Do all Jane Austen fans dislike Emma?
I came across a fun blog today that said that Jane Austen fans don’t like Emma because she’s so whiny, etc.:
- Jane Austen Fans… (girlygirl.typepad.com)
I thought this, and the comments below it, were funny.
However, I read Emma at the ripe old age of 13 or 14, and I completely liked her. I identified with her. I was grossed out a bit about Mr. Knightley being the love interest because he was SO OLD. I have since grown to appreciate that decrepit man of 37. Especially when he is portrayed by Jeremy Northam. I also like Mark Strong and wish he played more heroes than villains.
I like the Gwyneth Paltrow version, the Kate Beckinsale version, and the recent Romola Garai version. I like Emma because she is flawed — and reminds me of myself. I am sometimes clueless. I say stupid things and blunder around socially. And I don’t have the excuse of youth and inexperience.
I love the idea that an intelligent man in a cravat can fall in love with an imperfect girl.