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Northanger Abbey, written in Jane Austen’s youth and posthumously published, is arguably her most mysterious, imaginative, and optimistic novel.
This Norton Critical Edition is the most extensively annotated student edition available.
"Backgrounds" features material carefully chosen to enhance readers’ appreciation of the novel, including biographical commentary, early works and correspondence related to Northanger Abbey, and excerpts by Ann Radcliffe, Frances Burney, and William Wordsworth, among others, tracing Austen’s connection to her Romantic contemporaries.
"Criticism" collects thirteen assessments of Northanger Abbey from a wide range of voices and periods, including essays by Margaret Oliphant and Rebecca West and critics Patricia Meyer Spacks, Claudia L. Johnson, Lee Erickson, and Joseph Litvak.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
Excerpted from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Copyright © 2007 by Jane Austen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
General Editor's preface; Acknowledgments; Chronology; Introduction; Note on the text; Northanger Abbey; Appendix: Summaries and Extracts from Ann Radcliffe's novels; Corrections and emendations to 1818 text; List of abbreviations; Explanatory notes.
1. Robert Kilely, in his Introduction, says that although Northanger Abbey satirizes gothic novels, what's more significant about it is the manner in which Jane Austen bases her narrative on conversation. How is conversation used in the novel as a narrative device? How does conversation both aid and hinder the characters?
2. Jane Austen deftly shifts voices so as to allow us to see the world through Catherine's eyes and her own eyes (often through Henry Tilney). What effects does this have on the reader?
3. What gothic elements are incorporated into the novel? What are the anti-gothic elements and figures of the novel? How does Austen juxtapose Bath and the Abbey?
4. It can be argued that Henry Tilney is a foil to John Thorpe. What other characters serve as foils to each other? Does Catherine have a foil?
5. Consider the use of sarcasm in the novel. How does Henry Tilney's sarcasm force Catherine to think things through more thoroughly and expand her values and notions?
6. The novel depicts a disparity of class and wealth, most notably between the Thorpes and the Tilneys. What importance does social convention hold? Is there a certain relevance between class and behavior appertaining to the Thorpes and Tilneys? Is it ever justifiable to break with social convention and propriety?
7. One of the major elements in Northanger Abbey is reading, particularly reading novels. What are some of the differences between novels and reality that Austen is discerning? Is she convinced that novels are worthless? What is surprising about the way novels were perceived in the early nineteenth century?
8. 'No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland inher infancy, would have supposed her to be a heroine, ' Jane Austen writes in her opening paragraph. Do you agree that Catherine is a heroine? How does she develop through the novel and what does she learn about her self and the world around her?
Posted December 29, 2010
Posted September 6, 2012
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!
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 22, 2013
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Posted December 26, 2012
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Posted December 3, 2012
Posted April 19, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 9, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2011
Posted October 18, 2011
Posted August 19, 2011
The text is quite garbled for some reason, and has the characters and symbols used in type facing interspersed amongst the words. Some words are so "incomplete" that I can only guess what they should be. Quite disappointing as I have enjoyed other works by this author. I cannot give an acurate rating on the content of the book due to the manner in which it downloaded.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 11, 2011
Posted May 1, 2011
Posted January 27, 2010
I do not feel Northanger Abbey is a completed novel. The story itself is wonderful. I fell in love with Catherine and Henry. However, I did not love the parts where the author stepped back and spoke directly to the reader. I felt like it took too much away from the story, especially at the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2005
This Collector's Edition of 'Northanger Abbey' is just lovely! The book description doesn't say it, but this edition also contains illustrations by Hugh Thomson and they are wonderful! These little books would make terrific stocking stuffers! I plan to give them to some of my friends who love classics! These books are not expensive but they look like they are! Very, very classy!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 30, 2005
I love everything that Jane Austen has written. I am a huge classics buff and I read them over and over. This is a very good one. I prefer Pride and Prejudice but this is one of her best.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2003
'Northanger Abbey' is so vastly different from Jane Austen's other works. The style which 'Abbey' is written in reveals a side of Austen that her readers see only in this one novel. If you're not already, 'Abbey' will make you an Austen fan. The book chronicles what is undoubtedly the most exciting few months the heroine, seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland, has ever experienced. If you're interested in reading Jane Austen, 'Northanger Abbey' is the best work of hers to start out on. 'Abbey' has everything that makes a good story a good story: adventure, romance, mystery, and inspiration. Readers find a dashing, though somewhat passive, hero in Henry Tilney and a 'bosom friend' (a lá L.M. Montgomery) in Eleanor Tilney. It is very much a coming-of-age story that exposes, not its heroine's, but its author's innermost struggles and wants through the novel's honest prose. We see Austen's deep longing for romance, beauty, and adventure through Catherine Morland. What's sad about this story, though, is that Catherine Morland's dreams were fulfilled. Austen, who died unmarried at 42, lived what biographers have dubbed a 'dull' life. Despite being a truly good read, even decades later, 'Northanger Abbey' could be nothing more than a collection of dreams... Jane Austen's.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 6, 2003
I loved this book! It doesn't follow the typical Jane Austen book, because it includes the twist of the Gothic novel which was so popular at the time. I laughed a lot. This is my second favorite of Austen's, next to Pride and Prejudice (which is my favorite book ever!).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.