We ask can a film ever be as good as the book its based on?
Emma by Jane Austen, is a novel about youth and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of "3 or 4 families in a country village".The novel was first published in December 1815, with its title page listing a publication date of 1816. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters and depicts issues of marriage, sex, age, and social status.
Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the first sentence, she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition... and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." Emma is spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.
Emma, written after Austen's move to Chawton, was the last novel to be completed and published during her life, as persuasion the last novel Austen wrote, was published posthumously.
This novel has been adapted for several films, many television programmes, and a long list of stage plays. It is also the inspiration for several novels. One of our librarians went to see it at the weekend and we asked her what she made of this new modern adaptation.
“I have spent a very happy couple of hours enjoying the new film version of Jane Austen's Emma. Anya Taylor-Joy is perfect in the title role with Johnny Flynn oozing charisma as Mr Knighltey the hero of the piece. If you were bowled over by Colin Firth's Darcy you should be bowled over by Johnny Flynn even more. He is second only to Theo James as Sidney parker in ITV's Sanditon in my list of favourite Austen screen heroes. My favourite moment of the whole film had to be when Emma and Mr Knightley dance together and realise their feelings for each other. The chemistry between the two of them is electric and really comes across to the viewer.
The costumes were everything you would expect from a Jane Austen adaptation and all the romance a viewer could wish for was there in this film. There was plenty of fun and humour too. The well known commediene Miranda hart brings all her hilarity to the role of Miss Bates, and the mixture of jaunty folk music and opera on the soundtrack works perfectly”.
If watching this film has inspired you to read some Jane Austen for the first time or you just would like to re read some of your favourites, Darlington Library can supply you with your Austen fix, just ask us and we can find you one of these romantic classics to enjoy. Our online catalogue is the quickest way you can find a book you’re looking for and is available through our website, or our friendly staff are happy to help you. We keep lots of books in our bookstore so if you can’t find what you’re looking for on our shelves its always worth asking. We also offer a request service so can sometimes buy a new borrowable copy of a book in especially for you, or loan it from another library across the UK so we will always help in anyway we can.