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Go Behind the Scenes of Emma

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Few books make the reader as happy as Emma, because few depict so well the joy of being understood…The institution of marriage, like the novel itself, has changed greatly since Austen’s time; but as long as human beings long for this kind of mutual recognition and understanding, Emma will live.

- The New York Times

Our favorite moments from Emma

Emma Thompson introduces Emma Woodhouse.
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Parting words from Mrs. Weston.
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Emma and Harriet compare gentlemen.
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A father-daughter chat.
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  • Emma
  • Emma Thompson introduces Emma Woodhouse.
  • Emma
  • Parting words from Mrs. Weston.
  • Emma
  • Emma and Harriet compare gentlemen.
  • Emma
  • A father-daughter chat.

About the Performer

Dame Emma Thompson is a British actress and screenwriter known for her sophisticated, skillful performances and her arch wit. Born in London into a family of actors, she launched her acting career with Cambridge University’s Footlights Dramatic Club, where members of Monty Python first met. Moving from comedy, she found her niche in period drama. In 1993, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the Merchant-Ivory film Howards End. She went on to gain acclaim for her roles in The Remains of the Day (1993) and Sense and Sensibility (1995), for which she also wrote the screenplay, winning her a second Academy Award. Thompson’s other notable screen credits include Wit (2001, HBO), Love Actually (2003), her portrayal of P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks (2013), and her role as a conflicted High Court judge in The Children Act (2017).

About the Performer

Joanne Froggatt is best-known for playing Anna Bates in all six seasons of Downton Abbey, receiving three Primetime Emmy Award nominations and winning a coveted Golden Globe in the process. Her other powerhouse performances include the suspense series Liar, Dark Angel, and the film In Our Name (2010). An Audible sensation, Froggatt won the UK Narrator of the Year Award for 2017’s Thriller of the Year, Silent Child, before lending her voice to Austen’s classic comedy of errors.

About the Performer

Isabella Inchbald shines as the titular heroine of Emma. As a winner of the 2017 BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award, Inchbald was awarded a coveted spot with the BBC Radio Drama Company. Classically trained and undeniably talented, she is a stand-out rising star in this exceptional cast.

About the Performer

Morgana Robinson is an English actress and comedian, best known for her sketch comedy and impressions on The Morgana Show and Morgana Robinson’s The Agency. After winning Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist at the 2012 British Comedy Awards for her work on Very Important People, she portrayed Julie on House of Fools and Pippa on The Windsors.

Jane Austen

About the Author

Jane Austen is trending—permanently—and continues to attract top actors to Audible Studios, all eager to perform Austen’s witty and engaging dialogue. In an era when women didn’t put their own names on their work, Jane Austen quietly wrote six perfect novels that are present-day hot commodities; her celebrity, amazingly, is still growing. Austen’s work, which is sharply satiric, yet full of pathos, continues to delight contemporary listeners.

What listeners say about Emma

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Background sonds RUINED this

I couldn't find a more polite place to complain. I bet the readers/actors are frustrated, too. There is silverware noise to show they're at dinner, but it sounds more like the dishwashing station at a restaurant. There is a clock ticking (maybe) to show people sitting around, but it was too loud, and ruined the rhythm of the delivery.

I've had to stop listening, and it's a shame.

I hope you will consider releasing it without any background sound, or leave a tiny MUCH SOFTER bit, and don't make it continuous throughout a scene. It's painful.

All their reading work is buried in horrible added-on noise.

179 people found this helpful

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Well, that was wonderful

What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson's narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story.

I've read Emma many times over the years, and it was always my favorite besides Pride & Prejudice. I must say though, this adaptation really made me see the story in a new way. It's funny how reading it in your own head, you interpret it differently. I never realized the character of Emma to be so unlikable. Of course she is a little immature and grows into herself, but in this rendition she comes off quite conceited and, perhaps, even a little mean. It makes me want to reread the book and see how much I've missed!

Personally, I love this style of audiobook where each character is voiced by someone. I listened to this in less than 24 hours and wished it would never be over. I hope audible makes a dramatized version of all the Jane Austen novels.

167 people found this helpful

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Needs work.

I loved the story and the voice acting was great but the volume changes and music got annoying real fast. They need to go over this and fix it before I will read it again. There is no need for 30 seconds of music between each part. Please fix the volume problem!

157 people found this helpful

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More of a Radio Drama than an audiobook

This is an excellently produced production on the part of Audible. The performers do a great job with their roles. I think it needs to be pointed out though that this is more like a radio/podcast drama than a book reading. If you consider it in that frame of mind it might make the sound effects easier to tolerate. They also add atmosphere and make it more convincing that they are actually in the homes or environment of the story. My only complaint is that music between chapters is a bit much.

95 people found this helpful

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background noise

the background noise is distracting and much too loud. the noise takes much away from the story and from the wonderful actors. I'm glad I didn't pay for this book!

78 people found this helpful

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  • C
  • 09-12-18

So Disappointed

Of course I was really looking forward of what seemed to be a great new production of a much loved classic, but they have layered background sounds over the speech and it is too loud and too distracting and I couldn't keep listening. I hope they will re-engineer this production WITHOUT the background sound track, and just let it be the spoken words. The background sound track was probably meant to provide more dimension, but it failed to accomplish that for me, and was just "noise" and really annoying. Very disappointing.

73 people found this helpful

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ticking sound in background annoying

one of my favorite stories from one of my favorite performers. Would have been perfect but for a ticking sound in the background, not loud enough to ruin everything just enough to be annoying.

56 people found this helpful

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Emma Thompson would make the tax code interesting

The cast was perfect. Narration was the best choice by far. To me Emma Thompson is the voice of Jane Austen. I thoroughly enjoyed this and cannot wait to listen to other titles.

48 people found this helpful

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Not a fan of dramatization

I just want to hear the book read. I didn’t realize what this was but got about 2 minutes in and had to quit it.

That said, the voice acting is lovely and I’m sure that anyone who is looking for this sort of thing will enjoy it.

Audible, I see you branching out with dramatizations and workouts and such, good for y’all, but I hope that audiobooks stay your focus. I don’t enjoy anything else.

37 people found this helpful

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Like an old fashioned radio drama, but better!

Great actors believable sound effects and enjoyable music made Jane Austin even better, if that's possible...

25 people found this helpful

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  • Rooty tooty
  • 09-23-18

If you need an abridged version then this is quite fun

The actors are great and the abridged story well planned but thus is very abridged and will not stand for true Austen fans or those studying the text.
I could have done without the soppy tinkly music as well.
Otherwise not “ badly done Emma”!

39 people found this helpful

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  • Moray Hospitality
  • 09-13-18

Austen purists beware!

This isn't at all the unabridged text of 'Emma': it's been abridged and added to.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Milly_87
  • 09-06-18

Emma brought to life

What a wonderful listen this has been! Would definitely recommend it for any Jane Austen fan!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Rhi07
  • 09-19-18

Brought to life by Emma Thompson

This is a really refreshing performance of Emma, entirely because of Emma Thompson's superb narration which keeps the story light, emotive and relatable. The casting is good, and it is performed well by all. An excellent adaption Audible - an enjoyable listen and true to the book.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-29-18

Irritating sound effects

This well known Jane Austin novel was portrayed and performed quite faithfully to the original book And would have been most enjoyable and amusing BUT for the sound effects ! Especially in indoor scenes, they were very irritating and unnecessary -what is the clicking sound supposed to be ? A fire burning ? I don’t think so ! The music between chapters was apt but between Emma Thompson’s SENTENCES as sudden crescendos and diminuendos really rediculous in my opinion. Out-door bird tweeting was ok but other sounds of bustling and hissing sound effects very disturbing throughout - I have perfect hearing -Jackie Robinson

15 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 01-16-19

Exceptionally irritating sound effects

An excellent performance by the actors but ruined by irrelevant background music and irritating sound effects

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-18

Fantastic adaptation!

This adaptation keeps the heart of the original story while retelling it in a fresh way. The performances from all the voice actors were very good and I truly enjoyed the time spent listening to this version of Emma, would highly recommend.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kate
  • 09-11-18

Highly enjoyable

A wonderful production, could not have enjoyed it more. And what an exquisite performance, such a pleasure to listen to!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lily
  • 09-07-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

This is a lovely drama that really brings the book to life. I enjoy Jane Austen’s books, but sometimes find them heavy going in places. With this drama, though, I’m totally immersed in the story. Each character is brilliantly performed by a very talented cast and Emma Thompson is just wonderful as the narrator.

If you’re a fan of Austen I also recommend Northanger Abbey, another drama which was a joy to listen to.

6 people found this helpful

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  • maryrose theram
  • 10-03-18

Brilliant

I so enjoyed this adaptation of Emma it was everything I hoped it would be and more. I know that I will listen to it again and again. Emma Thompson's narration was clear and in keeping with the book and the performances in between was captivating, brilliant.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-20-19

Lovable classic

Superb narration by Emma Thompson and the rest of the cast. A great way to revisit this classic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Babs Moy
  • 04-27-20

Not Pride and Prejudice

Too many voices. Confusing. Was it the book? Was it the production? I loved the book so ...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Couttas
  • 10-04-18

Delightful

I have not read Jane Austen’s Emma for many years. This wonderful production was a delightful way to revisit the novel. The voice actors were pitch perfect as was the narration by the glorious Dame Thompson.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-27-22

Bugger off, Mr Elton

Yes, it's not the original text, but it's really well done. Several of the voice cast are brilliant, and I actually even enjoyed the ambient noise, but I cannot believe how the actor who played Mr Elton slipped under the radar. So, so bad. So weird. His intonations are so odd, his pauses and inflections so overblown, it's almost like he's reading slam poetry. Why???

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-18-20

Love it

It is by far the best interpretation of Emma. Very easy listening. You won’t be disappointed

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter Westall
  • 10-12-20

A timeless classic

It does have a lot going on so if you prefer a syright narration of the story this is probably not your cup of (high) tea.
I love the story and am happy I got to listen to this version.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Naomi David
  • 09-12-20

Love the book - frustration at the background noise

The narration on this classic was fantastic, however the addition of the ticking clock (which I find incredibly annoying) distracted my attention from the story and decreased my enjoyment of the book.

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  • Cherylyn
  • 07-01-20

Wonderful!

Oh how I have fallen in love with Jane Austen books yet again! Wonderful performance of the characters.

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