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Group Reads - Fiction > May - June 2019 - Classic Group Read - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

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message 1: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
Please discuss our winner here.


message 2: by Alannah (last edited Apr 22, 2019 07:04AM) (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
I first read this during my first year module, and would like to read it again, I might not read it until the second half of June.


message 3: by Tracey (last edited Apr 22, 2019 07:48AM) (new)

Tracey (traceypb) | 1192 comments Oh Alannah! I'm so happy this won the poll..
Hopefully it will help me discover a love for Jane Austen that has so far eluded me.
Looking forward to the discussion on this thread.
:))


message 4: by Joan (new)

Joan Well this should be fun - Northanger Abbey is quite different from her other novels - she shows her silly, satirical, tongue-in-cheek side.


message 5: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: "Oh Alannah! I'm so happy this won the poll..
Hopefully it will help me discover a love for Jane Austen that has so far eluded me.
Looking forward to the discussion on this thread.
:))"


I am hoping a discussion on this novel might help boost my rating. When I first read it, I rushed through it.


message 6: by Karin (new)

Karin | 1940 comments Excellent! This will fit in my Rebellious Year of Reading whatever the heck I feel like as much as possible!!!!!!!


message 7: by Joan (new)

Joan Karin - brilliant theme for the year


message 8: by Aqsa (new)

Aqsa (her_747) | 11 comments Would love to join!


message 9: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceypb) | 1192 comments I have sorted out my reading for next month and due to buddy reads etc I will be starting this on May 22nd.


message 10: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
Aqsa wrote: "Would love to join!"

You're very welcome.


message 11: by Lorella (new)

Lorella McDonald | 1 comments I read Nothanger Abbey a long time ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the Gothic element behind it and how the central female character was very strong and Independent


message 12: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 670 comments I just picked up a free copy so I hope to participate. I’ve only read 1 other book by Jane Austen.


message 13: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
Lorella wrote: "I read Nothanger Abbey a long time ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the Gothic element behind it and how the central female character was very strong and Independent"

I think that's why we studied this one, it was meant to get us thinking about the Gothic and help us decide if we wanted to take that module. I ended up doing the module and really enjoyed it.


message 14: by Joan (new)

Joan Alannah- were strong females a common theme in the Gothic novels of J.A.’s time?
I’d never imagined a module devoted to Gothic - did it focus on Gothic novels? Did gothic memes appear in poetry, music or graphic art as well?


message 15: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
Joan wrote: "Alannah- were strong females a common theme in the Gothic novels of J.A.’s time?
I’d never imagined a module devoted to Gothic - did it focus on Gothic novels? Did gothic memes appear in poetry, m..."


Not necessarily, Northanger Abbey sort of parodies the gothic theme throughout the novel as the characters would often discuss these books. It was believed that Jane was targetting another writer Anne Radcliffe, who wrote the books, A Sicilian Romance (1790), The Romance of the Forest (1791), and The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). Catherine reads Udolpho during her time at Bath, and it is implied that she has read similar novels before, and Isabella has a library of other Gothic books that the women plan to read once Catherine has finished Udolpho.

When I did my module on gothic literature, I studied Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dracula and The Shining. I also wrote an essay arguing why Jane Eyre could be seen as gothic because of the forbidden romance, damsel in distress, and use of the home hiding Bertha/Antoinette.

Strong females don't necessarily feature in gothic novels. These would be the main characteristics:

Gloomy, decaying setting (haunted houses or castles with secret passages, trapdoors, and other mysterious architecture)
Supernatural beings or monsters (ghosts, vampires, zombies, giants)
Curses or prophecies.
Damsels in distress.
Heroes.
Romance.
Intense emotions.


message 16: by Karin (new)

Karin | 1940 comments Joan wrote: "Karin - brilliant theme for the year"

Thanks!


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul (paa00a) | 202 comments Well, I started this on audio while delivering pizzas and thought it would take me a couple of weeks, as other novels have done. Instead, I finished it in two nights!

Really fun. It's not as polished or classically "good" as Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice, but it has a raw sort of spunk to it, especially the sharp wit and good-natured send-up of gothic romances. I laughed out loud several times, and thoroughly enjoyed the scene where Tilney sarcastically describes what awaits Catherine at Northanger Abbey. Having read one of the novels explicitly mentioned by Austen here (The Monk) within the past year, this was pretty spot on as satires go.


message 18: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13211 comments Mod
I'm downloading it from Librivox right now: I've read it many times - and I also have to admit it's not my favourite Austen! - but to look into it with you all it will be a new perspective.


message 19: by Karin (last edited May 03, 2019 09:42AM) (new)

Karin | 1940 comments I started this last night and read the first three chapters. I'm quite enjoying it, too. My only wish is that I knew about metafiction way back when I first read it.

Although I am always a fan of parody, I do like them when they are well done, which this one is.


message 20: by Joan (last edited May 06, 2019 03:17PM) (new)

Joan I’m reading this along with Waverley by Walter Scott - they were first published around the same time & complement each other quite well.


message 21: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13211 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "I started this last night and read the first three chapters. I'm quite enjoying it, too. My only wish is that I knew about metafiction way back when I first read it.

Although I am always a fan of ..."


Austen is a real master of parody I think!
I'm one third through. It's nice, but I confirm that she has written better novels: in this the caracthers look more like "single face persons" if you see what I mean


message 22: by Joan (new)

Joan My dog ate my copy of Northanger Abbey! Really, so I’m late starting and reading an ebook (less tasty for the dog).

I’m surprised in a change - in my hardcopy published by Oxford University Press, Catherine is described as enjoying BASEBALL,
The ebook has changed that to cricket - odd.


message 23: by Karin (last edited May 18, 2019 10:59AM) (new)

Karin | 1940 comments Joan wrote: "My dog ate my copy of Northanger Abbey! Really, so I’m late starting and reading an ebook (less tasty for the dog).

I’m surprised in a change - in my hardcopy published by Oxford University Press,..."


I wonder why Oxford put in baseball--the hard copy I read from another publisher said cricket! BUT, the history of baseball is not as clear cut as we like to think, and not only are there American references to it from the 18th century, but in England there were various bat and ball games--Oxford might well be correct!!!


message 24: by Karin (last edited May 18, 2019 11:00AM) (new)

Karin | 1940 comments PS I'm finished reading it now.


message 25: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11717 comments Mod
I still have to reread this, I won't be able to do so until next month.


message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard Buro (rwburo1outlookcom) | 21 comments All,

My last Jane Austen read was difficult at best for this ol' geezer to get wrapped around. I am will to try, but not sure about Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Will dive it the old college go, luck to me...

Richard W. Buro


message 27: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catjackson) I am really enjoying the satirical nature of the novel. After having read a few more serious books lately, the humor is great. And Austen is great with the sly comments and ironic characterizations. Just the break I need as I grade final papers.


message 28: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13211 comments Mod
Saying before all that Jane Austen is my favourite author ever, I can't say that this is her best work, or my favourite.
Definitly P&P or Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion are better structured and the characters are more developed and described.
Still, as Catherine was saying, also here Austen irony is well seen: the discovery of the laundry bills in her room I think is a real piece of genius!


message 29: by Joan (new)

Joan Jane Austen can be a real hoot!
“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.

Emphasis is mine.


message 30: by Suki (new)

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 18 comments I love the Gothic parody in Northanger Abbey, and I also love the early Gothic novels (especially Ann Radcliffe), so this book was a double treat for me.


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