Study Guide

Emma Chapter Thirty-Four

By Jane Austen

Chapter Thirty-Four

  • Even though Emma hates Mrs. Elton, manners are manners. We’ve talked about this before, haven’t we?
  • Everyone has to throw a dinner party for a new bride. That’s just how it is.
  • Emma throws a dinner party for the Eltons.
  • She invites Harriet because she needs to have eight people in order to have an even table.
  • Harriet begs to be left out, but to no avail. Emma pushes her into coming.
  • At the last minute, Emma’s brother-in-law, Mr. John Knightley, announces that he’s coming through to drop off Emma’s nephews.
  • There’s a brief scramble to figure out how have an eight-person dinner with nine people, but it gets resolved smoothly.
  • At the party, there’s a long conversation about Jane’s walk to the post office. It’s fascinating. Aren’t all post offices? We won’t spoil your fun, however. You can read it yourself.
  • There’s another great conversation about handwriting. Emma declares that Frank Churchill has the best man’s handwriting that she’s ever seen.
  • Mr. Knightley thinks that Frank writes like a girl. And that’s not supposed to be a compliment.
  • The party all heads in to dinner.
  • Mrs. Elton strategically places herself on the end of the room closest to the dining room in order to make it seem like she’s the first person who walks into the dinner.

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