Study Guide

Emma Chapter Forty-Nine

By Jane Austen

Chapter Forty-Nine

  • Let us just interject a quick note:
  • Please read this chapter! Please! OK, we’re begging now. Please!
  • Ahem. We’ll begin again:
  • In the afternoon, the weather clears.
  • Emma wanders in the garden, thinking about her sad, sad future.
  • Suddenly, Mr. Knightley appears.
  • He’s returned from London.
  • He’s heard about Jane and Frank’s marriage.
  • Assuming that Emma still loves Frank, he gently begins to console her.
  • It takes awhile for Emma to figure out what’s happening, but when she catches on, she corrects him.
  • Mr. Knightley is silent for a few minutes, and then begins to talk about how happy Frank’s life is. At 23, Frank found the woman of his dreams.
  • Mr. Knightley declares that he envies Frank – and he asks Emma if she wants to know why.
  • Convinced that Mr. Knightley is about to reveal his feelings for Harriet, Emma tries to shut him up.
  • Mr. Knightley looks deeply hurt, but he agrees that Emma must be right.
  • Emma immediately feels sorry.
  • Wouldn’t a true friend want to help Mr. Knightley, even if it were at her own expense?
  • She asks Mr. Knightley – as a friend – to tell her what he meant.
  • Mr. Knightley confesses that he loves Emma.
  • He just wants to know that he could someday have the chance to make her love him.
  • Love birds start singing. Bands start playing.
  • Not really. But Emma’s pretty happy. And she tells Mr. Knightley that she loves him.
  • Now they’re both really happy. For several pages.
  • They agree to get married.
  • Of course.