In the novel The Moving Finger, Emily Barton was the youngest member of the Barton family. Since she had money troubles she rented her house to Jerry and Joanna Burton, while she moved to the house of Florence Elford, a former maid of hers. Miss Barton had four sisters: Agnes, Edith, Minnie, and Mabel. All her sisters took care of their mother while she was still alive. Later Emily took care of her other sisters who all died before her. She later planned to travel the world along with Aimée Griffith, after selling Little Furze to Jerry Burton.
In the BBC 1985 adaptation of the novel, Emily Barton is played by Hilary Mason.