Emma by Kaoru Mori

Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library

Emma by Kaoru Mori

Staff Recommendation

In late Victorian London, William Jones goes to visit his retired governess Mrs. Stowner. He hasn't seen her in several years. During his visit, William notices Emma, Mrs. Stowner's young maid. Their meeting is the beginning of a romance in the manga series Emma by Kaoru Mori, English translation by Sheldon Drzka.

As the eldest son of a wealthy businessman, William is expected to marry well and advance the family's standing in society.  Emma is an orphan who was hired by Mrs. Stowner and became her household maid. The class differences between William and Emma are a barrier to a serious relationship. As the story progresses, William and Emma work to overcome obstacles and opposition from high society.  With persistence and some help from Emma's employer Mrs. Molders and her friend Aurelia Trollop (whom readers learn is William's mother), the young couple is finally able to marry.  Additional short stories set within Emma and William's world complement the main story line.

The manga is beautifully done, bringing the late Victorian world to life. The author did her research and traveled to Great Britain as she worked on the series. The Emma series was a best seller in Japan and was released in ten volumes in English translation. I really enjoyed reading Emma and "revisiting" Great Britain.
~Elisa Babel, Adult Librarian