There and Back Again
All characters belong to J. K. Rowling.
AN: This is the sequel to 'Pack Clouds Away' and 'The Land of Might-Have-Been.' For this story to make sense, it is recommended the previous two are read first.
I am writing to inform you that I have recently finished my reading of Emma. I feel bound to say this was a blip in an otherwise compelling run of reads.
With regard to the title character, I have possibly never felt less personal attachment or investment. I can honestly say nothing about her circumstances or personality resonated one iota with me. I know you shall bridle and protest that one does not necessarily have to identify with a character to enjoy a story, but, in this instance, I can only say that the primary feeling invoked within me was contempt.
You have presented me with such novels of a bygone age before—novels which, invariably, follow the fortunes of some young woman, but I was not prepared for reading of a woman with such an idle and pointless existence. In fact, the majority of characters were idle; the mere thought of living in such a way makes me shudder.
The plot, I am sorry to say, was painfully predictable—silly, ignorant, self-absorbed girl has an epiphany when she realises her favourite toy (I.e. Mr Knightley) might be taken away from her. How that man could have come to feel any sort of tendresse for such a childish woman, I simply cannot fathom.
The only congratulation I can make is on the author entirely capturing Filius in the character of Mr Woodhouse.
On the whole, I won't give it a Troll, but I won't give it an Acceptable, either.
I had to read your letter several times as, at first, I had trouble believing the words in front of me. Your complete dismissal (I won't call it a critique) of the story was, in my opinion, entirely unwarranted.
Certainly, Emma is a young and silly girl, but that is not her fault—she has been sheltered too much by those around her. Her situation with regard to her wealth, and, by extension, her social standing, of course seems to us in this day and age very idle and privileged, but that is no real basis for contempt, is it?
It is my opinion that she learns humility in the end—the change in her character is one of the most rewarding themes of the story.
As for Mr Knightley, well, I am sure you do not want a lengthy discourse on my feelings on that matter, but should you ever find yourself in want of one, I'd be happy to supply it.
I would, however, just like to make sure that you recognise the crime you have committed in bashing one of the most well-regarded authors in the whole of English literature!
So, on behalf of Jane Austen, I would like to sincerely apologise for the fact that Emma was not outed as a double-agent, that there were not more twists than a spiral staircase, and that there was no gruesome murder before the conclusion of the plot!
AN: The title 'There and Back Again,' is also the sub-title of 'The Hobbit,' by J. R. R. Tolkien.