Dueling portraits of power and influence in Emma and Knightley, and The Great Jane-Austen Showdown, part 2
Wow! That was a long, wild ride - really fun! Favorite quote: "...readers of this novel for 200 years are being forced into the surprising, upside-down position of having a heroine that defends the status quo, while a patriarchal figure challenges it with this vision of 'true gentility' powered by affection and respect, rather than arbitrary status and wealth." Thanks also for the Sulloway book recommendation; I'm intrigued 🙂
One of my favorites is Austen's penchant as to how the loved one shall be named. Austen definitely uses this in Emma -- and Joe Wright played with this perfectly in the close of his film Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley, making me think he was or is a deep reader of Austen. Not sure I'm correct about this, but I do adore the scene in Chapter 53 of Emma.
I absolutely adore this blog. Thank you. It makes my life better.
What a wonderful examination of this truly great scene, thank you. You are right to draw attention to the real friendship between Mr Knightley and Robert Martin. One thing which I only noticed on the third or fourth reading of 'Emma,' was that the John Knightleys host Robert in London, and they all go to Astley's with Harriet (and of course on this visit they are reconciled) - he is considered pretty much as a brother by both Knightley men. Along with Miss Taylor's marriage at the start of the book, this statement of Austen's radical - even utopian! - meritocracy bookends the novel at the end.
Loved this thorough investigation of one of my favourite scenes in Emma! Emma is probably my favourite Austen novel anyway, and Emma and Knightley are great sparring partners.