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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
14,336303141 (3.82)2 / 1064
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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English (282)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  Italian (4)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Piratical (1)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (303)
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
This is one of my favorite Austen books. This is her earliest written book, and probably the least polished.

It's funny and light-hearted at times, but it's also serious when it comes to the subject of marriage. There are laugh-out loud moments and there are moments where you get so angry at particular characters that you wish you could wring some necks! There are also moments in this book when Jane Austen is downright snarky. Her satire is sharp and funny. This is a book that involves the reader completely. I found myself underlining paragraphs and passages. One of my favorite quotes comes from Henry Tilney in a conversation with Catherine about reading: "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." I laughed when I read that! I agree!

Another fun passage was her narration about fashion: "It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biased by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull, or the jackonet. Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter. But not one of these grave reflections troubled the tranquillity of Catherine."

A definite must read for any and all who proclaim themselves lovers of Jane Austen. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
This is one of my favorite Austen books. This is her earliest written book, and probably the least polished.

It's funny and light-hearted at times, but it's also serious when it comes to the subject of marriage. There are laugh-out loud moments and there are moments where you get so angry at particular characters that you wish you could wring some necks! There are also moments in this book when Jane Austen is downright snarky. Her satire is sharp and funny. This is a book that involves the reader completely. I found myself underlining paragraphs and passages. One of my favorite quotes comes from Henry Tilney in a conversation with Catherine about reading: "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." I laughed when I read that! I agree!

Another fun passage was her narration about fashion: "It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biased by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull, or the jackonet. Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter. But not one of these grave reflections troubled the tranquillity of Catherine."

A definite must read for any and all who proclaim themselves lovers of Jane Austen. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
My reading experience mirrored our naive heroine Catherine's: I too wanted gothic horrors and was disappointed by the reality. Instead it's mostly a gentle comedy about teenagers getting crushes. ( )
  xicohtli | Jul 20, 2016 |
This was the last of the Austen books for me and it was certainly the most cynical. If I knew more about Gothic novels, such as The Mysteries of Udolpho, I might have got more out of it but still the social commentary and caricatures of English society were wickedly comic. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (108 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grillo, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Claudia L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reim, RiccardoIntroductionsecondary 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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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.

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