On this day….
15th December 1815 Jane Austin’s “Emma” was published.
Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich.” Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people’s lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.
This formula of novel-writing has been re-written and adapted many times for both television and theatre. One of the recent adaptions that managed to adapt the attention of younger generations was Clueless (1995) by Amy Heckerling. This movie follows the formula of Emma but adapted to a include a modern-day high school society and spoilt teenager.
But both this novel and movie show the success of using an often irritable protagonist.