Jane Fairfax is a major character in Emma. She is the only person whom Emma Woodhouse envies due to her accomplishments and beauty. She marries Frank Churchill after a long and secret engagement.


Early lifeEdit

Jane Fairfax is an orphan who grew up away from her maternal aunt, Miss Bates, and grandmother, Mrs. Bates, but they were always excited to hear of her accomplishments as she aged. They read each of her letters many times—40 according to Emma, although that is assumed to be an exaggeration—at tea with Henry and Emma Woodhouse. As such, the idea of Jane Fairfax tired Emma to death.[1]

Character traitsEdit

Jane is an orphan whose only family consists of an aunt, Miss Bates, and a grandmother, Mrs. Bates, is regarded as a very beautiful, clever, and elegant woman, with the best of manners, and is also very well-educated and exceptionally talented at singing and playing the piano; in fact, she is the sole person whom Emma envies. She has little fortune, however, and seems destined to become a governess – a prospect she dislikes.

Jane Fairfax serves the role as Emma's rival, and possibly a second heroine in the novel. Unlike Emma, Jane is private with her affairs, mainly to keep her secret engagement a secret. We do not get much information about Jane's character, mainly because the narrator usually portrays Emma's perspective and may not want to dwell on Jane's accomplishments.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Emma, Volume I, Chapter 10
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