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by Jane Austin

Published in 1817, and considered by many as the first great English novel, Emma is remarkable for its readability despite its narrowness of scope: the entire plot takes place in a small English village between a few families, and is confined to the plotmaking schemes of Emma Woodbridge and her coming to terms with her smallmindedness.

It is delightful.

But not all have shared this viewpoint. Mark Twain considered Jane Austin's writing pinched. Thoureau thought her writing too urbane. As much as I enjoy both of these American writers and their philosophies, I think both are wrong about Jane Austin.


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