The real evils, indeed, of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself . . .
Jane Austen’s classic novel begins with twenty-one-year-old Emma Woodhouse happily presiding over the social order of the village of Highbury, utterly convinced of both her capability and her right to manage other people’s lives—all for their own good, naturally. Her well-meaning meddling in the affairs of the reserved Jane Fairfax, the handsome Frank Churchill, the foolish Harriet Smith, and the young vicar Mr. Elton, ends with her long-held convictions shattered, her mind awakened to life’s quandries, and her own happiness assured.
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