The coming of her sister’s family preoccupies Emma and her schemes to match Harriet and Mr. Elton are put aside. The arrival is joyous though unsettling on Mr. Woodhouse’s nerves. Isabella keeps her children in check despite her usual indulgences.
Isabella is a quiet, gentle woman who is devoted to her family. She is delicate in temperament and shares her father’s phobias. She is sentimental of old friends.
Her husband John is clever but reserved. He is not ill-humored but can be severe in what he says. Emma notices his slights to Isabella, though her sister doesn’t notice them. Mr. Knightley also has little patience for his father-in-law, which particularly annoys Emma. John does respect Mr. Woodhouse and gives him his due.
Isabella sympathizes over the loss of Miss Taylor. Emma assures her sister that despite how their father acts, they do see the Westons regularly. Isabella cannot understand how Mr. Weston could give up his child.