by Jane Austen
Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son, arrives for a two-week visit and makes many friends. Frank was adopted by his wealthy and domineering aunt, and has had few opportunities to visit before. Mr. Knightley tells Emma that, while Frank is intelligent and engaging, he has a shallow character. Jane Fairfax also arrives to visit her aunt, Miss Bates, and grandmother, Mrs. Bates, for a few months, before starting a governess position due to her family's financial situation. She is the same age as Emma and has received an excellent education by her father's friend, Colonel Campbell. Emma has remained somewhat aloof with her because she envies Jane's talent and is annoyed by everyone, including Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley, praising her. The patronizing Mrs. Elton takes Jane under her wing and announces that she will find her the ideal governess post before it is wanted. Emma feels some sympathy for Jane's predicament.
Emma decides that Jane and Mr. Dixon, Colonel Campbell's new son-in-law, are mutually attracted, and is the reason she arrived earlier than expected. She confides this to Frank, who met Jane and the Campbells at a vacation spot a year earlier; he apparently agrees with Emma. Suspicions are further fuelled when a piano, sent by an anonymous benefactor, arrives for Jane. Emma feels herself falling in love with Frank, but it does not last to his second visit. The Eltons treat Harriet poorly, culminating with Mr. Elton publicly snubbing Harriet at the ball given by the Westons in May. Mr. Knightley, who had long refrained from dancing, gallantly asks Harriet to dance. The day after the ball, Frank brings Harriet to Hartfield; she fainted after a rough encounter with local gypsies. Emma mistakes Harriet's gratitude to Frank as her being in love with him. Meanwhile, Mrs. Weston wonders if Mr. Knightley fancies Jane, but Emma dismisses that. When Mr. Knightley says he notices a connection between Jane and Frank, Emma disagrees, as Frank appears to be courting her instead. Frank arrives late to a gathering at Donwell in June, while Jane departs early. Next day at Box Hill, a local scenic spot, Frank and Emma are bantering when Emma, in jest, thoughtlessly insults Miss Bates.
Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often...More on Jane Austen
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