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Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ Audiobook read by Prunella Scales

February 27, 2011

As with a number of Jane Austen’s key novels, I love to read ‘Emma’ on a fairly regular basis. It is a bright and fun story, full of witty humor, and comes complete with a slight cautionary tale as well. Where she thought herself glowing with strengths, Emma learns her weaknesses, and gains wisdom through her growing pains. A somewhat spoilt girl with a fairly easy life, awakes to a few realities. Still, the story is all quite light and airy. There is a little discomfort for Emma at one point, but true happiness, love and marriage in the end.

Beyond the delicious romance of this treasure of a tale, I personally adore all the familial fun. Emma’s father, Mr. Woodhouse, the supreme valetudinarian, is a darling as he worries about his and everyone else’s health. Emma’s sister and husband are also enjoyable, as are many friends and neighbors in the story.

This was the Jane Austen novel I recommended my daughters read first, many years ago. I thought it a great start into the world of Austen. Indeed, it was my first recommendation to them of all the feminine classic literature that I adore. I advised them to start with ‘Emma’. It seemed ‘easier reading’ for high literature somehow, and the story is so highly entertaining, especially to youthful young ladies, that I thought it a great way to introduce them to classic British literature of the best and highest kind. I’ve recommended ‘Emma’ to many young and even older women who haven’t tasted this kind of wordsmith finery before.

I’ve become a grand fan of well-done audio-books, for ‘reading with my ears’ when not actually reading for myself. With this Emma rendition at my fingertips, I can hear the novel in-between times. What better way to listen to an audio book than done by a brilliant professional actress like Prunella Scales. She does a wonderful job and I couldn’t be happier with her voice tonality, interpretation and accents. Having played Miss Bates in a movie version of Emma, you may recognize her voice in that character, but she also plays everyone else in the story excellently.

There are numerous reasons to choose a top-notch audio book. While painting, driving, folding laundry, cooking or cleaning, or even simply ‘not sleeping’, I can easily absorb Emma and other masterpieces time and time again! I highly recommend this one!

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