Lisa's Reviews > Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
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's review
Dec 29, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: older-classics
Read in January, 2010

Unlike with most of Austen's other novels, I'd only read Northanger Abbey once before, and that time it somehow slipped through my brain without making much impression at all. I'm very glad I went back to it.

From time to time, it does limp a bit through some obvious first-novel insecurities, but the writing, of course, is wonderful:

If it be true, as a celebrated writer has maintained, that no young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman's love is declared, it must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.

Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.

And with a hero like Henry Tilney, full of as much cheerful sarcasm and cynicism as Austen herself, this book could almost be as fun as Pride and Prejudice or Emma, except for being much shorter and having, for the most part, not nearly as imaginative plot twists. But Austen got there eventually, and that's what matters.

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