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Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sanditon

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  6,662 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Northanger Abbey depicts the misadventures of Catherine Morland, young, ingenuous, and mettlesome, and an indefatigable reader of gothic novels. Their romantic excess and dark overstatement feed her imagination, as tyrannical fathers and diabolical villains work their evil on forlorn heroines in isolated settings. What could be more remote from the uneventful securities of ...more
Paperback, 379 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1818)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  6,662 ratings  ·  230 reviews


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Mary Jaimes-Serrano
I am a Jane Austen fan. I have read most of her work and love them all. Northanger Abbey is one of my favorites. While it started out slower than what I was expecting, it leads a great path to the growth of an adventurous mind. Overactive imaginations are a wonderful thing especially for writers. But in the time period for young ladies looking for love, they were very troublesome. I could read this over and over again. Oh wait, I already have.
Hayat
Another classic I need to read again soon.
Beth
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century
I've been off-handedly looking for Austen's novels for my home library for a while, and Northanger Abbey was the last one that remained. Thanks to a recent trip to the used bookstore, I now have a well-worn but intact copy of this edition, which includes not only NA, but the other short and incomplete works mentioned in the title. Each has its own unique tone and subject matter, and I was glad to have the opportunity to read them all.

*

Northanger Abbey: Way back when, this novel was in a
...more
Elliot A
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jane-austen
I have now come to the part in my research, which requires me to read Austen’s works, finished and unfinished.

I think this was my third or fourth time reading Northanger Abbey and I’m surprised and delighted how every subsequent read is just as entertaining and as fresh as the first read.

I have to say, though, that having done as much research on Austen’s life and work, I’m baffled by the harsh critique some critics give poor Catherine Morland.

She deserves a lot more credit than I have seen her
...more
G.G.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
On a flight somewhere earlier this year I watched Love and Friendship (2016), the deeply enjoyable film directed by Whit Stillman that is based on Jane Austen’s Lady Susan and stars Kate Beckinsale as the “lovely, calculating, and utterly amoral widow” herself (quoting Claudia L. Johnson’s “Introduction” to the Oxford World’s Classics edition). 2017 being the two hundredth anniversary of Austen’s far-too-early death, it was high time I read the novel itself—as well as The Watsons and Sanditon, ...more
Ally
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-classics
This is my favourite of Austen's novels but it's not as straightforward as it appears on first reading...its very demanding of the reader and too many people miss the intelligence behind it and see only the naive silliness of a herione who lives in the world of the Gothic Romance's she's reading rather than the real world.

I love the characterisation in this novel - General Tilney is cast by the heroine Catherine as the perfect Gothic villain, Isabella Thorpe is an arch maipulator and represents
...more
Ben Babcock
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've talked smack about Jane Austen before, not so much to discount her ability as a writer—if you question that, then oh, we will throw down—but to compare her unfavourably to George Eliot. What can I say? I was young and stupid two years ago!

Today I would like to apologize to Miss Austen. Since Middlemarch I've come a long way and read a lot more of Austen's works, and while Eliot's novel remains uneclipsed by Austen's novels, my awe and appreciation of Austen's abilities has only increased.
...more
Hannah Polley
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, jane-austen
I love Jane Austen and these stories are no exception.

Northanger Abbey - this is a short novel as it is less than 200 pages. The heroine, Catherine Morland, spends some time in Bath, where she meets the Tilney's and falls in love with the younger Mr. Tilney. Catherine is invited by his father, General Tilney, to spend some time with the family at Northanger Abbey which Catherine is overjoyed at as she is big fan of Gothic literature. Sadly, Catherine is abruptly turned out by General Tilney and
...more
Christine Martin
I've had this weird goal for years. I wanted to read a Jane Austen novel before I saw the movie. Since I had seen almost all the versions of all but one of her books, my choice was narrowed down to Northanger Abby. I did buy the Felicity Jones & JJ Fields film before I read the book, and it sat in its wrapper for years. I will confess that I was a little nervous about reading Austen. I thought her language might be a little too much for me. However, after listening to Middlemarch last year, ...more
Chris
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Blaize Castle!” cried Catherine; “what is that?”
“The finest place in England – worth going fifty miles at any time to see.”
“What, is it really a castle, an old castle?”
“The oldest in the kingdom.”
“But is it like what one reads of?”
“Exactly – the very same.”
“But now really – are there towers and long galleries?”
“By dozens.”

The irony of this dialogue between the imaginative young ingénue Catherine and her would-be suitor, the boorish John Thorpe, is that Blaise Castle is neither the oldest
...more
Aaron Eames
Austen’s early, sideswiping send-up of the Gothic genre overturns its conventions of horrid crimes, unlit passages, and dark hearts overflowing with passion, in order to relate Catherine Morland’s first visit to Bath, overflowing with little more horrible than the hypocrisy of a newfound friend, or the rodomontade and unsought solicitations of Mr Thorpe. At Northanger Abbey,however, Catherine’s fondness for Gothic novels tempts her to assume the worst and come to comical conclusions about a ...more
Rebecca Rouillard
I had to reread Sanditon after I watched the first episode on Sunday night. While it’ll be up to Andrew Davies to make something of the relationship between Charlotte and Sidney, Jane Austen has laid the groundwork with a feast of comic characters and an evocative setting. It’s particularly impressive that she wrote this fragment while ill, a short time before her death - it is witty, confident and optimistic and provides plenty of ‘scope for the imagination’.
Ruth
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Northanger Abbey. The characters, the gothic element, the narration style, it was a lot of fun!
Jacquline Ard
I only read Northanger Abbey.
Amy
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: female-author
Full review available at: warmdayswillnevercease.wordpress.com

I’ve read this book several times before and I must admit that it’s not my favourite book. I’m not an Austen fan so please bear that in mind while you’re reading this review. I really don’t intend to offend any Austen fans.

I really enjoyed Austen’s writing style. I love that Northanger Abbey is full of intertextual references and I really particularly this section about The Mysteries of Udolpho and other Gothic novels of the time:

...more
Randee Baty
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-classic
It seems to be the rage to love Jane Austen right now and for once, I completely agree with a fad. I love Jane Austen's writings. And I love them even more now having read this with my Brit Lit class. My professor was so enthusiastic about this book that it was pure pleasure to attend class each day.

Northanger Abbey is a satire of Gothic novels. That's pretty clear. Catherine is a young girl from a large, middle-class family taken to the luxuries of Bath by her rich childless neighbors. There
...more
Drew
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gothic
I was so torn by trying to rate this OWC edition of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey and several short stories (one complete, two fragments). If I rated it based on Northanger Abbey, I'd have to give it 1 star. I hated it. I also disliked The Watsons and Sandition, though as these were unfinished or discarded manuscripts, it's not fair to judge them too harshly.

But, were I to rate this collection solely on Lady Susan, I wouldn't hesitate to say 5 stars immediately. I am a huge fan of the
...more
Jeanette
This book is just seriously funny and filled with Austen's wit. Austen's talent shines as she, tongue in cheek, mocks the fainting heroines, the haunted dwellings and terrors of the Gothic novel.
From the opening description of Catherine Morland to all her pokes at Gothic literature, this book just kept me laughing.
I must mention that I believe the Thorpe's to be some of the best foils to an Austen heroine found in any of her 6 major works. Throughout the novel they were thorns in the side of
...more
Bonnie
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Wow, what a departure! I loved this very different novel. This book shows Austen's ability to step out of her mold. I particularly liked how she addresses the reader and defines/justifies her heroine's failings yet still allows her the role. A delight!
Existential Investigator
The book was okay. I'm of two minds about Jane Austen. Her prose is wonderfully sophisticated, but her stories aren't really that interesting to me. I've read Persuasion prior, which I think is the better book. Northanger Abbey suffers from fairly bland characters, particularly Mr. Tilney who has almost no opportunities to show much of a personality with perhaps a couple of exceptions, but even then I'm thinking more of witty remarks rather than true shows of personality.

The first half of this
...more
Lorraine
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I continue to love Northanger Abbey although on this reread I found the ending rushed. I love the way that Austen frames the narrative with continual discussion of Catherine and how she falls shy of a true heroine. Also love the unremitting spoofing of gothic romance.

Lady Susan I had never read before. Love the epistolary format; seeing the same event through Lady Susan's eyes and then through the eyes of her sister-in-law is really funny. I love how unrepentant and villainous Lady Susan is and
...more
Abby Nall
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
On Northanger Abbey: Having read all of Austen's other completed novels, I was expecting something different, more akin to the darkness and misery of Mansfield Park (I knew that NA is often described as a gothic novel). However, the characters are well-written in Jane's typical way, the hero and heroine are likable, the villains are easy to despise, and the story entertaining. Jane's parody of contemporary gothic novels and critique of the snobbery that discounted novels as worthless are ...more
Chloe Bright
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
This is my first Jane Austen read. The plot wasn't too special, but it wasn't boring either. I absolutely stan the fact that this was less than 200 pages!!
I don't really have much to say about it because not much happened, but it wasn't terrible. This isn't a novel of hers that I've heard about much at all beforehand, so I know her others may be better. I might give her other stuff a try, and there's a possibility I may be required to read more of her in the future. Classics aren't really my
...more
Dayna Smith
The classic work of historical fiction by arguably one of the greatest writers of all time. The story of young Catherine who travels to Bath with friends of her family. She is an avid reader, especially of Gothic mysteries like those by Ann Radcliffe. When she meets the Tilney's and is invited to visit them at Northanger Abbey she begins to impart the sinister goings on of her books to the real life General Tilney. She falls in love, learns about the true meaning of friendship, and becomes wiser ...more
Cliff Haley
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I just read Northanger Abbey in the collection of works, and it was definitely worth the read. Northanger Abbey is an excellent work for young reader looking to dive into the world of Austen. This novel was on of her first books and one of the only two of which she did not live to see published. The juvenile nature of the novel helps to guide readers into the satire that exudes from her later works in a obvious but still humorous manner. Definitely make sure to read the introduction because a ...more
Jenny
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how many times I've read this book, but definitely more than a couple. The older I get the less I like Austen's works, but in the case of Northanger Abbey, it is so dry, witty and hilarious that I enjoy it thoroughly. I do think it odd that a man such as Henry should form a feeling such as love for Catherine. I can see how he would appreciate her innocence, her idealism and willingness to do good, but as her opinions are all whatever his are, and his affection is based on her first ...more
Amanda
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I am remembering my college course order correctly, I read this before I took the class where I read Pamela and Clarrisa. So I guess one good thing came out of having to read those dumb novels - Northanger Abbey was much funnier with that context! And part of the joke is that Catherine, while dim, is by far the most likeable character, correct? The other stories are unfinished and lacking in Austin's command of her other finished works, but fun to get a glimpse of the other plots we almost ...more
Jessica McDermitt
The low rating is for the three smaller stories, not Northanger Abbey! (That one was AMAZING!) The unfinished stories were hard to read, with no paragraphing, wacky spelling, and strange capitalization. But who am I to judge? They're drafts! I'm so cruel... It was fascinating to have insight into Jane Austen's process and drafts.
Donovan Erutse
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I did not see the turning point coming when really I should have. And I suppose that was what interested me with this book. Another great thing about this book is the constant suspenseful expectation of something followed by disappointment. All in all, I wouldn't say it was a waste of a time to read this book.
Jim
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-harder-2018
This book is so flawed that it is endearing. I loved it. Jane Austen is great when she is subtle, but she is transcendent when she is blunt. She provides a fantastic portrait of the unique wisdom and ignorance of the over-read, under-lived adolescent.
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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
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“...I would have jumped out and run after you.'
Is there a Henry in the world who could be insensible to such a declaration? Henry Tilney at least was not. With a yet sweeter smile, he said every thing that need be said...”
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