; Literary Encyclopedia

Recommended reading for Emma

Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago, IL, and London: University of Chicago Press, 1961. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Includes a detailed and important consideration of narration in Emma.

Clark, Robert.“Introduction.” Emma. London: Everyman, 1995. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Finch, C., and P. Bowen.“The Tittle-Tattle of Highbury: Gossip and the Free Indirect Style in Emma.” Representations 31 (1990): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

An essay that makes interesting connections between the unstructured nature of gossip and Austen's controlling novelistic discourse.

Flavin, Louise.“Free Indirect Style and the Clever Heroine of Emma.” Persuasions 13 (1991): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

An acute analysis.

Litvak, Joseph.“Reading Characters: Self, Society and Text in Emma.” PMLA 101 (1985): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

A well-argued essay which sees the text as seeking to undermine Knightley's security and propose a collective established consciousness that recognises sense as a riddle.

Neill, Edward.“Between Difference and Deconstruction: ’Situations’ of Recent Critical Theory and Jane Austen’s Emma.” Critical Quarterly 29 (1987): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

A discriminating and smartly written survey of recent criticism of Emma leading to a sometimes rather forced reading that stresses the text's ambiguous representation of Knightley's values and urges us to look for the 'faultlines' in the novel's apparent endorsement of conservative ideology.

Tobin, Beth Fowkes.“Aiding Impoverished Gentlewomen: Power and Class in Emma.” Criticism 30 (1988): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

A peppery essay from a left-wing point of view which seeks to correct simple mistakes about social class in the novel, and expose Austen's unsympathetic treatment of gentry women. I is short, lucid, and cogently argued, and could offer a good starting point for undergraduate discussion. The following paragraph from the conclusion gives a fair idea: "Though Austen depicts harsh political and economic conditions in this novel, she denies their importance in shaping individual lives; she mystifies the very material conditions she describes by belying their power to determine the conditions of happiness and by giving to other forces such as romantic love, Christian morality, and aristocratic chivalry, the power to shape their character's fates." The presumption here that money is the only material determinant of happiness can evidently be questioned from qhite different political points of view.

Tobin, Beth Fowkes.“The Moral and Political Economy of Property in Austen’s Emma.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction (1990): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

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