Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, had achieved nearly twenty-one years...
Emma Woodhouse; Henry Woodhouse; George Knightley; Harriet Smith; Mrs. Weston; Mr. Weston; Mr. Elton; Miss Bates; Mrs. Bates; Mrs. Goddard; Robert Martin
Miss Emma Woodhouse takes an interest in the matrimonial prospects of Harriet Smith, an orphan of uncertain parentage, discouraging her propensity toward farmer Robert Martin and steering her toward Mr. Elton, the local vicar.
Emma Woodhouse; George Knightley; Harriet Smith; Mr. Elton; Henry Woodhouse; Isabella Knightley; John Knightley; Mr. Weston; Mrs. Weston; Miss Bates; Mrs. Bates; Jane Fairfax; Colonel Campbell (flashback)
Emma's plans for Harriet Smith come to naught when Mr. Elton makes a shocking overture to Emma herself. Emma's rival Jane Fairfax comes to visit her cousins in town.
Emma Woodhouse; George Knightley; Henry Woodhouse; Jane Fairfax; Miss Bates; Harriet Smith; Mr. Elton; Frank Churchill; Mr. Weston; Mrs. Weston; Robert Martin (flashback)
The arrival of Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son, arouses great interest among the ladies, but he is not universally admired by the men. Mr. Elton returns from a trip to Bath as an engaged man, to Emma's great relief. Emma comes to believe that Frank Churchill has developed a strong regard for her, but she is disturbed at a rumor that Mr. Knightley might marry Jane Fairfax.
Emma Woodhouse; Harriet Smith; Mrs. Weston; Mr. Elton; Mrs. Elton; Jane Fairfax; George Knightley; Henry Woodhouse; Mr. Weston; Frank Churchill; Miss Bates
The new Mrs. Elton is found by many to be petty, grasping, and rude, yet they must endure her company for the sake of propriety. Emma decides that Frank Churchill might be better suited to a match with Harriet Smith than to Emma herself. Mr. Knightley, however, is of the opinion that Frank is inclined in a completely different direction.
Emma Woodhouse; George Knightley; Mrs. Elton; Mr. Elton; Henry Woodhouse; Jane Fairfax; Mr. Weston; Mrs. Weston; Miss Bates; Frank Churchill
When Emma makes a particularly rude comment to Miss Bates. she is remonstrated by Mr. Knightley, to her chagrin. She is later horrified to learn that Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax have been secretly engaged for several months, and that Harriet believes that Mr. Knightley may be about to propose to her. Fortunately, it turns out that Mr. Knightley's proposal is made to Emma herself.