Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
Library Binding, 241 pages
Price: $21.00

Northanger Abbey is a perfectly aimed literary parody that is also a withering satire of the commercial aspects of marriage among the English gentry at the turn of the nineteenth century. But most of all, it is the story of the initiation into life of its naïve but sweetly appealing heroine, Catherine Morland, a willing victim of the contemporary craze for Gothic literature who is determined to see herself as the heroine of a dark and thrilling romance. When she is invited to Northanger Abbey, the grand though forbidding ancestral seat of her suitor, Henry Tilney, she finds herself embroiled in a real drama of misapprehension, mistreatment, and mortification, until common sense and humor—and a crucial clarification of Catherine's financial status—resolve her problems and win her the approval of Henry's formidable father.

Written in 1798 but not published until after Austen's death in 1817, Northanger Abbey is characteristically clearheaded and strong, and infinitely subtle in its comedy.

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  Excellent Reading
HappyHomemaker of Oregon, 5/4/2011
Katherine Morland is fairly average. She didn't excel in any particular area of school, her parents were loving but not lenient, and she'd never been far from home. When the chance comes to visit the famous town of Bath, Katherine meets Isabella, who introduces her to Gothic horror novels, and a whole new world of murder and intrigue. Or so she thinks. In Bath she also meets the Tilneys, a brother and sister traveling with their widowed father. When she is invited to stay with them at their home, Northanger Abbey, she is thrilled! An Abbey! Who knows what wonderful and delightfully horrific secrets it holds?

Northanger Abbey is one of the more engaging of Austen's novels, and has delightful wit on almost every page. If you've never read Austen, start with this one.