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Northanger Abbey

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  157,012 ratings  ·  5,609 reviews
Northanger Abbey was one of Austen's earliest novels, written in 1798, but it was not published until after Austen's death. The novel is the coming of age story of Catherine Morland who is taken to the fashionable resort of Bath with her friends the Allens. While in Bath, she meets Henry Tilbey and his sister Eleanor. The Tilney's invite Catherine to Northanger Abbey, the...more
Audio CD, Library Edition, 0 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Tantor Media (first published December 1817)
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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...more
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...more
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
...more
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...more
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...more
Kelly
May 24, 2007 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Reynje

Time for a re-read!

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Four for you, Mr Tilney, you go Mr Tilney.
Jason Koivu
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
Aubrey
3.5/5

I suppose that it's a mark of maturity that I can no longer enjoy something without stepping back and asking "Yes, but what does it all mean?". Either that, or I'm taking this reviewing business way too seriously. Anyways.

This is the first novel that Austen composed, and it shows. Many of the ideas that she wishes to share with her readers are good ones, to be sure, but her delivery of them is not in a coherently fictional form. Much of it felt as if the reader was being led around a scienc...more
Tatiana
"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.
Skylar Burris
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
Martine
Jul 08, 2008 Martine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans and girlish girls
Penguin calls Northanger Abbey 'the most youthful and optimistic' of Jane Austen’s romances. I'm going to be slightly less generous myself and call it the most immature of her major works. While the story about a seventeen-year-old girl who is led astray by false friends and her own overactive imagination is delightful, the way in which it is told is in some regards quite immature. So is the heroine herself, who sadly doesn't really work for me. As far as I'm concerned, sweet and naïve Catherine...more
Karen
I've been wanting to read this book for quite some time. Jane Austen's fabulous writing never ceases to amaze and delight me. She was truly a modern woman of her time. She writes with such wit and intelligence for the period... 1797-1799, or any period, really, it baffles the mind. We take for granted the higher education and freedom of will in our women today. Miss Austen was a true pioneer for not only women of her time, but all women writers, and even women's advancement in general.

Loved the...more
Misty
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.
Kwesi 章英狮
This is my second Austen book and I really enjoyed it. Yes, I enjoyed it but there are parts that bore me to death, like trying to force me down to bed. I enjoyed how Austen wrote every conversation the characters trying to deliver, they are graceful, with intent and very unique. I'm not used the way they speak and maybe if somebody heard me talking like Catherine maybe people will laugh at me or get annoyed easily. But one thing that really attract me most was Austen's Catherine, she's not girl...more
Mala
My dear Gr friend Sketchbook had once opined that unless one has a radically different theory and/or an outrageously new approach,one shdn't really review a Jane Austen book cause 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...more
Boz4pm
It was with some trepidation that I started this. I feared the worst, but also hoped that time, age and the changes in me might mean I could better appreciate what it was about this author that appeals to so many.

As it turned out it was a pleasant surprise.

The foreword says this book is perhaps not the most polished of all of Austen’s works. It was one of the earliest she wrote, yet was published after she had died. She did not go back to edit it the same way that she did with other books. This...more
Alex
Oct 17, 2014 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fainty women who live in castles
Shelves: gothic, 2014
Northanger Abbey is the most exuberant Austen I've read*, and while it's also definitely the slightest, it's still enough fun that it's worth considering as a person's first Austen. It's also super short - another bonus if you're shy about old books.

It was the first book she wrote, and the last published. It's (often) a satire about Gothic novels: Catherine Morland is obsessed with them, to the point where she starts imagining herself in one. "Someone around here must be a villain," she says: "I...more
Meli
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...more
Kim
I'd forgotten just how funny Northanger Abbey really is. Listening to it on audiobook this time around gave me plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud and the reading by Juliet Stevenson was truly superb. It is a shame that Austen didn't get to revise Northanger Abbey before her death as she had intended to. It is without doubt a weaker novel than her masterpieces: the ending is rushed and the two distinct threads of the novel don't meld together that convincingly. However, it is splendidly fu...more
David
This was a fun, light-hearted romp, but I think it's not one of Austen's best works. It had her characteristic humor, and I love the way she delivers both approbation and condemnation in such wry, genteel turns of phrase. Austen's world is a Regency fairyland where nothing truly violent or horrific ever happens, which makes Catherine Morland, the 17-year-old heroine of Northanger Abbey all the more endearing. Catherine reads lots of gothic novels, and would like nothing better than to be trapped...more
Sheila
I behaved badly to a friend.

And then there was this book, and like some beacon the image of Henry Tilney scolding Catherine Morland immediately came to my mind, adding another layer of self-awareness to the sometimes painful, sometimes liberating remembrance of the event.

In Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia, the young hero Jesse jokes about getting a gut transplant to deal with his fear. I have a preferred elective medical procedure myself that I discovered years ago from the movie Eternal Sunsh...more
Jo
I was very disappointed in this book. I found the characters boring and cliche. I understand that Austen's brother had this book published after her death. I can understand why she never had it published.
Joel
This is the first Jane Austen I've read. I picked it because it's short, it was available in email installments from dailylit.com, and I'd read a review here on goodreads that suggested it was basically a 19th-century cross between chick lit and Mean Girls.

I actually... really liked it. It's only very slightly boring, which is a huge compliment, considering I've often found reading anything written before, oh, 1900 to be an awful chore. And it's actually surprisingly funny. Not anything to laugh...more
Luann
I really wanted to like this! In the beginning, I thought it would be a 5-star book for me. I thought it might turn out to be my top favorite Jane Austen. But somehow it just didn't turn into the book I thought it was going to be.

Things I liked:
* I enjoyed all the talk of novels and reading - and would have liked even more of that.
* The conversations between Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland were my favorite parts of the book. I might go back and reread just those parts sometime.

Things I didn'...more
Christopher
This was my first Jane Austen book and I decided to go with an admittedly unorthodox choice. But I've already seen movie versions of Pride and Prejudice and Emma, so I wanted something I was unfamiliar with. (Incidentally, however, this book felt very familiar. All of the balls, dancing, strolls, military men, witty dialogue, etc. felt unmistakably Jane Austen, despite my never having previously read one of her books.

I don't know what I was scared of or what took me so long to read Austen. To my...more
Holly Goguen
I'm not even done and I'm already in love with this book. I can't believe Jane wrote this so young. I was quite surprised to find so much truth still to be found in a comparison of personality types between her age and ours. While we do not share the strict social guidelines governing all interactions, we still have the same lessons to be learned in friendships and relationships as the heroine found herself schooled in. Witty, charming, her emotions and social situations leap off the page and en...more
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...more
Agnieszka

It so happened that in a short period of time I read The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Castle of Otranto . It was my gothic winter and some natural seemed to me later reading Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey , a pastiche and a subtle mockery of how trendy then genre , which was the Gothic romance.

This time we are not dealing with bright, thoughtful heroines full of charm and intelligence. In this story we get to know seventeen Catherine Morland , adorably naive girl living in an imaginary worl...more
FlibBityFLooB
This was my first time reading Northanger Abbey, and I hadn’t watched any of the movie adaptations going in, so I wasn’t sure what the book would be about before I started. Catherine Morland, the heroine, wasn’t a typical lady of 1803. She was a bookish character who grew up also enjoying sports and dirt. As she becomes a young lady of 17, she dreamed of living a novel as a heroine. She was taken on a trip to Bath and planned to experience new things.

Catherine’s first encounter with Henry Tilne...more
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The "The Jan...: Northanger Abbey Discussion 17 84 Oct 21, 2014 06:05PM  
Jane Austen: Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey 'Horrid Novels' 6 46 Sep 21, 2014 04:52PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions (maybe wrong isbn) 5 16 Sep 15, 2014 01:34PM  
Around the World ...: Discussion for Northanger Abbey 4 27 Sep 13, 2014 10:21AM  
Jane Austen Sequels: * Favorite NA Inspired Bks 29 149 Aug 25, 2014 08:39AM  
Henry Tilney <3 8 143 Jul 13, 2014 05:28PM  
Jane Austen: Best Northanger Film Version? 33 78 Jun 18, 2014 05:24PM  
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Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) 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 fr...more
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Pride and Prejudice Sense and Sensibility Emma Persuasion Mansfield Park

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