View Full Version : Emma reference?

03-02-2008, 06:53 PM
Near the end of chapter 12, it says that Anne would have attended on Louisa zealously for Captain Wentworth's sake, "Without emulating the feelings of an Emma towards her Henry." Is this a reference to Emma, and if so what is it supposed to mean? I've never read Emma, so just curious.

03-08-2008, 05:44 PM
Hey, ntrophyincarnate, that line is a not a reference to Emma. In the Penguin Books Classics edition of Persuasion edited with an introduction and notes by Gillian Beer, the note to that statement is as follows: "an Emma towards her Henry: Matthew Prior, 'Henry and Emma' (1709), a charming classical pastiche of the old ballad 'The Nut-Brown Maid', in which Emma serves supposed rival for Henry's love." I hope this helps. :)

05-24-2009, 10:04 AM
It refers to the ballad Henry and Emma from Matthew Prior, based on The Nut-Brown Maid. I read it yesterday, absolutely beautiful. The original is supposed to be a knight who wants to get his girls out of coming with him, but she loves him too much. Henry and Emma is largely the same principle, but she says she will even act as servant to his mistress (?) because she loves him. She will do it in silence for his sake. Much like Anne does with Wentworth of ourse, if she were going to nurse Louisa. But in the end, that does not seem to be true... Lovely poem though...
Every stanza ends with eiher '...of all Mankind, love but Thee alone' (Emma) or '...to love, a banished Man in woods to rove' (Henry).