|Genre(s)||Gothic novel, Romance novel, Satire|
|Release date||December 1817|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
The story starts whilst following a young, seventeen year old girl, named Catherine Morland, who is accompanying her rich relations, Mr. Allen and Mrs. Allen to the modern city Bath. Still innocent and inexperienced, Catherine Morland is a plump country girl with no friend in the city.
The first few days are disappointing to her, because she does not have anyone to dance with at the ball. Of course it was only the most disgraceful thing to be left alone at a ball. Then, later, she meets an excitinggentleman, Mr. Tilney, and falls in love with him immediately - but the next day, he has disappeared. She is greatly upset, and in low spirits for the rest of the day. Then her spirit is brightened by a flirtatious (and later found out as scheming) friend named Isabella. Not knowing all the evil intentions of her friend, she rejoices at finding another friend.
Isabella lures Catherine into the fun of reading gothic novels, which make Catherine think they are all true: she is not able to separate the reality from the exciting fiction. Then she is introduced – as Isabella wants to match her up – to Isabella's brother John Thorpe, a rather coarse, strong young man who likes to "quiz" people. John Thorpe finds himself falling in love with her, and thinks Catherine likes him in return.
Catherine then meets Henry Tilney, again, and is introduced to Miss Tilney, the sister of Mr. Henry Tilney, a sensible, clear-minded, intelligent lady, who is much different from Isabella. Catherine also gets acquainted with Miss Tilney's father, General Tilney, a strong, stern man.
Isabella joyfully tells Catherine of her engagement with Catherine's brother, James Morland, and therefore somehow hints another relationship between Catherine and John Thorpe. A little while after, John Thorpe proposes to Catherine, who does not realise he is asking her to marry him: "Did you ever hear the old song, 'Going to one wedding brings on another?'...you will come to Belle's [Isabella's] wedding, I hope." Catherine cheerfully says, "Yes..." at which he says, "twisting himself around and forcing a foolish laugh", "...we may try the truth of this same old song." Catherine innocently says, "May we? – but I never sing". Later, when Isabella tells her that John is in love with her, she is really surprised, but says no immediately. Then Eleanor Tilney invites Catherine to Northanger Abbey: Catherine, of course, is very happy to go. Catherine there learns that the gothic novels are wrong, and that Northanger Abbey is a perfectly normal place, and is certainly not haunted.
Still yet innocent, Catherine observes General Tilney's talks and conversations, and suspiciously thinks that perhaps he has murdered his wife, because he avoided talking about her. She persuades Eleanor Tilney to take her to Mrs. Tilney's room, but when General Tilney comes, she rushes away in fear. Catherine later goes again, but is this time found by Henry Tilney, and she accidentally reveals her suspicions to Henry, who does not get angry at her. Then, retreating to her room in a burst of tears, she is worried that Mr. Tilney does not like her any more.
Later, Eleanor Tilney assists her with a rather cold, unwelcoming way of talking, and takes her to an open stage coach to immediately go home. Catherine is frightened and surprised, and thinks it is all because of her mistaken thoughts of General Tilney and his wife. When she goes home, she is sullen and quiet.
Henry Tilney, to Catherine's surprise, visits her house, and asks her to marry him, even though General Tilney said no. He explained that at first, John Thorpe, who had thought Catherine would marry him soon, had lied to General Tilney that she was very, very rich. General Tilney quickly tried to make her marry Henry, but a little later met John Thorpe again, after Catherine had said she would not marry him. He angrily told General Tilney another lie, that Catherine was penniless. General Tilney, horrified, rudely made Catherine go home. Catherine's parents say they have to wait until General Tilney says yes. Finally, Eleanor marries "the most charming man in the world," who is very rich, and this makes the General so happy he says that Henry can "be a fool if he liked it!" Later, he finds out Catherine is not really as poor as he had thought, so he is even happier. Finally, Catherine and Henry "were married, the bells rang and everybody smiled..."
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