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by Jane Austen

Emma Chapter Forty-Seven Summary

  • Immediately concerned about Harriet – who’s about to be snubbed for the second time – Emma hurries home.
  • As she walks, she thinks about all the things that she could have done differently had she known about the engagement.
  • For one thing, she might have liked Jane much more.
  • And she wouldn’t have made fun of her with Frank.
  • It now occurs to her that all of her attempts to befriend Jane when she was ill were probably arrows into Jane’s heart.
  • Just think about how badly Frank ignored her at Box Hill – and how much he flirted with Emma!
  • Emma regrets that Mr. Weston swore her to secrecy about the engagement.
  • Surprisingly, Emma meets Harriet at the gate of Hartfield – and Harriet has already heard all about the engagement.
  • She met Mr. Weston on the road.
  • Apparently Mr. Weston has a pretty broad definition of the word "secret."
  • Harriet relates the news to Emma with apparent joy. She’s not even a little bit upset.
  • Emma’s totally confused.
  • Wasn’t Harriet madly in love with Frank? How can she be so calm about the utter failure of her plans – again?
  • Emma asks Harriet why she’s not upset.
  • Harriet is confused (big surprise).
  • She explains to Emma that the man she loves – the man she agreed never to name – is so totally completely better than Frank that she never even thought about Frank.
  • Not for a second.
  • Emma feels the ground drop from under her.
  • Could Harriet mean Mr. Knightley?
  • Yup. As it turns out, Harriet loves Mr. Knightley.
  • And, to make matters worse, she thinks that Emma supports her love.
  • What about the fact that Frank rescued Harriet from the gypsies?
  • We’re so glad you asked. In fact, Emma asks the same question.
  • As it turns out, the "rescue" Harriet was thinking about was when Mr. Knightley asked her to dance.
  • Mortal terror versus social awkwardness?
  • It’s an easy call. It’s ALWAYS worse to be left alone at a dance!
  • Emma suddenly can’t hear Harriet talking – her mind is moving too fast.
  • In a flash, Emma realizes that Harriet can’t love Mr. Knightley.
  • SHE loves him!
  • There are a few moments of dramatic self-revelation. It’s pretty amazing, actually.
  • Emma slowly realizes that there’s another problem: what if Mr. Knightley loves Harriet?
  • Harriet explains why she thinks Mr. Knightley might like her.
  • As Emma listens, her heart sinks.
  • Maybe Mr. Knightley does like Harriet.
  • Emma shudders at the thought. Harriet totally doesn’t deserve him.
  • Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time that an amazing man married a stupid woman.
  • Confused, Emma tells Harriet to leave.
  • Left alone with her thoughts, Emma realizes that she’s always loved Mr. Knightley.
  • She finally recognizes that it was pretty vain to assume that she could understand everyone else’s loves – when, really, she had no idea what her own feelings were!

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