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Northanger Abbey (Barnes & Noble Classics) (original 1818; edition 2005)

by Jane Austen (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,535342186 (3.82)2 / 1212
Member:donutage
Title:Northanger Abbey (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Authors:Jane Austen (Author)
Info:Barnes & Noble Classics (2005), 288 pages
Collections:Kentucky
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, novel, british, 19c, Austen, parody, romance, comedy of manners, gothic

Work details

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1818)

  1. 244
    The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (upstairsgirl, HollyMS)
    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. 51
    Evelina by Frances Burney (flissp)
  4. 41
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (kara.shamy)
  5. 20
    The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott (aulsmith)
  6. 42
    Nightmare Abbey [and] Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Both satirize gothic gaspers.
  7. 10
    The Italian by Ann Radcliffe (kara.shamy)
  8. 43
    Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer (inge87)
  9. 01
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (TheLittlePhrase)
    TheLittlePhrase: protagonists who struggle to differentiate between reality & the books that they read
1810s (7)
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English (321)  Spanish (6)  Italian (4)  German (4)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (342)
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)
I see what she was trying to do here, but it comes off more frustrated and catty than satirical. It does make me glad that I live in the 21st century, though, and not the 18th. ( )
1 vote haloedrain | Aug 3, 2019 |
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey was the first she completed for publication, in 1803, though it was not published until after her death in 1817. The work satirizes gothic novels though the heroine, Catherine Morland, who “is in training for a heroine.” She is fond of gothic novels, particularly the work of Ann Radcliffe’s work, and this allows Austen to comment on the novel as a literary form, defending it against critics who derided it for its supposed lack of serious content. Discussing her reading habits, Catherine describes the follies then current in historical writing, saying, “The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all – it is very tiresome: and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention. The speeches that are put into the heroes’ mouths, their thoughts and designs – the chief of all this must be invention, and invention is what delights me in other books” (pg. 102). As modern academic history was relatively recent, first appearing with Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776, Austen comments on the earlier fashion of historical writing and how authors would simply repackage classical texts with some of their own inventions to spice up the narrative. The power of reading runs through Austen’s work, driving many of Catherine’s choices and informing her conversations. This Barnes & Noble edition includes an introduction and notes from Alfred Mac Adam that the Austen scholar may find interesting, though his habit of putting definitions for all the early-nineteenth century terms in the footnotes becomes distracting, especially as the meaning of most can be gleaned from context. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jul 18, 2019 |
Catherine Morland is a silly, not very well educated, 17-year old. She gets to take a trip to Bath with some neighbors, the Allens. There, she meets Isabella Thorpe, who introduces Catherine to Gothic novels, in particular the works of Mrs. Radcliffe, most notably The Mysteries of Udolpho. Catherine is entranced, and suddenly she is seeing her life becoming very much like the goings on in Udolpho, with all its creepiness and evil.

Catherine's brother, James, shows up and he becomes enamored by Isabella. Isabella's brother, John, who is a college friend of James, becomes enraptured with Catherine. But, even though Catherine is immensely silly, she can tell that something about John Thorpe isn't quite right.

Catherine also meets Henry Tilney and his sister, Eleanor. Eventually, Eleanor invites Catherine to visit with them at their home, Northanger Abbey. Catherine is immediately intrigued. It's an old Abbey and bound to be just like Udolpho, right? It's bound to have strange messages hidden inside weird cabinets, wailings in the night, Eleanor's father a sadist, and so forth. Well, perhaps, or perhaps not. You'll have to read it to find out.

I was thinking this is likely the weakest of Austen's novels that I've read. But, on reflection, I realize that it is well done. The part with which I was having trouble had to do with the silliness of the heroine. Then I realized that I have a niece who is almost 17, and she's every bit as ignorant and silly as a young woman could ever be. Catherine Morland isn't so much different from real life as I'd initially thought.

Then we have John Thorpe. It doesn't take long to realize that he's a classic narcissist, a self delusional liar with no conscience. He's almost a perfect pre-incarnation of Donald Trump! Austen is prescient, or perhaps, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, "there is nothing new under the sun".

I read this book back in the dark ages when I lived in London and was spending an hour each way in my commute back and forth to Queen Mary College. So, I had much leisure for reading, but didn't have the discretionary income to afford a daily newspaper. Thank God for libraries. Anyway, after I'd read this book, I actually did go on to read The Mysteries of Udolpho. I think I'll likely skip that "pleasure" this time around. But Austen, any Austen, is always worth one's time.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
Not my favourite Austen novel, but still a lovely read and a very intriguing story. Northanger Abbey concerns itself with appearance, style, and fashion. This is established immediately with the author's advertisement, and with the repetition in the first few chapters that Catherine is the "heroine" and must appear "heroic." Of course, Austen breaks down the rules of appearances, demonstrating throughout the length of the novel that nothing is as it appears. Even the lovely abbey that Catherine longs for, she soon remarks that it is the place where she has been most miserable, and received the most terrible news, as opposed to its exterior joys. All in all, it's a snarky Austen, and a witty Austen, but it lacks the mastery of some of Austen's other works. ( )
  ainjel | Jun 20, 2019 |
A quite surprising novel in its frankness and how it treats the subject matter. Austen proves her worth by crafting characters whose journeys inward parallel the motion of the plot-line occurring around them. While the prose might seem a little dated by today's standards, there is still much to be admired here. This is, I believe, one of Austen's finer novels.

3.35-- worth the read. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (219 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agliotta, Mary SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brock, C EIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, MarilynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Facetti, GermanoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Facetti, GermanoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grillo, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Claudia L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacAdam, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinching, DavidAfterwordsecondary 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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(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.
This "work" contains copies without enough information. The title might refer to the book by Jane Austen or a (movie) adaptation, so this "work" should not be combined with any of them. If you are an owner of one of these copies, please add information such as author name or ISBN that can help identify its rightful home. After editing your copy, it might still need further separation and recombination work. Feel free to ask in the Combiners! group if you have questions or need help. Thanks.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:38 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:     New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars     Biographies of the authors     Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events     Footnotes and endnotes     Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work     Comments by other famous authors     Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations     Bibliographies for further reading     Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences--biographical, historical, and literary--to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen's "Gothic parody." Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist. The story's unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry's mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art. Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, yet at its core this delightful novel is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439793, 0141028130, 0141194855, 0141197714, 0141389427

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102057, 1400110785

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175366, 1909175374

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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