"Northanger Abbey" is a perfectly aimed literary parody that is also a withering satire of the commercial aspects of marriage among the English gentry at the turn of the nineteenth century. But most of all, it is the story of the initiation into life of its naIve but sweetly appealing heroine, Catherine Morland, a willing victim of the contemporary craze for Gothic literature who is determined to see herself as the heroine of a dark and thrilling romance. When she is invited to Northanger Abbey, the grand though forbidding ancestral seat of her suitor, Henry Tilney, she finds herself embroiled in a real drama of misapprehension, mistreatment, and mortification, until common sense and humor-and a crucial clarification of Catherine's financial status-resolve her problems and win her the approval of Henry's formidable father.
Written in 1798 but not published until after Austen's death in 1817, "Northanger Abbey" is characteristically clearheaded and strong, and infinitely subtle in its comedy.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
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.
“It is tempting to argue [that] Austen opted to initiate her career with Northanger Abbey because in addition to being a good novel it alone was also a manifesto of her artistic program . . . Northanger Abbey is a delightful novel, but also a serious one, and the first completely to master the stylistic method that would become the hallmark of its author’s art: irony.” –from the Introduction by Claudia L. Johnson