"Emma Woodhouse is a young woman in Regency England. She lives in Surrey in the village of Highbury with her father, a valetudinarian (one who is afraid they will become ill) who is principally characterized by excessive concern for the health and safety of his loved ones. Emma's friend and only critic is the gentlemanly Mr. Knightley, her neighbour from the adjacent estate of Donwell, and brother of her elder sister Isabella's husband. As the novel opens, Emma has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her old governess and best friend. Having introduced Miss Taylor to her future husband, Mr Weston, Emma takes credit for their marriage, and decides that she rather likes matchmaking. Against Mr. Knightley's advice, Emma forges ahead with her new avocation; this time she tries to match her new friend Harriet Smith, a sweet but none-too-bright girl of seventeen Ñ described as "the natural [illegitimate] daughter of somebody" to Mr. Elton, the local vicar..."