December marked the 200 anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Emma. The title page of the John Murray first edition reads "1816" but the book was actually released on December 23, 1815, making this brief tribute both timely and belated.
Emma Woodhouse, the heroine that Austen declared, "no one but myself will much like," is the headstrong and indulged younger daughter of a Henry Woodhouse, a country gentleman. Unlike Austen's other heroines Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood, Emma is rich and therefore not in need of a husband to provide her with financial security. Her entitled position in the little town of Highbury has set Emma up at the age of twenty as an unchecked meddler in the lives of her neighbors, especially in their love lives. Complications ensue, some painful. All is resolved happily in the end.