Analysis Pages

Facts in Emma

Facts Examples in Emma:

Volume I - Chapter I

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"Highbury, the large and populous village,..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

Highbury is a fictional village located just to the south of London in Surrey. In her novels, Austen uses a mix of actual and fictional locations to add realism—the names of villages and country houses in which the characters live are often fictitious, but many are real places.


"wedding visit..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

A "wedding visit" is the tradition of paying a formal call on the newlywed couple once they return from their honeymoon.

"morning visit..."   (Volume I - Chapter II)

A "morning visit" is a tradition among the nobility and aristocracy of paying social calls on one another with some regularity, most often to drink tea and share gossip.

"parlour-boarder..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "parlour-boarder" is someone who is treated like one of the family rather than just a student. A privileged boarder could use the parlour for entertaining or visiting, much like a family member.

"Kingston..."   (Volume I - Chapter IV)

Kingston is a city located in the southwest of London on the Thames River.

"Elegant Extracts..."   (Volume I - Chapter IV)

The Elegant Extracts of Prose and the Elegant Extracts of Verse were books compiled by Vicesimus Knox, an educator who encouraged education for both males and females—an enlightened view in Austen's day.

"Alderneys..."   (Volume I - Chapter IV)

Alderney cows are dairy cattle bred on the Channel island of Alderney. Smaller than most cattle, they produce more milk than most.

"drawing-room..."   (Volume I - Chapter VI)

A "drawing-room" was the room in a Victorian house where guests were typically greeted and entertained. It is a shortened form of "withdrawing" room, a room to which the host and hostess could withdraw for privacy.

"twenty thousand pounds..."   (Volume I - Chapter VIII)

Twenty thousand pounds is a huge amount of money, equivalent to several million dollars today.

"Michaelmas..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

Michaelmas is a Christian feast held on September 29th which celebrates Saint Michael.

"mermaid..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

A "mermaid" is a legendary sea creature with the body of a woman and the tail of a fish.

"Neptune..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

According to ancient Roman mythology, Neptune was the god of the sea. In Greek mythology, Neptune was known as Poseidon.

"charades..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

At this time, charades were word puzzles which were read aloud, syllable by syllable, for others to guess.

"hot-pressed paper..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

Hot-pressed papers are papers which has been pressed through hot cylinders (rollers), creating a smooth finish (as opposed to cold-pressed paper which has texture).

"Stilton cheese..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

Stilton cheese is very strong-smelling and strong-tasting cheese, either blue or white.

"shilling..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

A "shilling" is a British coin worth about twelve cents, or a twentieth of a pound.

"scarlet fever..."   (Volume I - Chapter XI)

Scarlet fever is an extremely infectious children's disease with rash and strep-like symptoms. Outbreaks of scarlet fever at this time often ended in a significant number of deaths.

"old prejudice..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

Scotland and England have a long history of disagreements, land disputes, and even war.

"influenza..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

Influenza is an affliction of the upper respiratory system, often referred to as the "flu."

"Mr. Wingfield's..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

Mr. Wingfield's is probably the name of a brand of medicinal liquid. Many such tonics were full of quinine or opium and calmed the patient's symptoms but did nothing for the illness or disease.

"spring corn..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

Spring corn is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring and is watered by melting snow or rain.

"drain..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

On a farm, the drainage system removes excessive water from the fields.

"sheepskin..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIII)

Blankets made of sheepskin were used inside carriages to help keep passengers warm while traveling in cold weather.

"glasses..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIII)

Many fancier carriages had adjustable glass wind screens and were used to block the wind.

"saddle of mutton..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIV)

A saddle of mutton is a mutton loin which is cut down the middle so it will lay flat during the cooking preparations. The name is appropriate because the meat resembles a saddle when it is cut open and placed on a flat surface to cook.

"second-rate and third-rate of Highbury,..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

First-rate, second-rate, and third-rate, as a way to differentiate classes, originated with the Royal Navy's method of labeling war ships based on the number of guns they carried.

"Master of the Ceremonies..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

The Master of the Ceremonies was a position appointed by the king. His job was to serve as the diplomatic host to foreign dignitaries on behalf of the king. 

"sucking in the sad poison..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

This is probably a reference to the outdated (and unsafe) practice of sucking poison out of a wound in an effort to help or assist but which actually causes harm to the one who is trying to help.

"consumption..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

"Consumption" is a disease more commonly known as tuberculosis, a contagious disease in which the lungs are filled with fluid until eventually there is no air.

"the warm bath..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

Certain waters which spring from the ground and are naturally heated are thought to have restorative properties.

"muffin..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

At this time, a muffin was a round, flat yeast roll which could be made at home or readily bought from street vendors. It was always buttered and one might add jam if desired.

"10,000 l..."   (Volume II - Chapter IV)

Ten thousand British pounds, the equivalent of roughly twenty thousand U.S. dollars.

"pencilled marks and memorandums on the wainscot..."   (Volume II - Chapter V)

Similar to today, parents marked the growth of their children by penciling in their heights on the wall.

"espalier apple-trees..."   (Volume II - Chapter V)

Espalier apple trees are a variety of apple trees which grow more fruit in less space. They are also relatively low to the ground and can be used to form a natural barrier or fence.

"half a guinea..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

A guinea was the first gold coin made in England, worth about the same as a British pound.

"post-horses..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

Inns often kept extra horses either for mail carriers/couriers or travelers who needed fresh horses for the rest of their journey.

"an old woman who had nursed him..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

A nursemaid is a woman who is hired to take care of children and whose room is the nursery.

"malt liquor..."   (Volume II - Chapter VII)

Malt liquor contains more alcohol that regular beer and is both a little sweeter and spicier.

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