Northanger Abbey

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Northanger Abbey  
Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.jpg
Author Jane Austen
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Gothic novel, Romance novel, Satire
Publisher John Murray
Release date December 1817
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
ISBN NA
Sequel to Emma
Prequel to Persuasion

Northanger Abbey was the first novel by Jane Austen.

Plot[change | edit source]

The story begins with a seventeen year old girl, Catherine Morland, who is traveling with her rich relations, Mr. and Mrs. Allen to the modern city Bath. 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. Then she meets an excitinggentleman, Mr. Tilney. She falls in love with him, but the next day, he has disappeared. She is upset and sad. Then she meets a flirtatious girl named Isabella. This makes her happier. She does not yet know all the evil intentions of her new friend.

Isabella introduces Catherine to the fun of reading gothic novels. But Catherine believes them to be true. She does not understand the difference between reality and fiction. Then she is introduced to Isabella's brother John Thorpe. He is a coarse, strong young man who likes to "quiz" people. John Thorpe finds himself falling in love with her, and thinks Catherine likes him too. Catherine then meets Henry Tilney, again, and is introduced to Miss Tilney, his sister. She is a sensible, 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 to Catherine's brother, James Morland. Later, John Thorpe proposes to Catherine, who does not realise he is asking her to marry him. 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 there learns that the gothic novels are wrong, and that Northanger Abbey is a perfectly normal place, and is certainly not haunted.

Catherine watches General Tilney's conversations, and suspiciously thinks that perhaps he has murdered his wife, because he avoids 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 this time is found by Henry Tilney. 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 helps her in a cold, unwelcoming way, 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 then visits her house and asks her to marry him, even though General Tilney said no. He explains that at first, John Thorpe, who had thought Catherine would marry him soon, had lied to General Tilney that she was rich. General Tilney then tries to make her marry Henry, but a little later met John Thorpe again, after Catherine had said she would not marry him. He angrily tells General Tilney another lie, that Catherine is 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 a charming man who is very rich, and this makes the General so happy he says that Henry can marry Catherine. Later, he finds out Catherine is not as poor as he had thought, so he is even happier. At last, Catherine and Henry are married.

Other[change | edit source]