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Northanger Abbey (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Jane Austen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
Price: 1.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 1992 Wordsworth Classics
About this Wordsworth Classic:
This Wordsworth Edition includes an Introduction and Notes by David Blair, University of Kent.

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s. Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her.

In this, her first full-length novel, Austen also fixes her sharp, ironic gaze on other kinds of contemporary novel, especially the Gothic school made famous by Ann Radcliffe. Catherine's reading becomes intertwined with her social and romantic adventures, adding to the uncertainties and embarrassments she must undergo before finding happiness.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; Reprint edition (1 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260438
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction set among the gentry have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature.

Jane Austen was born in Steventon rectory on 16th December 1775. Her family later moved to Bath and then to Chawton in Hampshire. She wrote from a young age and Pride and Prejudice was begun when she was twenty-two years old. It was originally called First Impressions. It was initially rejected by the published she submitted it too and eventually published in 1813 after much revision.

All four of her novels - Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815) published in her lifetime were published anonymously. Jane Austen died on 18th July 1817. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both 1817) were published posthumously.

Product Description

Review

'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 the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Jane Austen's funniest, most optimistic novel is published for the first time in flipback classics - so now you can always carry an Austen in your pocket.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Austen's best in my opinion 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful 12 Mar 2003
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
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 nave girl to equally nave 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Juliet Stevenson is brilliant 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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted, easy to read coming-of-age story 20 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Catherine Morland leaves her large family and travels to Bath with a wealthy older couple to experience the 'season' there. Young and naive, she falls in love with Henry Tilney, who is charmed by her lack of guile. She forms a strong friendship with Isabel Thorpe, who introduces her to the joys of the gothic novel. Catherine is spellbound, and starts to see gothic intrigue and melodrama in everything around her.
This is probably Jane Austen's easiest, least complex novel. The humour of the novel lies in Catherine's innocence, contrasted with the flirtatious machinations of her friend Isabel, to which Catherine is utterly oblivious, and her fascination with the gothic novel, which leads her to see murderers and mystery all around her. Compared to, say, Emma, or Persuasion, this is a lightweight novel which doesn't operate on very many levels. The characters don't have the same attraction as Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. However, Austen's ability to portray people's foibles (such as in the exquisitely awful Isabel and her brother John) makes the novel thoroughly enjoyable.
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