Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance.
Emma Woodhouse has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her lovely friend and former governess, to Mr. Weston. Having introduced them, Emma takes credit for their marriage and decides that she likes matchmaking. After she returns home to Hartfield with her father, Emma forges ahead with her new interest against the advice of her sister's brother-in-law, Mr. Knightley, and tries to match her new friend Harriet Smith to Mr. Elton, the local vicar. First, Emma must persuade Harriet to refuse the marriage proposal from Robert Martin, a respectable, educated, and well-spoken young farmer, which Harriet does against her own wishes. However, Mr. Elton, a social climber, thinks that Emma is in love with him and proposes to her. When Emma tells him that she had thought him attached to Harriet, he is outraged. After Emma rejects him, Mr. Elton leaves for a stay at Bath and returns with a pretentious, nouveau-riche wife, as Mr. Knightley expected. Harriet is heartbroken, and Emma feels ashamed about misleading her.
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