Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Last week saw the release of a trailer for Guillermo Del Toro’s newest movie “Crimson Peak”. Since then I have found myself once more in a gothic novel type of mood. So, dear reader, for at least the next few reviews, that will be what the reviewed novels have in common. Some will be classic literature, like this week, and others will be more modern.

Northanger Abby by Jane Austen was one of the first novels she wrote but was one of the last released being published after her death in 1817. It is one of her first forays in to the more “realistic” style of writing she used, telling a story of the ordinary when books of the extraordinary abounded.

Northanger Abbey tells the story of young Catherine Morland. During a trip to Bath with friends of her family, she meets several new friends including Henry Tilney and his younger sister Eleanor. The three young people get along very well and when Eleanor invites Catherine back to her home at Northanger, Catherine is excited. An avid reader of the gothic novels of the day, Catherine is thrilled at the idea of visiting an actual gothic abbey.

Disappointment soon follows though as the abbey is nothing like what is described in the books Catherine loves. The abbey holds no deep dark secrets, neither does the Tilney siblings nor does their father. What then is a girl to do?

What can I say about a Jane Austen novel that hasn’t been said already? Whole papers have been written on her works, everything she has ever written has already been taken apart word by word. I am not nearly as eloquent as any of those other authors.

What I will say is I enjoyed Northanger Abbey. It is a satire that pokes fun without being insulting. Having had to read it many many moons ago in high school, I didn’t enjoy it even though at that time the heroine and I were the same age. As I have gotten older though I have found a new love for her works.

Those who love Jane Austen’s works will most likely have read this novel already. If you have, or if you haven’t, it is definitely worth a read.

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