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Northanger Abbey (1818)

by Jane Austen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,427368188 (3.82)2 / 1252
"When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of 'Gothic novels' by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn. However, the truth turns out to be even stranger than fiction ..."--Container.… (more)
  1. 255
    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. 20
    The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott (aulsmith)
  5. 42
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (kara.shamy)
  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 (337)  Spanish (6)  Italian (4)  German (4)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (359)
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)
This is my third Jane Austen book and so far my favorite. The characters are well written with their own distinct personalities, some of which I wanted to stab in the face with a hat pin. The protagonist, Catherine, is unlike other J.A. heroines (that I've read so far) in that she tells it like it is. Sure there's flowery Victorian-speak but if she doesn't like you she lets you know with little to no niceties. Her love interest is not perfect, in fact he's kinda weird and their romance is not the main focus of the novel. J.A. does such a good job at making the antagonists so infuriating that, at times, I had to close the book and take a breath or else I would've hurled it across the room.

It was also quite funny at times, being a parody of Gothic literature. I've read a few of the classic Gothic novels and I think that made it funnier to me. I loved this book so much that now I dread reading her other more famous novels because this one was perfect. ( )
  LynnK. | Aug 4, 2020 |
I normally love a good classic, but I must admit I positively laboured over this slim novel. In fact, it's taken me weeks to get through it.

For a while I was convinced "It's not you, Jane, it's me." I admit my attention has been elsewhere, between busyness at work, an ambitious new project in the garden, some mini projects indoors plus a newfound addiction to late night TV, and I surmised I just wasn't in the mood for a whimsical period romance story. BUT, having eventually finished it, I have to say "Sorry, Jane - it is you."

It was OK, but if you park for a moment that this was written by one of the literature greats and consider it objectively, it is entirely tedious in many places (especially the first half), with vacuous characters and nothing of any great importance or excitement by way of plot.

I don't think this cheap Everyman edition helped. It was one of those classic publications that's printed in tiny, dense font, and it made my head ache just looking at it.

I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with me as I know this is a much loved book for many, but it just didn't do it for me. In the words of Austen herself in Northanger Abbey, "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." Nonetheless, I'm prepared to stand by the courage of my convictions.

3 stars - mildly amusing, but not one of my favourite classics. I think I ultimately prefer the angst and tragedy of Hardy's type of novels to Austen's trauma over the wrong type of muslin or questionable fortune of a potential suitor.
  AlisonY | Jul 28, 2020 |
Well so far I seem to be on a home run with Jane Austen. "Northanger Abbey" is about a young woman named Catherine Morland who goes off to Bath for a season with her next door neighbors the Allens. Catherine who loves Gothic novels is in love with a Ms. Radcliffe's books and dreams of haunted castles and dark brooding heroes.

I have to say that at times I pitied and also wanted to kick Catherine. She really is quite naive with regards to people though by the end of the book she has definitely matured. When Catherine is introduced to Isabella Thorpe she finally finds a young woman who says she is just as engrossed in Gothic novels as she is. Though the reader is given little peeks into Isabelle, Catherine just blissfully goes along with everything her friend says because she believes that Isabelle wants only the best for Catherine.

I already liked the character of Henry Tilney (who Catherine meets in Bath) because he loved to read. I despised the character of John Thorpe (Isabelle's brother) because he only cared for horses and didn't care for novels or people who read them. I did like how Austen set up these two suitors. It would have taken someone with a better heart than Catherine to be interested in John Thorpe and I ended up disliking the whole family.

Other characters in this story definitely do come across showing who they really are, for example, I got to give Isabella two gold-digger snaps for effort. I started to see what this character was about quite soon, it took Henry and Catherine's own brother for her to finally have her eyes opened.

The character of Mrs. Allen who was only focused on her gowns after a while reminded me of a very wonderfully dressed parrot. She never seemed to follow along with what people were saying at all.

I really enjoyed the writing and I have to say that I loved how Austen teases the character of Catherine throughout this book. Because of Catherine's love of Gothic books she allows her head to be turned by dark imaginings and you as a reader start to see how very silly she was being and is being. It seems her love affair with Gothic novels came about the same time that she started to see how people around here were acting as well.

The flow of the book does well throughout. I was worrying the entire time that Catherine was going to make a mistake and end up somehow stuck with the Thorpes for life though. The very beginning of the book was pretty funny and you get a sense of the Moreland family and parents.

The setting of Bath takes center stage in this one as does Northanger Abbey. I had to laugh at Catherine realizing that Northanger Abbey was not some dark filled abbey with ghosts and hidden passages all over.

The ending was very good though I do wonder what did become of the Thorpes. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Of the Jane Austen novels I've read so far, this was my favorite. There were some rough edges where the author's voice is too intrusive, as she points out all the ways her novel is breaking expectations with the genre. But, the characters here were more likable than in Emma or Pride and Prejudice, and I felt there was more immediacy to the scenes, especially once the action moved to Northanger itself. Catherine held silly notions without coming across as stupid, which is a difficult balancing act. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
This is my second Jane Austen read, and it was not as enjoyable as Persuasion. I'm not sure what it was. This one felt even more like a commentary on the social norms at the time than an actual story. Catherine was a pretty good character, and I loved how she got too caught up in the more adventurous parts of her life and it affected her. However, it felt like all the action was packed into the end and I wasn't sure where Catherine's feelings were until nearly the end. As it is a satire on gothic novels, it was amusing to see similar themes to Jane Eyre which I read earlier this month. I think I would enjoy it more on a second reading, but for now it was just a 'meh' Jane Austen piece. ( )
  hopebarton2014 | Jun 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (103 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agliotta, Mary SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brock, C. E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, MarilynEditorsecondary 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
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinching, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quiller-Couch, Arthur ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reim, RiccardoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowe, AnneIntroductionsecondary 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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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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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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