George Knightley
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

George Knightley

Emma

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About Him

Grew Up... friends with much younger Emma Woodhouse. Though unrelated by blood, Mr. Knightley sees Emma much as an older brother would consider a younger sister – a quasi-sibling relationship that only gets even more tangled when Emma's older sister, Jane, marries Mr. Knightley's younger brother.

Living... in Regency England, on his family estate of Donwell Abbey. Large and beautiful, Donwell is also conveniently located next to the Hartfield estate, where Emma and Jane live.

Profession... gentleman. As the eldest of the Knightley brothers, Mr. Knightley is set to inherit Donwell and so has little to worry about financially. Still, it's a job he takes seriously, helping the local parish and acting as a magistrate in his free time.

Relationship Status... single. Though his younger brother is already married, Mr. Knightley himself seems to have little interest in romance, preferring instead to criticize Emma's attempts to play matchmaker.

Challenge... trying to be a mentor to Emma. His young friend may be well meaning, but Emma is also prone to unwise meddling, and her latest scheme to find spouses for all her friends may end in more heartbreak than romance. And he is often the lone voice of reason among Emma's friends.  Mr. Knightley tries to warn Emma against overestimating her own intelligence, telling her that, "vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief," but seemingly to no avail.

Personality... kind, sensible, and polite, but unafraid to be honest. A perfect gentleman to most, Mr. Knightley reserves his more snarky side for those close to him – and more often than not, the recipient of his jibes is Emma. Still, while Mr. Knightley can be brutal in his honesty, he means well: "This is not pleasant to you, Emma – and it is very far from pleasant to me; but I must, I will – I will tell you truths while I can.”

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