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Emma | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • September-October

    Miss Taylor marries Mr. Weston.

    Chapter 1
  • Early December

    Emma convinces Harriet to reject Robert Martin's marriage proposal.

    Chapter 7
  • December 24

    Emma rejects Mr. Elton's advances.

    Chapter 15
  • Late January/Early February

    Mr. Elton returns to Highbury and confirms news of his fiancée.

    Chapter 22
  • February

    Frank Churchill arrives in Highbury.

    Chapter 23
  • May

    The gentry of Highbury attend the ball at the Crown Inn.

    Chapter 38
  • Near Midsummer (June 24)

    The gentry of Highbury attend a picnic at Box Hill.

    Chapter 43
  • Early July

    Frank's engagement to Jane Fairfax is revealed.

    Chapter 46
  • July, a few days later

    Mr. Knightley declares his love to Emma.

    Chapter 49
  • September-October

    Harriet marries Robert Martin; Emma marries Mr. Knightley

    Chapter 55

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapters 1–3 As Emma opens, readers learn that Emma Woodhouse has recently lost her governess, companion, and mother figure, Miss T... Read More
Chapters 4–6 Emma learns that Harriet spent two months with the Martins, yeoman farmers renting Mr. Knightley's land. As a result, ... Read More
Chapters 7–8 Harriet receives a letter from Mr. Martin proposing marriage. When Harriet asks if it is a good letter, Emma replies t... Read More
Chapters 9–10 As predicted by Mr. Knightley, Emma and Harriet have not gotten around to serious study, but Harriet is compiling a bo... Read More
Chapters 11–12 Emma becomes preoccupied with her sister's family, who have come to Hartfield to spend the Christmas holidays. Isabell... Read More
Chapters 13–14 During the holiday visit of the Knightley family, Mr. Weston insists that everyone come to dinner at Randalls, his sma... Read More
Chapters 15–16 After tea, Mr. Elton continues to annoy Emma with his solicitous behavior. Emma now notices that he is exhibiting "the... Read More
Chapters 17–18 When the weather clears, the Knightleys leave and Mr. Elton sends a note to Mr. Woodhouse, saying he is going to Bath ... Read More
Chapters 19–21 Emma has taken charge of Harriet, and in an effort to divert her friend as they are out walking one morning, she sugge... Read More
Chapters 22–23 Highbury hears that Mr. Elton's future bride, Miss Augusta Hawkins, is attractive and rich. Emma is relieved that his ... Read More
Chapters 24–25 When Emma sees Frank and Mrs. Weston together the next day, she is happy to notice his friendliness and affection towa... Read More
Chapters 26–28 Emma arrives at the Coles' party at the same moment as Mr. Knightley, who is uncharacteristically in a carriage. Emma ... Read More
Chapters 29–31 The Woodhouses visit the Westons, and the possibility of having more dancing is discussed at length. The space at Rand... Read More
Chapters 32–33 Mr. Elton returns to Highbury a married man, and Emma is obliged to pay a social call, taking Harriet along to get the... Read More
Chapters 34–36 It is Emma's turn to host the Eltons for dinner, and because Harriet has asked to be excluded from the festivities, Em... Read More
Chapters 37–38 Emma realizes that whatever attachment she had to Frank has subsided, but she is worried about their meeting on his be... Read More
Chapters 39–40 Emma reflects on what happened at the ball and concludes that "Mr. Elton was not the superior creature she had believe... Read More
Chapters 41–42 Mr. Knightley suspects Frank of "some double dealing in his pursuit of Emma," as well as "an inclination to trifle wit... Read More
Chapters 43–44 The Box Hill outing falters when people separate into parties. The Eltons are one party, the Westons and Mr. Woodhouse... Read More
Chapters 45–46 Mr. Knightley is at Hartfield when Emma returns from visiting Miss Bates. She blushes when her father praises her for ... Read More
Chapters 47–48 Emma suffers pangs of remorse as she thinks about how she led her friend Harriet astray for a second time. She remembe... Read More
Chapters 49–50 Mr. Knightley returns from London to console Emma for what he imagines is a broken heart. Emma lets him know that she ... Read More
Chapters 51–52 Emma forgives Frank his misdemeanors because she is so happy. She shares Frank's letter with Mr. Knightley, who is not... Read More
Chapters 53–55 Emma keeps track of Harriet through Isabella (Harriet is still in London) and grieves because she cannot speak to Mr. ... Read More
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