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Buddy Reads Discussions > Northanger Abbey -- Spoilers

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm doing a re-read of Northanger Abbey. Please expect spoilers as we move along.


message 2: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Oh, look you opened a discussion thread! How fun!!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

And you found it! :D I'll read the first chapter this evening in bed.


message 4: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Yes, I just got home and of course, have to check goodreads! I will finish Volume I in bed tonight. You'll catch up to me in no time.


message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 29, 2011 08:16PM) (new)

Tell me tomorrow where volume 1 ends. I read out of an omnibus, si I don't have the volumes marked in my edition. Enjoy!


message 6: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Volume 1 ends with the engagement of Isabella and James.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Diane. Catherine has just experienced her first night in Bath, but has yet to meet Mr. Tilney or the Thorpes.


message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Hi Jeannette,

I am home sick with a cold so I am getting some quality reading in today. We have arrived at Northanger Abbey. Catherine has such a vivid imagination, and Henry was teasing her so much on the ride to the Abbey. Setting such scary scenes, it was cute.

I am at page 163, quite near done. What the heck is going on with Isabella and Captain Tilney? And Thorpe thinking that he can become engaged to Catherine (I did see that coming). I'm intrigued to read The Mysteries of Udolpho, but I see you gave it 2 stars and did not finish.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I hope you feel better soon, but what an enjoyable past time, if you do have to be stuck in bed.

I am just at the theater, where John Thorpe has spoken with the General about our heroine. Oh, some of the best dialog is yet to come, with Henry and Eleanor. I just love Henry Tilney and despise John Thorpe! And you will be "shocked" by what goes on at the Abbey!

I attempted Udolpho, but wasn't able to get through it all the way. I am glad that you are enjoying Northanger Abbey.


message 10: by Diane (last edited Oct 31, 2011 02:18PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Oops! I see I posted twice by accident, thinking one did not show up. I will delete one. The General is also a wierd dude! Such attention to time! He and I would never mesh.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Lol You posted twice, but they are slightly different.

Henry just loves to tease Catherine. And, she is so straight-forward and naive. It's really not fair, but it's so much fun.

The General is a scary dude.


message 12: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Just about up to page 180 now, Jeannette. This actually makes for a pretty good October read, given Catherine's imagination on Mrs. Tilney. She was just 'caught' by Henry searching the apartment of Mrs. Tilney. I really can hardly wait to see how this story pans out.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Poor Catherine, so impressionable. And Henry's indignation is so real -- this is England, and my father would not have been able to have murdered his wife without someone knowing about it. (Poorly paraphrased, but I really liked that little speech from Henry, even if it crushed poor Catherine.)


message 14: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments Oh, I do love this book. I am really going to enjoy reading everyone's comments!


message 15: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Jeannette wrote: "Poor Catherine, so impressionable. And Henry's indignation is so real -- this is England, and my father would not have been able to have murdered his wife without someone knowing about it. (Poorl..."

Good paraphrasing :) It's funny, I have to keep reminding myself this was written over 200 years ago!


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't read the book since March of 2010! So, my paraphrasing is a mix of remembering the book, and the most recent film adaptation (which I really enjoyed). Does this scene in particular feel modern to you?


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Kim wrote: "Oh, I do love this book. I am really going to enjoy reading everyone's comments!"

I couldn't resist after reading Persuasion. And, Diane (and Simran, when she joins us), were kind enough to let me talk them into a group read.

Join in when you like, Kim!


message 18: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) No arm twisting here, Jeannette, I love to discuss books!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a good thing! :) I think it was Jane Austen you weren't quite convinced about.

You feeling better?


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm heading upstairs to read some more! Talk to both of you tomorrow.


message 21: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) A bit better - I am taking some medicine now and doing the same thing you are! It was a good reading day, though. Goodnight.


message 22: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Good morning. Changed my photo since October pink for cure month is over. I didn't quite finish last night, and I am heading to work today. Should finish tonight.

But, Catherine got 'the letter' from James about the engagement to Isabella being off. And Catherine visited Henry's house which I thought was a very touching chapter.


message 23: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 01, 2011 08:47AM) (new)

Good morning, Diane. I am about halfway through, just before the engagement, I would guess. I will make some good progress today, because reading your comments makes me want to read more.

I really wish I could have asked Ms. Austen what she was about, making such sharp, but ridiculous comments about the intellectual capacity of women.

"Miss Morland, no one can think more highly of the understanding of women than I do. In my opinion, nature has given them so much that they never find it necessary to use more than half."

"Forgive her stupidity. The fears of the sister have added to the weakness of the woman, but she is by no means a simpleton in general."

What a brother Miss Tilney had to put up with all these years, but still a pleasant contrast to John Thorpe who simply told his sisters they were "ugly" and badly dressed.


message 24: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Jeannette, I plan to read the introduction after I finish and see if I can learn abit more about Ms. Austen.

So here I am .... Catherine receives a letter from Isabella which is quite different from the one she received from James....!!


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I am just to the point where Catherine is about to embark for the Abbey.... You should finish tonight! :D


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments Jeannette wrote: "I really wish I could have asked Ms. Austen what she was about, making such sharp, but ridiculous comments about the intellectual capacity of women...."

Austen's satirical tongue, methinks. I suspect that she delighted in having characters say all sorts of things with which she would not have agreed. And not just the characters she wanted to poke fun at!


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 01, 2011 05:07PM) (new)

So much of it is aimed primarily at women in this one. And yet, the reader knows she doesn't mean it all, in a general sense. It is great fun!


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

In about a half an hour! :D


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

He teases her that way every time they meet. I like the way that Catherine is described in the first chapter, too, as being rather unremarkable for a heroine!


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

And the way Mrs. Allen is described "Oh, I wish we knew somebody in Bath!" ;)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes! Wait until they finally do meet someone they know. The conversation gets even better. ;)


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 02, 2011 10:06AM) (new)

Dinner? At 1am? lol


message 33: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Good morning from California! I finished last night. I will only comment as far as Simran has gotten so as not to spoil. I was thrilled to see so many comments on here as I logged on.

Simran, isn't is fun how Isabella and Catherine got be such fast friends!


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Were you surprised by the ending, Diane -- Catherine's "unexpected" journey? Oh, that Mr. Thorpe!


message 35: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Not by the "ending" I wasn't surprised but the journey and how it came to be, yes. I have comments on the final chapters. And questions about Eleanor. And Isabella. But I will wait ....


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

I just finished, so I'll wait to. But, now we can discuss it with spoilers following Simran's progress. It is fun discussing a favorite book.


message 37: by Priya (new)

Priya (priyavasudevan) | 38 comments Jeannette wrote: "Good morning, Diane. I am about halfway through, just before the engagement, I would guess. I will make some good progress today, because reading your comments makes me want to read more.

I real..."

The strangest part is, JA is sympathetic to Henry, who apart from this, is the most reasonable and likable of her heroes,but is dismissive of the brash dude and Catherine's brother.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, Henry is meant to be the hero. And, I think his comments are mostly made in jest, but also serve to educate/enlighten/improve Catherine's young, unformed mind.


message 39: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) She really is such an innocent....17 years old, she's a very sweet girl, I enjoyed her character immensely.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

She took things in stride, and learned a few things, too.


message 41: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) That's summing up our heroine nicely, Jeannette!


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

When I get the time, there are some great passages at the end which sums this up. But, they involve spoilers, too. So, coming soon.


message 43: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) LOL, that is a great description, Simran. I know I speak for Jeannette too. She messaged me that she is away this weekend, but we should discuss in her absence and she is looking forward to catching up with us when she gets back.


message 44: by Diane (last edited Nov 04, 2011 05:06PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I loved that Catherine was such a reader! She could get so engrossed in a book...and it could completely take over her imagination!


message 45: by Kim (last edited Nov 05, 2011 10:57PM) (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments Simran, Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho was first published in 1794. It was very popular: in some ways it was the Twilight of its day. I like to think of Northanger Abbey as an object lesson in the danger that an addiction to trashy novels can pose to the young and impressionable. I can imagine a clever novelist satirising Twilight in much the same way!


message 46: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments I haven't read Twilight either, but I've read enough about it as a phenomenon to get the general idea and my daughter read it because as a high school teacher she feels an obligation to keep up with teen culture. She didn't like it at all, but she said that she understands why it has been so populer with teenage girls.

You have to remember that Catherine is a teenager. She has never been away from home before, she is highly imaginative, very romantic and and not that bright. However, as you read on, you will see that her good qualities do emerge, even though she is never going to be the sharpest knife in the drawer!

As far as Isabella is concerned, I think that Austen has plenty to say about friendships between teenage girls and the sorts of problems they can lead to. I don't think that it's a spoiler to say that you're not going to see a lot of growth in Isabella's character. However, her awfulness is very entertaining!


message 47: by Kim (last edited Nov 05, 2011 03:03AM) (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments Simran wrote: "Ok, you've talked me down the ledge lol. "

Well, that's good to know!

I re-read Northanger Abbey a few months ago and I appreciated it more than I did when I've read it in the past. It isn't Austen's most polished novel. Even though it was the first of her full-length adult works, it wasn't published until after she died. She meant to revise it, but died before she could.

However, it is probably Austen's funniest novel. I think the best way to enjoy it is to accept it for what it is: go with the strengths, gloss over the weaknesses and feel amazed that silly teenage girls of 200 years ago are very much like silly teenage girls today. For sure, Austen would recognise those teenage girls who go gaga over Twilight!


message 48: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments Simran, you have definitely uncovered two of Catherine's qualities. She is earnest and she is sweet. It seems to me that her earnestness comes from integrity and from the fact that she is a well-brought-up girl who has good principles, even if she is incredibly silly!


message 49: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments That's great, Simran. I am glad you've forgiven Catherine!


message 50: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments You are very welcome!


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