The biography/ literary criticism I read of Jane Austen's this past spring extolled the virtues of the craft of Emma above all the completed novels of Jane Austen. Its protagonist is such a twit that I was only able to get half way through, right before the poop hits the fan with Mr Elton and Harriet, the first time I read it. I had already seen the Gwenyth Paltrow version so I knew the general gist. Oh, and I'd seen Clueless. (Really, I think it's a very cute and clever modern day adaptation.)
So, I'm having another go because I like to read Jane Austen at these down times like summer vacation and when things are up in the air in life and I need a little escape. This time, however, instead of reading a regular old paper book, I realized I didn't have a paper version. So, I downloaded it off Google books for free and am reading it off my smart phone. What a twist of Regency to contemporary times all in one.
Do I see, yet, what Jane Aiken Hodge was addressing in her book "Only a Novel; the Double Life of Jane Austen" in the sophistication of observation and critique of manners in the book? The maturity of the author through the wry observations of the novel? I'm still stuck on what a snob Emma is, actually. (And, frankly, a little creeped out by Mr Knightley's feelings, seeing as he's so much older...but, as Aaliyah and R Kelly said, age aint nothing but a number...oh...wait, bad example.)
More as I go along...