October 17, 2010

Review : Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Title : Northanger Abbey
Author : Jane Austen
Reading Dates : 5 Sep - 9 Sep 2010
Northanger Abbey
From Amazon:
Catherine Morland lives for much of her time in a fantasy world of romance and mystery based on the Gothic novels of her time, the early 1800s. But a stay in Northanger Abbey leads her into a series of misjugdements and a farewell to her Gothic world, only to be dealt a cruel blow in the real one.

Book Review of Northanger Abbey.
This was another enjoyable read by Jane Austen.

While Catherine Morland is not the epitome of the usual heroine, being rather plain and silly, I still liked her. I suppose it is because I believe life might be simpler if we all could be like her. Absolutely unpretentious and never having to worry about any meaning beyond exactly what is said, even such things as little white lies. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could be like the Morlands who are able to assume that no one they meet has ill intentions until proven otherwise ?

The other reason I like this particular story is the romance between Catherine and Henry Tilney. It certainly doesn't progress like any of the romance books I have ever read; the reasons for their falling in love with each other is in fact rather funny. Certainly I doubt if any other book has ever had the male protagonist fall in love with the heroine for the same reason that Henry does. At least, not stated so plainly.

And Henry is another of Austen hero that I find interesting. For the choice that he makes at the end, he obviously has principles. But there is enough playfulness in his character to ensure that he isn't a boring main character either. I've also realized while re-reading Jane Austen's books that I much prefer less than perfect characters. What about you ?

My conclusion : One of my choices for a re-read when looking for a light read.

Want to ...

Which versions of Northanger Abbey below have you seen ?

Masterpiece Theatre: Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey (BBC, 1986)


  1. Northanger Abbey was actually the first Jane Austen book I had every read and I loved it! As a fan of classic horror novels (Frankenstein, The Castle of Ortranto, Vathek, etc.), I had a good grounding in the type of novels (popular Gothic romances) which Miss Austen was making fun of in this book.

  2. I love Henry Tilney as well. I love how he has such a good sense of humor. I love all of Austen's characters, they are so full of life and so much like people you still would run into today.

    Great review!

  3. I enjoyed reading Northanger Abbey, it was a departure from the usual Austen novel for me, since I have read other Austen novels, like Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice.


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