As the younger son of a wealthy family, John moved in elevated social circles near his family home, Donwell Abbey. He met Isabella Woodhouse, the elder daughter of Henry Woodhouse and his late wife, while moving in those circles.
John and Isabella married while Emma Woodhouse was still in her early teens and had need of governess, Anne Taylor. Their marriage was one based on mutual affection and love, and they moved away from the country to London, where they had five children by the time Emma was 21.
Mr. John Knightley is tall, gentleman-like, and a very clever man. He is respectable in his general character, but has reserved manners, which prevents him from being generally pleasing. He was not an ill-tempered man, however.