Northanger Abbey

Publisher: Bantam Classics
The earliest of her six major novels, NorthangerAbbey remained unpublished until after Jane Austen’s death. A deliciously witty satire of popular Gothic romances, it is perhaps Austen’s lightest, most delightful excursion into a young woman’s world. Catherine Morland, an unlikely heroine—unlikely because she is so ordinary—forsakes her English village for the pleasures and perils of Bath. There, among a circle of Austen’s wonderfully vain, dissembling, and fashionable characters, she meets a potential suitor, Henry Tilney. But with her imagination fueled by melodramatic novels, Catherine turns a visit to his home, Northanger Abbey, into a hunt for dark family secrets. The result is a series of hilarious social gaffes and harsh awakenings that for all of Austen’s youthful exuberance nevertheless conveys her mature vision of literature and life—and the consequences of mistaking one for the other.

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Chapter One


No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor,...
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READING GUIDE

1. Robert Kilely, in his Introduction, says that although Northanger Abbey satirizes gothic novels, what?s more significant about it is the manner in which Jane Austen bases her narrative on conversation. How is conversation used in the novel as a narrative device? How does conversation both aid and hinder the...

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PRAISE FOR

“Jane Austen is the Rosetta stone of literature.” —Anna Quindlen