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  • Writer's pictureSiiri

Why Emma Woodhouse is My New Favourite Heroine

Dearest reader,

After reading (or listening) Jane Austen's 'Emma' I feel surprisingly delighted. While I love all Austen books there was something special about Emma that really set this novel apart from the rest: namely Emma Woodhouse – unlike other Austen heroines – is financially, emotionally and physically above marriage or, in other words, free from the need and shelter of marriage. However, when she does decide to marry it happens largely in her terms to a man who is consistently always there for Emma and is arguably the smartest bachelor out of all Austen's getlemen.

But there is more to why Emma has taken Elizabeth Bennet's place as my favorite Austen heroine so keep on reading!


Emma is unapologetically herself with high standards and a position of independence.

Yes, Emma is rich, handsome and clever (and a little snobish) but also well mannered and an absolute fierce friend. What's more, she has strong opinions as well as a deep sense of responsibilty.

Emma learns that the greatest love (or the best match) has to been found out on your own.

Even though Emma is desbribed as the picture of perfection, of course, she has her weaknesses. Her senses as a match maker are indeed a failure which even she has to admit. And due to these deep regrettes regarding her failed but enthusiastic efforts to form perfect pairs, in return, she ends up learning about her own heart. In the end, Emma becomes a better and kinder person which, in a way, makes you proud of her.

"I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other."

– Emma Woodhouse

Emma discovers that sometimes romance is right under your nose.

The romance of Emma and Mr. Knightly is wonderful because it is so natural in every way (well, except their age gap but since it wasn't a problem those days we shall not make it one now). There is nothing overly sweet about their courtship and everything that happens between them shows how perfectly the two balance each other. Even Mr. Knightly's declaration of love somehow feels more touching because it is so real and unpretentious.

Emma has a high value for friendships, especially when she has been proven wrong.

Emma's snobishness aside, I admire her abilities as a friend, especially to Harriet Smith who is both younger and lower in position than Emma. Namely, it seems as though Emma is willing to do anything for Harriet, defends her in all situations and praises those who see Harriet's merits. What is more, after loosing her prejudice towards Jane Fairfax Emma's eagerness to make friends and think good of Jane is a real compliment to Emma's excellent qualities as a friend.

For Emma, family comes first.

Emma's tender care for her silly yet adorable father is one of her best qualities. Her attentiveness and patience towards Mr. Woodhouse show such loving affection that you cannot help but appreciate her skillful management of Hartfield (The Woodhouse's home estate) and her father's healt requirements.


Who is your favorite Jane Austen heroine and why?


Yours truly,


P.S. if you liked this post tap the heart below so I know to make more like this!



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Feb 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love it, Siiri! Thanks for sharing this lovely blog post! I have to say, Emma has a special place in my heart and it's probably my favourite Jane Austen book (tied with Pride and Prejudice). Though I find Elizabeth Bennet more easy to like (Emma can be infuriating at times!), there's something striking and so relatable about Emma in all of her imperfections, in growing and maturing into who she has the potential to be. And she's just plain, good fun (when she's not making you pull your hair out), and is about as witty as you can get. I am confident that being married to Mr Knightley (who is definitely my favourite Austen male character), she can't go very…

Feb 27
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Hello there! Thank you for your lovely message 💕 I totally agree what you said about the differences of Elizabeth and Emma. Emma is younger than Elizabeth so she's a touch naive and stubborn in her views. Emma is also positioned higher in society than Miss Bennet therefore she propably feels a sense on leadership falling on her way and acts according to that. It's also interesting how both these characters have strong ideas of marriage: Elizabeth is the romantic settling for no less than a love match while Emma desist the whole idea for the sake of her Father yet still meddling with other people's feelings. It is as if Emma expects herself to be more knowledgable, objective on…

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