By Jane Austen
Published by Barnes Noble Classics
on December 1817
Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:
Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s Gothic parody. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.
The story’s heroine is Catherine Morland, an innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.
I’ve read Pride and Prejudice once or twice before, but that was the only Jane Austen I’d read. Ages ago, I bought a giant volume that contained all of her published works, and recently I decided that it was time for me to read one of them. I was thinking of trying to read some more classic literature in 2018 as part of my reading goals (and to be honest, it’s probably been part of my reading goals every year, but not one that I seem to have made any progress on).
I’m not sure exactly why I picked Northanger Abbey over Jane Austen’s other works, but I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed this! And I was definitely surprised by how much I enjoyed this and how funny it was (I actually laughed out loud a couple of times).
I felt like the part of the story set at the titular abbey was shorter than I thought it would be, but perhaps that’s because it took me longer to read the first part of the book. Or maybe I just wished there had been more of the story taking place at the abbey, since I enjoyed that so much.
I was informed that there is a movie version out in the world, and now I really want to watch it! This was such a delightful read and I’m planning to read two more of Jane Austen’s books in 2018 as I slowly work my way through her novels.