Emma is considered by many readers to be Jane Austen s crowning achievement a timeless comedy of manners that lays bare the limits on women s autonomy in Regency England. The disparity between Emma Woodhouse s self confidence and self knowledge and her determination to arrange marriages for her friends while avoiding one for herself leads to a painful series of misunderstandings for everyone who suffers from her well meaning altruism and with Mr Knightley being the only person of her acquaintance who has the good sense to challenge her Emma must eventually recognize her match in every sense. Long praised for its rich detail and perfect craftsmanship Emma is one of those classic masterpieces that readers go back to again and again for its inexhaustible fund of humanity.
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