Thursday, December 27, 2012

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I listened to the audiobook which is always a good idea with Jane Austen novels in my opinion. I love listening to the accents of the narrators. Catherine is portrayed as a 17-year-old girl who doesn't really think for herself - although she did make it all the way home from Northanger Abbey on her own. She goes to Bath with a neighbor couple as a companion to the wife. They meet up with an aquaintance from this woman's girlhood and Catherine makes friends with her daughter. Their son, James Thorpe, beoomes interested in Catherine, but she becomes interested in another - Henry Tilney. James exaggerates Catherine's family's wealth to Henry's father, General Tilney, to make her appear more worthy of James' interest. The General wants Catherine for Henry, so he invites her to Northanger Abbey for a visit. Henry, Catherine and Eleanor - Henry's sister, spend happy times together for about 3 weeks. Then overnight, The General sends Catherine home and forbids Henry to pursue her because he has heard from James Thorpe another exaggeration of Catherine's family's financial status - her being poor. Henry, probably the most stable character in the novel, proves himself chivalrous and goes against his father's wishes and travels to Catherine to ask her to marry him. Catherine's parents are in favor of the match, but only if they can convince Henry's father to give his consent. Henry's sister, Eleanor, comes to the rescue by spontaneously (at least in the novel - apparently not in the novelist's mind) marrying a man of means, a Viscount, and making her father very happy. In his happiness, he forgives Henry and grants his consent. This novel was only 179 pages long, but it took me a while to get through it because Catherine did so much imagining and sighing, etc. This novel is meant to be a parody of the Gothic novels of Jane Austen's time. It was amusing, but I wouldn't really recommend it.

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