“Northanger Abbey”

January 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Posted in Classics | 10 Comments

I checked out Northanger Abbey with a heavy heart.  So distressed was I that I had to tell the librarian: “This is the last Jane Austen novel I haven’t read yet, and there won’t be any more!”  She commiserated with me quite well – what can be worse than running out of “new books” by a favorite author who has rested in Book Heaven for many years?

This sadness was greatly mitigated when it turned out I liked this story better than all the others.  Mr. Tilney is the hero for me!  I thought Catherine’s introductory conversation with him was one of the best things I’d ever read, and it seemed oddly modern.  Tilney was the first male Austen character I’d met who made me want to converse with him.

The other thing I liked about Northanger Abbey is that it’s a parody of gothic novels.  I kept finding myself imagining a modernization of the story based on horror films.  (In fact, it’s probably been done, since whenever I have an “original” idea like this it turns out I’m just hopelessly out of the loop, like when I “invented” eBay in 1998).  There is definitely a reason why this is a deathless classic, and why Austen has her own star in Book Heaven.



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  1. Yay!!! Northanger is one of my favourites, and Henry Tilney is my favourite leading man, but almost no one agrees with me. :p

  2. Amen and Amen.

    It is always a sad day when you come to the end of a favorite author. But be heartened, If they kept writing you may not have liked the rest of their “stuff”.

  3. You know, that’s a good point. I wonder what a bad novel by Austen would have been like? It’s hard to imagine, because even her shallow characters having shallow conversations are still funny, and her villains are so believably mundane.

  4. Sorry to be off topic…but you’ve read HOW MANY books? That’s insane!

    How do you do it!??!

  5. I don’t want to make you jealous…but I have only just finished Persuasion and so have many happy hours of Austen reading ahead of me 🙂 Northanger Abbey had been next on my list but I’d moved it down recently for no good reason really. I’m scooching it right back up there. Thank you 🙂

  6. This book was the reason I read The Mysteries of Udolpho.

  7. Oops I don’t think that comment went through. This book inspired me to read The Mysteries of Udolpho.

  8. […] happen.  And even if it did, maybe I wouldn’t want it to.  I want to savor it.   Over at Both Eyes Book Blog (whom I may or may not have introduced myself to!) she had a post about reading her last Jane […]

  9. How do I do it? Aw, shucks! 🙂

    Read this post: https://botheyes.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/400/

  10. […] Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen 1/2/2009 […]

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