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Northanger Abbey (Barnes & Noble Classics)…

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

by Jane Austen, Alfred Mac Adam (Introduction)

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13,553271157 (3.82)2 / 1019
Title:Northanger Abbey (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Authors:Jane Austen
Other authors:Alfred Mac Adam (Introduction)
Info:Barnes & Noble Classics (2005), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:1001 TBR, Film, England

Work details

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1818)

  1. 234
    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. 41
    Evelina by Frances Burney (flissp)
  4. 20
    The Italian by Ann Radcliffe (kara.shamy)
  5. 42
    Nightmare Abbey & Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Both satirize gothic gaspers.
  6. 10
    The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott (aulsmith)
  7. 43
    Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer (inge87)
  8. 11
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (kara.shamy)

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Seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland has lived a fairly sheltered life in the English countryside but is delighted to accompany her neighbors on a trip to Bath, where she meets new friends and a young man who catches her fancy. Things take a turn when her new acquaintances invite her to their country home, Northanger Abbey, where she fancies she will come across mysterious events and dark secrets, like those she reads about in popular horror novels.

This was my third time reading Northanger Abbey, and it never gets dull – indeed, I notice new nuances with each reading. The take-away from this novel for most readers (and admittedly for myself the first couple of times around) is that it is a parody of the Gothic novels that were popular at the time Austen wrote it. While that is true in parts, it is by and large a novel of Austen’s creation and quite like her other big five novels in terms of themes and even plot in some respects. It concerns itself with the courtship rituals and accompanying trials and tribulations of young ladies and men of the upper middle classes.

Like with Austen’s other works, two major things stand out in this novel – its wit and its characters. Austen shows her trademark humor in small asides and through the foibles of her characters. Even though this was an early work, it already shows her mastery of free indirect discourse, and she often interrupts as narrator to remind readers that this a book she is writing, thus not only trampling down the “fourth wall” but also acting as a commentary on the novels popular in her time. While this book isn’t usually considered a favorite, even among Austen’s biggest fans, it is still ripe with oft quoted lines, such as “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love” and “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Likewise there are certainly some notable characters here, even if they don’t usually end up on anyone’s “best of” list. The protagonist, Catherine Morland, is a bit of a former tomboy who lets her imagination run wild and is charmingly naïve, thinking that all people should be as caring and honest as she herself is. Henry Tilney is not generally considered at the level of some of Austen’s other heroes, but he is well-mannered and perceptive, stands up to his father when needed, and certainly can tell a detailed and imaginative story on the fly. Meanwhile, his sister Eleanor is a truly unsung heroine from the Austen oeuvre as she is a perfect gentlewoman and true friend. And, of course, this being Austen, we have a fair share of more objectionable but certainly not less entertaining characters, including the ever fickle Isabella Thorpe, the obnoxious John Thorpe, the harsh and overbearing General Tilney, the flirtatious Caption Tilney, and the fashion-obsessed Mrs. Allen.

For the audiophile, the version I read this time was an audiobook narrated by Anna Massey, who was absolutely phenomenal. Her reading was never placid or monotone; she injected appropriate tone and emotion into each line. She also did an excellent job developing a distinct voice for each of the myriad of characters, with every voice reflecting that person’s characteristics. I highly recommend this edition for anyone interested in a reading or re-reading of this novel as an audiobook. ( )
1 vote sweetiegherkin | Oct 3, 2015 |
It was good..
I would guess that it was Jane Austen's very first novel..
She really has improved over time.. :)
Nonetheless, I still like it. ( )
  smiley0905 | Sep 3, 2015 |
An enjoyable story of a truly clueless young lady, and her visit to Bath. The dialogue is, as always, delightful, and I especially liked Mr. Tilney's sense of humor. Solid Austen. ( )
  fuzzi | Aug 8, 2015 |
Northanger Abbey is a gothic fictional novel written by Jane Austen around 1798–99. Austen was a well-known writer, amongst other gothic writers like Mary Shelley and Emily Bronte’, who gained popularity for her works of “Pride and Prejudice” and Sense and Sensibility”.

Northanger Abbey is a novel based on the life of Catherine Morland, a 17 year old girl, who lived amongst nine other siblings in a country town named Fullerton. Although Catherine was raised like any other girl during that time, she desired to spend her time playing sports, something which was not considered to be feminine characteristic , and was fond of reading gothic novels. As she attained the age of 17, her wealthy neighbours, Mr and Mrs Allen, requested her to accompany them on their journey to Bath in England. She soon acknowledged their wish and departed to Bath. During their stay in Bath, Catherine and Mrs Allen spent their time attending balls and theatres. When attending the ball, one evening, Catherine was introduced to a young man by the name of Henry Tilney who offered to dance with her. After a few meetings with Mr Tilney and his sister Eleanor, Catherine was invited to their house in Bath. Catherine met Mr Tilney’s father, he invited her to accompany them to their house in Northanger Abbey and to stay there for a few weeks. The rest of the story follows Catherine Morland’s journey in surviving at the abbey.

This is a fantastic novel which focuses on the journey of Catherine Morland to Northanger Abbey. I have thoroughly enjoyed this novel from beginning to end as it entertains from every aspect of the story. I highly recommend this novel for those who have read books like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights as it is a hard read. ( )
1 vote Abarnika | Jul 22, 2015 |
I greatly enjoyed Northanger Abbey. Really, how could I not, with a heroine who loves to read and has an overactive imagination stoked by trashy Gothic novels? In comparison to other Austen novels, not as much happens in the same number of pages, but the writing propels the reader along. There was also some first-class conflict involving the extremely vexing John Thorpe, whose exaggerations and pomposity had me squirming with embarrassment on Catherine's behalf. What an odious man. But the Tilneys were lovely, and the story wrapped everything up in a very satisfactory manner. This will probably be reread eventually. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jun 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (110 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
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.
"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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26 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439793, 0141028130, 0141194855, 0141197714, 0141389427

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2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102057, 1400110785

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