Emma Chapter 20
Jane Fairfax is an orphan. Her father, Lieutenant Fairfax died during battle, and her mother, the youngest daughter of Mrs. Bates, Miss Jane Bates, died soon after. At the age of three her aunt and grandmother became her guardians. She was raised above commonness by a friend of her father named Colonel Campbell, who took her into his family and provided her with an education. Jane was the same age as his only daughter, and the two became best friends. Jane is an intelligent, well-bred girl, thanks to the Colonel's generosity. With no dowry, her education was meant to help her earn a position as a governess, which the family deferred until after marriage separated the two young women. But Jane had been ill since the marriage, and unable to begin such a position.
Emma did not look forward to the visit. She disliked Miss Fairfax for no reason, though Mr. Knightley thought her feelings were prompted by jealousy of the young woman's accomplishments. Jane was an excellent musician, beautiful, and genteel--but also quiet and reserved, qualities that Emma could not stand. Being so close in age, everyone expected the two to be great friends, and Emma did feel bad about her past slights of Miss Fairfax. Upon meeting her again, Emma determined to try to correct her mistake. This did not stop her overactive imagination from thinking that Miss Fairfax had seduced Mr. Dixon, her friend's husband. In her mind this was why Miss Fairfax did not go to Ireland. Emma pitied the poor girl on this account, but still found her resolution hard to keep in the presence of the tiresome Miss Bates and the cold Miss Fairfax. Miss Fairfax was reluctant to speak of Weymouth or the Dixons, which did not increase Emma's affection for her. And despite the fact that Jane and Frank Churchill were at Weymouth at the same times, Miss Fairfax was even less talkative about him.