From the editor of the popular Annotated Pride and Prejudice comes an annotated edition of Jane Austen’s Emma that makes her beloved tale of an endearingly inept matchmaker an even more satisfying read. Here is the complete text of the novel with more than 2,200 annotations on facing pages, including:

-Explanations of historical context
-Citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writings
-Definitions and clarifications
-Literary comments and analysis
-Maps of places in the novel
-An introduction, bibliography, and detailed chronology of events
-Nearly 200 informative illustrations

Filled with fascinating information about everything from the social status of spinsters and illegitimate children to the shopping habits of fashionable ladies to English attitudes toward gypsies, David M. Shapard’s Annotated Emma brings Austen’s world into richer focus.
Though the domain of Jane Austen’s novels was as circumscribed as her life, her caustic wit and keen observation made her the equal of the greatest novelists in any language. Born the seventh child of the rector of Steventon, Hampshire, on December 16, 1775, she was educated mainly at home. At an early age she began writing sketches and satires of popular novels for her family’s entertainment. As a clergyman’s daughter from a well-connected family, she had ample opportunity to study the habits of the middle class, the gentry, and the aristocracy. At 21, she began a novel called “The First Impressions,” an early version of Pride and Prejudice. In 1801, on her father’s retirement, the family moved to the fashionable resort of Bath. Two years later she sold the first version of Northanger Abby to a London publisher, but the first of her novels to appear in print was Sense and Sensibility, published at her own expense in 1811. It was followed by Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). After her father died in 1805, the family first moved to Southampton then to Chawton Cottage in Hampshire. Despite this relative retirement, Jane Austen was still in touch with a wider world, mainly through her brothers; one had become a very rich country gentleman, another a London banker, and two were naval officers. Though her many novels were published anonymously, she had many early and devoted readers, among them the Prince Regent and Sir Walter Scott. In 1816, in declining health, Austen wrote Persuasion and revised Northanger Abby. Her last work, Sandition, was left unfinished at her death on July 18, 1817. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Austen’s identity as an author was announced to the world posthumously by her brother Henry, who supervised the publication of Northanger Abby and Persuasion in 1818. View titles by Jane Austen
David M. Shapard is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, The Annotated Persuasion, The Annotated Sense and Sensibility, The Annotated Emma, The Annotated Northanger Abbey, and The Annotated Mansfield Park. He graduated with a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California at Berkeley; his specialty was the eighteenth century. Since then he has taught at several colleges. He lives in upstate New York. View titles by David M. Shapard

Volume One

Chapter One

Emma Woodhouse(1), handsome(2), clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world withvery little to distress or vex her.

She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father, and had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period.(3)  Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.(4)

Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr. Woodhouse's family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor's judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.(5)

The real evils(6) indeed of Emma's situation were the powerof having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments.(7 )The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

*    *    *  

(1) Emma is the only of Jane Austen's complete novels to be named after its heroine. The title reflects the great extent to which Emma revolves around its main character, as does its beginning with a description of her (the only other Austen novel to begin this way is Northanger Abbey). the author may have chosen the name "emma" precisely because of the character's centrality, for it seems to have been a favorite name with her. she uses it for the heroine of an unfinished novel, The Watsons, and her fondness for it appears in several letters in which she expresses a wish that someone had the name, disgust that a person with it married someone with an unattractive name, or special indignation that a young lady deprived of sufficent dancing partners should be an Emma (Nov. 30, 1800; April 21, 1805; Dec. 9, 1808). The name's use in England stemmed from its being the name of a medieval queen; after a period in which it fell into disuse, it again became popular in the eighteenth century. 

(2) handsome: attractive. The word was often used to describe women then and had no masculine connotation.

(3) "Mistress of the house" was not simply an honarary title, bestowed here on the sole female in the family, but usually a position of real responsibility. The mistress managed the household, which would include hiring and supervising the servants (in families wealthy enough to have them), deciding on meals, purchasing food and other supplies, and keeping the household budget. She was also expected to serve as hostess for visitors and to perform charitable acts in the neighborhood. Men who lacked a wife or adult daughter would frequently have a sister or other female relative perform these functions. In Emma's case, since she was twelve when her sister married (p. 62), she probably shared these duties with her governess for a while and then assumed full responsibility later.

(4) It was standard for girls in wealthy families to have governesses who took charge of their education; in some cases, girls would also attend school for a few years when older.

(5)  Girls usually finished their education by eighteen, so this more equal situation would have prevailed for at least three years. A family would typically dismiss a governess at that point; Mr. Woodhouse's rentention of Miss Taylor testifies to two of his leading characteristics, a kind solicitude for others and a hatred of anything that could disturb his existing routine.

(6) evils: drawbacks, disadvantages. "Evil" then was used more widely than today, and with not as strong a connotation of malevolence.

(7) The author here announces the central theme of the novel,  namely the way that Emma's many advantages, personal and social, have led her to an excessive confidence and vanity that will bring trouble to herself and others. Of course, many, including Emma herself, would not regard these two things, especially the power of having her own way, as disadvantages. But Jane Austen, in keeping with strong cultural and intellectual currents of the time, believed firmly in the need for humility and self-restraint, and she frequently demonstrates these principles in her writings.

About

From the editor of the popular Annotated Pride and Prejudice comes an annotated edition of Jane Austen’s Emma that makes her beloved tale of an endearingly inept matchmaker an even more satisfying read. Here is the complete text of the novel with more than 2,200 annotations on facing pages, including:

-Explanations of historical context
-Citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writings
-Definitions and clarifications
-Literary comments and analysis
-Maps of places in the novel
-An introduction, bibliography, and detailed chronology of events
-Nearly 200 informative illustrations

Filled with fascinating information about everything from the social status of spinsters and illegitimate children to the shopping habits of fashionable ladies to English attitudes toward gypsies, David M. Shapard’s Annotated Emma brings Austen’s world into richer focus.

Author

Though the domain of Jane Austen’s novels was as circumscribed as her life, her caustic wit and keen observation made her the equal of the greatest novelists in any language. Born the seventh child of the rector of Steventon, Hampshire, on December 16, 1775, she was educated mainly at home. At an early age she began writing sketches and satires of popular novels for her family’s entertainment. As a clergyman’s daughter from a well-connected family, she had ample opportunity to study the habits of the middle class, the gentry, and the aristocracy. At 21, she began a novel called “The First Impressions,” an early version of Pride and Prejudice. In 1801, on her father’s retirement, the family moved to the fashionable resort of Bath. Two years later she sold the first version of Northanger Abby to a London publisher, but the first of her novels to appear in print was Sense and Sensibility, published at her own expense in 1811. It was followed by Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). After her father died in 1805, the family first moved to Southampton then to Chawton Cottage in Hampshire. Despite this relative retirement, Jane Austen was still in touch with a wider world, mainly through her brothers; one had become a very rich country gentleman, another a London banker, and two were naval officers. Though her many novels were published anonymously, she had many early and devoted readers, among them the Prince Regent and Sir Walter Scott. In 1816, in declining health, Austen wrote Persuasion and revised Northanger Abby. Her last work, Sandition, was left unfinished at her death on July 18, 1817. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Austen’s identity as an author was announced to the world posthumously by her brother Henry, who supervised the publication of Northanger Abby and Persuasion in 1818. View titles by Jane Austen
David M. Shapard is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, The Annotated Persuasion, The Annotated Sense and Sensibility, The Annotated Emma, The Annotated Northanger Abbey, and The Annotated Mansfield Park. He graduated with a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California at Berkeley; his specialty was the eighteenth century. Since then he has taught at several colleges. He lives in upstate New York. View titles by David M. Shapard

Excerpt

Volume One

Chapter One

Emma Woodhouse(1), handsome(2), clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world withvery little to distress or vex her.

She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father, and had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period.(3)  Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.(4)

Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr. Woodhouse's family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor's judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.(5)

The real evils(6) indeed of Emma's situation were the powerof having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments.(7 )The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

*    *    *  

(1) Emma is the only of Jane Austen's complete novels to be named after its heroine. The title reflects the great extent to which Emma revolves around its main character, as does its beginning with a description of her (the only other Austen novel to begin this way is Northanger Abbey). the author may have chosen the name "emma" precisely because of the character's centrality, for it seems to have been a favorite name with her. she uses it for the heroine of an unfinished novel, The Watsons, and her fondness for it appears in several letters in which she expresses a wish that someone had the name, disgust that a person with it married someone with an unattractive name, or special indignation that a young lady deprived of sufficent dancing partners should be an Emma (Nov. 30, 1800; April 21, 1805; Dec. 9, 1808). The name's use in England stemmed from its being the name of a medieval queen; after a period in which it fell into disuse, it again became popular in the eighteenth century. 

(2) handsome: attractive. The word was often used to describe women then and had no masculine connotation.

(3) "Mistress of the house" was not simply an honarary title, bestowed here on the sole female in the family, but usually a position of real responsibility. The mistress managed the household, which would include hiring and supervising the servants (in families wealthy enough to have them), deciding on meals, purchasing food and other supplies, and keeping the household budget. She was also expected to serve as hostess for visitors and to perform charitable acts in the neighborhood. Men who lacked a wife or adult daughter would frequently have a sister or other female relative perform these functions. In Emma's case, since she was twelve when her sister married (p. 62), she probably shared these duties with her governess for a while and then assumed full responsibility later.

(4) It was standard for girls in wealthy families to have governesses who took charge of their education; in some cases, girls would also attend school for a few years when older.

(5)  Girls usually finished their education by eighteen, so this more equal situation would have prevailed for at least three years. A family would typically dismiss a governess at that point; Mr. Woodhouse's rentention of Miss Taylor testifies to two of his leading characteristics, a kind solicitude for others and a hatred of anything that could disturb his existing routine.

(6) evils: drawbacks, disadvantages. "Evil" then was used more widely than today, and with not as strong a connotation of malevolence.

(7) The author here announces the central theme of the novel,  namely the way that Emma's many advantages, personal and social, have led her to an excessive confidence and vanity that will bring trouble to herself and others. Of course, many, including Emma herself, would not regard these two things, especially the power of having her own way, as disadvantages. But Jane Austen, in keeping with strong cultural and intellectual currents of the time, believed firmly in the need for humility and self-restraint, and she frequently demonstrates these principles in her writings.

2024 Middle and High School Collections

The Penguin Random House Education Middle School and High School Digital Collections feature outstanding fiction and nonfiction from the children’s, adult, DK, and Grupo Editorial divisions, as well as publishers distributed by Penguin Random House. Peruse online or download these valuable resources to discover great books in specific topic areas such as: English Language Arts,

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more