Emma(Jane Austen Children’s Stories #4) by Jane Austen, adapted by Gemma Barder
I did not originally plan to purchase both the Northanger Abbey and Emma adaptations in this series so close together. If I had I would have done a dual post like I did for the Babylit series. I was just going to purchase the Northanger Abbey one, but a couple weeks after my cousin’s birthday party I discovered that my friend moved her daughter’s birthday party up to the first weekend in June. I needed a present stat and I always buy her a book and toy for her birthday.
So when I was trying to find a book for a 7 year old, the first thing that popped in my head was to get another one book from the Jane Austen Children’s Stories.
As I mentioned in my previous review, any time I spot a children’s book that has to do with Jane Austen, I try and purchase it to gift to them and hopefully influence spark a love of Jane Austen in them.
The Jane Austen Children’s Stories series takes the text of Jane Austen and adapts it for children who are reading on their own and want something longer than a beginning reader, but not quite ready for thick chapter books. Each novel has easy to read text, illustrations, but at the same time still retains the plot of the original novels.
The recommended age for this series is 7-10 years old. The series has adapted Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Love and Friendship. You can buy them individually at ~$7 a paperback (hardcover is ~$12 per book) or in a set of all seven in paperback form (plus a journal) for ~$27.
Emma is the story of a girl who has been mistress of her house and doted on by her father. After her governess marries (a match she believes she put together) she becomes bored and intends on trying her hand at matchmaking. She pygmalions her new acquaintance, Harriet Smith, and plans to set her up with the new minister. Things do not go according to plan as her matches do not take hold and her “creation” takes a life of her own.
While I enjoyed the Northanger Abbey review, I loved this adaption of Emma. It was done a little different with it starting off with a breakdown of the characters, a who’s who of everyone.
The book easily captures the attention of the reader as it leans in to the already comedic tones of Emma. The illustrations were also well done, no complaints of the men’s outfits here.
I really enjoyed it, and I think the 7 year old who I purchased it for will love it as well. If you are looking for Jane Austen books for elementary schooled children in your life, then I definitely recommend giving this series a read.
I had a hard time trying to decide what to entitle this year’s post,was there something I cared for that was having a special anniversary? After looking through the years the only thing I found was Emma (1972) is turning 50. Of course that mean I will be reviewing it (as soon as I finish the last episode of Austentatious.
With that it means a very Emma year, which has already started. I don’t know about you all but lately I tend to waffle between these two thoughts, getting ready for things and having plans fall apart due to some new COVID related issue:
And trying to maintain a good attitude in these trying times:
But no matter how bad it gets, there is always Jane Austen to make you feel better.
I’m going to try and carry on with the attitude of Emma. Whether you love her or hate her-she knows what she deserves.
Now on to the year in review!
This year I had over 100,000 views! That might not seem like a lot to some but I’m thankful for every one.
The Top Five Posts
Here are the top five most viewed posts of the year, although again none were posted this year. I guess whatever I post in the actual year is never popular enough? Who knows.
On Instagram (@janeaustenrunsmylife) I try to achieve a Bookish Bingo every month. I usually read whatever I like and then see which slot it fills. I write how it fits the categories in my stories and save them for the moth and the one after, replacing it with the new month’s selections. It is a lot of fun, and I recommend trying it out.
What Pop Culture book/film/movie/idea do you think the Jane Austen characters would be obsessed with?
If there was a company that allowed you to hire Jane Austen cosplayers would you? Who would you want to hire?
Which Jane Austen Character is the most annoying
What is a Jane Austen adaption you like to watch or read over and over again
If you could cast any actor (alive or dead) as Mr. Darcy who would it be?
If you could cast any actresses (alive or dead) as Elizabeth Bennet who would it be?
Which Jane Austen adaption needs to be turned into a film, TV show, or needs to be remade?
If the characters from Jane Austen lived today, what would their fashion style be?
Should I make some Jane Austen Runs My Life stickers?
Which Jane Austen hero is actually the worst? And why?
Who is more desperate to marry off their children: Mrs. Bennet or General Tilney?
If you could cast Aiden Turner, Lee Pace, Kit Harrington, or James Frain in a Jane Austen adaption, which one and which character?
Which Jane Austen Parent is the worst?
If you could cast Emily Mortimer, Natalie Dormer, Rachel Weisz, or Michelle Dockery in a Jane Austen adaption, which one and which character?
Which Jane Austen adaption is the worst?
What Jane Austen opinion will you not be talked out of and believe until the day you die
I assisted MadsenCreations in her Noirvember and posted my reviews of the films on my tiktok. We reviewed the following films (although I still need to post the remaining few reviews). Don’t be surprised if some of these pop up during this year’s Horrorfest.
So I have heard people say how much they enjoy Joan Aiken’s books. I have put all on my to-read lists and when I came across her book Jane Fairfax a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, I jumped at the chance to grab it and read it.
However, I didn’t like it.
Aiken is not a bad writer, but the style didn’t suit me. I tried reading this book three times and could not get involved in it, forcing myself to finish it so I could review it.
The book is told from Jane’s point of view, but while I thought this would be interesting…it was not.
The book starts off with Jane growing up in Highbury, angry and upset with Emma as she has money, a sister, a father and mother-then later a governess, clothes, etc. She can’t stand Emma as she wishes she had her life-after all Emma is rude and doesn’t deserve what she has.
She also has a humongous crush on Mr. Knightley, on that grows with every gift of apples, every horseback ride, every moment with him, etc.
She is given the opportunity to live with her father’s old friend. Life in the Colonel Campbell home is not what she expected: the Colonel is a mean and grouchy man who is always yelling at his daughter; his wife is a woman who is uninterested in anything regarding her child; Colonel Campbell’s mother-in-law is grouchy, gives unneeded advice, and is rude to Jane.
Her only friend is the mousy and insecure, Rachel Campbell.
When the girls are young they meet the Dixon boys who are annoying at first but then they grow on the girls. Jane also meets Mr. Knightley, Mr. Weston, and Frank Churchill occasionally in London. And every time Jane’s heart goes thump-thump when she sees Mr. Knightley.
When the girls are older they go to Weymouth and spend time with the Dixons, Jane realizing she is in love with Matthew. Unfortunately, Rachel is too.
But then Matthew reveals his love for her, Jane-and it is all she can do to refuse it. You see Matthew has debts that need to be paid and Jane has nothing-no money, no connections, and definitely no dowry. She convinces him to marry Rachel, he proposes to her, and the two leave for Ireland while Jane will be sent back to Highbury.
To her surprise Frank Churchill, who she thought little of, has fallen for her.
What are you talking about??
As she lost her real love and knows that Mr. Knightley is not likely to be with her she says yes to his engagement.
And then we enter the Emma story as Jane is sent to Highbury waiting for Frank’s aunt to die so they could be together.
I didn’t like this as Jane seemed so cold and calculating, choosing Frank not because she loved him, but because she wants money, security, a home-basically she is Charlotte Lucas.
Reading Emma, I never cared for Frank Churchill and thought he was a total jerk, and that Jane deserved better. Whenever I read it all I can think is she must have really, really loved him to put up with all the crap he does-romancing Emma as a smokescreen, talking about her to Emma, making fun of her, etc.
So having her not really care for Frank is…weird. I mean she is sooo practical through the whole thing. At age six she knows she will never get married but is destined to be a spinster and governess (that is what Aiken writes), so for her to enter an engagement that has very little chance of coming to fruition seems like a weird choice for someone so practical and logical.
Now if she was in love with him, well love is blind that makes sense.
But as she isn’t, why would she even think this would work? If anything her character makes more sense to believe that as soon as she leaves London his ardor for her will too.
Anyways, she comes to Highbury, Frank is a jerk, she moons over Knightley which I also thought was weird. If she was interested in Knightley, why not make a play for him over Frank? It is far more likely that Mr. Knightley would marry her than for Frank to.
I mean for real!
And Jane is just horrible to Emma. I think the author wanted to go with past hurts can color your current behavior, and that Jane is still upset over the behavior of the Emma when she was a child-but I couldn’t stand it. Every time Emma enters the room Jane is all look at the disdain she gives me, she doesn’t care. She’s pretending to be kind and she’s really a snake.
This makes this a not a very fun read as she is just mad all the time. I don’t like characters that are just mad all the time.
The part I did like was when Jane goes to Highbury and has a hard time fitting in as she was in a different position as Colonel Campbell’s ward versus Mrs. & Miss Bates’ ward. That isn’t something you really think about or see in the movies and I enjoyed that view.
Most of the story is about Jane having a crush on Mr. Knightley, this continuing until she is heartbroken to find him marrying Emma her longtime rival.
The only part I enjoyed was at the end when Jane and Emma talk and Jane apologizes for being cold and distant as she realizes she was angry and jealous of Emma; and Emma apologizes for ignoring her and being distant as she was jealous of her. They both realize that Mr. Knightley was right and they would have been good friends, regretting that they didn’t listen to him when they were younger.
Told you so
But that was at the end and I had to wade through the whole book to get there. I don’t recommend this and say hard pass.
I have to review another episode of Austentatious!
So those of you who might not be aware of what Austentatious is, I’ll do a brief recap. Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Elizabeth Bennet, and Emma Woodhouse-all coexist in the same city and are friends. They also are friends with Grant Knightley (Mr. Knightley): Elizabeth is trying to sell a agonizingly rude Mr. Darcy a house; and Elinor is trying to deal with Marianne moving in. Thus far…I DO NOT LIKE IT…
Ugh, this show!
Will I feel the same today? Well:
We start off the episode with Emma and Grant (Knightley) are hanging out. Emma brings an announcement for Mr. and Mrs Weston’s child Sam marrying Patricia (who are these people, we don’t know!)
Will they play an important role in the series? Probably not and such a shame as Sam (assuming to be Frank Churchill) could have added some spice to what is already looking to be a boring episode.
Anyways, Emma takes credit for it. Then Elinor comes to join them, and Emma plans to set her up. Elinor isn’t interested, but needs help getting rid of a date she already made. Why don’t you just tell him the truth? Or need be-say you are sick.
Elinor doesn’t want to go out with Collin (Mr. Collins) a guy who lives in her building. Okay-like he isn’t drop dead gorgeous but he wasn’t downright annoying either or creepy. They should have upped that. I mean of all the Collins, he was the lamest. I mean Ricky Collins in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice (1995), and Mr. Collins in P&P (1995) were all just so eye-rollingly annoying. You just wanted them to stop!
Seriously calm down
This guy is just blah, whatever.
Although, he does have a problem taking no for an answer, so that does make him a creep and having their first date be in his apartment-yeah no go! Never, ever go on a first date and be in the person’s home. Major, MAJOR red flag!
Just say no!
But you know what she never even agreed to the date. I mean he walked off before she could say yes or no, so really she can just not go and if he says anything tell him she’s not interested. And if he continues to harass her, file a restraining order-or at least threaten to.
Don’t mess with me!
And you know what, when he asked Elinor if she had plans why didn’t she just say yes. Staying home and reading a book is plans. Not going out with you is plans. And its not lying.
Okaaaaaaaaaaay, strike what I said earlier. They up his creep factor as he’s been watching her for weeks. Dateline called-he’s totally giving off the profile of serial killer. (IsDateline too old of a reference?) Tell him no and get a restraining order.
Not going out with you.
Elinor agrees to go out as “He’s not too bad”. Hold up, Elinor that’s what I thought too at first, but the man’s been watching you for WEEKS! Serial killer profile right there.
On a side note-this guy kind of looks like Monk’s annoying neighbor. It’s not, but how much more awesome a Mr. Collins would he have made?
Grant’s advice “At least you get dinner out of it” True, true. Better order something expensive to make up for it. But then again how do you know he doesn’t plan on Elinor being his dinner!
Elinor goes home and finds her sister eating cereal even though it is 5:30 pm. Why, you may ask? Because the clock didn’t have batteries in it when Marianne hung it up, so she thought it was 11:45. Oh chuckie darn.
Ugh, why do they make Marianne so dumb and empty headed in modern adaptions. Yes, she was a romantic and yes she was not sensible-but that doesn’t mean you have to make her a dunce.
A dunce who doesn’t want a job. Geez, why does everyone do that? Why do they think because she is a romantic she is lazy?
How does that translate to “I’m lazy?”
Lizzie is trying to sell houses when she gets a call from ugh, Darcy. This actor makes him such a jerk I’d like to fastfoward any scene with him in it.
I know, sacrilege. But don’t blame me-it was the writers!
What an awful show, it actually made me hate on Darcy. No wonder it got canceled.
Sorry if I don’t like something, I’m extra cruel.
Elizabeth’s not super interested and a shocked that he would call her after their last meeting. But you know sadistic jerks like that kind of thing.
Lizzie gives in unlike how she would normally do. Seriously, Elizabeth would be all:
Elinor meets up with Marianne and Emma complaining. Marianne tells her just admit she’s not into him, a great idea. Emma cautions her against it as it “will be awkward.” Oh Emma…
Lizzie comes running up, not able to stay long as she has to go do her next showing. She tells them about how Darcy called, and she would have turned him down but the is going to be good. But don’t forget Lizzie, there is a big IF there, IF he actually buys a house. And I feel like that’s not happening.
Emma tries to warn Lizzie it is going to be hard as Darcy is just, urgh. She encourages Lizzie not to let Darcy make her feel bad or act like she doesn’t know her stuff. Stay strong girl. Be the Lizzie we know and love.
Back with Elinor and Marianne, Marianne is doing a job analysis board to try and figure out what she will be good at-and what she wants to do. Marianne is mostly looking for which job will give her acess to hot guys. Okay how did this:
One job she is interested in is a bookkeeper for a Construction company as she “will be looking at hot guys” and Elinor is all no they will be ugly, fat, and sweaty. Okay Elinor way to be super cruel. You don’t know that, and not every construction guy is fat. And maybe that’s just their genetics. Way to body shame.
And okay this takes place in 2015 and all the jobs she looks at are in the paper. I was job hunting in 2014-15-there was very little in the paper. Online was, and is, where it is at. She should be sitting at a computer sending her resume into LinkedIn, monster, zipdrive, doing online applications, and checking out Craigslist.
Lizzie goes to the office to see Darcy, which is a bad idea, but she needs to as she wants to speak to him about her commission and prove that she knows what she is doing. Darcy is a jerk, but finally agrees.
Elinor gets home and finds Marianne hanging out on the couch with Grant and Emma, Grant stretched out on her couch on top of Emma.
Uh..friends don’t do that-that’s a total relationship thing. Seriously.
They are there to help Elinor get rid of Collin and Marianne with her job search. They decide the best thing to do is dress bad, and Elinor does a mini-fashion show.
Elinor tries on different outfits, but ultimately puts on the one she originally had and they all declare it to be the one to scare him. Yeah saw that joke coming a mile away.
I waited so long for this joke I died…
Lizzie and Darcy start looking over houses…and we all know how this will go:
Darcy is so annoying…
He gives her his specifications of what he wants and expects her to have 20 houses for him to look at. Well hey dude, maybe you could have emailed me what you wanted!!!!! You ever think of that????!!!!!!!
If I was Lizzie I would have given him a verbal beatdown- classy and professionally- left, blocked his number, and walked away no looking back.
Lizzie brings up she didn’t know and he’s all-you didn’t ask. Well she did in the last episode. So there doofus.
Take this list, you jerk!
And his final thing of what he wants, it should appeal to one woman, Well if that’s the case why isn’t she looking at the homes? How am I supposed to find a house if I don’t even know this woman.
He is so abusive that I can hardly watch this. I don’t know who wrote him this way, but they obviously have never read the books. Darcy gives one comment in the books-one, and it isn’t even really against Elizabeth! It is more I don’t want to dance and I am going to say this so you will leave me alone. They are making him the biggest jerk ever. And verbally and emotionally abusive putting her down like that and berating her-everything is her fault. It’s awful!
Did you even READ the book!!??
Elinor and Collin are on their date, being the only ones at his favorite restaurant, weird. He orders for her which is a major NOOOO!
Back at the apartment, Grant and Emma are hanging out with Marianne, waiting for Elinor. I thought this whole interaction and the way that Grant and Emma are just always over and eating Elinor’s food is weird. I have never ever had friends do this unless we lived together. We’ll just wait at your house and eat your food until your date is done? Maybe come over when the date ends or the next day, but just hanging out without you in your home. That seems really strange to me. They must be limited on set, the restaurant took most of their budget.
So Marianne and Emma throw darts at Marianne’s job board to decide her next job. But they don’t tell us, means it is supposed to be a “joke”.
Back at the restaurant, Elinor is not enjoying her meal. Collin thinks she is trying to “not eat” on a date, as women do.
Collin reveals the real reason he took her out. He needs her help. She tries to tell him she’s not interested but he puts his hand up and says “don’t interrupt” OH NO YOU DID NOT.
It’s like an explosion of rage. I can’t stand when guys do that-urgh jut makes me furious.
He’s into Lizzie and wants Elinor’s help getting her. He thinks Lizzie is shy and thought approaching a friend is better than going straight for her. Elinor is not going to help, but C won’t listen. She has to state it again-NO.
Finally he gets it through his skull, and is not happy, but asks her to keep his secret. Even without her help he is going to go after Elizabeth anyway. Oh and he wants her to pay, since it wasn’t a “real date.”
Elinor fakes illness and takes off for home.
Marianne tries to find an outfit for job interview and her clothes are all behind the times. None if these are what people were wearing at the time.
No, no, no
Lizzie comes over to the house and complains about jerkface. Elinor also comes back and says that it was awful but she doesn’t want to talk about it.
The next day Marianne stops by to say hi to Emma. She applied as a physical therapist-but she has no degree or experience, so she didn’t get the job.
Like why is she so dumb?
It ends as she runs off to her interview as an astronomer.
That’s it for today, I’m out of her-and I’m not looking forward to the next episode. But as I like to say, “That’s a problem for future Moreland. She can deal with it.”
So back in 2015 I started going through Emma to celebrate her 200th anniversary.
I paused her to go through Northanger Abbey and Persuasion for their anniversary years, but have decided to throw her back into the mix with the others.
So as I was reading, I was thinking what a boring life Emma must have been living at the time “her story” starts.
So Emma and her sister were raised by a father who doted on them and the governess Miss Taylor. Miss Taylor was more a sister than an elder, so I imagine the girls must have had a lot of fun together.
But then Isabella married John Knightley and there was just the two girls.
And then Miss Taylor married…leaving Emma alone with a hypochondriac father.
And who did her father have for constant companions?
Besides her father, Miss and Mrs. Bates. Now Mrs. Bates is very old and Miss Bates is a kind, sweet woman but to Emma she is also dull, older, and not one Emma could have interesting conversation with.
And who else? Mrs. Goddard, the woman who owns and runs a boarding house. Also kind, caring, but much older than Emma and another she would find dreadfully dull.
Yes these were the ones that Emma spent most of her days with after the marriage of Miss Taylor to Mr. Weston.
Now what about Mr. Knightley, you may ask? Yes, it is true that he and Mr. Elton visited but…
“…Mrs. and Miss Bates, and Mrs. Goddard, three ladies [were] almost always at the service of an invitation from Hartfield, and who were fetched and carried home so often…” –Emma, pg 17
“These were the ladies that whom Emma found herself very frequently able to collect…She was delighted to see her father look comfortable…but the quiet prosings of three such women made her feel that every evening so spent was indeed one of the long evenings she had fearfully anticipated.” –Emma, pg 18-19
Ugh, I’m so bored!
No wonder she plunges herself heart and soul into breaking up Harriet and Robert and matching up Harriet and Mr. Elton. She bored out of her socks! Can you imagine spending every day for long periods of time with Miss Bates?
And then triple that with Mrs. Bates and Mrs. Goddard.
I think I’d be going mad for anything else to bring “excitement” into my life.
This made me think of when I was a child and mother brought me to all kinds of adult functions. She is a pastor and we had to go to everything, and I remember being bored out of my skull and wishing there was another kid there to do things with.
Good thing I had my books-
As I grew older I learned to take part in the conversation and grew less bored with being with people not in my years-but then again none of the people I have spent long periods of time with were as difficult to be with as Miss Bates.
Poor Emma-especially as one who doesn’t really play, read, sing, paint, embroider, etc-she has no escape. NO escape that is, except meddling!