Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

One of my goals this year is to read the remaining five Jane Austen novels on my 1001 list. I already read Pride and Prejudice when I first started the project. Austen is one of my favorite authors. I have a hard time remembering which of her books I’ve read or what adaptations I’ve watched. Even though I’m familiar with all of the stories I still love them. Except for Northanger Abbey. I don’t mean that I hated it. I mean I hadn’t heard too much about it. And to my knowledge I’ve never seen a movie based on the novel. When I sat down to read it, I was pretty much a blank slate.

This book was published after her death, but it was the first novel completed for publication. I enjoy reading an author’s work in order so I can trace their progress. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a nerd. I can’t do this with every author since so many are prolific. I have a copy of Stephen King’s 11.22.63 on my desk and I know I won’t have the patience to read all of his novels beforehand. I don’t even know how many that would be. 20-30 maybe. More?

Back to Austen and Northanger Abbey. Catherine Morland, is a simple girl who is on holiday in Bath. She meets a handsome clergyman, Henry Tilney, and falls in love. Henry’s father is informed that Catherine is wealthy and he wants his son to marry her. The father invites Catherine to stay at Northanger Abbey. Catherine, an avid reader of gothic romances, gets swept away by her imagination whilst staying at the abbey. She starts to believe that Henry’s father murdered his wife. Yikes! What will become of Catherine? And how will Henry’s father react when he learns that Catherine is not rich?

This novel is not my favorite Austen. It’s an entertaining read. Like her other works, it’s full of wit and humorous situations. But, for me, it pales in comparison to Pride and Prejudice. This may not be fair since Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels. Not many authors can write one masterpiece after another. I didn’t like all of Charles Dickens’s novels equally and now I know I don’t like all of Austen’s equally either. That said, this novel is still worthwhile to read. It is Austen after all. Even on her bad days, she can write circles around many.

Up next is Sense and Sensibility.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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33 Responses to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

  1. petit4chocolatier says:

    Love Pride and Prejudice! Love Jane Austen!

  2. Caroline says:

    This was my first Austen and it’s not a good starting point. If people hadn’t told me that it is maybe the weakest, i might not have started to read the others. I’ve still got Persuasion and Mansfield Park to read.

    • TBM says:

      yes not a good starting point at all. I think Austen fans appreciate it more than others. I’m glad you stuck with her. I think Persuasion and Mansfield are the ones I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read yet.

  3. niasunset says:

    can you believe, the book is here and waiting for me to read 🙂

  4. Iamrcc says:

    I love Jane Austen. My favorite novel by her is Pride and Prejudice. Maybe because it was the first one I read and I read it a half dozen times and seen every movie made. The one I did not care for was Emma. Thanks for stopping by and the like of my post “Trains – Up and Under”.

  5. it’s been so long since i’ve read jane austen that i’ve forgotten most of them. i remember liking her books, though, and reading until i ran out.

  6. ilargia64 says:

    I hope you will like “Sense and Sensibility”…I haven´t read this one (Northanger Abbey)..I will after reading what you have said

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Emma, Emma, Emma – my favourite, have you read it yet?

  8. hillarypat says:

    I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice which I loved. However I am hopping to read the first three of Austen’s novels this year so I will soon be able to say that I’ve read then just one!

  9. IsobelandCat says:

    I had to read this for A level English. I wasn’t wild about t and don’t reread it for years. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it then.

  10. lynnsbooks says:

    I’ve read all Jane Austen’s novels and enjoyed them all. I don’t know which I would put as a favourite but like you say you can’t like them all as much as each other. You’re bound to have favourites. I do love Pride and Prejudice I must admit. Not to mention the BBC dramatisation.
    Lynn 😀

    • TBM says:

      So far this is my least favorite, but I still haven’t read all of them. it will be had to beat P&P. I even read the zombie version and got a kick out of it.

  11. Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility are my faves; Emma is also good.. Haven’t read this one, but it sounds like something I wouldn’t love. Wasn’t crazy about Mansfield Park either. I do envy your reading this in England.
    The film adaptation of “Sense and” with Emma Thompson, who also did the screenplay, is very good.

    • TBM says:

      I recently re-watched Sense and Sensibility with Thompson–I love that film. I wouldn’t say this is a must read–only if you want to read it.

  12. I have read Pride and Prejudice many times. When I was in the final year of school, this was the first novel of our English Syllabus.We 14 somethings, drooled over Darcy much like the kids today drool over the Edward Cullen in Twilight saga.

  13. scrapydo says:

    Was prescribe for BA Eng I. Not bad, after N A I finished most of her books.

  14. Totally agree with what you say. Not my favourite Austen…but hey, it’s still Jane Austen!

  15. Bridget says:

    This is my least favorite Austen novel (I’m really not a big fan of Catherine, I find her kind of flighty and annoying) but like you said, it’s still Austen so it’s still delicious. When I say it’s my least favorite of her works, it’s like comparing fantastic vintage wine and merely good vintage wine. It’s not like I’m saying all of her other novels are that fantastic wine and Northanger Abbey is Franzia. 🙂

  16. Fergiemoto says:

    I have some of Austen’s books that I downloaded for free on iBooks. Hopefully I can start one of them shortly.

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