Emma had one sister, Isabella, who lived in London with her husband, Mr John Knightley, and her children. Emma’s mother had died while she was still very young. Since then, Miss Taylor had been Emma’s governess and friend for sixteen years. They were very fond of each other. But now Miss Taylor was getting arried to Mr Weston and would move to his house, called Randalls.
Emma lived at Hartfield, a mansion on the edge of the village of Highbury. It was sixteen miles from London. The Woodhouse
family was the most important family in the village. Another important family, the Knightleys, lived at Donwell Abbey, a few miles away. John Knightley’s brother, Mr George Knightley, lived there. He was thirty-seven years old, unmarried, and very popular in the neighbourhood.
There were only two evils in Emma’s life. Firstly, she had been spoilt
by her father and Miss Taylor ever since her mother’s death. Secondly, she had a very high opinion of herself. In fact, Emma thought that she was perfect.
It was Miss Taylor’s wedding day. Emma was very sad because her best friend had left the house. Mr Weston, her new husband, was an excellent man; his first wife had died, his son had been adopted by his wife’s family in the North of England, the Churchills, and he had lived alone for many years. Everyone liked him. But without Miss Taylor, Emma would have no young companion in the house. She loved her father, Mr VVoodhouse. But he was always worried about illness or other dangers.
‘Poor Miss Taylor,’ said Mr Woodhouse at every meal, while he was eating his gruel. ‘I wish she were here. What a pity that she married Mr Weston!’
‘I cannot agree with you, papa,’ said Emma. ‘Miss Taylor will be far happier with her own home. We shall often visit them. We shall go in the carriage.’
‘The poor horses! The poor driver!’
Don’t worry. Everything is perfect.’
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