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Northanger Abbey [Christmas Summary Classics] PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Northanger Abbey [Christmas Summary Classics]
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Published December 18th 2013 by Createspace (first published 1818)
ISBN: 9781494726225
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Christmas Summary Classics This series contains summary of Classic books such as Emma, Arne, Arabian Nights, Pride and prejudice, Tower of London, Wealth of Nations etc. Each book is specially crafted after reading complete book in less than 30 pages. One who wants to get joy of book reading especially in very less time can go for it. About The Book "Northanger Abbey" was Christmas Summary Classics This series contains summary of Classic books such as Emma, Arne, Arabian Nights, Pride and prejudice, Tower of London, Wealth of Nations etc. Each book is specially crafted after reading complete book in less than 30 pages. One who wants to get joy of book reading especially in very less time can go for it. About The Book "Northanger Abbey" was written in 1798, revised for the press in 1803, and sold in the same year for 10 to a Bath bookseller, who held it in such light esteem that, after allowing it to remain for many years on his shelves, he was content to sell it back to the novelist's brother, Henry Austen, for the exact sum which he had paid for it at the beginning, not knowing that the writer was already the author of four popular novels. This story--which is, of course, a skit on the "terror" novel of Mrs. Radcliffe's school--was not published till after its author's death, when, in 1818, it was bound up with her last book, "Persuasion." For more eBooks visit www.kartindo.com

30 review for Northanger Abbey [Christmas Summary Classics]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zoë

    Will I ever give a Jane Austen book less than 5 stars? Doesn't look like it. This is the second time I've read this book and I enjoyed it even more than I did the first time! Mr. Tilney is still the most hilarious flirt and I love how Catherine has a crush on him from the beginning, as I found that far more relatable than the accidentally-falling-in-love trope that is in many of Austen's other works. I'm not exactly sure what made this reading experience so fantastic? Probably the fact that the Will I ever give a Jane Austen book less than 5 stars? Doesn't look like it. This is the second time I've read this book and I enjoyed it even more than I did the first time! Mr. Tilney is still the most hilarious flirt and I love how Catherine has a crush on him from the beginning, as I found that far more relatable than the accidentally-falling-in-love trope that is in many of Austen's other works. I'm not exactly sure what made this reading experience so fantastic? Probably the fact that the faux-Gothic style fit with Halloween so much and that I was able to read it with the rest of the Austentatious book club! Also, as I am now more versed in her other works, I was able to see how this (her first novel) showcased her early talents and inner reflections on whether novel writing was a worthy profession. This book may not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a lighthearted and relatively easy classic to read, pick this up! [Original review from June 2015] I really enjoyed this! I am, obviously, a huge fan of Jane Austen, but I had heard so little about this novel that I was unsure of it going in. It definitely isn't as perfect as Pride and Prejudice (nothing can be, let's be honest), but I loved the parody of 18th century gothic novels and found myself laughing at loud several times. Mr. Tilney, Catherine, and Eleanor were the only characters I really enjoyed in this novel as everyone else seemed to be vain, materialistic, and/or annoying. This both made me happy, as I had people to root against and laugh at, and unhappy, as the annoying conversations with Isabella and John got repetitive after a while. Still, I had a surprisingly fun time reading this and I can't wait to watch the adaptation with JJ Feild as Mr. Tilney (that beautiful, grammar-loving flirt) and swoon <3

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I have a confession to make. Secretly, I much prefer "Northanger Abbey" and "Mansfield Park" to anything else written by Jane Austen, even "Pride and Prejudice," which we're all supposed to claim as our favorite because it is one of the Greatest Books Ever Written In the English Language. I don't DISLIKE "Pride and Prejudice," but I just don't think it stands up to this one. I'm sorry, but it's true. "Northanger Abbey" feels like two very different stories that eventually merge into one at the end I have a confession to make. Secretly, I much prefer "Northanger Abbey" and "Mansfield Park" to anything else written by Jane Austen, even "Pride and Prejudice," which we're all supposed to claim as our favorite because it is one of the Greatest Books Ever Written In the English Language. I don't DISLIKE "Pride and Prejudice," but I just don't think it stands up to this one. I'm sorry, but it's true. "Northanger Abbey" feels like two very different stories that eventually merge into one at the end: the story of feisty, level-headed romance-novel-addict Catherine Morland and her adventures in Bath during the party season, falling in love and making new friends and escaping unpleasant suitors; and the story of Catherine's post-Bath vacation with her new best friend Eleanor back to Eleanor's country home, a huge creepy old place called Northanger Abbey. Catherine's obsession with bloodthirsty Gothic novels leads her to see a mystery or a creepy secret in every room (eventually leading her to suspect Eleanor's grumpy dad of having unceremoniously murdered his own wife, OR, possibly, of locking her up in a hidden dungeon somewhere inside the abbey), and her various misadventures and misunderstandings make for top-shelf farce. But then when a REAL mystery arrives on her doorstep (taking us back into the world of Bath and bringing the two stories together), she realizes that she's been looking at things upside-down and backwards the whole time. This book has some real,heartfelt drama and romance, but mainly I like it because it's really, really funny. Catherine is awesome and kind of nuts, and the supporting characters run the gamut from really likeable and charming (Eleanor and her brother Henry) to the excruciatingly irritating John and Isabella, who totally beat out both Mrs. Bennet, Aunt Norris, and Lucy Steele in my list of Best-Ever Annoying Jane Austen Characters.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    Jane Austen’s novels are just about romance and naïve women. There just another telling of boy meets girl in an uninspiring way with a few social issues thrown in. Well, ashamed as I am to admit it, that is what I used to believe in my woefully idiotic ignorance. How foolish of me. Now that I’ve actually bothered to read one of her novels, because I had to for university purposes, I realise how stupid I was to actually think this. Jane Austen is one of, if not the, best novelists of all time. If Jane Austen’s novels are just about romance and naïve women. There just another telling of boy meets girl in an uninspiring way with a few social issues thrown in. Well, ashamed as I am to admit it, that is what I used to believe in my woefully idiotic ignorance. How foolish of me. Now that I’ve actually bothered to read one of her novels, because I had to for university purposes, I realise how stupid I was to actually think this. Jane Austen is one of, if not the, best novelists of all time. If you disbelieve me, and held a similar opinion to my own, then read one of her novels and find out for yourself. That being said though Catherine, the protagonist of this novel, is somewhat ignorant and naïve to the ways of the world; but, she had to be. Indeed, if not Austen would have been unable to achieve such an endearing comment on the absurdity of society, the role of women in that said society, and the ignorance toward the unpopular literary craft of the novel. How else if not though the eyes of an innocent young girl who cannot understand the mechanisms of these aspects of the world? Who when thrust into the pump room (a sort of ball room for dance and socialising) has virtually no idea how to behave. Catherine has an immeasurable misunderstanding of the intentions of others, and a misguided view that the world is like one of her beloved books: a romantic adventure with a little bit of popular gothic thrown in for excitement. She cannot comprehend the reasoning behind her friend, Isabella Thorpe’s, behaviour and how she is only leading her brother along; she cannot understand that Henry’s father is not a gothic villain, but a man in mourning with a harsh temper: her vision has become obscured. "Catherine's blood ran cold with the horrid suggestions which naturally sprang from these words. Could it be possible? - Could Henry's father? - And yet how many were the examples to justify even the blackest suspicions!" This is achieved through a narration that is a work of genius. Austen has satirised the conventions of gothic literature by writing a semi-gothic novel herself that is focalised through the experience of Catherine. Catherine is well read, but only as far as the gothic genre allows. This has clouded her interpretation of the events that occur around her, consequently, life to her has become akin to the works by authors such as Radcliffe. This means that by the time that Catherine arrives at the abbey she expects it to be this place of utter darkness and dread; she expects to be a gothic castle and the home to a tyrannical gothic villain. However, when the veil is lifted and she realises that her life is in fact not a book and the motivations of the people in it are not what she thought them to be, the revelation of how foolish she has been dawns upon her. I’m not going to lie, I felt like Catherine at this point; I held a ridiculous opinion that when lifted allowed me to see the work of Austen for what it was: utter brilliance. I love Northanger Abbey; it is brilliant. Jane Austen is the master of her craft; her work is what she argued the novel to be: “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.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    "It is only a novel... 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." Well, I guess Jane Austen wrote my review of her novel - in her novel. That's a bit annoying, as I can't compete with her wit of course. But even more annoying is the fact that I wrote my own imag "It is only a novel... 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." Well, I guess Jane Austen wrote my review of her novel - in her novel. That's a bit annoying, as I can't compete with her wit of course. But even more annoying is the fact that I wrote my own imaginary review in my head before I started the book - and as opposed to Austen's summary, mine doesn't work out at all anymore, now that I know the story. It is dangerous to check the facts before writing your opinion - for facts have the frustrating habit of changing your opinions - if you dare to leave the realm of your fiction. Like the young heroine in Northanger Abbey, I seemed to have lost grip of fiction and reality recently - due to an overly greedy consumption of novels! Like the young heroine, I thought I knew what to expect of characters, setting and plot before I had even ventured out to explore them, and like her, I created a massive amount of tension for myself, only to find myself in the somewhat silly situation of waking up to a reality that did not at all justify my preconceived ideas. Let's say I prided myself in "knowing" what to expect of Jane Austen. Let's say I started full of prejudices. Let's say that I had to force myself to come to my senses after a roller coaster that tested my sensibility more than I am willing to admit. Let's say I thought I had a perfect review in the making, following the idea of explaining the exaggerated characters and dramatic actions with regard to Austen's time, place and gender. I was going to put Northanger Abbey in its place - liking it for its classic status, but dismissing it (secretly) as irrelevant in the modern context. I was going to compare it to earlier works of Gothic fiction, and maybe even to my timeless favourite Dickens and his comically evil villains and puritan heroes. But no. It won't do. She's a bloody genius, - Jane Austen (if one can still say that nowadays without involuntarily insulting her intelligence and judgment)! Exaggerated characters? The Thorpes too vain, greedy, shallow and stupid? Eh - show me the person in high society today that is NOT equally vulgar, volatile and obvious! Ridiculous naivety of the heroine? Eh - we have people organising Flat Earth Conferences (and it isn't even fiction or satire, but plain truth). Old-fashioned family structures? Eh - if the eternal generation conflict was solved in the meantime, I must have missed it! Can you send me the action plan, please? So, if there is anything "dated" in Jane Austen, it must be the lovable character of her protagonist, her passionate argument for reading (novels), and her linguistically convincing prose. Well, for those minor defects I am willing to forgive her, in the name of classic literature. She's proof that literature can always transcend the narrow boundaries of its time and place. It can speak to readers all over the world, in the most various life circumstances - as long as the message is honest and rings true. Loved it. Despite all my pride and prejudice, with all my sense and sensibility.

  5. 5 out of 5

    emma

    I don’t even know what to say. This book was such a flippin’ blast. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie. I know the most important thing I have to say. First and foremost: I’M IN LOVE WITH HENRY TILNEY. SO FUNNY, smart, handsome, owns a cute house, and dare I say...woke?! He’s the best. But let me backtrack a bit. Northanger Abbey is Austen’s satire, and she pokes fun at gothic horror books by having her heroine, Catherine, believe she’s essentially in one. AN I don’t even know what to say. This book was such a flippin’ blast. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie. I know the most important thing I have to say. First and foremost: I’M IN LOVE WITH HENRY TILNEY. SO FUNNY, smart, handsome, owns a cute house, and dare I say...woke?! He’s the best. But let me backtrack a bit. Northanger Abbey is Austen’s satire, and she pokes fun at gothic horror books by having her heroine, Catherine, believe she’s essentially in one. AND SO MUCH GOOD COMES OUT OF THIS. The satire is hilarious - there’s one moment, for example, when what Catherine believes is a ~spooky, ghastly scroll~ is really a list of the contents of a linen closet. But right when it’s about to stop being funny, and you’re getting just the teensiest bit annoyed at Catherine’s naïveté, it ends! She confesses to Henry, whose father she believes is a murderer, and he gently shoots her down while still being all, “I love you, girl.” It’s really great. AUSTEN IS A TALENT. That’s the wonderful bit about this satire, IMO. I don’t alwayssss love literary satire, because it gives me secondhand-embarrassment cringes. But this is satire within another narrative - a more typical Austen storyline. So it’s funny and biting, while also being cute and happy and having adorable characters and a lovely ending! Talk about a TOTAL win-win, amiright? There are also even MORE plus sides to this. Austen makes a lot of sweeping generalizations about “heroines” and plots and books, and they are all hysterically funny and insanely accurate. She also writes a few amazing defenses of fiction - isn’t that wild, y’all? While we’re out here with people trying to make others feel bad for liking YA, our sistas in Austen’s lifetime couldn’t even read novels without judgment. So crazy! Call me crazy, but I’d rather someone insult my intellect for having read Sarah J. Maas than have to read 19th century TEXTBOOKS in order to be considered ~marriage material~. Bleh. Total nightmare, no? Let’s count our blessings and chill the hell out for one freaking second. But I digress. Let’s talk more about those characterssss. They are, in turn, perfectly hate-able and lovable. Hang on. I’ll explain. When people are all, “She’s a villain I love to hate!” I seriously never understand. I don’t ever love hating characters. It makes reading unpleasant, usually, even villains. Like Levana from The Lunar Chronicles, or whatever. I just hated her. I didn’t enjoy hating her. She got on my nerves and I was displeased whenever she showed up. But...Isabella and her brother in this book? Pretty hilarious. They’re super annoying - Isabella uses people, is self-obsessed, and lies all the time; her brother is a total self-serving asshole. But when sweet lil Catherine is utterly ignorant to their flaws? It’s really funny. The way Isabella’s dialogue is written in particular made me laugh a lot, genuinely. Do people actually laugh out loud while reading on the reg? But also there are characters who are so intensely lovable! (Especially my husband.) Catherine, for one thing. She could be a little irritating, because she’s SO immature sometimes, but she’s just, like, a good person to her core who is so kind to those around her. You can’t hate her. At least I couldn’t, and I hate most characters. But let’s talk more about bae. You can’t see me, but I actually just turned into a literal heart eyes emoji from the neck up. Henry Tilney is a charmer from the SECOND he shows up. The banter he has with Catherine...unreal. Austen outdoes herself. Now I wanna reread their meeting scene. Ugh! Literally a heart eyes emoji. And ultimately, this is just a bananas well-written book. A real masterpiece. Some of Austen’s most famous quotes are from this book, and it totally makes sense why. Here are a couple fresh examples: “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” See what I mean? I just read this book and I already wanna pick it up again. Bottom line: Charming characters, hilarity, biting satire, gorgeous quotes...It’s Austen at her best. But when isn’t she at her best?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    A charming early Austen novel filled with overt criticism of Mrs. Radcliffe and implied criticism of Fanny Burney . . . but this is very gentle criticism indeed, since young Jane is obviously a huge fan of both writers. Her heroine Catharine Morland is a charming naif in the Evelina mode--perhaps just a little too naive, and therein lies some of the criticism--who is fascinated by all things gothic and therefore misinterprets much of what she sees, manufacturing the sinister in a score of places A charming early Austen novel filled with overt criticism of Mrs. Radcliffe and implied criticism of Fanny Burney . . . but this is very gentle criticism indeed, since young Jane is obviously a huge fan of both writers. Her heroine Catharine Morland is a charming naif in the Evelina mode--perhaps just a little too naive, and therein lies some of the criticism--who is fascinated by all things gothic and therefore misinterprets much of what she sees, manufacturing the sinister in a score of places and yet not recognizing real evil when it stares her in the face. The book, while filled with good sense, is nevertheless lighthearted and very funny, and may well be the sunniest of Austen's works.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    A creepy mansion... Dark and stormy nights... ... and Jane Austen just having fun with us. "Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." Seventeen year old Catherine Morland, as innocent and naïve a heroine as Austen ever created, with no particular distinguishing characteristics except goodhearted sincerity and an overfondness for Gothic novels, is invited to stay in Bath for several weeks with kindly and wealthy neighbors. She meets a new bestie, Isabella ... ... as well as Henry A creepy mansion... Dark and stormy nights... ... and Jane Austen just having fun with us. "Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." Seventeen year old Catherine Morland, as innocent and naïve a heroine as Austen ever created, with no particular distinguishing characteristics except goodhearted sincerity and an overfondness for Gothic novels, is invited to stay in Bath for several weeks with kindly and wealthy neighbors. She meets a new bestie, Isabella ... ... as well as Henry Tilney, a guy who's far too quick―not to mention wealthy―for her. But he has a weakness for cute girls who totally admire him. Their relationship strikes me as weak, probably because Austen was focused more on creating a parody by turning Gothic conventions on their heads than on creating a compelling heroine and romance. Henry is a great character, but Catherine really isn't quite up to his level, despite all of Jane Austen's rationalizations (though maybe that's true to life sometimes). However, I comfort myself with the thought that Catherine isn't unintelligent, just young and inexperienced. I have faith in Henry's ability to kindly help her learn to think more deeply and critically. Austen inserts a lot of sarcastic side comments mocking Gothic plot elements, like Catherine's father being "not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters" and her mother "instead of dying in bringing the latter [sons] into the world, as anybody might expect," still living on in inexplicably good health. But Austen also takes the time, whilst skewering Gothic novels, to make a few pleas to readers in favor of novels generally. And she creates one of her most deliciously shallow and hypocritical characters in Isabella, whose mendacious comments, along with Henry's sarcastic ones, were the biggest pleasure in this book for me. When Catherine is invited to visit with Henry's family at the formidable Northanger Abbey, all her Gothic daydreams finally seem poised to come true. A mysterious heavy chest in her bedroom, with silver handles "broken perhaps prematurely by some strange violence"; an odd locked area of the house; a man she suspects of doing away with his wife. Gasp! Austen makes fun of it all, and Catherine's "disturbed imagination" along with it. Catherine repeatedly gets shot down and then makes firm although not necessarily long-lasting resolutions not to let her imagination run away with her in the future. But it seems likely that, in the end, she's gained some experience and wisdom. Not to mention (view spoiler)[Henry. (hide spoiler)] Good fun! The 2007 BBC TV movie with Felicity Jones and JJ Feild takes a few liberties with the book's plot, but I still recommend it highly. Random trivia: Watership Down uses the ending lines from Northanger Abbey as one of its final chapter heading quotes, in probably my favorite use ever of a literary quote for a wholly different yet completely appropriate context.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    NOVELS. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another, we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many a NOVELS. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another, we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens,--there seems almost a general with of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them. “I am no novel reader--I seldom look into novels--Do not imagine that I often read novels--It is really very well for a novel.’--Such is the common cant.--”And what are you reading, Miss--?’ “Oh! it is only a novel!’ replies the young lady; while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein: Do you know why you are here Mr. Keeten? Keeten: I don’t even know where I am. Stein: You are before the Book Tribunal. I rubbed my jaw. Keeten: Did Hemingway have to slug me? Stein: Fetching, people such as yourself, to appear before this tribunal seems to be the one thing that Hemingway does enjoy about serving on the panel. Hemingway gave a short bark of a laugh. Ernest Hemingway Stein: Let me introduce Charlotte Bronte and of course you’ve met Mr. Hemingway. I waved at Bronte. Hemingway gave me a salute. I gave him a tight nod and my jaw another rub. Stein: You have been assigned counsel. Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Keeten: Yes I would like to talk to him. Maybe he can explain what this is all about. Where is he? Stein: I do believe he is under your table. I leaned over and spied a slumped form softly snoring. I grabbed a shoulder and rolled him over. Gin fumes teared up my eyes. Keeten: Miss Stein I need a new counsellor. Stein: I’m afraid that is impossible. You’ve told many people that Fitzgerald is your favorite writer and the rules of this tribunal is that your favorite writer represents you. Keeten: I’d like to change that to Gore Vidal. Bouts of laughter greet this request. Only then did I realize that the seats behind me were full of dead writers. I waved to Kurt Vonnegut and he gave me a wink. Keeten: Was something I said humorous? Stein: In the short time that Mr. Vidal has joined us he has been requested many times, but unfortunately no one has been before us that actually considered him to be their favorite writer. Hemingway: You chose unwisely. Fitzgerald over me what a joke that is. Keeten: I think your work is swell Hemingway and Miss Bronte, I really loved Villette. Stein: Okay, okay Mr. Keeten enough with the flattering. What do you think of my work? Keeten: Erhhh Her mannish features framed a pronounced grimace. Stein: That’s okay Mr. Keeten I won’t force you to manufacture platitudes, very few people can really understand and appreciate my work. I thought a change of subject was in order. Keeten: Why exactly am I here? Stein: It is regarding Jane Austen. I felt my blood run a little cold. Keeten: I just finished reading Northanger Abbey. Stein: Yes we know. In the past you have made some rather cutting remarks about Miss Austen. Keeten: I won’t deny that I harbored some resentment, not towards Miss Austen as much as towards a survey class I was forced to take in college. Stein: You sir, are parsing words. Hemingway interrupted. Isn’t it time for a drink? Stein: Why not? Djuna Barnes walked out with a silver tray filled with shots of gin and as the glass clinked on the table in front of me Fitzgerald sprang up like a jack in the box with his hand out, fingers none too steady, reaching for a glass. He slammed the shot down his throat and before I could tilt my own glass up he’d already slid back beneath the table. The gin hit my stomach like a mariachi band. As Barnes walked back by me after serving the judges, looked in the prime of life like all the judges, although that was up for debate with Stein, I said you are prettier than your pictures. Djuna Barnes Barnes: Save it. You are not even remotely my type. I could feel the heat on my neck climbing up to my cheeks. She flipped my chin with her finger. Barnes: Good luck anyway. Stein: If you are finished annoying Miss Barnes, Mr. Keeten, can we proceed? Keeten: Of course. Stein: As you were saying. Keeten: I apologize to Miss Austen if any of my remarks were inappropriately expressed. I can assure her that I have the utmost respect for her as a writer. In fact I intend to write a very positive review about Northanger Abbey. Stein: The writer in question is not allowed to attend the proceedings, but we will express your regret for your behavior to her. We have a party that we must get to Mr. Keeten so we are going to wrap this up. It is our intention here today to give you a warning about expressing yourself in such flippant ways about the works of the members of this novelist community in the future. If we feel the need to call you back again I can assure you more strident discussion will be conveyed to you. Keeten: Yes ma’am. Stein: Anything further to add Miss Bronte. Bronte: I think he is kind of handsome. Charlotte Bronte Stein: Irrelevant Miss Bronte and to balance the scales I must say I find him to be a rather unattractive man. Mr. Hemingway? Hemingway: Do I get to send him back? Stein: *Sigh* yes Mr. Hemingway please do so. Hemingway walked across the room towards me. Before I could even speculate about how he was going to send me back his fist imploded against my jaw. As I slid to the floor I heard him say. “I got to send you back the same way you came Tinkerbell.” I woke on the floor of my library in a slurry of drool. My head pounding, both sides of my jaw tender to the touch. Note to self do not write a negative review of Hemingway. From the way my stomach feels I’d say the gin ate a hole through my insides and was still burrowing deeper. I pull myself up to the computer. The Lovely Jane Austen The heroine of this novel, Miss Catherine Morland, was a reader of gothic literature. I know it was Jane Austen’s intention to poke fun at the craze of people reading this type of novel, but since I’m a fan of the genre I actually enjoyed the frequent references to the author Ann Radcliffe and the other books that were being bought, enjoyed, and discussed in English drawing rooms of the time. Miss Morland has hopes of finding herself enmeshed in a romance of gothic proportions. When her parents consent to letting her visit friends and she meets new friends she knows she is on the verge of a grand adventure. She meets the Tilney’s, and in particular meets the man of our tale, Henry Tilney, who demonstrates early on that he had the makings of being the romantic hero of the new plot evolving in the mind of Miss Morland. She is invited to visit the Tilney’s at the family estate and the vision that Catherine composes in her mind about Northanger Abbey is doomed for disappointment. To give one example where the Abbey failed to provide the proper gothic atmosphere: The windows, to which she looked with peculiar dependence, from having heard the General talk of his preserving them in their Gothic form with reverential care, were yet less what her fancy had portrayed. To be sure, the pointed arch was preserved--the form of them was Gothic--they might be even casements--but every pane was so large, so clear, so light! To an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions, and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt and cobwebs, the difference was very distressing. Catherine is mortified by her own ineptness with proper behavior. She is manipulated by friends, but proves to be a quick learner and shows a steely spine standing up to their overbearing behavior towards her. When she is cast out she proves her mettle once again finding her own way home with quiet determination despite her inexperience with the workings of the world. Yes she is silly, and maybe because of her Gothic view of the world, I liked Catherine...a lot. I wish the plot of the novel would have allowed more of Henry Tilney as he certainly seemed like a man, a reader of novels, who I would have enjoyed taking a long walk with to discuss literature, life, and all things nice. There is subtle comedy throughout this short novel and even when our heroine is unhappy I didn’t feel distressed, for how could the world deny Catherine her happy ending? If you have struggled with other Austen novels I can assure you this is a breezy affair, not to say that it doesn’t have literary merit, for it has, if nothing else, repaired my relationship with Miss Austen and I fully intend now to reread her other works and evaluate them through attitude adjusted eyes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.) The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label. Book #24: Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen (1818) The story in a nutshell: Although not published until after her death in 1818 (but more on that in a bit), North (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.) The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label. Book #24: Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen (1818) The story in a nutshell: Although not published until after her death in 1818 (but more on that in a bit), Northanger Abbey was actually the first book written by infamous "chick-lit forerunner" Jane Austen, with most scholars agreeing that she originally penned it in 1798 when barely out of her teens; so it makes sense, then, that the novel centers around the 17-year-old Catherine Morland, and of all the issues important to a typical late teen. A delightful yet melodramatic young woman, Catherine has a way of naturally charming almost everyone she meets, even while being a hopeless devotee of trashy "gothic novels" (think beach-read for the Georgian Era), and of letting them unduly influence her already fanciful and curious mind. When middle-aged friends of the Morlands, then, invite the sheltered rural-living Catherine to join them for six weeks in the cosmopolitan resort town of Bath, she can't help but to be thrilled; and indeed, the bulk of this novel's prose is devoted to capturing the ins-and-outs of youth culture in such a period, the subtle and ultra-complicated flirtation rituals that took place each evening among such communal settings as recital halls and the boardwalk. Things get even more interesting, though, when one of the friends she makes in Bath invites Catherine to continue her holiday by joining her family at their country home, an old Medieval religious fortress called Northanger Abbey that they've converted into a contemporary living space, with Catherine's goth-filled head going nuts over visions of crumbling cobwebby back hallways and dark family secrets. But alas, the abbey turns out to be quite modern and well-maintained, and all of Catherine's attempts to dream up spooky conspiracy theories are met with perfectly blasé rational explanations; that forces her instead to have to pay attention to the messy romantic entanglements going on between her friends, as well as the constant wooing by her own various would-be suitors that she is constantly trying to brush off. Add a mysterious Napoleonic ship captain, some misunderstandings over money, a couple of messy public breakups; and by the end, we leave our hero a little wiser about the world if not a little more jaded, understanding now as a young adult that it's the consistent behavior of a person through good times and bad that determines their character, not their endowment or war record or any other surface-level statistic you can mention. The argument for it being a classic: Fans of Northanger Abbey argue that it is Austen distilled into its most essential form -- laser-precise observations about the human condition and the fallacies of so-called "civilized society," but without the obsessive preoccupation over landing a man that marks so much of her later and more well-known work. And that's important, they say, because we should actually be celebrating Austen for the perceptive insights into the human psyche she was capable of, not for the bonnet-wearing eyelash-fluttering romantic elements that seem to so dominate any discussion about her anymore. The reason Austen continues to be so popular, they argue, is precisely because her stories are so timeless at their core; although ostensibly dealing with the fussy aristocratic issues of the day, in reality they say things about the way young women see the world that are still exactly and utterly true of young women 200 years later. It's easy to lose sight of this within the epic frippery of such later masterpieces as Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, fans argue; Northanger Abbey cuts through all this filler, leaving a slim and artistically muscular volume that ironically stands the test of time much better than her bigger projects. The argument against: Of course, let's not forget that there's a reason Austen's later work is so much better known and loved, say this book's critics -- and that's because those books are simply better, according to any criteria you wish to name, the result of an older and wiser woman with not only better writing skills but a much more complex outlook on the world. Although there's not much debate anymore over whether this is a historically important and well-done story, many critics argue that Northanger Abbey simply doesn't rise to the level of "classic," as is the similar case with so many other first novels by authors who eventually become famous. My verdict: Okay, I admit it; after years of making fun of people for their obsessive Austen fandom, now that I've finally read my first novel of hers myself, I have to confess that I'm awfully impressed, and can easily see why people still go so crazy for her work in the first place. Because I gotta tell you, it's positively freaky how much like a modern 17-year-old girl in the early 2000s that Catherine actually sounds like here, of just how many of the details Austen chose to focus on turn out to be universal observations about teenage female personas in general, and not simply observations about that particular age's popular culture and societal norms. I love, for example, how Catherine simply accepts in this quiet way the realization of how much more important it is in the eyes of men to appear smart in public than in the eyes of women; how gold-digging for a husband is simply wrong no matter what the circumstances; that you understand a lot more about a person when observing them in a bad mood than a good one. I love that Catherine automatically assumes the craziest explanation for any situations that occur in her life, because she's a bored teen and this is what bored teens do to entertain themselves. I love how she is constantly worrying about saying the wrong thing in front of others; how she is constantly running off in embarrassment over various impolitic confessions blurted out during enjoyable conversations; how the people older than her accept all this from her with a charmed sense of bemusement, while her fellow teenage girls react with catty bitchiness. I love how their entire social circles revolve around these tiny, barely perceptible actions, stuff completely inconsequential to grown-ups but so important to the young; how entire romantic relationships can be started simply by two people glancing at each other across a room for a little too long, entire friendships destroyed simply because of not sitting at a certain table during a public meal. Sheesh, if that's not a teenage girl's life in a nutshell, I don't know what is. In fact, I'll go so far as to say this; that at least here in Northanger Abbey, Austen turns out to be a much smarter, much more bitter author than I was expecting, given that her most diehard fans concentrate so much on the historical-finery and antiquated-courtship elements of it all. And indeed, if I wanted to be really controversial, I'd argue that if Austen were alive and writing in our modern times, she wouldn't write about relationships at all, but was instead forced to during her own times because of this being the only stuff female authors could get published back then. I mean, don't get me wrong, this book contains an unbelievable amount of the same tropes as so-called modern "chick-lit," which is why so many people call her the forerunner of the genre*; but if you pay attention, you'll see that Catherine herself is really not that interested in the subject at all, other than to the extent that it's expected of her by the rest of society, and indeed you could argue that Austen's bigger point here is to examine the growing dark maturity and evermore complex understanding of the world that all young women go through, and the sometimes ugly experiences that must occur for this to happen. It's for all these reasons that I confidently label Northanger Abbey today a classic, a surprisingly still-relevant tale that even to this day is almost impossible not to be thoroughly charmed by. Is it a classic? Yes *And speaking of chick-lit, no review of Northanger Abbey is complete without an acknowledgment of its absolutely most delightful aspect, an examination of what at the time was the first-ever rise in popularity of the "novel" format, especially as it manifested itself in the form of trashy supernatural romantic thrillers designed specifically for middle-class women. Let's not forget, before the late 1700s, full-length fictional stories barely even existed; when people sat down to read a book back then, it was mostly essays or poems or plays they were picking up, with full-length made-up narrative stories treated by the intelligentsia with the same disdain we currently treat, say, first-person-shooter videogames. It was during this same period, though, that women suddenly became literate in the millions for the first time in history; and these women all needed something to read, which is what led to the rise of "gothic" literature in the first place, a combination of supernatural thriller and over-the-top romance that was generally perceived at the time as "silly woman stuff." This novel is just as enjoyable and important for its examination of all these issues as it is for the usual Austenesque stuff; and this is yet another reason to call Austen a forerunner of modern so-called chick-lit, in that all these issues are still being debated in the publishing industry to this day.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    I have no idea how to rate this book, because there wasn't anything in particular that I disliked, but also nothing that I enjoyed. I've come to the conclusion that Austen just isn't for me, because I never find myself even remotely interested in what's going on, and I find her novels to be quite dull. but that's just me. I have nothing negative to say about Austen or her books, but unfortunately I don't find myself able to enjoy them. c'est la vie!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Catherine Morland , is your typical seventeen -year- old -girl, of the turn of the century (19th, that is). She reads too much, an illness that is sadly terminal. Gothic books are her passion and the rage of the era . Any ancient home, that is eerie , ominous or sinister, the young lady would enjoy seeing, if there were any in the area. She lives in a quiet English village, (too quiet), where everyone knows each other, which keeps the populous from misadventures. Her parents have ten children, a Catherine Morland , is your typical seventeen -year- old -girl, of the turn of the century (19th, that is). She reads too much, an illness that is sadly terminal. Gothic books are her passion and the rage of the era . Any ancient home, that is eerie , ominous or sinister, the young lady would enjoy seeing, if there were any in the area. She lives in a quiet English village, (too quiet), where everyone knows each other, which keeps the populous from misadventures. Her parents have ten children, and surprisingly, her mother is alive and healthy. Miss Morland's father is a well to do, clergyman, but with all those kids, nobody would know, especially Catherine. Mrs. Allen a wealthy neighbor, is going on a six -week vacation to Bath, with Mr.Allen ( he has the gout), the most famous resort in England. Mrs. Allen needs an agreeable companion to talk to, she's rather silly, asks Catherine. Her chief interest is clothes, but how long can you speak about fashion, before it gets tiresome? The fatigued husband, doesn't stay in her presence very long. Arriving in town is exciting and daunting, soon people start to notice Miss Catherine Morland, particularly young men, a new experience for her. She grew up a tomboy, playing outside with the boys, not inside with dolls. But the last three years her homely awkwardness has vanished, a pleasant, pretty appearance, she acquires, that even her amazed mother, acknowledges. Catherine soon forms a friendship with Isabella Thorpe, a beautiful, deceitful, gold digger, her family has little, but she has ... At 21, time is running out for her to catch a rich husband. It doesn't take long to discover that Catherine's brother, James, and Isabella's brother, John, are best friends. So naturally the two ladies also become too. Then the brothers of the girls come to town, unexpectedly. Catherine loves her plain looking, older brother, and you can imagine the shock that she feels, when James and Isabella become engaged! Yes, it's the first time Catherine has been out of her insulated village, of Fullerton. But true love has a rocky road to travel, when it isn't. Henry Tilney , a wealthy man's son, meets the charming Catherine, at a dance. She has eyes for him, but so does Isabella's annoying brother John, for her (he's always talking about his horses). But Henry's older brother Captain Frederick Tilney, arrives too. Very popular Bath is , for romance. And starts flirting with Isabella, which she doesn't mind, but James does! He has more money than Catherine's brother. The resort is famous for the miraculous water, but most go there for the dancing, plays, card games and walking around in the Grand Pump Room, and meeting the rich... Showing everyone who's interested, they're in town, nobody is! Later Catherine is invited by General Tilney, the father of Henry, to go to Northanger Abbey, his home. A real Gothic house! With his son, and daughter Eleanor, another friend of Catherine 's, and stay a few weeks. The girl with a wild imagination, is thrilled, finally, all Catherine's dreams have come to pass ...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Northanger Abbey is the shortest of Jane Austen's six major novels, and has a special place in many readers' hearts. In many ways it is not the tightly constructed witty sort of story we expect from this author, yet its spontaneity and rough edges prove to be part of its charm. Started when she was very young, it should perhaps more properly be classed as part of her juvenilia. What lifts it above the other earlier works, however, is the skill she demonstrates for writing a parody of all the got Northanger Abbey is the shortest of Jane Austen's six major novels, and has a special place in many readers' hearts. In many ways it is not the tightly constructed witty sort of story we expect from this author, yet its spontaneity and rough edges prove to be part of its charm. Started when she was very young, it should perhaps more properly be classed as part of her juvenilia. What lifts it above the other earlier works, however, is the skill she demonstrates for writing a parody of all the gothic romantic novels which were so popular at the time. And this aspect is twinned with another of Jane Austen's concerns, a satirical observation of human nature within a narrow band of society; a comedy of manners. There are many literary allusions, which focus on the gothic genre. At the time Jane Austen was writing, novels - especially gothic novels of this type - were looked down upon by many people, particularly those of the upper classes. It is likely that a young writer would therefore feel that she needed a strong position from which to defend her craft against any critics who might in future disparage her work. The characters in Northanger Abbey itself constantly refer both to "Mrs Radcliffe", and her novels, such as "The Mysteries of Udolpho" and "The Italian" by name. At one point, where Catherine, the heroine, is chatting to her friend, she asks Isabella for suggestions. Her friend replies, "I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocket-book. "Castle of Wolfenbach", "Clermont", "Mysterious Warnings", "Necromancer of the Black Forest", "Midnight Bell", "Orphan of the Rhine", and "Horrid Mysteries". Those will last us some time." And Catherine insists, "Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?" As an interesting aside, although for many years these were assumed to be merely invented titles by Jane Austen, it has since come to light that they are actual gothic novels, by different authors. They have subsequently been republished as "The Northanger Horrid Novels Collection". This particular sort of comedy is lacking in Jane Austen's subsequent novels, which perhaps are a little more cautious in their wit and irony, being intended for a wider audience. Northanger Abbey was meant mainly as family entertainment, which is why Austen mischievously includes so many literary references, which she expected her relatives to pick up and recognise. Jane Austen also addresses the reader directly throughout the novel, and sometimes voices her own opinions quite forcefully, forgetting the story for a moment. But perhaps she had an eye to the future, considering that attack is the best form of defence, and writing this way quite deliberately in anticipation of any critical assessment. As these passages burst upon us, we are provided with a little insight into Austen's opinions at the time. Famously, very little remains extant, to show us her opinions, due to her instructions to her sister Cassandra to burn all her letters after her death. Originally Northanger Abbey was entitled "Susan" and written around 1798-99. It was the first of her novels to be submitted for publication, in 1803. However, it was not in fact published until 1817-18, after further revision by the author, including changing the main character's name from "Susan" to "Catherine". Jane Austen died in July 1817. The two novels Northanger Abbey and "Persuasion" (her final novel) were thus both published posthumously, comprising the first two volumes of a four-volume set. Interestingly, neither title was her own invention, but probably that of her brother, Henry, who had been instrumental in their publication. As well as being a Gothic parody, and a comedy of manners, Northanger Abbey is a coming of age novel, another favourite theme from Jane Austen. The first sentence, "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine" sets the very droll, tongue in cheek tone for the writing. We are chattily introduced to the young and naïve Catherine, the novel's unlikely heroine. Catherine is not particularly pretty or feminine, and one of ten children of a country clergyman. However, by the age of 17, we are told that she is "in training for a heroine", having all the attributes considered desirable in a young girl at the time. The reader enjoys Catherine's youthful enthusiasm and also how impressionable she is. She has crazes, such as being excessively fond of reading Gothic novels - the more "horrid" she claims with glee, the better. She takes everything at face value, at the start of the novel being unable to see any deviousness, or any baser motives. Catherine is not very perceptive, not ever able to interpret what may lie behind certain actions if it is negative. She is innocent - a naïve - and in this, has a lot of charm and attraction for the reader. We follow Catherine's progress, as she is invited by some wealthier neighbours in Fullerton, the Allens, to accompany them to visit the fashionable town of Bath. There she is introduced to society over the winter season, through attending balls and the theatre. So although it is constantly referred to, there is in fact little gothic feel in the whole first half of the novel. It is much more similar to Jane Austen's later novels, both in its setting, and its preoccupations. It is concerned with young people and their feelings; how they mature, and how their marriage prospects improve as a consequence. In this aspect, all Jane Austen's novels are very similar, and all of them have reassuringly happy endings. Jane Austen is always keen to entertain her readers! Catherine's amiability and good character is further demonstrated through her making friends, in Bath, with a confident older girl, Isabella Thorpe, the daughter of Mrs Allen's old school-friend. The reader can see straightaway that Isabella is far more savvy and ambitious than Catherine, and possibly manipulating her new friend. Isabella has a brother, John whom Catherine is delighted to find is also a friend of her older brother, James. Both young men are fellow students at Oxford University. However she (and the reader) takes an instant dislike to John, finding him pompous, brash, boastful and overbearing. In the meantime she has met a witty and clever young gentleman, Henry Tilney, and enjoyed his company and conversation. The reader can deduce that, at 17, she is well on the way to falling in love with this intelligent and polite, slightly older and more experienced gentleman. The novel has several social situations which, although very much of their time, reveal essential aspects of human nature which are timeless. The difficulties facing Catherine are difficulties and situations common to all teenagers. There is embarrassment, a feeling of gaucheness and several occasions where the peer pressure is very strong, such as when James, Isabella and John try to persuade her to join them when she had made a former promise for another engagement. Catherine also has to learn how to stay polite and resolute when she is bullied by John Thorpe. And when she eventually returns home to her parents, uncomprehending of why she has been treated in such a shameful way, the reader is treated to the common enough spectacle of a moody, sulky teenager. For the second half of the novel the setting has switched to Northanger Abbey itself, as Catherine has received an invitation to stay there. The tone becomes slightly darker, and the viewpoint switches to be almost entirely from Catherine's perspective, using free indirect narration. Everything is presented from Catherine's point of view, which leads to some hilarious moments, due to her romantic notions of what an ancient abbey should be like. The reader has been well prepared for this, through conversations between Catherine and Henry Tilney. Here she is very excited about the prospect of a visit to the abbey, "You have formed a very favourable idea of the abbey." "To be sure, I have. Is not it a fine old place, just like what one reads about?" Henry Tilney continues to tease her, although Catherine revels in the descriptions, not realising that this is what he is doing, "And are you prepared to encounter all the horrors that a building such as "what one reads about" may produce? Have you a stout heart? Nerves fit for sliding panels and tapestry? ... "Will not your mind misgive you when you find yourself in this gloomy chamber - too lofty and extensive for you, with only the feeble rays of a single lamp to take in its size - its walls hung with tapestry exhibiting figures as large as life, and the bed, of dark green stuff or purple velvet, presenting even a funereal appearance? Will not your heart sink within you?" Catherine waits impatiently for her visit, whereas the reader has been privy to broad hints that the abbey may not be at all as she expects. Sure enough, our innocent heroine's expectations increase on the journey, "As they drew near the end of their journey, her impatience for a sight of the abbey ... returned in full force, and every bend in the road was expected with solemn awe to afford a glimpse of its massy walls of grey stone, rising amidst a grove of ancient oaks, with the last beams of the sun playing in beautiful splendour on its high Gothic windows." But as the reader expects, the exterior of the building comes as a bit of a let-down, "She knew not that she had any right to be surprised, but there was a something in this mode of approach which she certainly had not expected. To pass between lodges of a modern appearance, to find herself with such ease in the very precincts of the abbey, and driven so rapidly along a smooth, level road of fine gravel, without obstacle, alarm, or solemnity of any kind, struck her as odd and inconsistent ... The windows, to which she looked with peculiar dependence, from having heard the general talk of his preserving them in their Gothic form with reverential care, were yet less what her fancy had portrayed. To be sure, the pointed arch was preserved - the form of them was Gothic - they might be even casements - but every pane was so large, so clear, so light! To an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions, and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt, and cobwebs, the difference was very distressing." All the descriptions of Bath society, both in Northanger Abbey and Austen's other novels, are drawn from her own experience. One of the interesting aspects of Northanger Abbey, however, is that passages such as these seem to indicate she incorporates her reading experience as well as her real-life experience; it is just as much a product of the Gothic novels that she herself read. One of the highlights of the novel is where Henry Tilney teases Catherine about the "horrid" contents of such novels. Typically there would be a crumbling old building, possibly an abbey, once used to house nuns or monks. The abbey would then become abandoned and derelict, and later bought by an evil lord or baron. Dastardly deeds would occur in the ancient edifice, once the lord or baron took possession, and the once holy nature of the abbey would become an ironic feature in these Gothic novels. Northanger Abbey is a dreadful disappointment for Catherine, who had imagined herself as the heroine of a Gothic novel. Living out her imaginative fantasies, she was hoping to be thrilled by mystery, horror, and sinister and macabre deeds from an earlier time. She had found Bath to be a pleasant tourist town, interesting for her to visit, but in Catherine's mind, the Abbey would inevitably be a place of new heightened experiences. At every point where the Abbey turns out to be conventional and normal, Catherine remembers the abbeys from her favourite gothic novels, deliberately frightening herself to complete her thrilling anticipations, "The night was stormy; the wind had been rising at intervals the whole afternoon; and by the time the party broke up, it blew and rained violently. Catherine, as she crossed the hall, listened to the tempest with sensations of awe; and, when she heard it rage round a corner of the ancient building and close with sudden fury a distant door, felt for the first time that she was really in an abbey." Catherine still longs for the abbey to conform to her imagined ideal, and one of the funniest scenes in the book is (view spoiler)[when she discovers a cabinet, with a mysterious paper inside. Her imagination runs riot at what this could be, but it eventually turns out to be simply a laundry list. (hide spoiler)] At this point Catherine begins to see how ludicrous and immature her fantasies have been and begins to be rather ashamed of herself. Here is the start of this episode, "she was struck by the appearance of a high, old-fashioned black cabinet, which, though in a situation conspicuous enough, had never caught her notice before. Henry’s words, his description of the ebony cabinet which was to escape her observation at first, immediately rushed across her; and though there could be nothing really in it, there was something whimsical, it was certainly a very remarkable coincidence! She took her candle and looked closely at the cabinet ... It was some time however before she could unfasten the door, the same difficulty occurring in the management of this inner lock as of the outer; but at length it did open; and not vain, as hitherto, was her search; her quick eyes directly fell on a roll of paper pushed back into the further part of the cavity, apparently for concealment, and her feelings at that moment were indescribable. Her heart fluttered, her knees trembled, and her cheeks grew pale. She seized, with an unsteady hand, the precious manuscript, for half a glance sufficed to ascertain written characters; and while she acknowledged with awful sensations this striking exemplification of what Henry had foretold, resolved instantly to peruse every line before she attempted to rest." This parody is not only entertaining, as the reader enjoys the heightened drama, and the exaggerated language which would be a typical feature of the gothic novels of the day. We also hold in our minds the strong suspicion that what Catherine is to discover may be quite ordinary and unremarkable, and are eager for the heroine to be thwarted and become crestfallen - yet there is just a tiny possibility remaining in our minds that there is indeed something "most horrid". The skill of Jane Austen's narration lies in showing the gap between how things would be in the ideal life of a fictional heroine, and how things actually are in reality for the innocent naïve Catherine, and the consequent absurdity. Here is the culmination of the ironic humour in this episode, when Catherine is plunged into darkness, "Catherine, for a few moments, was motionless with horror. It was done completely; not a remnant of light in the wick could give hope to the rekindling breath. Darkness impenetrable and immovable filled the room. A violent gust of wind, rising with sudden fury, added fresh horror to the moment. Catherine trembled from head to foot. In the pause which succeeded, a sound like receding footsteps and the closing of a distant door struck on her affrighted ear. Human nature could support no more. A cold sweat stood on her forehead, the manuscript fell from her hand, and groping her way to the bed, she jumped hastily in, and sought some suspension of agony by creeping far underneath the clothes." For Catherine fantasies are all; life is exciting, and people are seen as wholly good or wholly bad. She does not realise, as the reader does, that General Tilney is an outright snob, constantly anxiously comparing his home and gardens with those of Mr. Allen. These parts, and the depiction of General Tilney's character (which, oddly, is very similar to the character of Mr. Elliot, the father of the heroine Anne in Jane Austen's final novel, "Persuasion") is one of the most amusing parts to the reader. General Tilney is always so very pleased to find that his belongings are larger or more impressive than those of Mr. Allen. Of course, the justification for this, is that he wants his children to marry into rich and wealthy families. The people Jane Austen identifies with and writes about are a very narrow band of the gentry. Tradesmen, and anyone who works for a living, are to be looked down on. The aristocracy are often to be poked fun at. Jane Austen's heroes and heroines are frequently from good families, but have fallen on hard times. They are almost invariably impoverished gentlefolk. Catherine still seems very naïve in her behaviour, however. She has no idea of the love interests surrounding her, not seeming to notice (view spoiler)[the romance which is developing between James and Isabella, and being equally puzzled when Isabella flirts with Frederick Tilney. Catherine does not pick up that Isabella, despite her protestations to the contrary, is dismayed on learning of James's limited future income. Catherine also has no idea why the General is so courteous and solicitous of her, merely believing him to be exceptionally kind. There is a conflict in her mind, as she also believes him capable of murdering his wife. (hide spoiler)] It is only when she begins to perceive such thoughts as ridiculous, that Catherine begins to mature into a young woman. Northanger Abbey is an enjoyable read even today, well over 200 years after it was written. The characters are recognisable types even now, as human nature does not change, only the mores of the society they are in. And there are some memorably entertaining minor characters in this novel. Some critics say that the hero, Henry Tilney, is too much of a bully, and behaves in a patronising way to Catherine. He frequently points out her mistakes and tries to mould her into thinking the way he does. It could be argued that this was very much a prevalent view of the time, although readers now may have a problem accepting such a relationship as something to be wished for. Yet even here, Jane Austen show that her ideas were more advanced than many of her contemporaries, "The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance." So although the author accepts that such a disparity in a romantic relationship - or ultimately marriage - was to be expected, she does not praise stupidity in women. Jane Austen maintains that men do not look for stupidity in women, only ignorance, because some men enjoy instructing women. In this particular novel, the reader is led to assume that Henry enjoys Catherine's ignorance, her impressionable and youthful mind, because it gives him a chance to teach her. A modern reader will of course take exception to such a message; the idea that this is in any way to be desired. But a modern reader can also appreciate the subtle distinction between ignorance and stupidity - and also that Austen's eye for these matters is always both perceptive and deeply sarcastic. She writes with a waspish wit, about what she knows. Yes, it is a narrow band of society and culture, within a very specific time-frame, but she sometimes manages to dissociate herself from its constraints, and always excels in what she does.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Reynje

    Time for a re-read! Four for you, Mr Tilney, you go Mr Tilney.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sanaa

    [4 Stars] I buddy read this with Maureen from Maureen Keavy and it was so much fun! I wasn't originally planning on reading it this week, but it just ended up happening. I listened to the audiobook for this, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. This book was witty, sarcastic, so much fun, and I just really enjoyed Catherine's character. The first half of the book was my favorite because of how drama filled it was. The second half was good as well, but I felt like I was missing something. I wanted [4 Stars] I buddy read this with Maureen from Maureen Keavy and it was so much fun! I wasn't originally planning on reading it this week, but it just ended up happening. I listened to the audiobook for this, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. This book was witty, sarcastic, so much fun, and I just really enjoyed Catherine's character. The first half of the book was my favorite because of how drama filled it was. The second half was good as well, but I felt like I was missing something. I wanted more dialogue and conversation between the characters, particularly Tilney and Catherine. Overall though this was a very fun read, and a Jane Austen book that I think is a little underrated!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Helene Jeppesen

    This book was amazing and very cleverly written! I've now read 4 out of Jane Austen's 6 novels, and so far this is my favourite. This is a story about Catherine who is a very plain and dull girl. However, in this book, she goes on a journey - first to Bath, later to Northanger Abbey - where she encounters new characters and establish new connections. I must admit that during the first half of the novel, I was anxious to get to the scary and creepy part which I had been told was part of this Vict This book was amazing and very cleverly written! I've now read 4 out of Jane Austen's 6 novels, and so far this is my favourite. This is a story about Catherine who is a very plain and dull girl. However, in this book, she goes on a journey - first to Bath, later to Northanger Abbey - where she encounters new characters and establish new connections. I must admit that during the first half of the novel, I was anxious to get to the scary and creepy part which I had been told was part of this Victorian novel. Even though I was mildly disappointed that the creepy part didn't set in until late into the book, I very much enjoyed the first half. Jane Austen is excellent at writing satire as well as creating exaggerated characters that make you laugh and smile. Isabella, the obnoxious friend, was amazing, and the way that Catherine is constantly put into uncomfortable and unfavorable situations through her friendship with her was hilarious. Then the creepy part set in, and I was very much satisfied. I read some parts at night in bed and some parts in my couch during the day, but I was still equally creeped out. Catherine's experiences are once again hilarious, however very understandable, and I loved her even more for it. All in all, this is a coming-of-age story in which Catherine grows tremendously in three months. I can't put my finger on anything I didn't like about the book, and I'm eager to spread my love for it to everyone else. Please, read it if you haven't already and if you like Jane Austen's writing, because this one certainly won't disappoint you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara Kamjou

    اول یه جمله بگم: خالهزنکیترین کتابی بود که تو زندگیم خوندم! کتاب داستان زندگی کاترینه که با اشنایانش به سفر میره و اونجا دوستان جدیدی پیدا میکنه، ماجراهای نسبتا رمانتیکی اتفاق میافته و در همین حین، سرشاره از گفتگوهای خالهزنکی در مورد این و اون. شخصیتپردازی کتاب نسبتا خوب بود ولی از نظر داستانی از دید من حرف خاصی برای گفتن نداشت! توی ویکیپدیا خوندم که آستن قصد نداشته این کتاب رو چاپ کنه، بعد از مرگش چاپش کردن و من با خودم میگم ای کاش به خواستهش احترام میذاشتن! با ارفاق دو دادم. + به هیچ وجه کتاب رو ب اول یه جمله بگم: خاله‌زنکی‌ترین کتابی بود که تو زندگیم خوندم! کتاب داستان زندگی کاترینه که با اشنایانش به سفر می‌ره و اونجا دوستان جدیدی پیدا می‌کنه، ماجراهای نسبتا رمانتیکی اتفاق می‌افته و در همین حین، سرشاره از گفتگوهای خاله‌زنکی در مورد این و اون. شخصیت‌پردازی کتاب نسبتا خوب بود ولی از نظر داستانی از دید من حرف خاصی برای گفتن نداشت! توی ویکی‌پدیا خوندم که آستن قصد نداشته این کتاب رو چاپ کنه، بعد از مرگش چاپش کردن و من با خودم می‌گم ای کاش به خواسته‌ش احترام می‌ذاشتن! با ارفاق دو دادم. + به هیچ وجه کتاب رو با صدای پریوش زاهدی گوش ندین! اصلا توصیه نمی‌شه و بدترین تجربه‌ی صوتی گوش دادنم بود.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is one of the lesser regarded Austens. It has nowhere near the fan club that the Holy Trinity of Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility) has. It's one of her first books and it's true, the prose and development of characters is not as mature. The book is more of a homage/satire of Gothic lit, mixed with the comedy of manners style that she would be famous for later. But I LOVE this book. Seriously, this book is so wonderful. The voice on this book. In later books, Jane A This is one of the lesser regarded Austens. It has nowhere near the fan club that the Holy Trinity of Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility) has. It's one of her first books and it's true, the prose and development of characters is not as mature. The book is more of a homage/satire of Gothic lit, mixed with the comedy of manners style that she would be famous for later. But I LOVE this book. Seriously, this book is so wonderful. The voice on this book. In later books, Jane Austen tempered her personal voice to become more moderate, fading behind the prose and the characters. She does not do that here. The narrator's voice is the best character in the book. It's bright, witty, and vicious, vicious, vicious. She will cheerfully embroil her ridiculous main character in ridiculous situations, and proceed to torture her. That's the majority of the book, making fun of Gothic novels that were popular at the time, as well as silly silly teenage girls. It's hard not to recognize yourself at some age in the main character. But it's viciousness with love. It's actually kind of trippy, all the things she convinces herself of, all the visions and fantasies she's capable of. It would make a great post-modernist movie. This main character is adorable, if inconsequential and silly. The hero has his witty moments, and I rather enjoyed him. There are a lot of lessons on love here that are less idealistic than her other novels. Much less of a grand passion, much more practical. But I kind of love that. These characters get together on a very unequal basis, but one you see happen all the time in life. They complete each other, however differently that might be. I am actually grinning as I write this review of it, remembering how much I loved it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    Having read both Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion I was a little surprised by this one. The first thing that surprised me was that the heroine is basically as thick as they come. I would have said that Austen is the sort of writer who creates the sort of main female characters that men are rather likely to fall in love with. I mean, I know women who go all weak at the knees over Mr Darcy, but when compared to Lizzy he is merely a sad shadow. All the same, Catherine is hardly what I would have t Having read both Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion I was a little surprised by this one. The first thing that surprised me was that the heroine is basically as thick as they come. I would have said that Austen is the sort of writer who creates the sort of main female characters that men are rather likely to fall in love with. I mean, I know women who go all weak at the knees over Mr Darcy, but when compared to Lizzy he is merely a sad shadow. All the same, Catherine is hardly what I would have thought of as one of the great Austen female characters. The book begins with an extended description of her and although she comes across as a pretty sort of girl – she is hardly the brain of Britain or really accomplished in any way at all. The other surprise I found in this was how satirical Austen is – satirical to the point of cynicism. I can only assume she never read this book aloud as she was writing it, because, with her tongue placed quite so firmly in her cheek, she would have bitten the tip of it off if she had. By way of example: “To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive.” Or perhaps a better and my favourite example: “The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance.” The discussion that follows this quote between the young people about the nature of natural beauty is very amusing and, well, even savage in its sarcasm. Okay, so the characters are basically thick and young. The heroine also has the advantage of being gormless. She spends much of the book unaware that people could be anything other than what they seem to be or, when they are clearly acting in a way that is directly opposite to what they say of themselves, she almost invariably takes their word over their deeds. An ideal friend, then I guess, and all too easily manipulated by those around her. The story of this one is slighter than either of the other books of Austen’s I’ve read. But some of the themes are just as interesting. The affect of trashy novels on the character of young and impressionable heroines is played with beautifully in this book. Again, with her tongue firmly placed in her cheek, she says things like: “Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel-writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding--joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard?” That this particular heroine ends up in her most humiliating trouble following her own fantasy creation at least based on a gothic novel, which only makes her look like an idiot in front of the one person she was most wanting to impress, is an interesting twist on the very strongly asserted ‘novels are good’ theme stated above. This was the first of Austen’s novels to be published and I guess I should say something like, ‘she shows promise, I expect much from her in the future’ – and, do you know what, I probably do expect quite a future for our Jane Austen. I can’t finish without saying that I particularly like the final line of this book, because if there is one thing that really makes Austen great it is that she can write great first and final lines. “I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.”

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This book was a delight! I hadn't read it in more than a decade, and decided to pick it up again for a few reasons: First, I recently had the good fortune to visit Bath, and much of this novel is set in that lovely English city; second, I had just read Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw," which is a ghost story, and I was eager to revisit this early Austen work that played with Gothic themes; third, and perhaps most importantly, I just like reading Jane Austen novels. A quick plot summary: Cathe This book was a delight! I hadn't read it in more than a decade, and decided to pick it up again for a few reasons: First, I recently had the good fortune to visit Bath, and much of this novel is set in that lovely English city; second, I had just read Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw," which is a ghost story, and I was eager to revisit this early Austen work that played with Gothic themes; third, and perhaps most importantly, I just like reading Jane Austen novels. A quick plot summary: Catherine Morland is a sweet-but-adventure-seeking country girl who gets invited to visit Bath with her wealthy neighbors, the Allens. While there, she meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney. Complications ensue when the boorish John Thorpe tries to woo her, and his sister, Isabella Thorpe, becomes engaged to Catherine's brother. Luckily, Catherine is invited to visit the Tilney home, called Northanger Abbey, and she becomes closer with both Henry and his sister. Of course, there are still some muddles to sort out, including an illicit romance and an overbearing parent. Throughout the book, Catherine, who loves reading novels, has some amusing scenes in which she lets her imagination run wild, envisioning murder and thrilling mysteries and dark family secrets. Eventually, reality sets in and Catherine has better control of her fancies. While reading Northanger Abbey, I was surprised that so many of my favorite Austen quotes are from this book! This novel is sometimes considered the weakest of her works -- it was written first, but wasn't published until after her death -- so it's true she was a less experienced writer and was playing around with structure and Gothic elements, but it's still a delight. If you like Jane Austen, don't skip over this humorous and charming novel. Favorite Quotes "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." "If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad." "It is only a novel... 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" "Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it." "If I could not be persuaded into doing what I thought wrong, I will never be tricked into it." "Beware how you give your heart." "Friendship is really the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Will M.

    This is my very first romance novel, and I have to say that I'm not that entertained. It's not because guys shouldn't read romance, but because I just don't like reading romance novels. I'm confident about my masculinity, so reading romance novels shouldn't be a problem for me, but I didn't enjoy this, so reading romance is not going to happen very often. This is my very first Austen novel. My main 2015 reading goal would be to read more classics. I saw this lying around in my shelf, and conside This is my very first romance novel, and I have to say that I'm not that entertained. It's not because guys shouldn't read romance, but because I just don't like reading romance novels. I'm confident about my masculinity, so reading romance novels shouldn't be a problem for me, but I didn't enjoy this, so reading romance is not going to happen very often. This is my very first Austen novel. My main 2015 reading goal would be to read more classics. I saw this lying around in my shelf, and considering it's the only Austen novel that I own, I decided to give it a try. I really like the Penguin English Library collection, so that's actually the main reason why I own this novel. It was one of the few available ones in my local bookstore at the time. My main problem with this one would be the outdated writing. This was published in 1818, so that means Austen probably wrote this way before 1818. I'm not that used to the classic-writing, but I'm sure after a few more classics I would be. I've only read about 5 classics, and I actually enjoyed the writing of those. It could be that I'm not fond of Austen's writing. I'll be completing the BBC book list challenge thing, so I'll be reading at least 3 more Austen novels. Hopefully I'd like her writing style then. The plot was simple and straightforward. It was about Catherine's love for this guy, and then another guy, and then she kept complaining about her slut friend, then her gothic novel obsession, and finally (view spoiler)[ her wedding in the end. (hide spoiler)] The thing is, this story would be better in a movie format. I'm not saying that I enjoy watching romance movies, but I believe they're a bit better than the novels. I haven't seen much but I remember at least enjoying one or two romance movies. The romance genre is just not for me. A little bit of romance in the novel would be okay for me, but if it is the central theme of the plot, then odds are I won't be enjoying it. The characters were not that likable either. They would either complain or only appear for a short time, not enough for them to be fully developed. Catherine was a bit likable, but not a character that I would remember in the future. 3/5 stars. I'm 100% sure I'm not the targeted audience for this, so that's why I didn't enjoy the novel overall. Like I said though I'm still confident with my masculinity after reading this. It wasn't erotica after all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    It's been some time since Jane and I communed. The reason: the only major works of hers that I've yet to read are Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, my least favorites based on their film adaptations. If your first encounters with the Austen adaptations include all of the BBC's remastered collection from the early 2000s, then consider yourself fortunate. Before then, many of us Austenites we're left to scour through various adaptations and hope for the best. My first encounter with Northanger A It's been some time since Jane and I communed. The reason: the only major works of hers that I've yet to read are Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, my least favorites based on their film adaptations. If your first encounters with the Austen adaptations include all of the BBC's remastered collection from the early 2000s, then consider yourself fortunate. Before then, many of us Austenites we're left to scour through various adaptations and hope for the best. My first encounter with Northanger Abbey was the awful 1986 made-for-TV adaptation that bordered on campy. The characters were all wrong, the score reminiscent of early 80s horror films, and the storyline was hard to follow. I had more questions afterwards, and for a 16-year-old who'd recently discovered Austen, it felt like a waste of an evening and the $0.99 rental fee. The only saving grace was Peter Firth, the dreamy-eyed actor I'd fallen in love with after watching Polanski's 'Tess. Now that I've finally read the book and understand what the heck happened, I could kick myself for having waited so long! This is a great book! Reading through it was like having a conversation with a good friend that you can always pick back up with despite years of absence. It was hilarious, sarcastic, and just my cuppa. I love farce on the big screen, but it's often lost on me in literature, especially the classics. I was afraid that this one would be too based on reviews I'd read, but my worries were unfounded. I feel like it really rounded out my reading this year, and hopefully I get to a few more classics I've avoided before it is over.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emer

    The trashiest of Austen's novels. Easy to read, utterly ridiculous and it's got Henry Tilney... Love it 👍🏻 So I've been having a crisis of conscience recently. I decided that maybe my love for Austen was waning. That maybe she wasn't all she was cracked up to be. So when Gabby suggested this Austen buddy read I thought okay. Let's stop wondering and see if I could be as much into Austen now as I was as a teenager. Northanger Abbey is Austen's gothic parody. On one hand she sends up these expected The trashiest of Austen's novels. Easy to read, utterly ridiculous and it's got Henry Tilney... Love it 👍🏻 So I've been having a crisis of conscience recently. I decided that maybe my love for Austen was waning. That maybe she wasn't all she was cracked up to be. So when Gabby suggested this Austen buddy read I thought okay. Let's stop wondering and see if I could be as much into Austen now as I was as a teenager. Northanger Abbey is Austen's gothic parody. On one hand she sends up these expected gothic situations and tropes and on the other she devoutly defends the value of a novel read for enjoyment more than for its alleged literary worth. "And what are you reading, Miss—?" "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." This defence of novels is freaking fabulous. It's an absolute two fingers to the concept that there is nothing valuable to be gained from reading a novel. That novels are somehow less than 'proper reading'. And to me this is why Jane Austen is so great. This is a very self-aware novel. Austen frequently addresses the reader in this novel, sharing almost salty remarks about the characters and, most strikingly, unashamedly voicing her own opinions about women and society through her writing. I think it's also very evident that this is Austen's first novel because plot-wise it is probably the weakest. But as a piece of satire it works brilliantly. Catherine Morland, the MC, is the most naive of all of Austen's lead female characters. She's pretty much oblivious to everything that is going on around her and at times as a reader you kinda sit back and just go... Naaaawwww bless you you sheltered petal. But she's seventeen. And clueless AF. And honestly I love how gloriously teenage she feels with her near-obsessive love for gothic novels that rivalled my own love for Austen at that age. I love how she lets this almost obsessiveness seep into her own life and causes her to almost daydream her life away.... But then she grows up. Her character changes but in ways that feel honest and not disingenuous to the storyline. She basically learns not to be quite so ridiculous and that people aren't always genuine... and yet she still somehow retains that same naïve charm. As for the Catherine Morland - Henry Tilney romance. It really isn't the plot driver here. To me, this is a coming of age story. The romance aspect is the least developed and they are the Austen couple that you do sort of question is it going to last. I love Tilney. He is witty and salty AF and I just don't ever see Catherine as "getting" him because I struggle to see their common ground except that they are both nice... But! I like to think that those two lived happily ever after because of brief moments that showed the development of their relationship. Initially, the age gap between the two was noticeable. Henry 25/26, Catherine 17/18. And Henry was just more savvy. He had to explain certain situations/people's actions to Catherine when her naïveté and seemingly unfailing happy countenance just rendered her blind to harsh truths. But then, with regard to events surrounding Captain Tilney and Isabella, Catherine COMPLETELY schooled Henry in how one should act and react. So with this glimpse of her truly knowing her own mind and Henry respecting this (as he should obvs), it gives me hope that these two can make it. If not, I'll happily take Tilney for myself. I live for his salty jibes 😂😂😂 So it's definitely not Austen's greatest of novels. But it is her trashiest. And I am trash for trash!!! So it's one I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend if you want something with some utterly batshit craziness to lose yourself in. It probably deserves a rating between three and four stars which I'll round up to four because I laughed my butt off so much! And as for my relationship with Austen. I think it's very much back on track. Reading her words is what I have always loved. What I have always connected to. What has always made me laugh. I think my brief disaffection with Austen has stemmed from a Jane overload in popular culture. No Hollywood adaptation is as smart. I'm sorry you can disagree all you want but to me adaptations lose that essence. That intimacy between writer and reader. No actor portraying a character is exactly like I would picture or imagine them. They disconnect me from the vision of Austen's world that I have in my head and in my heart. And any of these Austen rip-off novels that focus only on the romance make me want to tear out my eyeballs. They just don't have that sense of humour. They don't have the gossip. They focus on dull romance. And forget the vitality of life and community that occurs in Austen's novels outside the romance stories. So yes. I love Austen. What I don't love and won't accept are pale imitations of her literary genius. There really can be only one Jane Austen.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    This malicious and delicate story invites the reader to reflect on the usefulness of reading novels. With a pleasant sense of humor, the author mocks Gothic novels and their exaggerations bordering on ridicule, and introduces their story into a daily and plausible scenario, not less tender. Jane Austen makes the social critique of her time and also the moral analysis of her characters. The heroine, Catherine Morland, gets carried away by the imagination addicted to readings about mysterious crimes This malicious and delicate story invites the reader to reflect on the usefulness of reading novels. With a pleasant sense of humor, the author mocks Gothic novels and their exaggerations bordering on ridicule, and introduces their story into a daily and plausible scenario, not less tender. Jane Austen makes the social critique of her time and also the moral analysis of her characters. The heroine, Catherine Morland, gets carried away by the imagination addicted to readings about mysterious crimes in haunted castles. Catherine is the fourth daughter among ten siblings, residing in Hertfordshire. His parents, not being poor, can not predict a good dowry so numerous offspring. Besides, Catherine did not stand out in beauty or intelligence - in short, a normal girl. At seventeen, Catherine goes with her friend Sally to Bath, Water Station, for six weeks. There they stay with Mrs. Allen, who accompanies the girls to the balls and rides of the season. In her first ball Catherine meets Henry Tilney, a handsome twenty-five-year-old gentleman. Mrs. Allen meets Mrs. Thorpe and her daughters, one of whom, Isabella, becomes friends with Catherine, while her son, John, wishes to be her boyfriend. Isabella is a love seat and engages with several boys, including Catherine's brother James and Henry's older brother Frederick to Catherine's great astonishment.John Thorpe is very unpleasant, and in many unkind ways frustrates Catherine's encounters with Eleanor Tilney, for whom the girl nurtures a sincere friendship, and not because she is only the younger sister of his chosen. It is Eleanor who invites Catherine to stay for some time in Northanger Abbey, property of the Tilney family. Catherine accepts the invitation with pleasure, including for wanting to get away from the Thorpe. In the abbey, she is caught up in ridiculous attitudes in search of mysteries and criminal tracks, until realizing that she is in an old property, not in a haunted castle. James writes to his sister, telling Isabella had left him and was tagged with wedding Frederick. Eleanora and Henry are very surprised and do not believe in the notice. Henry retired for a few days to his residence in Woodston, where the father should appear soon with the two girls. General Tilney, who at first seems to be very impressed with his children's friend, insinuates some modifications to be made on the property for Henry's future wife, and implies that he would like to have Catherine as his daughter-in-law. Isabella writes to Catherine, wishing her help to rejoin James, now that Frederick has moved away. Catherine is shocked by Isabella's audacity and ignores her. Not long after, Catherine is surprised by a servant who makes her hurry off at dawn under the embarrassed gaze of Eleanor, who can not excuse her father's behavior. The general, who had thought that Catherine was a rich heiress, practically expelled it to discover its error. Henry, on hearing of the incident, challenges his father and leaves for Hertfordshire to request Catherine's hand in marriage, but the girl's parents wisely advise the couple to wait for the consent of the general. Eleanor marries a rich viscount and uses her influence to defend her brother's cause. It turns out that John Thorpe had slandered Catherine's family, painting her as miserable and dowager, and when the general discovers the truth makes amends with her boyfriends, who, in the end, marry, and obstacles, away of harming their happiness, assured them, making them know each other better, fortifying them in love.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    This was such a great first classic for the year. The society and the play with a Gothic setting was so fun and the characters had such defined personalities. It was quite a low-key romance, which I enjoyed, as Catherine did get sad when Henry disappeared for a bit, but it's not like she stopped going to the theatre and hanging out with her best friends. Friendship is valued in this book way more than love is, and that was a nice change. Also, Eleanor may have been my favourite (like Charlotte f This was such a great first classic for the year. The society and the play with a Gothic setting was so fun and the characters had such defined personalities. It was quite a low-key romance, which I enjoyed, as Catherine did get sad when Henry disappeared for a bit, but it's not like she stopped going to the theatre and hanging out with her best friends. Friendship is valued in this book way more than love is, and that was a nice change. Also, Eleanor may have been my favourite (like Charlotte from P&P), so I've got to keep my eye out on the quiet best friends. They're gems. I only wish that the friendship between Catherine and Isabella had been lingered on a little more, but this is like a 19th century version of cutting out toxic people from your life, so Jane Austen strikes again with modern relevancy! I can't wait to read 'Sense and Sensibility' soon, although I'm going to dive into 'Wives and Daughters' by Elizabeth Gaskell so I can't be scared off by the 700 page classics. Let me know which Austen is your favourite!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I understand this novel is a satire. I also understand that this book was published posthumously and so right now, Jane Austin may very well be rolling in her grave saying "Oh God, I can't believe they published Northanger Abbey." I understand I am one of very few people who feel this way. However, I do feel this way. You can't just write a book about incredibly irritating characters who are flustered by very trivial situations and then say "oh no, but it's a satire about books that have incredib I understand this novel is a satire. I also understand that this book was published posthumously and so right now, Jane Austin may very well be rolling in her grave saying "Oh God, I can't believe they published Northanger Abbey." I understand I am one of very few people who feel this way. However, I do feel this way. You can't just write a book about incredibly irritating characters who are flustered by very trivial situations and then say "oh no, but it's a satire about books that have incredibly irritating characters who are flustered by very trivial situations." That's fantastic. But satire or no, I am still reading a book about incredibly irritating characters who are flustered by very trivial situations! It's similar to people liking things ironically. The irony is irrelevant. You still like the thing. Look, it didn't escape me. I saw the satire. I particularly enjoyed Mrs. Allen and Isabella. I didn't even mind Catherine. She was quite sweet, really. But for me it was just all a little tedious. And I imagined Henry to be eons older than Catherine. He treated her like a little sister more than anything, but maybe that's what flirting was like in 1817. However, I'm incredibly excited to read Pride and Prejudice again. I wrote a nasty one star review when I was about 17 and I've been waiting almost ten years to revisit it. I have an idea that Northanger Abbey is actually much worse than P&P and so if I've given this two stars I might even give P&P three! How very thrilling.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    “When a young lady is (by whatever means) introduced into a dwelling of this kind, she is always lodged apart from the rest of the family. While they snugly repair to their own end of the house, she is formally conducted by Dorothy, the ancient housekeeper, up a different staircase, and along many gloomy passages, into an apartment never used since some cousin or kin died in it about twenty years before. Can you stand such a ceremony as this? Will not your mind misgive you when you find yourself “When a young lady is (by whatever means) introduced into a dwelling of this kind, she is always lodged apart from the rest of the family. While they snugly repair to their own end of the house, she is formally conducted by Dorothy, the ancient housekeeper, up a different staircase, and along many gloomy passages, into an apartment never used since some cousin or kin died in it about twenty years before. Can you stand such a ceremony as this? Will not your mind misgive you when you find yourself in this gloomy chamber—too lofty and extensive for you, with only the feeble rays of a single lamp to take in its size—its walls hung with tapestry exhibiting figures as large as life, and the bed, of dark green stuff or purple velvet, presenting even a funereal appearance? Will not your heart sink within you?” Marvel comic (!) cover Jane Austen channeling Stephen King Charlotte Brontë, what’s not to like? Oddly enough that passage quotes above reminds me of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video, with MJ trying to spook his date shortly before the disco zombies show up. Northanger Abbey is probably Austen’s funniest book, sending up gothic novels with glee. However, perhaps Austen was somewhat concerned about the more fainthearted among her constant readers, who probably formed a sizable section of her readership, so she reassures them from time to time: “Neither robbers nor tempests befriended them, nor one lucky overturn to introduce them to the hero. Nothing more alarming occurred than a fear, on Mrs. Allen’s side, of having once left her clogs behind her at an inn, and that fortunately proved to be groundless.” Northanger Abbey’s protagonist is 17-year-old Catherine Morland who likes to read the same sort of books I do, that is what passed for horror fiction in those days. Being a highly impressionable girl she sometimes has trouble separating fantasy from reality, something of a Don Quixote syndrome but not so certifiable. Nothing spooky happens in the first half of the book where Catherine visits Bath with the Allens, her neighbours, where she meets her new BFF, the flirty Isabella Thorpe, and her annoying brother John. Better still, she is introduced to dashing Henry Tilney and her nice sister Eleanor who live in the titular Northanger Abbey, where she is invited to stay for a few weeks*. She gladly accepts of course, and her imagination immediately goes into overdrive. Soon after arriving at the Abbey she goes looking for secret passages, investigates an ancient chest, sifting through dusty manuscripts and forms suspicion of General Tilney, Henry’s father. Did he do his wife in? There is another side to this novel that has nothing to do with gothic satire; a story of false friendship, deception, misunderstanding, heartbreak, and romance. The sort of elements you can find in any Austen novel, but for me, the novel shines when Austen is having mischievous fun outside her standard storyline. Catherine does not start out as one of Austen’s most prepossessing heroines, she is not one of Austen’s wise, longsuffering protagonists like Elizabeth Bennet, she is more akin to Emma Woodhouse from Emma with her naïveté and quickness to draw conclusions about people in spite of not being at all worldly. I usually find Austen’s male love interests rather austere, serious and boring. Mr. Darcy would suck the life out of any party he shows up in, Henry Tilney, however, is surprisingly humorous and occasionally mischievous. Catherine's bestie, Isabella Thorpe, starts off as an average chatterbox bestie character, but her subsequent gold diggery makes her much more interesting (if less appealing), her brother John seems like an ill-mannered oaf throughout, I kind of like him, his loutishness is good for a giggle. Catherine & Isabella (AKA Felicity Jones & Carey Mulligan) from the 2007 film adaptation. Another interesting aspect of this is how “meta” it is. Austen often addresses the reader directly, breaking the fourth wall, and discuss the value of novels in comparison to more highbrow literature and nonfiction. It is a little ironic that now her books are often considered highbrow. Of course, her prose is always one of the main attractions of reading her books, whatever you think of her often trivial storyline, her prose and her wit are always worth the time investment. Still, Northanger Abbey is no Wuthering Heights and nothing horrible really happen, after one or two timidly spooky scenes the niceness of Austenverse reasserts itself and things work out just fine for Catherine. Is this a spoiler? Surely not! Catherine Morland is not Tess of the d'Urbervilles which I suppose is comforting if you are reading Jane Austen. At least I never thought I would see the word “Necromancer” in one of her novels, that made me chuckle. Northanger Abbey is second tier Jane Austen, I think, but it is refreshingly different in some parts and a pleasure to read. Notes: * Interesting how, in those days, almost complete strangers are invited to stay at people’s homes for months on end just to hang out. • This review has been completely rewritten, replacing the original review from 2014. So most of the comments from 2014 don’t apply! • Audiobook credit: Beautifully read (as always) by Elizabeth Klett for Librivox (available for free). Thank you. Quotes: “I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel-writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding—joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust.” “If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body.” “Provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she had never any objection to books at all. But from fifteen to seventeen she was in training for a heroine; she read all such works as heroines must read to supply their memories with those quotations which are so serviceable and so soothing in the vicissitudes of their eventful lives.” Art by Austen Meadows

  27. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    I totally didn't expect Northanger Abbey to be as cute as it was. I don't necessarily enjoy romance novels but this one really spoke to me. Who would've thought that my stone cold heart could be warmed like this? ;) But let's start off with a minor critcism. I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing style. It felt juvenile and unexperienced to me. That might not be all that surprising since Northanger Abbey is Austen's debut. Her writing suffered from endless repetitions of the same phrases (e.g. I totally didn't expect Northanger Abbey to be as cute as it was. I don't necessarily enjoy romance novels but this one really spoke to me. Who would've thought that my stone cold heart could be warmed like this? ;) But let's start off with a minor critcism. I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing style. It felt juvenile and unexperienced to me. That might not be all that surprising since Northanger Abbey is Austen's debut. Her writing suffered from endless repetitions of the same phrases (e.g. "the formeer did ..., the latter did ..."), and in general more telling than showing. I felt that the ending was way too rushed and that things got resolved too easily. It was not necessarily lazy writing, but I genuinely had the feeling that young Austen lost her interest in the narrative towards the end. Another criticism I have (which sadly concerns most of Austen's work) is that she writes flat characters. Most of the people Catherine (our heroine) meets are either morally good and genuinely want to help her, or really, really bad and just want to use her and manipulate her. Granted, Catherine had some great character developement but that was basically it. But as I said before, I can forgive these flaws, because one shouldn't judge debuts as harshly as the works of an experienced writer. Austen managed to write a super enjoyable story which sucked me in for two whole days. And that's an accomplishement in itself. So, let's talk about the stuff I enjoyed... And I never thought I'd say that but THE ROMANCE. Hot damn, no words can describe my love for Henry Tilney. He is by far my favorite Austen hero. He's such a flirt, so friggin' charming and just in general super funny and easy-going. He's an intellectual who enjoys reading trashy books, he is not easily deceived but can forgive people if they had good intentions, he knows how to be polite and how to make Catherine feel good and worthy... Oh, and he also knows quite a great deal about woman's attire. The list goes on and on, my friends. He's awesome! My favorite scene happens to be Catherine and Henry's first encounter, where he tells her that he shall make but a poor figure in her journal tomorrow: 'Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings - plain black shoes - appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense.' I am literally rolling on the floor laughing. This is pure comedic brilliance! I was also quite fond of Catherine herself. She wasn't your typical perfect/ pretty girl but rather relatable and innocent. I loved that she grew more confident and less naive over time, by learning from her mistake of trusting people to quickly. I was living for all of these moments where she finally stood up for herself. I also loved how much emphasis Austen put on her hobby of reading and how this was pursued on a meta level as well with Austen making fun of contemporary readers and their obsession with the gothic novel. You can always count on my enjoyment of a good satire. The last two characters I want to talk (*coughs* RANT) about are the Thorpe siblings - Isabella and John. Kudos to Austen for writing two of the most unlikeable characters I ever had the (dis)pleasure of reading about. Don't get me wrong, I think the two of them were brilliantly written, but hot damn, did they make me furious. These two are just so full of shit and the audacity of their actions made me so fucking aggressive - I honestly just wanted to see them suffer. I couldn't tolerate these two arrogant and self-centered bitches. I got so angry when they prevented Catherine from going on a walk with Henry and Eleanor. They were soooooo overbearing and Catherine was totally defenseless in their snare. Arrrghh! Or when John fucking Thorpe rides off to the Tilney's house WITHOUT CATHERINE'S KNOWLEDGE OR PERMISSION to cancel Catherine's meeting with them... like??? BRAH! That was none of his fucking business, and how he kept Catherine's own agency from her... I couldn't even deal! John Thorpe can literally choke. I hope he never finds a wife! Isabella's behaviour was just as infuriating because she was so full of herself and genuinely thought she was a good friend to Catherine, when in reality she just tried to save her own ass and get into James Morland's panties. But oh well, if Austen wanted her readers to hate the Thorpes, she definitely achieved that. Overall, I am just really happy that my first encounter with Austen went over so well. Northanger Abbey was a delightful little tale with great comedic aspects and a rich cast of characters to love - and hate. ;)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Reread -- I read it in this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... Especially when compared to, say, Mansfield Park, which I also reread recently, this is a minor work. But still there is much to contemplate here: the lack of—and need for—good education for females; that being taught how to think helps overcome this lack; the elements of this early work showing us what Austen’s fiction is not like. If all that makes this short novel sound didactic, I’ve misled you. Humor abounds in thi Reread -- I read it in this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... Especially when compared to, say, Mansfield Park, which I also reread recently, this is a minor work. But still there is much to contemplate here: the lack of—and need for—good education for females; that being taught how to think helps overcome this lack; the elements of this early work showing us what Austen’s fiction is not like. If all that makes this short novel sound didactic, I’ve misled you. Humor abounds in this story of an inexperienced young woman who is still a child in so many ways: yet it is her childlike trait of taking everything, and everyone, at face value that makes her so unwittingly disarming. During this reread, I especially enjoyed the hero. I think the first time I read it, I was unsure of him, which is probably what his creator desired. His words are priceless, even when tending toward the aphoristic, maybe especially when tending that way. However, after one of his ambiguous responses, it is Catherine's comment that is priceless, though she doesn't realize it: "...I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible." * Addendum: As a baseball fan, I want to mention that, among other outdoor activities, the heroine played 'base ball' (!) at the age of fourteen until "she was in training for a heroine" and thus started reading. (The end-note states the reference to 'base ball' is the earliest in the O.E.D and that "[n]o doubt the game was similar to rounders...")

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Probably even a 4.5 for me! I really really enjoyed this book SO MUCH. The satire in it cracked me up, especially at the beginning, and I really loved Catherine as a protagonist! There definitely wasn't as much action & drama as other novels from this time period I've read (but I mean, it is satire...) but regardless, still wonderful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen عنوانها: کاترین (کلیسای نورت هنگر)؛ صومعه شمالی؛ صومعه نورت هنگر؛ نورثنگر ابی؛ نویسنده: جین آستین؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم دسامبر سال 1985 میلادی عنوان: کاترین (کلیسای نورت هنگر)؛ اثر: جین آستین؛ مترجم: منوچهر آرام؛ تهران؛ کوشش، 1363، در 348 ص؛ چاپ دیگر با عنوان کاترین: تهران، پر، 1372؛ در 288 ص؛ چاپ سوم زمستان 1372؛ چاپ دیگر 1388 در 320 ص؛ شابک: 9789648007466؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 19 م عنوان: صومعه نورت هنگر؛ اثر: جین آستین؛ مترجم: فریده د Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen عنوانها: ک‍ات‍ری‍ن‌ (ک‍ل‍ی‍س‍ای‌ ن‍ورت‌ ه‍ن‍گ‍ر)؛ صومعه شمالی؛ صومعه ن‍ورت‌ ه‍ن‍گ‍ر؛ نورثنگر ابی؛ نویسنده: جین آستین؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم دسامبر سال 1985 میلادی عنوان: ک‍ات‍ری‍ن‌ (ک‍ل‍ی‍س‍ای‌ ن‍ورت‌ ه‍ن‍گ‍ر)؛ اثر: جین آستین؛ مترجم: منوچهر آرام؛ تهران؛ کوشش، 1363، در 348 ص؛ چاپ دیگر با عنوان کاترین: تهران، پر، 1372؛ در 288 ص؛ چاپ سوم زمستان 1372؛ چاپ دیگر 1388 در 320 ص؛ شابک: 9789648007466؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 19 م عنوان: صومعه ن‍ورت‌ ه‍ن‍گ‍ر؛ اثر: جین آستین؛ مترجم: فریده دامغانی؛ تهران؛ تیر، 1379، در 280 ص؛ شابک: 9646581498؛ عنوان: صومعه شمالی؛ اثر: جین آستین؛ مترجم: وحید منوچهری واحد؛ تهران؛ جامی، 1389، در 255 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ شابک: 9786001760181؛ عنوان: نورثنگر ابی؛ اثر: جین آستین؛ مترجم: رضا رضایی؛ تهران؛ نشر نی، 1387، در 280 ص؛ شابک: 9789643129934؛ چاپ دوم 1388؛ چاپ چهارم 1392؛ نخستین اثر جین آستین است. ایشان کتاب را در 1803 میلادی به کتابفروشی به نام: کرازبی و شرکا، به مبلغ ده پوند فروختند. اما کرازبی و شرکا کتاب را منتشر نکردند. در سال 1816 میلادی، ناشر، همان کتاب را به همان مبلغ، به برادر جین آستین برگرداند. کتاب، پس از درگذشت نویسنده در اواخر دسامبر سال 1817 میلادی منتشر، و در عنوانش، سال 1818 میلادی ذکر شد نقل از آغاز داستان ترجمه منوچهر آرام: از مشاهده کاترین مورلند، هیچکس گمان نمیبرد که خصوصیات یک زن قهرمان را با خود همراه داشته باشد. موقعیت او در زندگی، شخصیت پدر و مادر، ویژگیهای فردی و تمایلات باطنی اش، تماما تضادی را با ظهر او آشکار میساختند. پدر او وابسته به کلیسا، سرشناس و نسبتا متمول، مرد محترمی به شمار رفته، گرچه چندان جذابیتی در او مشاهده نمیگردید. ولی در عین حال با نام ریچارد مورد توجه همگان قرار داشت. با برخورداری از دو سرچشمه امرار معاش زندگی، از استقلال کافی برخوردار بود، و دست کم عادت نداشت که محدودیتی در برابر دخترهای خود ایجاد نماید. مادر کاترین زنی سرشار از احساسات درونی، خوش اخلاق، و برخوردار از دیگر صفات نیکو، در کمال صحت و تندرستی بود و پیش از آنکه کاترین متولد شود، سه پسر به دنیا آورده بود… پایان نقل ا. شربیانی

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