Emma is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in December, 1815. Ostensibly a story about the perils of misconstrued romance, in fact the author treats with two of her more common themes, namely: the concerns and difficulties of women's lives in Georgian-Regency England; and, a 'comedy of manners' among her characters, each of whom would justify him/herself as behaving always of the highest standards of polite manners --even when, for some, their actual behaviours appear otherwise.
In the opening paragraph the main character, Emma Woodhouse, is described as "handsome, clever, and rich". Also, it turns out, she is rather spoiled; and, she overvalues her personal judgment and skills at human match-making; and, she is naive —clueless, even— about the effects of her social machinations on others. Prior to starting the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."
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