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Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters. Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma Woodhouse has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her best friend and former governess, to Mr Weston. Having introduced them, Emma takes credit for their marriage, and decides that she rather likes matchmaking. She returns home to Hartfield with her father, who misses Miss Taylor equally with his daughter. Against the advice of Mr Knightley, Emma forges ahead with her new interest, and tries to match her new friend Harriet Smith to Mr Elton, the local vicar. Emma is convinced that Mr Elton's attentions are a result of his attraction for Harriet. First, Emma must persuade Harriet to refuse the marriage proposal from Robert Martin, a respectable, educated, and well-spoken young farmer. Emma decides he is not good enough. Against her own wishes, Harriet rejects Mr Martin. Mr Elton, a social climber, thinks Emma is in love with him and proposes to her after a Christmas visit to the Westons. Emma, shocked, tells Mr Elton that she had thought him attached to Harriet. Elton is outraged at this notion. After Emma rejects him, he leaves for a sojourn in Bath, and Harriet feels heartbroken. Emma feels dreadful about misleading Harriet. Mr Elton soon returns with a pretentious, nouveau-riche wife, as Mr Knightley expected.