This chapter begins by establishing the related themes of invalidism and leisure through a brief consideration of an argument between Mr Woodhouse and Isabella Knightley over healthy holidays. This is followed by a more extended examination of the culture of the watering place that pays particular attention to Weymouth. The conflict between the values of the watering place and those of the village is then explored more specifically around the representation of Mr Perry, the apothecary. His ambiguous social status is set first of all in the debates that surrounded the Apothecaries’ Act of 1815. It is then argued that, although there is one text that appears to support Perry and the other rising professionals in the village, this may be in conflict with another one which remains fascinated by the mentality of Frank Churchill, an unemployed young dandy associated not just with Weymouth but also with French attitudes. The next section continues the discussion of rivalries between the watering place and the village by considering the politics of transport and other forms of communication such as letter writing. There is, finally, a summary of the points that have been made about Emma herself.
Emma Woodhouse lives about twenty-one years in the world without so much as a sight of the sea. She finally gets her chance to view it when she and Mr Knightley make a two-week ‘tour to the sea-side’ (E, p. 464) after their marriage. The choice of this kind of honeymoon does not sit very comfortably with Knightley’s well-aired prejudices against watering places. Perhaps this provides a hint that Emma will still get what she wants when married. The name of the particular resort that they intend to visit is not revealed, despite the fact that the relative merits of