Study Guide

Emma Chapter Fifty-Five

By Jane Austen

Chapter Fifty-Five

  • Harriet returns from London.
  • She and Emma have a rather strained first meeting – but Harriet is too happy to stay angry long.
  • She marries Robert.
  • Once her father (a merchant) hears that she’s getting married, he provides a yearly sum for her.
  • Emma spends a few minutes thinking about what sort of match she once imagined for Mr. Knightley: the illegitimate daughter of a merchant? Really?
  • Emma and Mr. Knightley had agreed not to get married until Mr. John Knightley and Isabella can come to the wedding (and be with Mr. Woodhouse for the honeymoon).
  • Unfortunately, Mr. Woodhouse believes that the marriage won’t occur for at least another year or two (or three).
  • Why rush things?
  • After all, marriage is marriage. It’s best to put it off as long as possible.
  • Luckily, a minor disaster occurs.
  • Someone robs Mrs. Weston’s henhouse.
  • Mr. Woodhouse, petrified that his home will soon be vandalized, urges Emma to marry at once.
  • And so she does.
  • They have a lovely, simple wedding.
  • Mrs. Elton thinks it’s rather shabby.

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