Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed for publication, in After her death, Austen's brother Henry gave the novel its final name and arranged for publication of Northanger Abbey in late December Northanger Abbey book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Jane Austen's first novel—published posthumously in —tells. Northanger Abbey. By Jane Austen (). Page 2. Published by Planet eBook. Visit the site to download free · eBooks of classic literature, books and novels.
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Northanger Abbey is both a perfectly aimed literary parody and a withering satire of the commercial aspects of marriage among See all books by Jane Austen. The Penguin English Library Edition of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 'To look almost pretty, is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. No cover available. Download; Bibrec.
Well, ashamed as I am to admit it, that is what I used to believe in my woefully idiotic ignorance. How foolish of me.
Jane Austen is one of, if not the, best novelists of all time. If you disbelieve me, and held a similar opinion to my own, then read one of her novels and find out for yourself. Indeed, if not Austen would have been unable to achieve such an endearing comment on the absurdity of society, the role of women in that said society, and the ignorance toward the unpopular literary craft of the novel.
How else if not though the eyes of an innocent young girl who cannot understand the mechanisms of these aspects of the world? Who when thrust into the pump room a sort of ball room for dance and socialising has virtually no idea how to behave.
Catherine has an immeasurable misunderstanding of the intentions of others, and a misguided view that the world is like one of her beloved books: Could it be possible?
Austen has satirised the conventions of gothic literature by writing a semi-gothic novel herself that is focalised through the experience of Catherine. Catherine is well read, but only as far as the gothic genre allows. This has clouded her interpretation of the events that occur around her, consequently, life to her has become akin to the works by authors such as Radcliffe.
This means that by the time that Catherine arrives at the abbey she expects it to be this place of utter darkness and dread; she expects to be a gothic castle and the home to a tyrannical gothic villain.
However, when the veil is lifted and she realises that her life is in fact not a book and the motivations of the people in it are not what she thought them to be, the revelation of how foolish she has been dawns upon her. I love Northanger Abbey; it is brilliant. Jane Austen is the master of her craft; her work is what she argued the novel to be: View all 21 comments.
A creepy mansion Dark and stormy nights She meets a new bestie, Isabella But he has a weakness for cute girls who totally admire him. Their relationship strikes me as weak, probably because Austen was focused more on creating a parody by turning Gothic conventions on their heads than on creating a compelling heroine and romance.
Henry is a great character, but Catherine really isn't quite up to his level, despite all of Jane Austen's rationalizations though maybe that's true to life sometimes.
However, I comfort myself with the thought that Catherine isn't unintelligent, just young and inexperienced. I have faith in Henry's ability to kindly help her learn to think more deeply and critically. Austen inserts a lot of sarcastic side comments mocking Gothic plot elements, like Catherine's father being "not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters" and her mother "instead of dying in bringing the latter [sons] into the world, as anybody might expect," still living on in inexplicably good health.
But Austen also takes the time, whilst skewering Gothic novels, to make a few pleas to readers in favor of novels generally. And she creates one of her most deliciously shallow and hypocritical characters in Isabella, whose mendacious comments, along with Henry's sarcastic ones, were the biggest pleasure in this book for me.
When Catherine is invited to visit with Henry's family at the formidable Northanger Abbey, all her Gothic daydreams finally seem poised to come true. A mysterious heavy chest in her bedroom, with silver handles "broken perhaps prematurely by some strange violence"; an odd locked area of the house; a man she suspects of doing away with his wife.
Austen makes fun of it all, and Catherine's "disturbed imagination" along with it. Catherine repeatedly gets shot down and then makes firm although not necessarily long-lasting resolutions not to let her imagination run away with her in the future.
But it seems likely that, in the end, she's gained some experience and wisdom. Not to mention view spoiler [Henry. Random trivia: Watership Down uses the ending lines from Northanger Abbey as one of its final chapter heading quotes, in probably my favorite use ever of a literary quote for a wholly different yet completely appropriate context.
View all 34 comments. That's a bit annoying, as I can't compete with her wit of course. But even more annoying is the fact that I wrote my own imag "It is only a novel But even more annoying is the fact that I wrote my own imaginary review in my head before I started the book - and as opposed to Austen's summary, mine doesn't work out at all anymore, now that I know the story. It is dangerous to check the facts before writing your opinion - for facts have the frustrating habit of changing your opinions - if you dare to leave the realm of your fiction.
Like the young heroine in Northanger Abbey, I seemed to have lost grip of fiction and reality recently - due to an overly greedy consumption of novels! Like the young heroine, I thought I knew what to expect of characters, setting and plot before I had even ventured out to explore them, and like her, I created a massive amount of tension for myself, only to find myself in the somewhat silly situation of waking up to a reality that did not at all justify my preconceived ideas.
Let's say I prided myself in "knowing" what to expect of Jane Austen. Let's say I started full of prejudices. Let's say that I had to force myself to come to my senses after a roller coaster that tested my sensibility more than I am willing to admit. Let's say I thought I had a perfect review in the making, following the idea of explaining the exaggerated characters and dramatic actions with regard to Austen's time, place and gender.
I was going to put Northanger Abbey in its place - liking it for its classic status, but dismissing it secretly as irrelevant in the modern context.
I was going to compare it to earlier works of Gothic fiction, and maybe even to my timeless favourite Dickens and his comically evil villains and puritan heroes. But no. It won't do. She's a bloody genius, - Jane Austen if one can still say that nowadays without involuntarily insulting her intelligence and judgment!
The Thorpes too vain, greedy, shallow and stupid? Eh - show me the person in high society today that is NOT equally vulgar, volatile and obvious! Ridiculous naivety of the heroine?
Eh - we have people organising Flat Earth Conferences and it isn't even fiction or satire, but plain truth. Old-fashioned family structures? Eh - if the eternal generation conflict was solved in the meantime, I must have missed it! Can you send me the action plan, please? So, if there is anything "dated" in Jane Austen, it must be the lovable character of her protagonist, her passionate argument for reading novels , and her linguistically convincing prose.
Well, for those minor defects I am willing to forgive her, in the name of classic literature. She's proof that literature can always transcend the narrow boundaries of its time and place. It can speak to readers all over the world, in the most various life circumstances - as long as the message is honest and rings true. Loved it. Despite all my pride and prejudice, with all my sense and sensibility.
View all 46 comments. I know the most important thing I have to say. First and foremost: But let me backtrack a bit. But this is satire within another narrative - a more typical Austen storyline. There are also even MORE plus sides to this. So crazy! Total nightmare, no? But I digress. They are, in turn, perfectly hate-able and lovable. Hang on. It makes reading unpleasant, usually, even villains. Like Levana from The Lunar Chronicles, or whatever.
I just hated her. She got on my nerves and I was displeased whenever she showed up. Isabella and her brother in this book? Pretty hilarious. But when sweet lil Catherine is utterly ignorant to their flaws? Do people actually laugh out loud while reading on the reg? But also there are characters who are so intensely lovable! Especially my husband. Catherine, for one thing. The banter he has with Catherine Austen outdoes herself. Now I wanna reread their meeting scene. Literally a heart eyes emoji.
And ultimately, this is just a bananas well-written book. A real masterpiece. Here are a couple fresh examples: I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.
I just read this book and I already wanna pick it up again. Bottom line: Charming characters, hilarity, biting satire, gorgeous quotes View all 39 comments.
Catherine Morland is your typical seventeen -year- old -girl, of the turn of the century 19th, that is. She reads too much, an illness that is sadly terminal, Gothic books are her passion and the rage of the era. Any ancient home that is eerie , ominous or sinister the young lady would enjoy seeing, if there were any in the area. She lives in a quiet English village, too quiet where everyone knows each other, which keeps the populous from misadventures. Her parents have ten children and sur Catherine Morland is your typical seventeen -year- old -girl, of the turn of the century 19th, that is.
Her parents have ten children and surprisingly, her mother is alive and healthy. Miss Morland's father is a well to do clergyman, but with all those kids, nobody would know especially Catherine.
Allen a wealthy neighbor is going on a six -week vacation to Bath, with Mr. Allen he has the fashionable gout , the most famous resort in England. Allen needs an agreeable companion to talk to, she's rather silly, asks Catherine. Her chief interest is clothes, still how long can you speak about fashion, before it gets tiresome? The fatigued husband doesn't stay in her presence very long.
Arriving in town is exciting and daunting, soon people start to notice Miss Catherine Morland particularly young men, a new experience for her. She grew up a tomboy playing outside with the boys, not inside with dolls.
Yet the last three years her homely awkwardness has vanished, a pleasant, pretty appearance she acquires that even her astonished mother, acknowledges. Catherine soon forms a friendship with Isabella Thorpe a beautiful, deceitful, gold digger, her family has little, but she has It doesn't take long to discover that Catherine's brother James, and Isabella's brother John, are best friends, so naturally the two ladies also become too.
Then the brothers of the girls come to town, unexpectedly. Catherine loves her plain looking older brother, and you can imagine the shock that she feels, when James and Isabella become engaged! Yes, it's the first time Catherine has been out of her insulated village, of Fullerton. Still true love has a rocky road to travel, when it isn't. Henry Tilney a wealthy man's son, meets the charming Catherine at a dance. She has eyes for him, but so does Isabella's annoying brother John, for her he's always talking about his horses.
However Henry's older brother Captain Frederick Tilney, arrives too, very popular Bath is for romance and starts flirting with Isabella, which she doesn't mind but James does. He has more money than Catherine's brother. The resort is famous for the miraculous waters, though most go there for the dancing, plays, card games and walking around in the Grand Pump Room and meeting the rich Showing everyone who's interested they're in town, nobody is Amazingly a real Gothic house with his son, and daughter Eleanor, another friend of Catherine 's and stay a few weeks.
The girl with a wild imagination is thrilled, finally, all Catherine's dreams have come to pass View all 58 comments. Jun 01, Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it Shelves: A charming early Austen novel filled with overt criticism of Mrs. Radcliffe and implied criticism of Fanny Burney. Her heroine Catharine Morland is a charming naif in the Evelina mode--perhaps just a little too naive, and therein lies some of the criticism--who is fascinated by all things gothic and therefore misinterprets much of what she sees, manufacturing the sinister in a score of places A charming early Austen novel filled with overt criticism of Mrs.
Her heroine Catharine Morland is a charming naif in the Evelina mode--perhaps just a little too naive, and therein lies some of the criticism--who is fascinated by all things gothic and therefore misinterprets much of what she sees, manufacturing the sinister in a score of places and yet not recognizing real evil when it stares her in the face.
The book, while filled with good sense, is nevertheless lighthearted and very funny, and may well be the sunniest of Austen's works. View all 7 comments. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans.
Let us not desert one another, we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers.
And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens,--there seems almost a general with of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them.
Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein: Do you know why you are here Mr. You are before the Book Tribunal. I rubbed my jaw. Did Hemingway have to slug me? Fetching, people such as yourself, to appear before this tribunal seems to be the one thing that Hemingway does enjoy about serving on the panel.
Hemingway gave a short bark of a laugh. Ernest Hemingway Stein: I waved at Bronte. Hemingway gave me a salute. I gave him a tight nod and my jaw another rub.
You have been assigned counsel. Scott Fitzgerald. Yes I would like to talk to him. Maybe he can explain what this is all about. Where is he? I do believe he is under your table. I leaned over and spied a slumped form softly snoring. I grabbed a shoulder and rolled him over. Gin fumes teared up my eyes. Miss Stein I need a new counsellor. Bouts of laughter greet this request. Only then did I realize that the seats behind me were full of dead writers.
I waved to Kurt Vonnegut and he gave me a wink. Was something I said humorous? In the short time that Mr. Vidal has joined us he has been requested many times, but unfortunately no one has been before us that actually considered him to be their favorite writer.
You chose unwisely. Fitzgerald over me what a joke that is. Okay, okay Mr. Keeten enough with the flattering. What do you think of my work? Erhhh Her mannish features framed a pronounced grimace.
I thought a change of subject was in order. Why exactly am I here? It is regarding Jane Austen. I felt my blood run a little cold. I just finished reading Northanger Abbey. Yes we know. In the past you have made some rather cutting remarks about Miss Austen.
You sir, are parsing words.
Hemingway interrupted. Why not? Djuna Barnes walked out with a silver tray filled with shots of gin and as the glass clinked on the table in front of me Fitzgerald sprang up like a jack in the box with his hand out, fingers none too steady, reaching for a glass. The gin hit my stomach like a mariachi band. As Barnes walked back by me after serving the judges, looked in the prime of life like all the judges, although that was up for debate with Stein, I said you are prettier than your pictures.
Djuna Barnes Barnes: Save it. You are not even remotely my type. I could feel the heat on my neck climbing up to my cheeks. She flipped my chin with her finger. Good luck anyway. If you are finished annoying Miss Barnes, Mr. Keeten, can we proceed? Of course. As you were saying.
I apologize to Miss Austen if any of my remarks were inappropriately expressed. I can assure her that I have the utmost respect for her as a writer. In fact I intend to write a very positive review about Northanger Abbey. The writer in question is not allowed to attend the proceedings, but we will express your regret for your behavior to her. We have a party that we must get to Mr. Keeten so we are going to wrap this up. It is our intention here today to give you a warning about expressing yourself in such flippant ways about the works of the members of this novelist community in the future.
If we feel the need to call you back again I can assure you more strident discussion will be conveyed to you. Anything further to add Miss Bronte. I think he is kind of handsome.
Charlotte Bronte Stein: Irrelevant Miss Bronte and to balance the scales I must say I find him to be a rather unattractive man. Do I get to send him back? Hemingway please do so. Hemingway walked across the room towards me. Before I could even speculate about how he was going to send me back his fist imploded against my jaw.
As I slid to the floor I heard him say. My head pounding, both sides of my jaw tender to the touch. Note to self do not write a negative review of Hemingway.
I pull myself up to the computer. Miss Morland has hopes of finding herself enmeshed in a romance of gothic proportions. When her parents consent to letting her visit friends and she meets new friends she knows she is on the verge of a grand adventure.
To give one example where the Abbey failed to provide the proper gothic atmosphere: The windows, to which she looked with peculiar dependence, from having heard the General talk of his preserving them in their Gothic form with reverential care, were yet less what her fancy had portrayed.
To be sure, the pointed arch was preserved--the form of them was Gothic--they might be even casements--but every pane was so large, so clear, so light! To an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions, and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt and cobwebs, the difference was very distressing. Catherine is mortified by her own ineptness with proper behavior. She is manipulated by friends, but proves to be a quick learner and shows a steely spine standing up to their overbearing behavior towards her.
When she is cast out she proves her mettle once again finding her own way home with quiet determination despite her inexperience with the workings of the world. Yes she is silly, and maybe because of her Gothic view of the world, I liked Catherine I wish the plot of the novel would have allowed more of Henry Tilney as he certainly seemed like a man, a reader of novels, who I would have enjoyed taking a long walk with to discuss literature, life, and all things nice.
View all 55 comments. I have no idea how to rate this book, because there wasn't anything in particular that I disliked, but also nothing that I enjoyed. I've come to the conclusion that Austen just isn't for me, because I never find myself even remotely interested in what's going on, and I find her novels to be quite dull.
I have nothing negative to say about Austen or her books, but unfortunately I don't find myself able to enjoy them. View all 9 comments. Nov 03, Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.
I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally. The CCLaP In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label. Book Northanger Abbey , by Jane Austen The story in a nutshell: Although not published until after her death in but more on that in a bit , North Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.
Although not published until after her death in but more on that in a bit , Northanger Abbey was actually the first book written by infamous "chick-lit forerunner" Jane Austen, with most scholars agreeing that she originally penned it in when barely out of her teens; so it makes sense, then, that the novel centers around the year-old Catherine Morland, and of all the issues important to a typical late teen.
A delightful yet melodramatic young woman, Catherine has a way of naturally charming almost everyone she meets, even while being a hopeless devotee of trashy "gothic novels" think beach-read for the Georgian Era , and of letting them unduly influence her already fanciful and curious mind.
When middle-aged friends of the Morlands, then, invite the sheltered rural-living Catherine to join them for six weeks in the cosmopolitan resort town of Bath, she can't help but to be thrilled; and indeed, the bulk of this novel's prose is devoted to capturing the ins-and-outs of youth culture in such a period, the subtle and ultra-complicated flirtation rituals that took place each evening among such communal settings as recital halls and the boardwalk.
Things get even more interesting, though, when one of the friends she makes in Bath invites Catherine to continue her holiday by joining her family at their country home, an old Medieval religious fortress called Northanger Abbey that they've converted into a contemporary living space, with Catherine's goth-filled head going nuts over visions of crumbling cobwebby back hallways and dark family secrets.
Add a mysterious Napoleonic ship captain, some misunderstandings over money, a couple of messy public breakups; and by the end, we leave our hero a little wiser about the world if not a little more jaded, understanding now as a young adult that it's the consistent behavior of a person through good times and bad that determines their character, not their endowment or war record or any other surface-level statistic you can mention.
The argument for it being a classic: Fans of Northanger Abbey argue that it is Austen distilled into its most essential form -- laser-precise observations about the human condition and the fallacies of so-called "civilized society," but without the obsessive preoccupation over landing a man that marks so much of her later and more well-known work.
And that's important, they say, because we should actually be celebrating Austen for the perceptive insights into the human psyche she was capable of, not for the bonnet-wearing eyelash-fluttering romantic elements that seem to so dominate any discussion about her anymore.
The reason Austen continues to be so popular, they argue, is precisely because her stories are so timeless at their core; although ostensibly dealing with the fussy aristocratic issues of the day, in reality they say things about the way young women see the world that are still exactly and utterly true of young women years later.
The argument against: Of course, let's not forget that there's a reason Austen's later work is so much better known and loved, say this book's critics -- and that's because those books are simply better, according to any criteria you wish to name, the result of an older and wiser woman with not only better writing skills but a much more complex outlook on the world.
Although there's not much debate anymore over whether this is a historically important and well-done story, many critics argue that Northanger Abbey simply doesn't rise to the level of "classic," as is the similar case with so many other first novels by authors who eventually become famous. My verdict: Okay, I admit it; after years of making fun of people for their obsessive Austen fandom, now that I've finally read my first novel of hers myself, I have to confess that I'm awfully impressed , and can easily see why people still go so crazy for her work in the first place.
Because I gotta tell you, it's positively freaky how much like a modern year-old girl in the early s that Catherine actually sounds like here, of just how many of the details Austen chose to focus on turn out to be universal observations about teenage female personas in general, and not simply observations about that particular age's popular culture and societal norms.
I love, for example, how Catherine simply accepts in this quiet way the realization of how much more important it is in the eyes of men to appear smart in public than in the eyes of women; how gold-digging for a husband is simply wrong no matter what the circumstances; that you understand a lot more about a person when observing them in a bad mood than a good one.
I love that Catherine automatically assumes the craziest explanation for any situations that occur in her life, because she's a bored teen and this is what bored teens do to entertain themselves. I love how she is constantly worrying about saying the wrong thing in front of others; how she is constantly running off in embarrassment over various impolitic confessions blurted out during enjoyable conversations; how the people older than her accept all this from her with a charmed sense of bemusement, while her fellow teenage girls react with catty bitchiness.
I love how their entire social circles revolve around these tiny, barely perceptible actions, stuff completely inconsequential to grown-ups but so important to the young; how entire romantic relationships can be started simply by two people glancing at each other across a room for a little too long, entire friendships destroyed simply because of not sitting at a certain table during a public meal.
Sheesh, if that's not a teenage girl's life in a nutshell, I don't know what is. In fact, I'll go so far as to say this; that at least here in Northanger Abbey , Austen turns out to be a much smarter, much more bitter author than I was expecting, given that her most diehard fans concentrate so much on the historical-finery and antiquated-courtship elements of it all. And indeed, if I wanted to be really controversial, I'd argue that if Austen were alive and writing in our modern times, she wouldn't write about relationships at all, but was instead forced to during her own times because of this being the only stuff female authors could get published back then.
It's for all these reasons that I confidently label Northanger Abbey today a classic, a surprisingly still-relevant tale that even to this day is almost impossible not to be thoroughly charmed by.
Is it a classic? Let's not forget, before the late s, full-length fictional stories barely even existed; when people sat down to read a book back then, it was mostly essays or poems or plays they were picking up, with full-length made-up narrative stories treated by the intelligentsia with the same disdain we currently treat, say, first-person-shooter videogames.
It was during this same period, though, that women suddenly became literate in the millions for the first time in history; and these women all needed something to read, which is what led to the rise of "gothic" literature in the first place, a combination of supernatural thriller and over-the-top romance that was generally perceived at the time as "silly woman stuff.
View all 5 comments. Northanger Abbey is the shortest of Jane Austen's six major novels, and has a special place in many readers' hearts. In many ways it is not the tightly constructed witty sort of story we expect from this author, yet its spontaneity and rough edges prove to be part of its charm. Started when she was very young, it should perhaps more properly be classed as part of her juvenilia.
What lifts it above the other earlier works, however, is the skill she demonstrates for writing a parody of all the got Northanger Abbey is the shortest of Jane Austen's six major novels, and has a special place in many readers' hearts. What lifts it above the other earlier works, however, is the skill she demonstrates for writing a parody of all the gothic romantic novels which were so popular at the time.
And this aspect is twinned with another of Jane Austen's concerns, a satirical observation of human nature within a narrow band of society; a comedy of manners. There are many literary allusions, which focus on the gothic genre. At the time Jane Austen was writing, novels - especially gothic novels of this type - were looked down upon by many people, particularly those of the upper classes.
It is likely that a young writer would therefore feel that she needed a strong position from which to defend her craft against any critics who might in future disparage her work.
At one point, where Catherine, the heroine, is chatting to her friend, she asks Isabella for suggestions. Her friend replies, "I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocket-book. Those will last us some time. This particular sort of comedy is lacking in Jane Austen's subsequent novels, which perhaps are a little more cautious in their wit and irony, being intended for a wider audience.
Northanger Abbey was meant mainly as family entertainment, which is why Austen mischievously includes so many literary references, which she expected her relatives to pick up and recognise.
Jane Austen also addresses the reader directly throughout the novel, and sometimes voices her own opinions quite forcefully, forgetting the story for a moment. But perhaps she had an eye to the future, considering that attack is the best form of defence, and writing this way quite deliberately in anticipation of any critical assessment. As these passages burst upon us, we are provided with a little insight into Austen's opinions at the time. Famously, very little remains extant, to show us her opinions, due to her instructions to her sister Cassandra to burn all her letters after her death.
Originally Northanger Abbey was entitled "Susan" and written around It was the first of her novels to be submitted for publication, in However, it was not in fact published until , after further revision by the author, including changing the main character's name from "Susan" to "Catherine".
Jane Austen died in July The two novels Northanger Abbey and "Persuasion" her final novel were thus both published posthumously, comprising the first two volumes of a four-volume set.
Interestingly, neither title was her own invention, but probably that of her brother, Henry, who had been instrumental in their publication. As well as being a Gothic parody, and a comedy of manners, Northanger Abbey is a coming of age novel, another favourite theme from Jane Austen.
The first sentence, "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine" sets the very droll, tongue in cheek tone for the writing. Catherine is not particularly pretty or feminine, and one of ten children of a country clergyman. However, by the age of 17, we are told that she is "in training for a heroine" , having all the attributes considered desirable in a young girl at the time.
The reader enjoys Catherine's youthful enthusiasm and also how impressionable she is. She has crazes, such as being excessively fond of reading Gothic novels - the more "horrid" she claims with glee, the better.
She takes everything at face value, at the start of the novel being unable to see any deviousness, or any baser motives. Catherine is not very perceptive, not ever able to interpret what may lie behind certain actions if it is negative.
We follow Catherine's progress, as she is invited by some wealthier neighbours in Fullerton, the Allens, to accompany them to visit the fashionable town of Bath.
There she is introduced to society over the winter season, through attending balls and the theatre. So although it is constantly referred to, there is in fact little gothic feel in the whole first half of the novel.
It is much more similar to Jane Austen's later novels, both in its setting, and its preoccupations. It is concerned with young people and their feelings; how they mature, and how their marriage prospects improve as a consequence. In this aspect, all Jane Austen's novels are very similar, and all of them have reassuringly happy endings. Jane Austen is always keen to entertain her readers! Catherine's amiability and good character is further demonstrated through her making friends, in Bath, with a confident older girl, Isabella Thorpe, the daughter of Mrs Allen's old school-friend.
The reader can see straightaway that Isabella is far more savvy and ambitious than Catherine, and possibly manipulating her new friend. Isabella has a brother, John whom Catherine is delighted to find is also a friend of her older brother, James. Both young men are fellow students at Oxford University. However she and the reader takes an instant dislike to John, finding him pompous, brash, boastful and overbearing.
In the meantime she has met a witty and clever young gentleman, Henry Tilney, and enjoyed his company and conversation. The reader can deduce that, at 17, she is well on the way to falling in love with this intelligent and polite, slightly older and more experienced gentleman.
The novel has several social situations which, although very much of their time, reveal essential aspects of human nature which are timeless. The difficulties facing Catherine are difficulties and situations common to all teenagers. There is embarrassment, a feeling of gaucheness and several occasions where the peer pressure is very strong, such as when James, Isabella and John try to persuade her to join them when she had made a former promise for another engagement.
Catherine also has to learn how to stay polite and resolute when she is bullied by John Thorpe. And when she eventually returns home to her parents, uncomprehending of why she has been treated in such a shameful way, the reader is treated to the common enough spectacle of a moody, sulky teenager. For the second half of the novel the setting has switched to Northanger Abbey itself, as Catherine has received an invitation to stay there. The tone becomes slightly darker, and the viewpoint switches to be almost entirely from Catherine's perspective, using free indirect narration.
Everything is presented from Catherine's point of view, which leads to some hilarious moments, due to her romantic notions of what an ancient abbey should be like. The reader has been well prepared for this, through conversations between Catherine and Henry Tilney. Here she is very excited about the prospect of a visit to the abbey, "You have formed a very favourable idea of the abbey. Is not it a fine old place, just like what one reads about?
Have you a stout heart? Nerves fit for sliding panels and tapestry? Will not your heart sink within you? Sure enough, our innocent heroine's expectations increase on the journey, "As they drew near the end of their journey, her impatience for a sight of the abbey To pass between lodges of a modern appearance, to find herself with such ease in the very precincts of the abbey, and driven so rapidly along a smooth, level road of fine gravel, without obstacle, alarm, or solemnity of any kind, struck her as odd and inconsistent The windows, to which she looked with peculiar dependence, from having heard the general talk of his preserving them in their Gothic form with reverential care, were yet less what her fancy had portrayed.
To be sure, the pointed arch was preserved - the form of them was Gothic - they might be even casements - but every pane was so large, so clear, so light! To an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions, and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt, and cobwebs, the difference was very distressing.
One of the interesting aspects of Northanger Abbey , however, is that passages such as these seem to indicate she incorporates her reading experience as well as her real-life experience; it is just as much a product of the Gothic novels that she herself read.
One of the highlights of the novel is where Henry Tilney teases Catherine about the "horrid" contents of such novels. Typically there would be a crumbling old building, possibly an abbey, once used to house nuns or monks. The abbey would then become abandoned and derelict, and later bought by an evil lord or baron.
Dastardly deeds would occur in the ancient edifice, once the lord or baron took possession, and the once holy nature of the abbey would become an ironic feature in these Gothic novels. Northanger Abbey is a dreadful disappointment for Catherine, who had imagined herself as the heroine of a Gothic novel. Living out her imaginative fantasies, she was hoping to be thrilled by mystery, horror, and sinister and macabre deeds from an earlier time.
She had found Bath to be a pleasant tourist town, interesting for her to visit, but in Catherine's mind, the Abbey would inevitably be a place of new heightened experiences. At every point where the Abbey turns out to be conventional and normal, Catherine remembers the abbeys from her favourite gothic novels, deliberately frightening herself to complete her thrilling anticipations, "The night was stormy; the wind had been rising at intervals the whole afternoon; and by the time the party broke up, it blew and rained violently.
Catherine, as she crossed the hall, listened to the tempest with sensations of awe; and, when she heard it rage round a corner of the ancient building and close with sudden fury a distant door, felt for the first time that she was really in an abbey. Her imagination runs riot at what this could be, but it eventually turns out to be simply a laundry list. Here is the start of this episode, "she was struck by the appearance of a high, old-fashioned black cabinet, which, though in a situation conspicuous enough, had never caught her notice before.
She took her candle and looked closely at the cabinet It was some time however before she could unfasten the door, the same difficulty occurring in the management of this inner lock as of the outer; but at length it did open; and not vain, as hitherto, was her search; her quick eyes directly fell on a roll of paper pushed back into the further part of the cavity, apparently for concealment, and her feelings at that moment were indescribable.
Her heart fluttered, her knees trembled, and her cheeks grew pale. She seized, with an unsteady hand, the precious manuscript, for half a glance sufficed to ascertain written characters; and while she acknowledged with awful sensations this striking exemplification of what Henry had foretold, resolved instantly to peruse every line before she attempted to rest. We also hold in our minds the strong suspicion that what Catherine is to discover may be quite ordinary and unremarkable, and are eager for the heroine to be thwarted and become crestfallen - yet there is just a tiny possibility remaining in our minds that there is indeed something "most horrid".
Here is the culmination of the ironic humour in this episode, when Catherine is plunged into darkness, "Catherine, for a few moments, was motionless with horror. It was done completely; not a remnant of light in the wick could give hope to the rekindling breath.
Darkness impenetrable and immovable filled the room. A violent gust of wind, rising with sudden fury, added fresh horror to the moment.
Catherine trembled from head to foot. In the pause which succeeded, a sound like receding footsteps and the closing of a distant door struck on her affrighted ear. Human nature could support no more. A cold sweat stood on her forehead, the manuscript fell from her hand, and groping her way to the bed, she jumped hastily in, and sought some suspension of agony by creeping far underneath the clothes.
She does not realise, as the reader does, that General Tilney is an outright snob, constantly anxiously comparing his home and gardens with those of Mr.
These parts, and the depiction of General Tilney's character which, oddly, is very similar to the character of Mr. Elliot, the father of the heroine Anne in Jane Austen's final novel, "Persuasion" is one of the most amusing parts to the reader. General Tilney is always so very pleased to find that his belongings are larger or more impressive than those of Mr. Of course, the justification for this, is that he wants his children to marry into rich and wealthy families.
The people Jane Austen identifies with and writes about are a very narrow band of the gentry. Tradesmen, and anyone who works for a living, are to be looked down on. The aristocracy are often to be poked fun at. Jane Austen's heroes and heroines are frequently from good families, but have fallen on hard times. They are almost invariably impoverished gentlefolk. She has no idea of the love interests surrounding her, not seeming to notice view spoiler [the romance which is developing between James and Isabella, and being equally puzzled when Isabella flirts with Frederick Tilney.
Catherine does not pick up that Isabella, despite her protestations to the contrary, is dismayed on learning of James's limited future income. Catherine also has no idea why the General is so courteous and solicitous of her, merely believing him to be exceptionally kind.
There is a conflict in her mind, as she also believes him capable of murdering his wife. Northanger Abbey is an enjoyable read even today, well over years after it was written.
The characters are recognisable types even now, as human nature does not change, only the mores of the society they are in. And there are some memorably entertaining minor characters in this novel. Some critics say that the hero, Henry Tilney, is too much of a bully, and behaves in a patronising way to Catherine.
He frequently points out her mistakes and tries to mould her into thinking the way he does. It could be argued that this was very much a prevalent view of the time, although readers now may have a problem accepting such a relationship as something to be wished for.
Yet even here, Jane Austen show that her ideas were more advanced than many of her contemporaries, "The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance.
Jane Austen maintains that men do not look for stupidity in women, only ignorance, because some men enjoy instructing women. In this particular novel, the reader is led to assume that Henry enjoys Catherine's ignorance, her impressionable and youthful mind, because it gives him a chance to teach her.
A modern reader will of course take exception to such a message; the idea that this is in any way to be desired. But a modern reader can also appreciate the subtle distinction between ignorance and stupidity - and also that Austen's eye for these matters is always both perceptive and deeply sarcastic. She writes with a waspish wit, about what she knows. Yes, it is a narrow band of society and culture, within a very specific time-frame, but she sometimes manages to dissociate herself from its constraints, and always excels in what she does.
View all 28 comments. Time for a re-read! Four for you, Mr Tilney, you go Mr Tilney. View all 13 comments. However, it was not published until after her death in , along with another novel of hers, Persuasion. Northanger Abbey is a satire of Gothic novels, which were quite popular at the time, in — In the course of the novel, she discovers that she differs from those other women who crave wealth or social acceptance, as instead she wishes only to have happiness supported by genuine morality.
I wasn't originally planning on reading it this week, but it just ended up happening. I listened to the audiobook for this, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. This book was witty, sarcastic, so much fun, and I just really enjoyed Catherine's character. The first half of the book was my favorite because of how drama filled it was. The second half was good as well, but I felt like I was missing something. I wanted more dialogue and conversation between the characters, particularly Tilney and Catherine.
Overall though this was a very fun read, and a Jane Austen book that I think is a little underrated! View 2 comments. This book was amazing and very cleverly written! I've now read 4 out of Jane Austen's 6 novels, and so far this is my favourite.
This is a story about Catherine who is a very plain and dull girl. However, in this book, she goes on a journey - first to Bath, later to Northanger Abbey - where she encounters new characters and establish new connections. I must admit that during the first half of the novel, I was anxious to get to the scary and creepy part which I had been told was part of this Vict This book was amazing and very cleverly written!
I must admit that during the first half of the novel, I was anxious to get to the scary and creepy part which I had been told was part of this Victorian novel. Even though I was mildly disappointed that the creepy part didn't set in until late into the book, I very much enjoyed the first half.
Jane Austen is excellent at writing satire as well as creating exaggerated characters that make you laugh and smile. Isabella, the obnoxious friend, was amazing, and the way that Catherine is constantly put into uncomfortable and unfavorable situations through her friendship with her was hilarious.
Then the creepy part set in, and I was very much satisfied. I read some parts at night in bed and some parts in my couch during the day, but I was still equally creeped out. Catherine's experiences are once again hilarious, however very understandable, and I loved her even more for it. All in all, this is a coming-of-age story in which Catherine grows tremendously in three months.
I can't put my finger on anything I didn't like about the book, and I'm eager to spread my love for it to everyone else. Please, read it if you haven't already and if you like Jane Austen's writing, because this one certainly won't disappoint you. View all 3 comments. View all 26 comments. This is one of the lesser regarded Austens.
It's one of her first books and it's true, the prose and development of characters is not as mature. Seriously, this book is so wonderful. The voice on this book. In later books, Jane A This is one of the lesser regarded Austens. Northanger Abbey is fundamentally a parody of Gothic fiction. Austen turns the conventions of eighteenth-century novels on their head, by making her heroine a plain and undistinguished girl from a middle-class family, allowing the heroine to fall in love with the hero before he has a serious thought of her, and exposing the heroine's romantic fears and curiosities as groundless.
However, the British critic Robert Irvine wrote that though Catherine's specific fears about General Tilney murdering his wife are false, the book ends with her general fears of him being confirmed as his character is indeed vicious as the book says: Irvine also points out that though parts of the book do satirize the Gothic novels popular in the 18th century, the interpretation of the novel as completely a satire of the Gothic genre is problematic.
The story begins with the narrator remarking that the heroine is not really a heroine, with the narrator saying Catherine was not especially clever, nor a great beauty, and good without being virtuous. At one point when Catherine uses the word "nice" in a way that Henry disapproves of, she is warned: After all, as we have seen, Catherine's fantasy proves to be a way of imagining as evil a truth about the General that Henry never criticises: The type of language that Henry uses does not originate with him: However, even when Henry is speaking with his natural tone, his speech is that expected of a polite society in Britain at the time.
Allen is too dim to provide the necessary knowledge while John Thorpe comes from the gentry, but only interested in gambling and horses. As part of the novel's satire of the literature of the day, the American scholar Rachel Brownstein noted that Henry Tilney is described as "not quite handsome though very near it", it is implied to be not quite entirely manly owing to his love of literature and fabrics, and is explicitly shown to be dominated by his father.
According to Austen biographer Claire Tomalin "there is very little trace of personal allusion in the book, although it is written more in the style of a family entertainment than any of the others". Thompson have argued the 18th century become the "era of the clock" as availability of mass-produced clocks and watches allowed time to be measured more accurately, leading to an increased emphasis on doing things on time that not existed before, marking the beginning of "time discipline" as Thompson called it.
It is only Catherine meets Henry Tilney that the novel begins to speak of the importance of time, with Catherine having to check the clocks to see if she will be on time to meet him. As the novel progresses, Catherine finds the discipline imposed by the clocks more and more oppressive, as she finds that she is living her life according to General Tilney's dictates and demands.
Austen addresses the reader directly in parts, particularly at the end of Chapter 5, where she gives a lengthy opinion of the value of novels, and the contemporary social prejudice against them in favour of drier historical works and newspapers. In discussions featuring Isabella, the Thorpe sisters, Eleanor, and Henry, and by Catherine perusing the library of the General, and her mother's books on instructions on behaviours, the reader gains further insights into Austen's various perspectives on novels in contrast with other popular literature of the time especially the Gothic novel.
Eleanor even praises history books, and while Catherine points out the obvious fiction of the speeches given to important historical characters, Eleanor enjoys them for what they are. The directness with which Austen addresses the reader, especially at the end of the story, gives a unique insight into Austen's thoughts at the time, which is particularly important due to the fact that a large portion of her letters were burned, at her request, by her sister upon her death.
Instead of perfect heroes, heroines and villains, she offers flawed, rounded characters who behave naturally and not just according to the demands of the plot.
All seven of these were republished by the Folio Society in London in the s, and since Valancourt Books has released new editions of the "horrids", the seventh and final being released in The most significant allusion, however, is to Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho , as it is the Gothic novel most frequently mentioned within this text.
Notably, Jane Austen sold the manuscript of Northanger Abbey to the same firm that published Radcliffe's novel in This outside text is first mentioned in Chapter Six, when Isabella and Catherine discuss the mystery "behind the black veil", and further establish their friendship based on their similar interests in novel genre, and their plans to continue reading other Gothic novels together.
Austen further satirizes the novel through Catherine's stay at Northanger Abbey, believing that General Tilney has taken the role of Gothic novel villain. Austen's discussion of Udolpho is also used to clearly separate Catherine from John Thorpe, as when Catherine talks about the novel with him, he crudely responds that he "never reads novels", but qualifies his statement by arguing he would only read a novel by Anne Radcliffe, who, as Catherine then points out, is the author of Udolpho.
When Catherine and Henry Tilney later discuss reading novels, and Henry earnestly responds that he enjoys reading novels, and was especially titillated by Udolpho , the match between Catherine and Henry is implied as both smart and fitting.
Tenille Nowak has noted that critics and editors of Northanger Abbey often suggest that the names Laurentina and St Aubin appearing in the text are misrememberings of character names from Udolpho ; Nowak observes that due to there being very few copies of The Orphan of the Rhine available these critics did not realise that the names actually appear in their exact form Sleath's novel. A passage from the novel appears as the preface of Ian McEwan 's Atonement , thus likening the naive mistakes of Austen's Catherine Morland to those of his own character Briony Tallis, who is in a similar position: Both treat their own lives like those of heroines in fantastical works of fiction, with Miss Morland likening herself to a character in a Gothic novel and young Briony Tallis writing her own melodramatic stories and plays with central characters such as "spontaneous Arabella" based on herself.
Richard Adams quotes a portion of the novel's last sentence for the epigraph to Chapter 50 in his Watership Down ; the reference to the General is felicitous, as the villain in Watership Down is also a General. The book, also, contains an early historical reference to baseball. Catherine, who had by nature nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country The modern game is not described, but the term is used.
Northanger Abbey takes place in several settings, some of which are fictionalized, but many are actual locations in England, including London and Bath. The Jane Austen Society of Australia created a map of the characters' whereabouts, designating the several real, and fake, locations traveled to or mentioned within the novel.
Jasper Fforde , in his First Among Sequels , refers to Northanger Abbey as being under maintenance, and "should be ready on time as long as Catherine stops attempting to have the book 'Gothicized'. HarperCollins hired Scottish crime writer Val McDermid in to adapt Northanger Abbey for a modern audience, as a suspenseful teen thriller, the second rewrite in The Austen Project.
And you can really feel a shiver of fear moving through it. I will be keeping the suspense — I know how to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I think Jane Austen builds suspense well in a couple of places, but she squanders it, and she gets to the endgame too quickly.
So I will be working on those things. Lee artist and Nick Filardi color artist. The book, originally is the last of the Jane Austen adaptations made by Marvel, and contrarily to the other books of the series, is the only one to be released only in paperback, not in hardback.
The same year, author Jenni James published a modern teen version entitled "Northanger Alibi", published by Inkpress, in which the main character's obsession for Stephenie Meyer 's Twilight saga replaces Catherine's love for Regency gothic novels. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the novel. For the novel's film adaptations, see Northanger Abbey film and Northanger Abbey film.
For Brigadier Tilney, see Robert Tilney. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
Find sources: Main article: Reception history of Jane Austen. Dear creature! Yes, quite sure, for a particular friend of mine, a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweetest creatures in the world, has read every one of them. Jane Austen portal Literature portal Novels portal. The Explicator. Retrieved 8 September Jane Austen The Complete Works. New York, New York: Penguin Group. Northanger Abbey. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 4 August Retrieved 27 November Character Analysis".
Austen Authors. Jane Austen and Her Art. Oxford University Press, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Routledge, page Cambridge University Press, page Routledge, pages Jane Austen: A Life. New York: Vintage, , p.
Val McDermid's 'Northanger Abbey ' ".
New York Times. Gothic Reading in Northanger Abbey". Jane Austen Society of North America. Retrieved 22 April The Gothic Imagination University of Sterling. Valancourt Books. Retrieved 7 September Studies in Gothic Fiction. Watership Down. AOL News. First among sequels: Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 18 March The Borough Press". News Corp. The Guardian. The Borough Press. A dark, daring adaptation - complete with social media and vampires".
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