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Northanger Abbey

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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  201,084 Ratings  ·  7,152 Reviews
Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen's Gothic parody. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.

The story's heroine is Catherine Morland, an innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with
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Paperback, 251 pages
Published March 3rd 2005 by Barnes & Noble Classics (first published December 1817)
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Suzannah Hitchcock Perhaps we like them because they are so like real life? How many young ladies have met a Mr. Rochester and a St. John in the course of one year? I…morePerhaps we like them because they are so like real life? How many young ladies have met a Mr. Rochester and a St. John in the course of one year? I would rather meet a Henry than a Mr. Rochester any day, because he is normal and dependable, and will open the door for me, instead of almost having a seizure because he's so in love. Yes, it was funny! I love how she makes fun of silly women, like Isabella. Ugh, she was a pain in the neck!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Zoë
Jun 24, 2015 Zoë rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 and Catherine were the only two characters I really enjoyed in this novel as everyone else seemed to be vain, materialistic, and/or annoying. This both ma ...more
Bookworm Sean
Feb 13, 2016 Bookworm Sean rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jason Pettus
Dec 19, 2008 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing
(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
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Raeleen Lemay
Jun 28, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, classics
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!
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A creepy mansion...
description

Dark and stormy nights...
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... and Jane Austen just having fun with us.
description
"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 ...
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... and Henry Tilney,
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 07, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Bill  Kerwin
Jan 13, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic, 19th-c-brit

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
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Sanaa
Aug 17, 2015 Sanaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[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
Henry Avila
Oct 18, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
helen the bookowl
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
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Reynje

Time for a re-read!

northangergif1/

northangergif2/

northangergif3/

northangergif4/

Four for you, Mr Tilney, you go Mr Tilney.
Kelly
May 24, 2007 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jane austen fans, young women
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
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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
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Amy (shoutame)
My third Austen novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

We follow Catherine Morland as she integrates herself with the locals whilst on a vacation in Bath. Catherine is young and naïve but slowly manages to understand the workings of the local society. She makes friends with the Tilney's who invite her to their property known as Northanger Abbey. Catherine doesn't quite know where the trip will lead but she is ready for an adventure!

Austen does a fantastic job at mimicking (in a very satirical way) t
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Trevor
Mar 16, 2009 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
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
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Eve
Jun 26, 2015 Eve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 ...more
Aubrey
And if you would stand by yours, you would not be much distressed by the disappointment of Miss Thorpe. But your mind is warped by an innate principle of general integrity, and therefore not accessible to the cool reasonings of family partiality, or a desire of revenge.
I scroll past reviews that start along the lines of "I usually don't read ______", but even a swift passing by doesn't prevent me from noticing how often Young Adult is the intended target for this hierarchy of contempt. Cutting
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Maureen
Jun 19, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anne
I think it's time for me to make another Austen Confession:

Pride and Prejudice isn't my favourite Austen novel, and in fact, is rapidly going down the list. Now don't be alarmed, my order of Austen novels in terms of preference always changes, my top favourite varies from day to day, and I DO LIKE PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (feeling the need to yell before one of the Janeites puts words in my mouth and tells me I don't like it), but I have often felt that I liked it as much as I do mainly because it's
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Lau
«Si las heroínas no se respetan mutuamente, ¿cómo esperar de otros el aprecio y la estima debidos?»

Me encantó el primer capítulo de La abadía de Northanger. Este libro es sentido del humor e ironía puros, y ya desde las primeras líneas se nota que Jane Austen está afilada como nunca. La sociedad no se "libra" de su mirada sardónica, y es en gran parte por eso que la amamos.
Sin embargo este libro es diferente que los otros. Leí casi todas las novelas de Jane Austen y es la primera vez que ve
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Jason Koivu
Oct 01, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Whereas Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma are swathed in petticoat layer upon layer's worth of love and relationship intrigue, by comparison Northanger Abbey wears but a thin veil. The satirical jabs are still present and as enjoyable as usual, but there is a lack of depth to the characters, their exchanges and the plot density expected in an Austen novel. Add in its gothic elements and it becomes Bronte-esque...eeewwww! But that is no doubt the point, this being Austen's atte ...more
Tatiana
Feb 22, 2010 Tatiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2010, nostalgia
"Northanger Abbey" is by far the most lighthearted and charming book of Austen's. I haven't read it in a while and was inspired to reread it after watching the latest PBS movie adaptation. Not overburdened with tragedies and misery, this witty satire on popular at the time gothic novels, was a pleasure to read. Definitely written when Austen was still optimistic about love and life.
Misty
May 11, 2008 Misty rated it it was amazing
Austen-ites tend to look down on this one as the lesser of the six, but this is one of my favorites because it is so fun and light. It's breezy, and this may sound weird, but I think it most shows what Jane would have been like as a friend.
Stacey (prettybooks)
This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
I'm not sure when or how I first heard about Jane Austen. It feels like she's one of those authors that I've always known. I didn't know much about Northanger Abbey before I read it, but it kept cropping up while I was looking up Gothic literature, after enjoying Jane Eyre. Appropriately, I visited the British Museum's exhibition on Gothic literature earlier this month, which is where I discovered the 'Northanger Horr
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Mala
Apr 02, 2016 Mala rated it really liked it
A GR friend had once opined that unless one has a radically different theory and / or an outrageously new approach, one shouldn't really review a Jane Austen book because all that one can say about her books, has already been said.

Briefly then...
For a first novel, Northanger Abbey packs a lot of punch. Though not quite in the same league as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, it has the trademark Austen wit & humour and the delightful social comedy / criticism – here's Austen on f
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Skylar Burris
Jan 05, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, romance
When I first read Northanger Abbey as a teenager, I thought it little more than a clever, entertaining parody on the gothic romance genre, and a rather captivating romance story itself. Upon my second reading, however, I now see it only secondarily as a parody, and primarily as a satire on the duplicitous nature of civilized man, including (but not limited to) an exposé of the games courting men and women play. Northanger Abbey is very well written, and though it lacks the subtlety of Austen’s l ...more
Luís Blue Yorkie
One of the few things that I knew about the book "Northanger Abbey" by Jane Austen, was that it was a Gothic novel. But I have to disagree entirely with this, because for me, it's more of a parody of the genre. Although the book exalts the qualities of anyone reading Gothic novels - at the expense of those who consider it a futile entertainment - tries to demonstrate that it is important not to confuse reality with fantasy.
The work tells the story of Catherine Morland, a naive girl who gets to k
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Meli
May 14, 2013 Meli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Siempre me gusto este libro porque creo que es extremadamente diferente e innovador. Es más que una novela romántica, tiene algo de critica, tiene algo de parodia y mucho sarcasmo. No se parece a ningún otro libro de esta autora, y creo que es el más ameno de todos ellos.

Por un lado, Jane pasa completamente por alto el protocolo de la sociedad londinense, incluso se burla de él. Por otro se descarga de lo lindo sobre varias cuestiones, sociedad, críticos literarios, lectores y novelistas. Inclus
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  • The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
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  • Jane Austen's World: The Life and Times of England's Most Popular Author
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Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry
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“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 41067 likes
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