We hate big time.
And an honourable mention goes to Mr Woodhouse (as he doesn’t quite make the cut for the lover list), for being the most amusing father in literature.
There are so many feelings. Just look at that photo. It’s enough for the E & Mr K combo to feature on our couple list. That and how lovely they are.
Our next Girl Crush is Emma Woodhouse, who is rich and cool and beautiful and meddlesome and we love her. As Mr Elton said, “Oh Miss Woodhouse! Who can think of Miss Smith, when Miss Woodhouse is near!” Not us indeed.
(Romola Garai, you wonderful creature, we couldn’t think of a better Emma).
And obviously because we love him so, Mr Knightley is next on our love list. As Emma said, “You might not see one in a hundred, with gentleman so plainly written as in Mr Knightley.”