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Thread: Jane Austen : Northanger Abbey

  1. #1
    Ramona
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    Jane Austen : Northanger Abbey

    I am currently in my final year in school. As required, we [ the pupils] are required to produce at least five book reviews by various types of authors. I've always been intrigued by authors that were featured in the eighteenth and nineteenth century and the multitude of books by Jane Austen provided no exception. I find her view on the world as well as the satire which is interwoven within the characters especially wicked and appealing. An outstanding innovation! <br><br>

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    Shinigami wannabe malwethien's Avatar
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    I've noticed that this thread was started early last year, but I've just finished reading NA yesterday I've read some discussions about it when it was in the book club and I regret not being able to participate.

    I enjoyed this book despite all the annoying characters (the heroine herself is not excempt from this label). Catherine's gullibility and naivete I attribute to her age and inexperience, but despite that, she is a likeable character.

    As pointed out by a lot of readers, Austen shows more sarcasm in NA than usual. Catherine's preconceived notions of Northanger Abbey and her disappointment upon seeing it was the best part of the book.

    There are lots more I'd like to say about this novel - but words escape me
    "Deep in the fundamental heart of mind and universe...there is a reason."

    - Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Registered User Vedrana's Avatar
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    I really think NA is one of the most underrated books I've come across in terms of Austen novels. I definitely recommend it.

    My mother kept mistaking it for Villette by Charlotte Bronte, so you can imagine how confused I was when she kept saying that she found it dark and depressing. Well...the mystery was eventually solved. Thank goodness!

    But anyway, I really think it's a good book. I do think the naivete of Catherine is sometimes beyond belief, but then again this adds to her charm in a way, the way she is so imperfect. I'd say that Henry Tilney is one of my favourite Austen heroes. It's really a very jaunty read, if you can use that word. I loved it.

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    Registered User xlxlauraxlx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malwethien View Post
    (the heroine herself is not excempt from this label).
    I acually really dont find this book at all interesting, and i have tied it down to the fact that catherine is so damn annoying, when she was in the abbey and accussing general tilney of murdering his wife, it really annoyed me. lol
    Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.
    - Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    Registered User fabulous's Avatar
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    I really love Catherine and her imagination. I also ove the way NA is written, maybe I'm imagining things but it seemed like Austen was making fun of the society at the time. I certainly found it the funniest of Austen's books

  6. #6
    I really love all her novels and this one is special. It is lighter than the others, with a lot of sense of humor.

    It might seem strange but above all her other novels I can recognize in her characters people I even know in my life!. I know a lot of Cap. Tilneys, Isabella Thorpes but not many Henry Tilneys but I am not a Catherine Morland anyway....I'm more inbetween Marianne Dashwood and Elisabeth Bennett

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    Northanger Abbey reminded me very much of Don Quixote. What both novels are doing is showing us what we are constantly doing. We look at things, now with realism, now with idealism. This is what Catherine was doing. Northanger Abbey teaches us how we see reality around us as symbolic of whatever we are at present desiring or fearing. Reality is, yes, "out there". But, between what we grasp of it, and the interpretation we give it, there may be a huge chasm. When I read Don Quixote two years ago, I got to the middle of it before I could figure out what was happening. Of course, the reader "sees" what is going on, but wonders why in the heck is this novel the "first and greatest novel ever written"? When I figured out what was really happening (on both levels--in the book and inside me), I actually got frightened! I finally saw my entire life fluctuating between these two realities, my thought processes and the world "out there". It was scary, but I dared to continue reading it. This is when it really got funny. It got hilarious, and I was gasping for breath, because I do those things all the time: I see reality out there and I place a very personal interpretation on it. By realizing this, my life became so much fun to live. Now, getting back to Northanger Abbey. Catherine was superimposing on the events around her her "gothic novel" Erlebnis. Don Quixote was superimposing on his 16th Century surroundings his imaginary life that he had absorbed from countless chivalric novels, which represented the way people supposedly lived 300 years earlier. Both Northanger Abbey and Don Quixote teach us something that is so true of all of us, but so often ignored. Once we consider this facet of life, in the concrete details of each day, it is a most liberating experience (once we get over the shock).

    Seeing that I had accidently repeated the above message and that I could not delete it, because I'm still a newcomer on this site and I do not know how, I am forced to say something more about Northanger Abbey. This is the sixth novel I have read of Austen's major novels. I had saved it for the last because I had been misled into thinking it was the least important. After having read it, I can only agree with Claudia Johnson's words in the Introduction (to the Oxford University Press edition), that this is "her most youthful and in many ways her most brilliant novel." Another statement that Johnson makes, which illustrates what I ineptly tried to explain in my post above, is this: "The alarms of romance and the anxieties of common life are thus, like so many other apparent opposites in the novel, virtually one and the same."

    "Nothing is more fantastic than reality itself" --Dostoyevsky.

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    Registered User CaptainHatteras's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed the character of Catherine. She's very feminine and intelligent. Her naivety only adds to her personality. As the novel develops, she becomes wiser and learns to detect lies and malicious people. The novel is also very light, often funny and always satirical.

    This was the first Jane Austen novel that I've read and now I'm starting to read Sense and Sensibility. I've heard that The Northanger Abbey is very different from her other works, so I'm a little skeptical for her others works, hopefully I'll enjoy them as much or even more.

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    Although I haven't finished the book NA is actually quite humorous although I do find the main character, Catherine, very annoying. Idiocy and naivety being the two main factors.

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    Tea (and book) Addict Jazz_'s Avatar
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    I really enjoyed reading this, I found it was quite different from her other works (I love them all though ). The Gothic elements and Catherine's imagination were really amusing...

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Although it is not her best work, nor her most famous, it is many peoples favourite Jane Austin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHatteras View Post
    I really enjoyed the character of Catherine. She's very feminine and intelligent. Her naivety only adds to her personality. As the novel develops, she becomes wiser and learns to detect lies and malicious people. The novel is also very light, often funny and always satirical.

    This was the first Jane Austen novel that I've read and now I'm starting to read Sense and Sensibility. I've heard that The Northanger Abbey is very different from her other works, so I'm a little skeptical for her others works, hopefully I'll enjoy them as much or even more.

    I especially enjoyed Persuasion, and I found S&S to be her weakest novel, I disliked almost all the characters in that book, especially Marianne and Elinor!

    Northanger Abbey was thoroughly enjoyable, I must disagree with the general consensus. I think Catherine is such a darling, and I didn't find her annoying at all.

  13. #13
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    I'd say mansfield Park is her weakest effort. Fanny Price is just too passive, she just sits there and does nothing. No good for a modern heroine

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    Registered User wordeater's Avatar
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    I feel a bit sorry for Ann Radcliff that she's more famous for being ridiculed in NA than for her own works. She's the Salieri of literature.

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