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Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics) by Jane…
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Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics) (original 1817; edition 2003)

by Jane Austen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,879246178 (3.82)2 / 903
Member:elwen
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 (1817)

1001 (69) 1001 books (74) 19th century (473) Austen (258) British (261) British literature (234) classic (775) classic fiction (69) Classic Literature (77) classics (650) ebook (107) England (271) English (127) English literature (244) fiction (1,754) gothic (294) humor (81) Jane Austen (336) Kindle (88) literature (361) novel (312) own (105) parody (75) read (184) regency (171) romance (445) satire (171) to-read (187) unread (98) women (68)
  1. 214
    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. 103
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Another brilliant parody.
  3. 20
    The Italian by Ann Radcliffe (kara.shamy)
  4. 31
    Evelina by Frances Burney (flissp)
  5. 32
    Nightmare Abbey & Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Both satirize gothic gaspers.
  6. 43
    Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer (inge87)
  7. 00
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (kara.shamy)
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English (229)  Spanish (5)  German (3)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (245)
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
Re-listen
Started 7 October 2013
Finished 23 October 2013

http://librivox.org/northanger-abbey-by-jane-austen/
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
This may make me a disgrace to Jane Austen fandom, but Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice have always been fairly interchangeable in my mind. They’re just so similar! So, even though I love them both dearly, I was initially very excited to start this book and find something a bit different. As always, I adored Austen’s writing style and her pointed humor. In this book, she very deliberately breaks the tropes of the Gothic novel, with funny asides about the genre along the way. Her points are made clearly enough that I could tell what she was making fun of in Gothic novels, even though I’ve read very few myself. However, as I got further into the book, it soon became clear that there was essentially no plot and the main character isn’t very bright. Although she does grow a bit, she has very little agency. Nearly all of the difficulties she faces are in her head or at least blown all out of proportion. I didn’t really feel that this silly main protagonist deserved the intelligent, funny, kind love interest. In typical Austen fashion though, everything just works itself out in the last few pages. This doesn’t typically bother me, but in this case, there wasn’t enough action by the main character preceding the speedy resolution. Only Austen’s wonderful writing saved this for me.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
For me, the best way to understand (or at least be introduced) to the themes to Jane Austen's novels is through the vast landscape of inspired novels and adaptations and re-imaginings. Most recent ones seem obsessively focused on Pride and Prejudice. But there are a few here and there for the other novels, if one looks hard enough.

Shannon Hale's Midnight in Austenland for instance is a great send up of Northanger Abbey. Like Hale's protagonist, young Catherine Morland is seeing mystery where there might not be any. She is also having trouble mustering the confidence to think for herself, especially around loud, opinionated, know-it-all men.

Catherine on a trip to Bath ends up the plaything for the other families present. She goes along good-naturedly as she is expected to but she'd rather have time to explore or to read.

I enjoyed seeing (or rather hearing, as I read this as an audio) that inspired Midnight in Austenland. I also laughed at the pokes at popular culture and snobbery. ( )
  pussreboots | Jun 28, 2014 |
I’ve just changed my rating from 3,5 to 4 stars. It’s ridiculous to give only 3,5 to a book I’ve read four times since 2008. Apparently I must like this novel a lot….

This is also second time listening to Juliet Stevenson narration - and what a good job she does. I like so much the young heroine - her innocence, charm, her wanting to please everybody and fear of doing anything that will cast shame upon her family, friends and benefactors.

You can easily imagine how Jane Austen must have delighted in this mild satire over young Catherine Mansfields first romance and her passion for gothic novels. The way she is introduced to society in Bath (a town Austen disliked) - it’s the perfect setting for Austen to satirize over the shallow and empty lives of characters who only wants to be seen by others and gossip and spend days shopping and dancing all the time (excemplified in the vain Thorpes family).

Catherine is overwhelmed by the glitter and pomp of Bath but fortunately meet some sensible people in Henry and Eleanor Tilney who can guide her - and eventually take her away from Bath.

Jane Austen wrote this in the beginning of her twenties and although it doesn’t shine as much as her later work, it has risen in my estimation over the last couple of years. And I know I will return to this again. And Juliet Stevenson.

And if you want some “suspense” from Jane Austen this is the novel (although there’s also a bit of that in Mansfield Park). ( )
2 vote ctpress | Jun 21, 2014 |
Though not as humorous as Emma nor as insightful as Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey is still a quality work from a quality author. Jane Austen reminds the reader that it is fruitless and naive to base one's views of life on what one reads in novels. In times when people take The DaVinci Code for history, or try to live a spiritual life based on the teachings of Yoda, the lesson of Northanger Abbey is still relevant.

However, the story languishes often, and the characters never seem to really come to life as they do in Austen's later works. ( )
  nsenger | May 23, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (115 possible)

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
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
Last words
(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.
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:06 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

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Five editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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