Study Guide

Emma Chapter Twenty-Two

By Jane Austen

Chapter Twenty-Two

  • The soon-to-be-Mrs. Elton is the talk of the town. Somehow all the gossips know all her dirty little secrets, even though she hasn’t yet set foot in Highbury.
  • Miss Augusta Hawkins has £10,000 to her name (let’s keep this in perspective here, folks – Emma’s got £20,000, so we could say that Mr. Elton is settling).
  • Hearing about Miss Hawkins, Emma decides that she’s really no better than Harriet in anything but her pocketbook.
  • Miss Hawkins is not from a good family – in fact, her only claim to fame is a newly-rich brother-in-law. (Insert universal shudder here at the thought of the nouveau riche).
  • Now that Mr. Elton is back in town, Harriet starts mourning his marriage.
  • OK, OK, she’s a bit sappy – but she’s got a broken heart. Give her a break!
  • Emma decides that perhaps Harriet should accept an invitation from the Martins to visit them. After all, anything’s better than hearing about Mr. Elton some more!