Natalie's Reviews > Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
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's review
Jun 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-risked-bedbugs-for
Read on June 29, 2011

Come on, it's Jane Austen. It's lovely. This edition had a long-winded introduction, which I read a little bit of after the fact - never read an introduction before you read a book, kids - and thought, as usual, that they overthought the book to the point of destruction. Do literary critics in fact enjoy what they read? I have my doubts.

This is an entertaining parody of a gothic novel, with a girl quite devoted to gothic novels trying her hardest to fit herself into the plot of a real-life one, only to find that life is just a complicated dance of manners in dull, boring 1803 England, not at all the Romantic wilderness of hidden passageways, scheming stepmothers, and vials of poison that she remains convinced must exist somewhere in the wilds of Europe. But dull, boring 1803 England is still twice as interesting as dull, boring 2011 Western Civilization, and I'll take Austen over reality any day, just as her heroine would take Mrs. Radcliffe's novels over her reality of assembly rooms, tea gowns, and scenic walks.

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