Teresa's Reviews > Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read February 18, 2017.

Reread -- I read it in this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

Especially when compared to, say, Mansfield Park, which I also reread recently, this is a minor work. But still there is much to contemplate here: the lack of—and need for—good education for females; that being taught how to think helps overcome this lack; the elements of this early work showing us what Austen’s fiction is not like. If all that makes this short novel sound didactic, I’ve misled you. Humor abounds in this story of an inexperienced young woman who is still a child in so many ways: yet it is her childlike trait of taking everything, and everyone, at face value that makes her so unwittingly disarming.

During this reread, I especially enjoyed the hero. I think the first time I read it, I was unsure of him, which is probably what his creator desired. His words are priceless, even when tending toward the aphoristic, maybe especially when tending that way.

However, after one of his ambiguous responses, it is Catherine's comment that is priceless, though she doesn't realize it: "...I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible."

*

Addendum: As a baseball fan, I want to mention that, among other outdoor activities, the heroine played 'base ball' (!) at the age of fourteen until "she was in training for a heroine" and thus started reading. (The end-note states the reference to 'base ball' is the earliest in the O.E.D and that "[n]o doubt the game was similar to rounders...")
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Started Reading
February 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 20, 2017 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

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message 1: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala That line of Catherine's is brilliant, Teresa.
I'm certain I missed out on many of the good lines in this too - especially Tinsley's - was that his name? Like you, I wasn't overly impressed by him first time around. As I remember it, Catherine, and her overactive imagination dominated the story.


message 2: by Teresa (last edited Feb 20, 2017 02:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teresa Fionnuala wrote: "That line of Catherine's is brilliant, Teresa.
I'm certain I missed out on many of the good lines in this too - especially Tinsley's - was that his name? Like you, I wasn't overly impressed by him..."


Yes, there are other brilliant lines and one knows they are just a sample of JA's wit, irony and thought processes.

Henry Tilney. I think JA misleads--or at least misdirects--us on purpose re Tilney. It's only afterward that you realize what he's about.

You remember correctly. :)


message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith Even funnier if you've read some of the gothic fiction from the period that Austen's satirising.


·Karen· This was recently serialized on Radio 4 (BBC). I think I found it more enjoyable as performance than as a reading experience.


Agnieszka I highly enjoy revisiting Austen's novel with you, Teresa.


message 6: by Lorna (new) - added it

Lorna Great review! You reminded me that I laughed and cringed at this book as a nineteen year old - feeling the entire book from Catherine's point of view. I am curious to read it again as a forty-something with an interest in the other characters.


Teresa Bill wrote: "Even funnier if you've read some of the gothic fiction from the period that Austen's satirising."

I agree, Bill. Though I don't think I could ever get through the whole of The Mysteries of Udolpho, I know enough of the genre to be able to appreciate what she was doing. Very funny when Catherine opens up that wardrobe in her room at the Tilneys! ;)


Teresa ·Karen· wrote: "This was recently serialized on Radio 4 (BBC). I think I found it more enjoyable as performance than as a reading experience."

I've never seen a film of this either, but I definitely see its potential for performance.


Teresa Agnieszka wrote: "I highly enjoy revisiting Austen's novel with you, Teresa."

Thank you, Agnieszka. And I enjoyed reading your review yesterday.


Teresa Lorna wrote: "Great review! You reminded me that I laughed and cringed at this book as a nineteen year old - feeling the entire book from Catherine's point of view. I am curious to read it again as a forty-somet..."

Thanks, Lorna. That's interesting as Catherine herself is only 17. When she admits to a "craving to be frightened", I felt that is still true of teens today. ;)


message 11: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Amazing baseball find!


message 12: by Teresa (last edited Feb 21, 2017 03:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teresa Elaine wrote: "Amazing baseball find!"

Isn't it cool!


message 13: by Katie (new)

Katie We still play rounders/baseball in the UK, Teresa, usually when we're kids. There needs to be a quite a gang though. Otherwise it's cricket - there's a brilliant photo of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell playing cricket -


Teresa Katie wrote: "We still play rounders/baseball in the UK, Teresa, usually when we're kids. There needs to be a quite a gang though. Otherwise it's cricket - there's a brilliant photo of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa..."

Thanks for this, Katie. So nice that girls no longer need to play in skirts. :)


message 15: by Howard (new)

Howard "...I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible."

Love that line.

And thanks for the "base ball" tidbit. I didn't know you were a baseball fan.


Teresa And I didn't know you liked witticisms.


message 17: by Howard (last edited Feb 23, 2017 10:57AM) (new)

Howard Teresa wrote: "And I didn't know you liked witticisms."

Too-shay.


Teresa Howard wrote: "Teresa wrote: "And I didn't know you liked witticisms."

Too-shay."


Thanks, because usually I got nuttin.


Cecily The game still is similar to rounders, isn't it?
;)


Teresa Cecily wrote: "The game still is similar to rounders, isn't it?
;)"


Ambiguous comment by the end-notes, isn't it. ;)


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