Attention Jane Austen fans: your weekend just got a whole lot better. Because on Sept. 7, Audible released their latest Audible Original — this time, of Austen's 1815 novel Emma, which centers around the the clever, rich, and staunchly single Emma Woodhouse and her quest to find love for everyone but herself. But there's more good news: The audiobook is narrated by a full cast, led by none other than legendary actress Emma Thompson. If the exclusive clip from the audiobook below is any indication, it's about to become your new favorite audiobook.
If you're a die-hard Austenite, you already know Emma Thompson from her role as Elinor Dashwood in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. But did you know that Thompson also wrote the script for the movie? And did you know that when she won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Screenplay for the film in 1996, she delivered her speech in the style of a Jane Austen novel? So, yes, Emma Thompson is Austen royalty, and she is the perfect person to narrate one of the author's most beloved books.
For those who need a high school English refresher (and for anyone who still hasn't seen the brilliant web-series Emma, Approved) Emma Woodhouse is your typical Austen heroine in a few ways: She's smart, she's from a well-to-do family, and she sees absolutely no reason why she should ever hope to fall in love or get married, because, quite frankly, she's already got a lot going on in her life. However, nothing delights her more than meddling in the romantic lives of other people. When she ignores the warnings of her long-time friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée, Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel. And of course, when Emma falls in love, she's far from prepared for all that it entails.
Emma is an imperfect, charming, and utterly relatable heroine, and the book's witty explorations of love, and relationships are surprisingly adaptable to modern dating woes. If you're still not convinced on the book, take a listen to an exclusive clip from the audiobook below:
Audible members will be be able to access the audiobook of Emma for free as a part of the company's new Original member benefit. Here's how it works: On the first Friday of every month, members are able download two of the six Audible Originals for their own libraries, without using any of their credits. A new selection of originals will be be made available every month, so there will always be new audiobooks to check out. And don't fret if you're not an Audible member, because you can still access all of the Audible Originals, made exclusively for audio, by paying a separate fee.
So, whether you're finding Austen for the first time, or are a mega-fan who just can't wait to listen to this full cast rendition of the classic story — with the pitch-perfect Emma Thompson at the helm — head over to Audible now to pick your first Audible Original. After all, there's nothing better to read — or listen to — in the fall than Jane Austen.