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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Next up for the Buddy Reads is Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen join in. There will be SPOILERS. Anyone interested is welcome to join in and comment.

message 2: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) Thanks, Gail. I may join in. I have the book, but have never read it.

message 3: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I have to pick the book up at the library this morning. I've never read it, I'm doing my first run through of Jane Austen's books right now.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Great, Shay! I am also doing some first reads of Austen as well and this will be one of them.

message 5: by astrangerhere (new)

astrangerhere I've read it before, but might have a re-go at it this weekend if the weather is rainy. I'd enjoy hopping in on the discussion. I did not study Austen as part of my degree or my masters, but I am taking my time working my way through her works now.

message 6: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I can start tomorrow. Couldn't pick it up from the library today. By the time I got clear of work and had the kids settled, we had a thunderstorm warning and I couldn't leave the house. How many chapters are we doing daily? I figure chapters are the easiest way to keep track as there must be a hundred different editions.

message 7: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) Yes, I got mine off the shelf last night & brought it to work to read on break (when I'm not on GR)!! I'm really looking forward to this.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Great, Martha. The chapters seem short so I was thinking of reading the Introduction(hope no one is giving anything away!) and the first three chapters and then discussing what we have done. Is that ok with you? Shay is joining us too! This should be fun.

message 9: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) Sounds great to me. I'll get started today.

message 10: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Three chapters sound great. Don't know when I'll get to the library, but it will be today. If not, I can always read the 3 chapters online.

message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (lissieb7) | 52 comments I just found this thread and would love to join the buddy read. I just started reading Jane Austen's work last year and Northanger Abbey just happens to be the book I'd like to read next. I'll try to get started tonight, but it might be tomorrow!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Don't worry, Melissa, we would be more than happy to have you with us!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Well, I think things have not much changed since Jane Austen's time. Girls still "need" to be pretty and if they have money well that is even better. It sort of surprised me the way the parents spoke of the plainness of their daughter. All girls go through gawky stages but many parents still tell their daughters that they are beautiful even at their worst toothless, pimply selves. It also seems to me that the focus was on finding a man and being a wallflower spelt disaster for a young girl.

I am happy to say that things have changed in that respect and now there is a much more liberal view to being a woman alone. How does everyone else think? Is the start of this book what you expected?

message 14: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (lissieb7) | 52 comments I do agree that it's quite nice today that women have more choices. As far the book being what I expected I have to say yes. Many, if not all, of Jane Austen's books looked at the role of women and the idea that a woman's only avenue and/or desire was a good marriage. Again, here she seems to be addressing that idea. I did like the parts about Catherine wanting to be a heroine. I know that as a teenager and an avid reader I often dreamed of being like the heroines in my favorite books. On this point, I quite identified with Catherine.

message 15: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I've just finished reading Pride and Prejuide and Sense and Sensibility. It seemed to me as if Austen's characters were similar- family of girls, one exceedingly pretty, one smart. Don't take this in the wrong way, but if you look at the Bennett and Dashwood women, they are kind of prim and priggish from a modern perspective. That being said, Austen is such a good writer that you care so much about the characters.

So, I was surprised at Northanger Abbey. The character is described as not so pretty or smart or accomplished at any of the important female things like piano or painting. The book is written in a mocking and satirical tome compared to the others I've read. From a modern perspective, the marriage game seems silly and superficial, but in Austen's time it was serious. Other than being a governess, marriage was the only way a woman could support herself financially in Austen's time, among this class of people. So, it's interesting to see the pursuit of marriage mocked.

Anyone more familiar with Austen's life than me able to tell us what may have gone on in her life around the time of this novel? A failed engagement? Was there anything in her personal life that made for this change in tone?

message 16: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 19, 2010 08:30AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) " Jane fell in love, and when the young man died, she was deeply upset. Later she accepted a proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, a wealthy landowner and brother to some of her closest friends, but she changed her mind the next morning and was greatly upset by the whole episode." I take this to mean she did marry for a day or was engaged for a day.

I found this about her and of course a lost love could have and probably did have long range effects on Jane. Since this was one of her earlier novels, could it be that this was how she felt about herself? I so agree with you about her characters, Shay. They seem to be repetitious, but as you said Jane was such an elegant author that we are just so glad that she did present these charming girls in all her novels.

She also suffered from Addison's disease. "The symptoms of Addison's disease develop insidiously, and it may take some time to be recognized. The most common symptoms are fatigue, lightheadedness upon standing or while upright, muscle weakness, fever, weight loss, difficulty in standing up, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, sweating, changes in mood and personality, and joint and muscle pains. Some have marked cravings for salt or salty foods due to the urinary losses of sodium. Affected individuals may note increased tanning since adrenal insufficiency is manifested in the skin primarily by hyperpigmentation." It, or bovine tuberculosis (caught from drinking unpasteurized milk) eventually killed her at the age of 41.

message 17: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I don't know the timeline involved, but I've read that she received at least one marraige proposal which she accepted and then changed her mind the next day. Not sure if that's true or not. I don't think she ever married. I'm enjoying the humor. Austen strikes me as very in tune with her times, but also ahead of her time. Did she make much money with her books?

message 18: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 19, 2010 07:58AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) It is true, Martha. The only thing I read was that she sold her manuscript for Northanger Abbey for 10 pounds to a publisher who didn't publish it and eventually bought it back from him for the same amount. Jane tried to break away from the Gothic novels of the time and her first success was with Sense and Sensibility.

She was definitely ahead of her time and supposedly extremely shy about her writings.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Is everyone ok with going ahead by three more chapters? (4, 5, and 6)

message 20: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Three chapters is fine. They're really short so if anyone still wants to start up they should have no problems catching up. (Something is wrong with my brain today, I misspelled catching three times.)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

Just found this online site where you can read our book online for free!

Shay, I know what you mean. I wrote something today, read it over three times, and then later decided it made absolutely no sense (after I emailed it of course!) I think the heat and humidity is getting to us.

message 22: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments If you go to the GR page for the book, they have a Read it Online button. Some can be downloaded in PDF/Mobi, etc. A lot of the books in the public domain have that link on GR. I'm thinking of getting a Nook or Kindle just so I can download classics.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) We have the Kindle, Shay, and we love it. All the classics are free!

message 24: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments My husband's biggest pet peeve about my reading (besides the piles of books around the house) is that I stay up late reading. He says the light bothers him. So, Marialyce, can you read in bed with the Kindle without a light? Is the screen backlit, or whatever the technical term is, enough to just read the Kindle in the dark? It would make me really happy to hear yes because he'll probably buy me one just so he can sleep in peace.

message 25: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 19, 2010 03:53PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Unfortunately, the one we have does not. Our model is a year old so maybe the newer ones do. What I do use is a book light which clips onto the kindle and throws light just onto the screen. It works really well and does not bother my husband when I am up half the night reading. So make your husband buy you one anyway :) and just get the clip on book light. I got my book light at at B and N.

...and the pile of book...well I have a pretty big closet (actually a small bedroom converted into a closet and all the shelves are filled with books (no clothes) so I totally understand the concept of a lot of books!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So Catherine has found "soul mate" in Mr. Tilney. How like a young girl to try and search him out and try to place herself in his view! Catherine meets Isabella, her new best friend, and they revel in the talk of men, fashion, and books. There is a pretty big defense of reading a novel. I think at the time, novel reading was considered something that the lower class did. (not sure what the upper crust did though!) The girls bond and their friendship grows as they discuss all things young girls have done and continue to do. (the discussion of boys and the latest trends.

I wonder if their friendship will continue and where is Mr. Tilney keeping himself? Does anyone know what a pump room is?

message 27: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments My husband just took me out to B & N to get the Nook. Thanks, Marialyce. Just the thought of getting rid of some of the book piles was enough to convince him.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So happy to hear you got one. Let the downloading begin!! Enjoy it, Shay.

I did get an email today from B and N about their free downloads so take a look at that.

message 29: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I download classics on my iPhone. Reading some Poe now. Love that it's backlit, too. I have to read some of the piles around my house before I'll let myself have a Nook or Kindle. Sorry ... I'm slipping behind already with our book ... was at my granddaughter's preschool orientation tonight (am sure I'll fall asleep reading tonight) & will be gone all day Sat. for Special Olympics bowling. No reading there! :-)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Don't worry, Martha, there are some things more important than reading :), and you will catch up whenever you can. Enjoy your time at the Special Olympics!

message 31: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments The pump room: "The room, at watering places like Bath where you drank and/or bathed in the supposedly curative mineral waters. Also, of course, as we see in Northanger Abbey, such a room served as a place to meet and gossip." From the book What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England. (Book I just borrowed to help me read all of these books.)

message 32: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Could the whole issue of novel reading be due in part to the novels they are discussing? The Mysteries of Udolpho was a gothic romance of the time. Probably regarded as a bit silly. After all, they're on display for marriage. So, you would want to prove you're smart so your children would be smart, right?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Sounds like I need to get a copy of that book too! Thanks, Shay. I guess the pump room is like our spas today.

I am a bit disappointed so far in the story. Don't know why but it seems dull and trivial. Maybe, I am not far along enough to where the true story begins. I hope I don't offend anyone by saying that.

message 34: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments You know, Marialyce, I don't like this book as much as her other two I've read either. But, I'm trying to look at this book as a satire. To me, one of the limiting things about a satire is that to make fun of characters or situations, to some extent you have to make those characters unlikeable. So, the result is, in this book, you get a story told by someone like Kitty (from Pride and Prejudice) instead of Elizabeth. I'm kind of intrigued by the author continually referring to Catherine as "the heroine" and the references to The Mysteries of Udolpho. Like Catherine is going to find herself believing she's a character in a gothic novel. Anyone here read the "Udolpho" story? I just downloaded it.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I will be away for the next three days, bit I intend to bring the book. I will read at least the next three chapters if not a bit more and if I have internet access at my daughter's house, I will check in from there.

message 36: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I'll try to read the next 3 by Monday. Just finished the 6th chapter. Girls certainly don't change much, do they? :-) Have fun at your daughter's.

message 37: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Have fun at your daughter's Marialyce. I'll use the time to get caught up on The Moonstone.

message 38: by Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB (last edited Aug 21, 2010 06:41AM) (new)

Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Shay wrote: "My husband's biggest pet peeve about my reading (besides the piles of books around the house) is that I stay up late reading. He says the light bothers him. So, Marialyce, can you read in bed with ..."

Shay- Kindle sells a special book light designed for the Kindle- so you can read at night comfortable- without having to keep the lights on!
also you can find less expensive- just as effective book lights in most bookstores

$3.99 on Amazon

message 39: by Emma (new)

Emma | 73 comments It sounds like I am coming late to the game, but I love Northanger and would love to join in the discussion here. I am also reading Moonstone and hope to jump in on that discussion, too. I will get started tonight!

message 40: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Emma wrote: "It sounds like I am coming late to the game, but I love Northanger and would love to join in the discussion here. I am also reading Moonstone and hope to jump in on that discussion, too. I will ge..."

Thank you Rick. None of the e-readers are backlit. I guess it has something to do with the glare?

Emma, Marialyce is out of town, so we are just reading three more chapters over the weekend. So, Chapter 9 by Monday. Austen's chapters are pretty short, so you'll be caught up in no time.

message 41: by Emma (new)

Emma | 73 comments Oh good! It has been about a year and a half since I read it, so I will definitely need a refresher. I am sure chapter 9 by Monday will be no problem!

message 42: by Emma (new)

Emma | 73 comments I know this isn't the thread for it, but I think some members are involved in multiple book discussions so I thought I would ask. I was looking for the Moonstone discussion and am having trouble finding it. Anyone know where I can find it? Thanks!

message 43: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Emma wrote: "I know this isn't the thread for it, but I think some members are involved in multiple book discussions so I thought I would ask. I was looking for the Moonstone discussion and am having trouble fi..."

Hi Emma, Marialyce is doing The Moonstone discussion at the "Chicks on Lit site." She's stopped at Chapter 13.

Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Shay wrote: "Emma wrote: "It sounds like I am coming late to the game, but I love Northanger and would love to join in the discussion here. I am also reading Moonstone and hope to jump in on that discussion, to..."

true Shay- thats why I have a clip on booklight for my Kindle- which works perfectly!

message 45: by Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB (last edited Aug 22, 2010 09:15AM) (new)

Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
I read Northanger Abbey about 6 months ago- and loved the Udolpho references so much-I of course ordered the book!

message 46: by Gini (new)

Gini | 106 comments Martha wrote: "I download classics on my iPhone. Reading some Poe now. Love that it's backlit, too...."

Yes, I love my iPhone for that very reason, but it's unlikely to do much about the number of books in the house, except perhaps slow the growth a bit. Fortunately hubby and I are both avid readers so there is no one to complain that we have too many books!

message 47: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I actually have slowed down buying books because I have so many to read now, but I am developing a HUGE list of books to buy from reading all the posts. And it has not been easy to not order or run by the used bookstore.

message 48: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Rick wrote: "Shay wrote: "Emma wrote: "It sounds like I am coming late to the game, but I love Northanger and would love to join in the discussion here. I am also reading Moonstone and hope to jump in on that d..."

I bought my light at B&N, paid full retail. I told my husband I could get it cheaper online, but he said no I wouldn't. Not after I ordered enough books to get free shipping. Plus, I always end up with enough books I can't resist for a second order.

message 49: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I read through Chapter 9 and am struck with how unlike Austen this book is. I read in the introduction of the book, that it was sold and unpublished. I guess she published anonymously during her lifetime and her brother bought the rights back after her death. I'm not surprised he got away with the publisher not realizing what he had. To me the hallmark of a Jane Austen book is the characters- they are so real, complex, wonderful. It's no wonder that a cottage industry has sprung out recently with authors writing works featuring either the author or one of her characters. However, I'm not finding a single character in this book that's likable or well-defined. None of them seem, I guess, like they could step off the pages into real life.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I guess, Shay, it might be attributed to the beginnings of her literary career. I, too, am finding that this book tends to be more like a chore than an actual pleasure to read. I am on chapter 7 and will read some more tonight.

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