Notes on Objects & Places from Emma

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Emma Objects/Places

Hartfield: The Woodhouse home. Emma has never been more than a few hours journey from it, and she hopes to never leave.

Highbury: The town in which most of the story's characters live. It is a small, close-knit town, where news travels fast and there is little privacy.

Randalls: The home of the Westons, where Miss Taylor moves after her marriage. It is not even a mile away from Highbury, and the Woodhouses visit often.

backgammon: A board game which Emma often plays with her father. She loves him very much, and one proof of her love is her willingness to spend so many of her evenings at home alone with him, playing board games.

Brunswick Square: The area in London where Mr. John Knightley and his wife live. Mr. Woodhouse hates that his daughter lives so far away, and in such an unhealthy city.

Enscombe: The Scottish home of the Churchill family. They are forced to move south due to the aunt's ill health, and this move brings the family, including Frank, closer to Highbury.

wedding cake: The left-over cake from Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston's wedding becomes a symbol of Mr. Woodhouse's distaste for change. Mr. Woodhouse is a hypochondriac, and he hates any rich foods, which he sees as unhealthy. Therefore he was full of worries when the cake was in his home. He did not want anyone to eat it, but he also wanted it to be gone. He calms down after the cake is finally eaten.

Donwell Abbey: The home of Mr. George Knightley. It is a beautiful home, which Mr. Knightley agrees to give up in order to marry Emma. She cannot leave her father, so Mr. Knightley agrees to move to Hartfield and live with her there as her husband.

Donwell: The area of Highbury where both Mr. Knightley and the Martins reside. They are neighbors.

gruel: A thin porridge, which Mr. Woodhouse believes is a cure and a prevention of illness. Isabella agrees, but her husband finds this interest annoying.

Harriet's portrait: Emma, in another scheme to connect Miss Smith with Mr. Elton, suggests Harriet sit for a portrait. This was popular among the upper classes, and Emma agrees to paint it herself. Mr. Elton is properly excited, and Emma is sure he is falling in love with Harriet. But his interest lies only in the painter, though she knows nothing of his affections. Mr. Elton only interests himself in Harriet because she is Emma's friend, and he is only interested in the portrait because Emma is painting it.

riddles/charades: A game in which a word is expressed in a puzzling verse. Harriet is collecting some for a book, and she and Emma ask Mr. Elton for one. Harriet is too dull to get it, but Emma explains it to her. So intent in making them a couple, Emma imagines clues of affection in the charade. She later realizes that the praises were meant for her, not Harriet.

vicarage: The home of the town preacher, in this case, Mr. Elton.

Southend: Area of south east England, also called Southend on the Sea. Bathing was a popular health remedy at the time, and Isabella and Mr. John Knightley had spent some time there with their children. Mr. Woodhouse criticized the trip, his comments causing tension between himself and Mr. Knightley.

Surrey: County in south east England, south of London. This is the county in which Highbury is located.

Weymouth: The town where Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax met and fell in love. They are both quiet and unwilling to talk much about their time there.

Ford's: The town store where everyone shops. Frank Churchill buys some gloves here soon after he arrives, knowing that buying from Ford's will increase his reputation in town.

Crown Inn: An old building in Highbury that was intended to be a ballroom, but the lack of proper persons has left it standing vacant and unused for years. Frank Churchill, who loves dances, convinces the Westons to hold a dance here. During the dance, he and Emma dance together, but it is Harriet who has the special night. When without a partner, Mr. Elton snubs her; but Mr. Knightley comes to her aid. His kind act makes her fall in love with him.

fop: A vain or silly person, usually a man who is conceited about his appearance, also called a dandy or coxcomb. Frank Churchill engages in foppish behavior when he takes one day out of his two week visit to Highbury to travel to London to get his hair cut. It is not a short trip, and he does not feel ashamed of his impulsiveness. This lowers him in the eyes of Emma and especially Mr. Knightley.

pianoforte: A piano. An anonymous patron sends Jane Fairfax one as a present. Everyone wonders who sent it, though the most likely person is Colonel Campbell, Jane's benefactor. But there are many other suggestions. Emma thinks Mr. Dixon sent it. Mr. Dixon married the daughter of Colonel Campbell, but Emma thinks Jane and Mr. Dixon were in love. Mrs. Weston suspects Mr. Knightley sent the piano, but Emma thinks this is ridiculous. Only Mr. Knightley, who guesses the secret attachment between Miss Fairfax and Frank Churchill, is correct. The mystery sender was Frank Churchill.

Maple Grove: The home of the Sucklings, Mrs. Elton's sister and brother-in-law. Mr. Suckling is wealthy and has a lovely home, and Mrs. Elton never tires of talking about it. She compares everything to Maple Grove, and holds it to be perfection.

the Suckling's carriage: Mrs. Elton is very proud of her sister's carriage, which is a barouche-landau. This type of carriage has four wheels, with extra seats, and is very elegant. Seeing material things as proof of gentility, Mrs. Elton constantly brings up Mr. Suckling's carriage, assuming mention of it will elevate her.

Bath: City in south west England. It is a popular vacation spot, and Mrs. Elton offers to make introductions if Emma decides to go. Mrs. Elton is trying to be friendly, but Emma is offended by the suggestion that she would associate and be affiliated with any friend of Mrs. Elton's.

Richmond: Area of south west Greater London. Mrs. Churchill moves here because of her poor health. It is only nine miles from Highbury, which will allow Frank Churchill to visit more often.

Harriet's parcel: The parcel that Harriet shows to Emma contains small remembrances of Mr. Elton. Harriet prized them, but they are just trash. Realizing her folly, Harriet wants to burn them. The items are a piece of court-plaster, left over from when Mr. Elton cut his finger, and a pencil without lead. For her to have kept such insignificant trinkets is very embarrassing.

Box Hill: A destination a few hours ride away. The group decides to make a visit here, but the trip is a disaster. Frank Churchill, who had a fight yesterday with Jane Fairfax, his secret fiancée, is in a strange mood. He tries to stir up some excitement, but only ends up offending. Emma blunders too, when she insults the chatty Miss Bates. In private Mr. Knightley strongly reprimands Emma, and she deeply regrets her error. She is also upset that Mr. Knightley's opinion of her has been lessened.

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