Emma was begun on 21 January 1814 and completed on 29 March 1815. It was published by John Murray in December 1815 (advertised in the Observer, 10 December, as to be published 'on Saturday next', and in the Morning Chronick, 21-3 December); the title-page is dated 1816. This edition was of C.2,000 copies (price 215., in boards); 1,250 sold within the year. Murray had offered Jane Austen £450 for the copyrights of this novel and Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park. She refused, but gave Murray the second edition of Mansfield Park ( 1816) and Emma on royalty terms. The second English edition of Emma did not appear until 1833.
The present text is substantially that of R. W. Chapman edition ( Oxford, 1923; revised by Mary Lascelles, 1966), based on the first edition. Chapman's textual apparatus has been revised and his emendations reconsidered.