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Northanger Abbey (Penguin Popular Classics) Paperback – 26 Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (26 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140620753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140620757
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.8 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Benedict and Le Faye … provide in their respective volumes a generous, helpful, and historically informed introduction to the work and its reception; a set of informative, judicious explanatory notes; and a meticulously prepared and visually well presented text. … The Northanger Abbey edition is excellent … offers a magnificent summary …' Devoney Looser, University of Missouri --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Jane Austen's classic tale, read by Joanna Lumley --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
?? 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

34 of 35 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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54 of 58 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Ann on 17 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
It is believed that Jane Austen wrote many of her first works for the entertainment of her family and would read them aloud for their opinions and enjoyment. It is not hard to imagine that Northanger Abbey was presented to her family in this manner. The language and phrasing lends itself so freely to the spoken word almost like a stage play, that I was quite certain that an audio book would be a great enhancement to the text. Add to that the talent of a creative narrator and you have a great combination for several hours of entertainment ahead of you.

I adore audio books and listen to them in the car during my commute to work. It is a great time to tune out the traffic, clear my head, and get lost in a good story. When I decided that I wanted to listen to an audio version of Northanger Abbey I discovered that there were three new unabridged audio editions that had been produced in the last two years to choose from. The first Blackstone Audiobooks (2007) was read by Nadia May, the second by Tantor Media (2006) and read by Donada Peters, and the third by Naxos AudioBooks (2006) and read Juliet Stevenson. The first two readers appeared to be professional narrators specializing in the classics with a diverse range of authors, and the third Juliet Stevenson is a well known British stage and screen actress, whose performance as the acerbic Mrs. Elton in the 1996 movie adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma was so hilarious, that I knew she would be an excellent choice to read the novel with the extra bit of animation that I desired.

Ms. Stevenson did not disappoint and far exceeded my expectations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those who know that I'm a Jane Austen fan are probably very surprised to discover that in spite of reading certain of her books more than once, I have not, and still have not read her entire output, of her completed novels I still have Mansfield Park remaining.

Like Miss Austen's other works, Northanger Abbey is a tale of a young woman with no particular fortune to speak of debuting in society and getting caught up in romantic intrigues so far, so Austen. Catherine Morland travels to Bath as a particular companion to neighbour Mrs Allen and establishes friendships with two families also sojourning in Bath, the Thorpe's and the Tilney's. After her stay in Bath, Catherine is granted the opportunity of a stay at the Tilney seat, the impressive Northanger Abbey.

The novel has two main successes : you care passionately enough about the characters to have the strong desire to reach into the book, physically shove John Thorpe and tell him to "Do One" or "Get Lost" in less Scouse terms. Henry Tilney is also a delightful hero, who makes you feel a bit warm and squishy inside, which is what you want from an Austen novel, essentially.

There are two main drawbacks : The novel is clearly a parody upon Mrs Radcliffe's The Mystery Of Udolpho indeed it makes the point plain. I once tried to read said novel and did not succeed, primarily because the typeface on my edition was blindingly tiny. This parody at points proves slightly irritating. Austen also clearly has a bee in her bonnet and a personal point to make about the social opinions of the time regarding novels, particularly women's novels, and is using this novel as a vehicle to convey her opinions, when she should rather have written an Op-Ed for The Times or something.
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