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NORTHANGER ABBEY
     

NORTHANGER ABBEY

3.5 114
by Jane Austen
 

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CHAPTER 1


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, and a very respectable man, though his

Overview

CHAPTER 1


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, and a very respectable man, though his name
was Richard--and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable
independence besides two good livings--and he was not in the least
addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful
plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a
good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and
instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might
expect, she still lived on--lived to have six children more--to see them
growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family
of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are
heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had
little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and
Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin
awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong
features--so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism
seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred
cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of
infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a
rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered
flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief--at least
so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was
forbidden to take. Such were her propensities--her abilities were quite
as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything
before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often
inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in
teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her
next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine
was always stupid--by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and
Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her
to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was
very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinnet; so, at eight
years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs.
Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in
spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which
dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life.
Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain
the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd
piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses
and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing
and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her
proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in
both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character!--for
with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither
a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever
quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions
of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and
cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the
green slope at the back of the house.

Such was Catherine Morland at ten. At fifteen, appearances were mending;
she began to curl her hair and long for balls; her complexion improved,
her features were softened by plumpness and colour, her eyes gained more
animation, and her figure more consequence. Her love of dirt gave way to
an inclination for finery, and she grew clean as she grew smart; she had
now the pleasure of sometimes hearing her father and mother remark
on her personal improvement. "Catherine grows quite a good-looking
girl--she is almost pretty today," were words which caught her ears now
and then; and how welcome were the sounds! To look almost pretty is an
acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the
first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever
receive.

Mrs. Morland was a very good woman, and wished to see her children
everything they ought to be; but her time was so much occupied in
lying-in and teaching the little ones, that her elder daughters were
inevitably left to shift for themselves; and it was not very wonderful
that Catherine, who had by na

Product Details

BN ID:
2940011954214
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
12/29/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
193 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English author known primarily for her six major novels set among the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Considered defining works of the Regency Era and counted among the best-loved classics of English literature, Austen’s books include Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. The latter two were published after her death.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 16, 1775
Date of Death:
July 18, 1817
Place of Birth:
Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
Place of Death:
Winchester, Hampshire, England
Education:
Taught at home by her father

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Northanger Abbey 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 114 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The formatting for this eBook is terrible - so much missing text and extra characters that you can't read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love everything Jane Austen ever wrote.o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This particular Gutenberg scan is riddled with poor scan conversions - the first two pages are completely illegible. Try another version.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't read but a few pages because it is so difficult to read through all the misspellings, extra punctuation, weird spacing, etc. A real dis-service to a classic author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this is one of my favorite stories, do not get this version. The print is very messed up, and unless you know the story by heart it may be difficult to follow due to the missing and incorrect characters.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
(Sorry if I spell something wrong.) I thought the story was good but needed a lot of editing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm halfway through and I love it. I love how Austen pokes fun at gothic romance fiction. Highly recommended, though it's not nearly as good as Pride and Prejudice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant what to reaf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great novel with wonderful parodies of Gothic fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has no misprint it is a favorite classic of mine
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow to start and perhaps a little over the top in some regards, but that may also have been a point the author was trying to get across. A predictable happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many typos! Bad punctuation, messed up words, bad edition in general Love the story, but the edition is distracting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago