I've been re-reading Emma and dipping into A Truth Universally Acknowledged, a collection of essays edited by Susannah Carson. Alain de Botton's thoughts on Austen's novels strike me as particularly perceptive:
These are books that speak to us of our own lives with a clarity we cannot match.
Thus Jane Fairfax's secret smile of delight at the new pianoforte, Frank Churchill's laughingly spelling out the word BLUNDER in the alphabet game and Mr Knightley's glorious 'if I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more' speech to Emma could all be happening right now.
Happy New Year!