Jane Austen's first novel, "Northanger Abbey" published posthumously in 1818 tells the story of Catherine Morland and her dangerously sweet nature, innocence, and sometime self-delusion. Though Austen's fallible heroine is repeatedly drawn into scrapes while vacationing at Bath and during her subsequent visit to Northanger Abbey, Catherine eventually triumphs, blossoming into a discerning woman who learns truths about love, life, and the heady power of literature. The satirical "Northanger Abbey" pokes fun at the gothic novel while earnestly emphasizing caution to the female sex.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the first edition of 1818.
About the Author
One of England s most beloved authors, Jane Austen wrote such classic novels as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Published anonymously during her life, Austen s work was renowned for its realism, humour, and commentary on English social rites and society at the time. Austen s writing was supported by her family, particularly by her brother, Henry, and sister, Cassandra, who is believed to have destroyed, at Austen s request, her personal correspondence after Austen s death in 1817. Austen s authorship was revealed by her nephew in A Memoir of Jane Austen, published in 1869, and the literary value of her work has since been recognized by scholars around the world.
Robert Kiely, a Benedictine Oblate, is an emeritus professor of English and American literature at Harvard University. At Harvard, he served terms as associate dean of undergraduate education, chair of the English department, and master of Adams House from 1973-99. His current research interests center on narrative, storytelling, and the relationship between Christian literature and the visual arts.
“Jane Austen is the Rosetta stone of literature.” —Anna Quindlen