intellectual solitude.

Category: Gender | Type: Discussion | Title: Emma (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Vol: Volume I | Ch: Chapter I

Emma's lonely position at the pinnacle of Highbury society means that upon Miss Taylor's marriage she will be left largely to the consolations of her father's conversation. Mercifully for her he sleeps much of the time. Otherwise she has needlework, reading, writing letters, the pianoforté, and drawing.

England is northerly, the sun setting in London on Oct 31 at about 4:30 and deepening until the solstice. Emma's isolation in winter with only her father for hourly company defines one dread facet of the life of a handsome, clever, and rich woman in the country. Unchallenged by women her own age of comparable intellectual gifts, Emma's self-centeredness expands to fill the void.

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