Northanger Abbey / Jane Austen

Monday 31 December 2007
by  Katherine W
popularity : 24%

Catherine, a Gothic romance lover, goes to Bath with a family friend. During this trip, she meets Henry and his sister Eleanor Tilney who invite her to Northanger Abbey, their family estate.

Having read so many Gothic novels, the idea of spending the night in an Abbey makes Catherine’s imagination run wild : a simple chest is made out to be the most mysterious object ever, until it is discovered that in this piece of furniture lie only bed-clothes and a linen list.

General Tilney, Henry’s father, is after the money. He has been led to believe that Catherine’s family is in possession of a large fortune. When he is told this that is not the case, he then expels Catherine from his house, to prevent her from becoming his daughter-in-law. However, all ends well : the General relents, enabling Catherine and Henry to unite in the final chapter.

Jane Austen uses Catherine’s imagination to gently mock Gothic Romances. We see a change in Catherine’s character between the beginning and the end of the novel : she matures throughout the book, learning to deal with the difficulties of the real world whilst getting less and less worked up by the novels she has read in the past. A well-written, light-hearted novel, that addresses serious subjects such as hypocrisy and marriage, set one hundred and ninety years ago.


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Monday 7 January 2008 agrave 12h18, by  (^°^)

This unpredictable love story combines a young woman’s longing for adventure and romance. Catherine Morland, a seventeen year old girl, spends a few weeks in Bath, England with family friends. During her stay, she meets many people, including Isabella Thorpe and her brother John.

Isabella is desperate to make Catherine interested in John, but Catherine finds herself much more interested in Henry Tilney, who she slowly falls in love with. Catherine forms a strong bond with his sister Eleanor, and when her stay in Bath is close to an end, Eleanor invites her to join her, Henry, and their father in their home in Northanger Abbey. What will happen when Catherine and her wild imagination get carried away with the thought of locked rooms and mysterious chests?

Jane Austen’s use of vivid vocabulary and beautiful language entice you into the story, and carry you into the world of a young woman’s struggle to make the right choices. She does an excellent job at portraying the life of a maturing young woman in eighteenth century England and even though this book was written about 200 years ago, ’Northanger Abbey’ is an amusing parody of gothic novels and one of Jane Austen’s most lighthearted.

Amandine