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An Annotated Edition

Jane Austen

Edited by Bharat Tandon

ISBN 9780674048843

Publication date: 09/17/2012

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Emma, perhaps the most technically accomplished of all of Austen’s novels, is also, after Pride and Prejudice, her most popular one. Its numerous film and television adaptations testify to the world’s enduring affection for the headstrong, often misguided Emma Woodhouse and her many romantic schemes. Like the previous volumes in Harvard’s celebrated annotated Austen series, Emma: An Annotated Edition is a beautiful and illuminating gift edition that will be treasured by readers.

Stimulating and helpful annotations appear in the book’s margins, offering information, definitions, and commentary. In his Introduction, Bharat Tandon suggests several ways to approach the novel, enabling a larger appreciation of its central concerns and accomplishments. Appearing throughout the book are many illustrations, often in color, which help the reader to better picture the Regency-era world that serves as the stage for Emma’s matchmaking adventures.

Whether explaining the intricacies of early nineteenth-century dinner etiquette or speculating on Highbury’s deliberately imprecise geographical location, Tandon serves as a delightful and entertaining guide. For those coming to the novel for the first time or those returning to it, Emma: An Annotated Edition offers a valuable portal to Austen’s world.


  • Its large size and heavy weight, complemented by thick, wood-textured endpapers, acid-free cream-vellum paper, generous margins and woven bindings suggest an object important in its own right, an object and a form that will not go quietly into the good night. Its rich illustrations range from frontispieces and portraits to caricatures and Regency fashion plates, including a fine one for the Beaver Hat. Tandon’s explanatory notes are similarly comprehensive and serve to link Austen not only to contemporaries such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Wollstonecraft and Charles Lamb, but also to lexical and thematic lines that run backwards, from Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding to Seneca, and forwards to James Joyce and the contemporary novelist Edward St Aubyn… Tandon’s notes often function as brief scholarly and historic articles in their own right, and the combined effect of these notes and illustrations is an edition of almost Talmudic ambition, but one that carries its erudition without sacrificing readability… Tandon’s notes are superb… One of the great merits of Tandon’s edition is that, without breaking the spell of Austen’s fiction, he presents her work as so very much of her time, whether that be in her conceptual relation to moralists such as Samuel Johnson, or in the social resonances of foodstuffs, clothing and card games.

    —Jonathan Sachs, Times Literary Supplement


  • Bharat Tandon is Lecturer in the School of Literature, Drama, and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and the author of Jane Austen and the Morality of Conversation.

Book Details

  • 576 pages
  • 9 x 9-1/2 inches
  • Belknap Press

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