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Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics) by Jane…
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Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics) (original 1818; edition 2003)

by Jane Austen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,207297143 (3.82)2 / 1054
Member:ghilbrae
Title:Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Classics
Rating:****
Tags:Jane Austen, Classics

Work details

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1818)

  1. 225
    The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (upstairsgirl, Hollerama)
    upstairsgirl: This is the book that Austen's heroine is reading (and which Austen is wryly mocking) in Northanger Abbey. Fun to read with each other; Udolpho is possibly less fun on its own.
  2. 123
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Another brilliant parody.
  3. 30
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (kara.shamy)
  4. 41
    Evelina by Frances Burney (flissp)
  5. 20
    The Italian by Ann Radcliffe (kara.shamy)
  6. 20
    The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott (aulsmith)
  7. 42
    Nightmare Abbey & Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Both satirize gothic gaspers.
  8. 43
    Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer (inge87)
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Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
With a delightfully, over-imaginative protagonist who is not marked specially in personality, looks nor familial fortunes, the lightly frothy novel is a fun romp of misunderstandings and mild but superbly-annoying avaricious villains. The character-driven plot gives way to the usual satire of class and society, with competing minor stories - making it quite suitable for a TV series adaptation, I imagine - over the conventional arc of protagonist-finds-love.

My favourite aspect of the novel are the characters, the best being Mrs Morland who is also the best at parenting via books, the aforementioned protagonist Catherine whose warmth, ordinariness and fondness for imagining her life as in a gothic-novel endears her to me much easier than other Austen-women, the dreamy Henry who respects women, is well-read and not snobbish about it either, makes up excellent gothic horror stories on the spot, has a fun, meta sort of humour, the maverick flirt Frederick, the gold-digging but wife-morning General, even the ridiculously insufferable and cartoonishly-shallow Thorpes. Recommended as a nice relaxing read, a rest stop from heavy tomes with serious issues. ( )
  kitzyl | Jun 24, 2016 |
If you are reading NORTHANGER ABBEY for the first time: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK'S INTRODUCTION.

That was quite a let down. Since I am not very familiar with Jane Austen's work, I was looking forward to the gentle plot twists. Apparently scholars feel differently about this... So every introduction essay in a book is an immediate skip for me... Can we put them at the back then?

Review is coming.
  knotbox | Jun 11, 2016 |
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
4 stars


This was the first book that Austen wrote. She sold it; it was never published; so she bought it back when her other books became successful. Possibly she intended a rewrite. Her brother had it published after her death.

The story concerns the teen-aged Catherine Moreland who has little experience of the world, but much experience with gothic romance novels. Austen manages to make Catherine comic in her awkwardness and excessive imagination, but lovable in her direct honesty. This book has all the satire and social commentary of Austen’s later books, but other than Catherine, I felt the characters lacked depth. Although Catherine’s brother has a failed love affair with one of her new friends, Austen only deals with the effect this has on Catherine’s relationship with Isabella. Little is said about the brother. Nothing at all is known about Eleanor’s relationship to her Viscount. That marriage is only mentioned because it allows Catherine and Henry to marry. I missed the more complex interplay of multiple characters and plot line that occur in Austen’s later books, but I enjoyed Catherine’s runaway imagination.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I've had this one lurking about on my eShelf for a long time. The impetus to finally pull it up and read it was provided by one of my student employees who was assigned the book in one of her classes. She was nervous about reading something "so old", and I told her I would read along with her just for fun. I was happy when she reported back after reading the first 8 chapters that she liked it and hadn't realized it would be so funny. I was not surprised that it was funny, because Austen has a marvelously sly sense of humor, but I too enjoyed this one. There is perhaps not quite the subtlety of some of her later works but Catherine is a fine "heroine" and Mr. Tinley was divine if somewhat simplistically rendered. I especially enjoyed Austen's spoofing of sentimental/romance novels. ( )
1 vote rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
I've now read Northanger Abbey several times. The first time I read it, I found it somewhat lacking in comparison to Austen's other works. On further reflection, I see much that I missed on my first go round. Catherine is a silly girl, wrapped up in her misguided belief that gothic romances reflect reality. On the other hand, Henry Tilney is the most engaging of Austen's heroes. Unlike the brooding Mr. Darcy and the haunted Colonel Brandon, Tilney is open and friendly, making the romance more simple than in her other books, but nonetheless sweet.

Although Northanger remains a lesser favorite of mine (nothing can replace Pride and Prejudice as my all-time favorite novel, and Emma and Sense & Sensibility have been long favorites), it still ranks highly in my library.

Definitely a good read! ( )
  aharey | May 6, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Claudia L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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No one who ever had seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine.
Quotations
"Oh! It is only a novel!" replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. "It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda"; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.
Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
...but while I have Udolpho to read, I feel as if nobody could make me miserable.
Young people do not like to be always thwarted.
Give me but a little cheerful company, let me only have the company of the people I love, let me be where I like and with whom I like, and the devil may take the rest
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, is the original form of this novel. Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey [ISBN 1854598376] is a dramatization of this work by Tim Luscombe. Please do not combine the two; thank you.
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Book description
Catherine, at seventeen, is an insatiable reader of 'horrid' novels full of villainous monks, secret corridors and blameless heroines. So, when, during an eventful visit to Bath, she is invited to the Tilneys' family home, Northanger Abbey, her cup is full. The quizzical Henry Tilney embarrasses her by guessing at her vivid speculations and she fears that she has lost his good opinion for ever. Just as she begins to hope again, his father inexplicably banishes her...In a lively novel, portraying social life in fashionable Bath and the terrors of an imposing country house, Jane Austen exposes the dangers of an over-active imagination, of mistaken ideals and of bad faith. But while Catherine's youthful blunders are treated with reconciling good humour, hypocrisy, avarice and social climbing are unmercifully delineated in this joyously incisive love story.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439793, Paperback)

Though Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until after her death--well after she'd established her reputation with works such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day made popular in such 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all figure into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Consider Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are told on the very first page that "no one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." The author goes on to explain that Miss Morland's father is a clergyman with "a considerable independence, besides two good livings--and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters." Furthermore, her mother does not die giving birth to her, and Catherine herself, far from engaging in "the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush" vastly prefers playing cricket with her brothers to any girlish pastimes.

Catherine grows up to be a passably pretty girl and is invited to spend a few weeks in Bath with a family friend. While there she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor, who invite her to visit their family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Austen amuses herself and us as Catherine, a great reader of Gothic romances, allows her imagination to run wild, finding dreadful portents in the most wonderfully prosaic events. But Austen is after something more than mere parody; she uses her rapier wit to mock not only the essential silliness of "horrid" novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society, for nothing Catherine imagines could possibly rival the hypocrisy she experiences at the hands of her supposed friends. In many respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, yet at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British style. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:38 -0400)

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The romantic folly of young Catherine Morland whose entry into life in nineteenth-century England is attended by the collapse of many illusions.

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5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439793, 0141028130, 0141194855, 0141197714, 0141389427

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