Friday, 15 April 2016

2016 Classics Challenge: April

Hey guys! 
I'm another classic down, a lot sooner than usual as well! There's no video for this months, which sucks I know and it'll annoy me to be missing a month, but I should be back to normal soon and doing videos again! I think with this months classic it's safe to say I'm a Jane Austen fangirl! I've read Pride and Prejudice and Emma as part of this challenge and Persuasion when I was reviewing an edition of it, and I'm completely loving each one more than the other! I think Emma is now my favourite! I'll probably say the same each time I read a new Austen one that I haven't read before! 


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

As you can see, I read Emma this month and I got on with it a lot better than when I first started this challenge. I loved Pride and Prejudice but I did struggle a bit with the writing and the way of speech, now, seeing as Emma is written by the same author, I'm going to assume that I got on better with this because I've not gotten used to the writing of the time! 

Emma is all about Emma Woodhouse, a single lady living with her fragile father, Emma see's no need for marriage or love as she's perfectly content with her life as it is. Emma does however, enjoy playing with the love lives of others, she's something of a match maker. When Emma decides to ignore the advice of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempt to matchmake her protegee Harriet Smith, things don't go according to plan and there are consequences that she never expected. 

When I Discovered This Classic 

I'm (as usual) not entirely sure, Pride and Prejudice is the Austen classic I knew about first, and I guess I found out about this at around the same time, probably when I was reading about the author herself perhaps? Or when I started collecting classics! 

Why I Chose To Read It 

I chose to read Emma because I'd just won a copy of it, and I wasn't too sure what classic to read next or what options to get you guys to vote on, so I thought....why not read another Austen?! It helps that it also sounds really fun, I mean....matchmaking and romance and how wrong it can go...what's not to like?! 

What Makes It A Classic

I'm inclined to say that it's an Austen book so of course it's a classic! But honestly, the writing, the romance, the wit all of it make it a classic. It explores relationships while being humorous, and giving us a brilliant romance. We have a flawed female lead, she's certainly not perfect and you see her come to some realisations and see her change over the course of the book. It's just brilliantly done. Then there's the whole matchmaking catastrophe trying to match people up who like other people and so on, and you can see that in contemporary books done in different ways, and I feel like that plot in Emma is the original as it where. 

What I Thought of This Classic

I have to say, I haven't disliked an Austen book so far and after reading Emma I'm reluctant to point one out as a favourite. Every time I read a different Austen book it's my new favourite so I've decided I'll no longer have a favourite! This book was a lot of fun for me, because I could tell or had suspicions about who really liked who and I found a lot of humour in the book. I loved Emma and Knightley's banter, and their scenes together, I actually loved them so much as a couple. I could understand his actions, but Emma had no idea, it was hilarious because she's supposed to be such a brilliant matchmaker! I liked Emma, she was flawed, and had some not very nice qualities like her snobbery for instance, but at the same time, she shows so much patience to her father when she's dealing with him, she's always cheerful and I think she means well. I think she just wants to make people happy by finding them their perfect other half she just doesn't always get it right or go about it the right way, but I don't think she genuinely means any harm. Besides she changes over the course of the book and you can see it at the end with the Martins and how her opinion has changed. I think what endeared her to me was how she kept digging herself a hole in some situations and making things worse, like with Harriet! 

It has to be said, Mrs Elton was such a cow, and her husband wasn't much better like way to be bitter dude. Mrs Elton was so genuinely vile though! As usual Austen gives us a great many characters, each intriguing and having a very strong personality. There's a lot of mystery in this book, like what is Frank Churchill up to with Emma? What is he hiding? What's going on with him and Jane? You can see which characters are clearly up to something but it's trying to work out what, I must admit I was surprised and hadn't been expecting some of the reveals! 

I should also mention the setting of this book because WHEEY SURREY! Some of you might recall me sharing photos from the top of a hill, and the guy buried upside down on it? That would be Box Hill which is mentioned a lot in this book, it's about a half hour 45 minute drive away from me and we go up there for dinner sometimes so I could so easily picture the hill at the time of the book and the events that happen on it! They also mention Kingston as a lot which is my hometown and technically classed as London rather than Surrey, but I enjoyed seeing a lot of places that are well known to me in the book, described as they must have been at the time! 

Will It Stay A Classic

I think it will, I think all Austen books will because she's such an icon in literature. Each of her books has something different to the others about it, a different kind of romance and memorable characters and each has inspired many contemporary romance books. With Emma in particular, I think once you read it once, you want to read it again to see what you missed and to read it knowing what's going to happen or rather what's really going on, so you'll read it again and again and recommend it to others. 

Who I'd Recommend It To

I would recommend this to romance lovers everywhere! Like I said, I feel like Austen's books are the originals and a lot of contemporary romances take aspects from her books and change them around or use them with other things, so I feel like reading Austen's books are a must. The language, the time period, the romance it all creates a great book. I'd also recommend it to wannabe classics readers because while the language takes some getting used to, I think Austen's books are a good classic to start with as there's romance, and Austen's wit makes for some humorous scenes. 

My Editions

Hmmm, I don't actually have that many editions of Emma, which is a first for me! 
I have the Penguin English Library Edition which is the one pictured! 
Andddd the Penguin Clothbound Edition
Aaaaaand the Word Cloud Classic edition! 
There's a couple of other editions of it that I actually need for my collection, thinking about it! 


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