Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Nothanger Abbey

Book title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin
First published: 1818
No of pages: 254

Description: (from the back cover) During an eventful season at Bath, young, naive Catherine Moralnd experiences fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaitances: flirtatious Isabella, who introduces Catherine to the joys of Gothic romances, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father's house, Northanger Abbey. There, influenced by novels of horror and intrigue, Catherine comes to imagine terrible crimes committed by General Tilney, risking the loss of Henry's affection, and has to learn the differences between fiction and reality, false friends and true. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, Northanger Abbey is the most youthful and optimistic of Jane Austen's works.

Review: I've been thinking for quite a while. Ever since I started this book, to be precise... How on earth am I going to review one of the Classics??? I mean, they are the classics. Not everyone might know of this particular book, but they definitely know Jane Austen (even if it's just because of the BBC series of Pride and Prejudice - with dishy Colin Firth - or the Pride and Prejudice film - with Keira Knightley). But I'm going to give it a try, nonetheless. So here goes...

If I am going to do this, I'm going to be honest about it. I have always found books that were written in the 1800's to be a bit tedious in their way of writing. But in my opinion, when reading a book like this one you should try to disregard the style of writing and try to focus as much as possible on the story.

So, with this little tip given, I have to say that I completely agree with this phrase from the description:
''With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, Northanger Abbey is the most youthful and optimistic of Jane Austen's works.''
I know I have only read ''Pride and Prejudice'', but I have read the plots of all of Jane Austen's works and it probably is her most optimistic book. As said in the description, the story revolves around Catherine Morland, a young girl who has never been out in society before, due to her family's lack of means to do so. So, when a slightly richer couple offers to take Catherine to Bath with them, Catherine jumps at the chance. There, she mingles with fashionable society and makes new friends in the faces of Isabella, Eleanor and Henry. After some time in Bath, Catherine is invited over to Northanger Abbey by Eleanor and Henry. She, of course, goes and there experiences new things she never has before. I can't say any more than that without giving the book away, for those who would like to read it!

All in all, I enjoyed the book, even though it took me ages to finish. I started it during the first days of January and managed to finish it on the 31st of January (Yay me!!). It's not a book you can devour... It takes its time to be read, mainly due to the fact that its language can get a little tiring. But, I believe it's definitely worth reading and I think you will probably enjoy it when you do!

Rating: 7/10 

Author: And now for author info. Jane Austen was born in 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire to a large family of substantial gentry. Not much is known about her life and the information that is available has been surmised by some of Austen's correspondence mainly with her sister, Cassandra. Jane Austen never married, even though it is probable she may have loved Tom Lefroy, the son of some neighbours who spent a brief period in Hampshire when Jane was 20. Their families separated them when they found out they spent an inordinate amount of time together, and they probably never saw each other again. She died in 1817, possibly from bovine tuberculosis (which is caused from drinking unpasteurised milk).
She wrote many well known books, with her most well known ones being ''Pride and Prejudice'' and ''Sense and Sensibility''. Other than those two, her other works include ''Mansfield Park'', ''Emma'' and ''Persuasion''. ''Persuasion'' and ''Northanger Abbey'' were actually first published in the year after her death (1818).
As always, websites about the author:
Jane Austen (not so sure if this works though!)

Here are some trailers for films and series that have been made and are based on her books:

There is also the BBC series for which I could not find a good quality trailer, but I believe you can watch it on YouTube if you look for it.
There is one last film to talk about, which was made in 2007, called ''Becoming Jane''. It tells the story of Jane Austen (portrayed by Anne Hathaway) and Tom Lefroy (portrayed by James McAvoy). Enjoy the trailer!

Counts as Book #4 in my 100 Books In A Year! And as Book #2 in my British Books Challenge 2011!



  1. I have that fear factor when I think about reviewing a classic too. I think you did the right thing by giving your personal experience with it.

  2. I found you through The Bookette.

    I am glad you reviewed this classic according to your personal experience of it. I think that's the best way of reviewing any book - just going with your feelings.

    I think you might enjoy this adaptation of the novel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bZV2HbjxYM


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