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Northanger Abbey Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 1967

125 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Jan 1967
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002MC3IT4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. SCARROTT on 8 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm completely shocked that many people regard 'Northanger Abbey' as the worst of Austen's books as I believe it is beautifully written and very easy to read. The characters are wonderful especially Catherine and Henry, and General Tilney is someone you love to hate. Now after seeing the recent ITV adaptation, my love for the book has been re-newed and I really want to read it again. N.A is so different to all of Austen's other novels but that's why I love it so much and the ending although very predictable, is very sweet and is what the reader hopes for throughout. An excellent read.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I approached this book somewhat warily, knowing that Northanger Abbey was to some degree a satirical take on the immense popularity of Gothic romances such as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, a book I dearly love. Happily, Austen's means of poking fun at Gothic horror literature are far from mean-spirited and, as a matter of fact, can be delightfully humorous indeed. Her heroine, Catherine Morland, is by no means the type of heroine to be found in the giant tomes of Radcliffe and her indulgent imitators, as Austen tells her reading audience directly from the very start. "Almost attractive" on a good day, this unintellectual tomboy has reached her fifteenth year without inspiring a young man's fancy, nor would she be able to delight him with musical skill or even draw his profile in her secret notebooks if she had. Having encountered no strangers who would prove to be a lord or prince in disguise, her heroic ambitions seem stymied at best until fate steps in and grants her a stay of several weeks in the delightful town of Bath. Making her transition from naïve girl to equally naïve young lady, Catherine almost immediately falls quite in love with young Henry Tilney, while at the same time she becomes intimate friends with an older young lady named Isabella, whose inconstancy as both friend and intended beloved of Catherine's own brother eventually brings her much pain. To her intense delight, however, Catherine is invited by General Tilney, Henry's father, to spend some few weeks in his home, Northanger Abbey. Her joy at spending such private time in the company of her beloved and new best friend Eleanor Tilney is immense, but equally exciting to her is the chance to spend time in a mysterious former abbey of the sort she has read so much about.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Lesley on 29 May 2010
Format: Paperback
When I read the words written by Jane Austen telling me that Catherine Morland had been in training to become a heroine I knew I was going to enjoy this novel. This book allows us a glimpse of Jane Austen as a younger woman, as a beginning novelist and as a woman with a lovely sense of humor. There isn't any denying that this book, then titled "Susan", was the first to be sold by Austen to a publisher. There it languished in some forgotten corner for thirteen years before she tried to get it back from a firm which had no intention of publishing it. Ultimately she had to borrow the money to buy her own book back. People can probably get involved in scholarly discussions as to whether or not any revisions were made to this book by Jane Austen before her death, but that's isn't what I'm interested in. I wanted to read this book because I just couldn't believe that Jane Austen had really written a book which I didn't like. At all! Thankfully, I proved myself to be both right and wrong. I completely and thoroughly enjoyed this book and am only sorry that I allowed film versions of the book to turn me away from actually reading what the author had created.

Catherine Morland became a heroine for me to love and to sympathize with, while I watched her grow and mature. At the age of seventeen Catherine is quite young to be starring in her own novel but according to the times she lived in this was a perfectly respectable age for a young woman to become a wife and mother. Up until the time Catherine was fifteen she was the epitome of a tomboy, much preferring playing games outside to learning the skills to help her in her housekeeping and marriage. When she was around fifteen she discovered novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Reeve VINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Jane Austen's first completed novel is lighter and more humorous in tone than her subsequent work. It is however, as beautifully written as that later work - there was, as always with Austen, a lot of rewriting before publication, which in this case was posthumous - and it is in no sense an inferior effort.

All her novels have a sly, subversive wit, but Northanger Abbey is the one in which she employs her humour more or less throughout, although darker elements emerge as the story develops.

It is basically a satire on the Gothic novel, a genre still familiar to us through film, and makes particular reference to The Mysteries of Udolpho. You don't need to have read that to appreciate the humour; you just need to have some idea of what a Gothic story is, with its gloomy castles, secret chambers and dastardly deeds. In fact, in the episodes that take place in the abbey, the author shows herself very capable of building mystery and tension. She could have written a splendid Gothic horror.

Austen's extraordinary insight into human nature is already evident here. In chapter 5 of this book - which has more author intervention than any of her others - she presents a defence or justification of the novel as a literary form, in which she says, "...the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties...are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language". That is certainly true of Austen's own novels.
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