Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Northanger Abbey” as Want to Read:
Northanger Abbey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Northanger Abbey

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  360,359 ratings  ·  17,391 reviews
"Jane Austen is a genius, and Northanger Abbey is hugely underrated."  —Martin Amis

Catherine Morland is a young girl with a very active imagination. Her entry into the fashionable scene in Bath results in an invitation to stay with new friends at Northanger Abbey, but Catherine's naivety and love of sensational novels lead to embarrassing and entertaining consequences.
Paperback, Vintage Classics, 286 pages
Published June 26th 2014 by Vintage (first published December 20th 1817)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Northanger Abbey, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Stephanie Okay, I'm going out on a limb here, but has it ever occurred to anyone that Henry Tilney is gay? I mean, I've read N.A. several times in my life and a…moreOkay, I'm going out on a limb here, but has it ever occurred to anyone that Henry Tilney is gay? I mean, I've read N.A. several times in my life and although I enjoy the book tremendously, there never seems to be an ounce of real romance or heat or buzz between Henry and Catherine. Also, there seem to be a few other clues.

Not that Austen would ever come out and say anything like this and perhaps she didn't even know that subconsciously she was writing a gay character. Maybe she didn't even know what a gay person was. But for some years I have thought that Catherine is chosen in the end because she's a little dim and she makes an excellent beard.

Okay, you can all start throwing daggers at me now.(less)
Mary N Yes, because I'm sure Jane Austen's first thought when writing that character was, "Man, some day the USA is going to have a mean president, I should …moreYes, because I'm sure Jane Austen's first thought when writing that character was, "Man, some day the USA is going to have a mean president, I should write a character to preview him and show the world what a great prophet I am."
Seriously, it's Jane Austen. We're trying to enjoy a classical literature book. Can't we do anything without someone bringing politics into it? Sheesh. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  360,359 ratings  ·  17,391 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Northanger Abbey
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 don’t even know what to say. This book was such a flippin’ blast.


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...surprisingly non bigoted?! 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’
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(2.5) Even knowing that this book was published after her death, that it was rewritten a few times and that it is meant as satiric take on the Gothic genre... I didn't really enjoy myself.

Her writing is witty, the characters are as awful as she wanted to portray them but I didn't like the romance at all and was bored for half the book.

I did watch the movie right after which I think was better. I don't say that often!
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 Henr
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth may be the most beloved, & Emma may be the hated, and (of course) Elinor is the most sensible, but I personally think Catherine is the most relatable.


We can't all be as witty and perceptive as Lizzie, and we hopefully aren't as meddling and silly as Emma. But Catherine? Well, she's somewhere in the middle of normal. She's not always as clever as she wishes, she's not the wealthiest heiress in the room, and she's not always sure of what she's doing. She's just...every girl who's ever go
Tharindu Dissanayake
"The person, be it gentlemen or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

This is my third Austen novel: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility being the first two, and when I reviewed the first two, I felt that I did not do justice to the author, mainly because I thought myself not nearly qualified to review them. And now that I'm finished with Northanger Abbey, I have to confess, I still cannot shake that feeling off. But still, when one enjoys a book - a l
"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 ima
Ahmad Sharabiani
Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen's novels, to be completed for publication, in 1803. However, it was not published until after her death in 1817, along with another novel of hers, Persuasion.

Northanger Abbey is a satire of Gothic novels, which were quite popular at the time, in 1798–99. This coming-of-age story revolves around Catherine Morland, a young and naïve "heroine," who entertains the reader on her journey to a better understanding of the world
Henry Avila
Jun 26, 2013 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 and sur ...more
Bill Kerwin
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
2020 view:
“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Austins' mockery cum satire of Gothic romances with the well informed and rather narky mostly third party omniscient narrator, who also talks directly to the reader(!), made me smile... and sometimes say 'burn'! Well written as ever, with the social commentary being added by the narrator as well as the storytelling, from the main protagonist Catherine Morland's point
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Pettus
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(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
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Northanger Abbey is a charming story that revolves around a young, innocent, and naive "heroine" (to use Austen's word), Catherine Morland. True to Austen's famous quotation that "If adventures will not befall a young Lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad", the story progresses with Catherine taking an adventurous journey from her home in Fullerton to Bath and then to a Gothic Abbey in Gloucestershire. In her journey, she comes to understand the people and world around her, of wha ...more
The Jane Austen binge continues. I must admit that I hit a wall with this one.
Sense and Sensibility moved along so merrily and with great suspense, while Northanger Abbey had a few moments where I thought, "Oh gosh, do I really have to pick this book up again?"

After I finished the novel I started doing more research including reading the introduction by crime writer Val McDermid (I make it a policy never to read introductions as I they often include spoilers), and realized that this was the firs
Chavelli Sulikowska
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Everyone seems to leave poor Northanger Abbey to read last out of all of Austen’s novels. Why is this? For me, I still have Emma to go – I really don’t like the sound of Emma as a character (and yes I have been a little influenced by the movie and mini series adaptations).

Perhaps it is because being the first full length novel of Austen’s, Northanger is the least developed or mature example of her writing – I think she peaked with Persuasion, and certainly Sense and Sensibility, with Pride and
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic

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 incredi
Dannii Elle
Catherine Morland is the very antithesis of the expected heroine. And yet, in this fun, Gothic parody, Austen makes her just that!

Catherine has a preoccupation with the female Gothic genre that influences how she views the world around her. There is much to unpack and explore, in the characters of her new Bath acquaintances, and an opportunity to do so is soon provided, when she is invited to journey to the Abbey home of her new friends, the Tilneys. But will Mrs Radcliffe let her stay there be
Dear Sam Spade,

This is the stuff that dreams are made of.


Northanger Abbey is so underrated. The heroine of this book is into sports and shenanigans growing up and doesn't learn anything in school and have any accomplishments or interests until she has a growth spurt, gets hot, reads so many gothic novels that she almost ruins her relationship with her love interest because she convinces herself his house is haunted and does an inappropriate ghost hunt.

She is the queen 👑 but let's
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-for-me
What would be considered a romantic Rom Com in today’s Reading world, Northanger Abbey is more a fanciful, whimsical read that really didn't do anything for me. I am more a fan of the Bronte sisters as feel their novels are more intense and atmospheric whereas Austen tends to be more lighthearted and romantic in my opinion.

I came across this on Audible Original narrated by Emma Thompson and stuck for something to listen to on a car journey I figured I would give it a try. Unfortunately this was
Julian Worker
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Northanger Abbey tells the tale of Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural life for a few weeks to visit the busy, sophisticated world of Bath.

I thought this book ended a little quickly.

I would like to have known what happened to Isabella and James Morland, Catherine's brother. I was intrigued by Isabella and wanted to learn what her true intentions were, but the ending left me hanging.

The book also shows how you shouldn't take how characters behave in books as the sole basis for how
Feb 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know about all of you all, but I keep work in progress reviews on my computer, saved in word documents. I recently went through my file, feeling a bit of nostalgia looking through some of the ones I never finished (some for very good reasons as they were dreadful and shall never see the light of day again). I then stumbled upon my review for this book. Unlike the others it was completely finished (although it had a few errors that I've since corrected). Reading it I remembered why I neve ...more
Meghna Agrawal (On a Review-Writing Break!)
"No-spoiler Alert"

Northanger Abbey wasn't a casual pick for me, but a much-awaited pick for the first-written novel of Jane Austen from my most-admired Regency Era.
Naivety, lies, ignorance, innocence, parental tyranny, filial disobedience, all intricately and cleanly knitted into and around "Northanger Abbey".

For me the ignorance and innocence of our naïve and pretty heroine Catherine, speaks aloud about our then young Jane Austen. Usually, the first-ever novels of writers speaks volumes about
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
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*3.5 stars*
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I really really REALLY enjoyed this. I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. The only thing that was a bit of a challenge for me was the writing style. It was hard for me to get used to it. What helped me was reading it along with an audio book. It really helped me stay on track with the story.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
[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
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Jane Eyre
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • North and South
  • Agnes Grey
  • Villette
  • The Professor
  • The Castle of Otranto
  • Frankenstein: The 1818 Text
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • Little Women
  • Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • Austen: Persuasion (Macmillan Master Guides)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • A Room with a View
  • Great Expectations
  • Anna Karenina
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 gentr

Articles featuring this book

  A comforting balm. A much-needed diversion. Time spent with an old friend. Childhood memories and annual traditions. We asked the...
54 likes · 24 comments
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 50258 likes
“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.” 22158 likes
More quotes…