Emma can be enjoyed as a charming love story, a detective story, and a comic and lively picture of English life 200 years ago.
Austen's beautiful, clever, wilful but fallible heroine Emma Woodhouse believes she knows best. Perfectly content with her life she sees no need for either love or marriage, yet nothing pleases her more than meddling in the romantic lives of others. But when she fails to heed the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and schemes to arrange a suitable match for her protégée, Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. She discovers that she understands the feelings of others as little as she does her own heart.
With a cast of unforgettable characters, it is a lively comedy of manners that explores the concerns of genteel women living in Regency times.
Jane Austen was an English writer known primarily for her six major novels which focused on the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Her plots often explore women's dependence on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.
Jenny Agutter began her acting career as a child in 1964's East of Sudan and is well known for appearing in three adaptations of The Railway Children. She starred in the critically acclaimed 1971 film Walkabout as well as receiving a string of Hollywood roles. She won an Emmy for her role in The Snow Goose (1971), as well as a BAFTA for her role in Equus (1997).
More recently she has appeared in several television dramas, including Spooks (2002-2003), and Call the Midwife since 2012. She has performed in numerous theatre productions, including roles with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has also narrated audiobooks like Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, and featured in the Doctor Who audio dramas inThe Bride of Peladon, and The Minister of Chance. In 2012 she was appointed OBE for her charity work.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Birgit on 19-01-12
Not good enough
I've known the novel for at least 30 years, and though it is not my favourite Jane Austen, I have enjoyed reading it and enjoyed the dramatisations of it, and was looking forward to the listening to it being read aloud.
Unfortunately Jenny Agutter goes through it as if she isn't really interested in it, like she's waiting for the bell to release her from the classroom. She speaks quite fast and does not use her voice much to characterise the different characters. She is a fine actress, but it seems that the combination of Jane Austen and Jenny Agutter does not really work. A great pity.
I would recommend you to try another recording of the book. They are better.
24 of 26 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 13-11-09
I love jane austen's Emma and Jenny Agutter. The two together don't work for me. It takes a long while for Jenny Agutter to get into the characters, and for the first part of the book its difficult to work out who is speaking. By the end she has mastered it - but her Mr Knightly is dull and boorish whilst Emma is silly and snobbish. I struggled through the last 2 hours out of duty rather than enjoyment. The saving grace are Miss Bates and Mrs Elton. They are both done excellently.
28 of 32 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Elizabeth on 14-05-10
Jenny Agutter gives one of the best readings I've heard here. This is a wonderful, witty, and wise rendering of the novel. Her characterizations are subtle and smart; it's clear she's given such care and attention to the novel and to Austen's world. Her skill in delivering the meaning and emotion of the words makes this such a delightful journey. Loved it!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 05-02-13
Matchmaker thy name is Folly
This age old favourite by Jane Austin is always pleasing. The characters are well drawn and interesting. The main character, Emma may be, " handsome, clever and rich" and have an exceptionally pleasant lot in life but she has some important lessons to learn.
Humility and being less judgmental of those around her are two for a start and then there is her profound belief that she is a matchmaker without exception!
Many of her views on those she believes beneath her station or attention might be held to be unacceptable today. However, at the time the book was written her views would have been considered quite correct and "proper" for a young lady born in her circumstances. For all her failings it must be said that she has a good heart and luckily for her she has Mr Knightly as her conscience and guardian angel so all ends happily.
I like Jenny Agguter but in this instance the speed at which she read the book was disappointing and had I not known the story so well I might have had to re-listen in some sections. Hence the 4 stars for performance.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful