To the author of Jane Eyre, the author of Emma seems essentially superficial.
“She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting..What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores…Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete, and rather insensible (not senseless) woman; if this is heresy—I cannot help it.”
~page 76, from “The Place of Love in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights” by Mark Kinkead-Weekes
Life is about what "throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through..." The trick is to reveal that passion via the mundane and ordinary means of our everyday lives, which we do, but Jane Austen does not like to, in most of her works. If the genteel demeanor hid what was dark, fascinating, furious and compelling, then that would be a type of brilliance, but it does not. Even Elizabeth's passion is a shallow mimicry in comparison to that of an Anna Karenina...