The sequel to Jane Austen’s best-loved novel, Emma, by the author of the international best-seller ‘Pemberley’.
This is the story of Emma two years after she has married Mr Knightley. There may be harmony between them but Emma is frankly bored. Mr Knightley is affectionate; but he is in reality an old friend, who has, in his own words, ‘lectured and blamed’ Emma, sixteen years younger than he, all her life. Knightley is no Mr Darcy.
To amuse herself, Emma decides to take up matchmaking again, whether her husband will have it or no. But this time Emma is playing for dangerously high stakes. John Knightley – her brother-in-law, poor widowed John – is in need of a wife and stepmother to his numerous family. So when a fascinating young woman enters Highbury society, Emma sees at last a golden opportunity. Eliza d’Arblay is of French birth. Her parents, the Comte and Comtesse d’Arblay, fled the French Revolution in 1795. It is now 1815, and Eliza is 20 years old. She is intriguing and romantic as only a beautiful young Frenchwoman can be. Her dresses are more elegant; her accomplishments far superior to anything Highbury has ever seen. John Knightley is introduced and begins to fall in love. But Eliza is not all she seems. Just as a marriage is announced, strange evidence of a very different past begins to emerge. And, most disconcertingly of all, we are led to ponder the meaning of Mr Knightley’s statement, early on in Emma, that he would like to ‘see Emma in love’. Perhaps, disastrously, she is; but the object of her desires cannot be said to be suitable to Highbury – or to Mr Knightley – at all..