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Northanger Abbey Paperback – Jan 8 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (Jan. 8 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375759174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375759178
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,253,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Though Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until after her death--well after she'd established her reputation with works such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day made popular in such 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all figure into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Consider Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are told on the very first page that "no one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." The author goes on to explain that Miss Morland's father is a clergyman with "a considerable independence, besides two good livings--and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters." Furthermore, her mother does not die giving birth to her, and Catherine herself, far from engaging in "the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush" vastly prefers playing cricket with her brothers to any girlish pastimes.

Catherine grows up to be a passably pretty girl and is invited to spend a few weeks in Bath with a family friend. While there she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor, who invite her to visit their family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Austen amuses herself and us as Catherine, a great reader of Gothic romances, allows her imagination to run wild, finding dreadful portents in the most wonderfully prosaic events. But Austen is after something more than mere parody; she uses her rapier wit to mock not only the essential silliness of "horrid" novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society, for nothing Catherine imagines could possibly rival the hypocrisy she experiences at the hands of her supposed friends. In many respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, yet at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British style. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A resurgence of interest in Austen, combined with a vivacious reading by British actress Amanda Root, makes this a timely audio selection. Usually considered Austen's earliest completed novel, this posthumously published work is a delightful parody of gothic novels. Heroine Catherine Moreland is introduced to the social whirl of Bath by a new friend, Isabella Thorpe. Alas, Catherine is disappointed by this disloyal lass and departs to spend time at the ancestral home of her true friend, Eleanor Tilney, and Eleanor's charming brother Henry. Meanwhile, Isabella's brother John, whose romantic overtures have been rejected by Catherine, is almost successful in his schemes to cause the Tilneys to reject our heroine. An excellent acquisition for public libraries.

Linda Bredengerd, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pa.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love Jane Austen and of course all the novels contained in this set are fantastic. However, if you really love Jane Austen I recommend just getting your favorite novels separately. This book is so large and unwieldy that I kept having to quit reading because the only comfortable way to read it is if you are not holding it up. It's kind of a pain, to be honest. But content and price-wise, this is a great collection.
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Format: Leather Bound
Best deal I have come across as of yet on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com
Can't get over the value. This is a beautiful leather bound book that has 7 novels combined into one. It can easily become a family heirloom just by its beauty, let alone for the materpieces inside!

Recommended!!!!
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Format: Paperback
Even though, this novel was the last to be published, this is actually the first complete novel that Jane Austen ever wrote. Here she depicts the life of Catherine Morland, the daughter of a clergyman and who comes from a large family, who is neither immensely rich nor highly intelligent and her stay in Bath with some family friends, where she encounters love in the person of Henry Tilney. But although his father seems at first to approve the match, a misunderstanding comes to change his mind, misunderstanding that must be clarified in order for Catherine to achieve marital bliss.

Of all her heroines, I find that Jane Austen draws more of her own family situation to depict Catherine that she actually did for the others: daughter of a clergyman, numerous family, tight family relationships... As it was her first novel, I also find it to be the weakest of her work, as you can almost feel the author questioning herself as to what makes a great novel: what subjects, what character traits, what heroine or gentleman? The story in itself is also pretty simple as it is imitates a little bit the structure of Vaudeville theater, with the misunderstandings regarding Catherine’s financial status, her acquaintance with John Thorpe or her brother’s engagement to Isabella. The author also pays tribute to her admiration for Ann Radcliffe by making one of her novels Catherine’s favorite books and putting a little Gothic spin to the story when it comes to the description of Northanger Abbey. All in all, this first novel remains a well-plotted hodgepodge as well as an entertaining light story.

For more about this book and many more, visit my blog at :

ladybugandotherbookworms.blogspot.com
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Format: Hardcover
This review is regarding the quality of the 1994 hardcover edition published by Grammercy. I ordered this edition several weeks ago and was extremely disappointed to find it was poor quality. The binding is acceptable when new but after a week of light use, I already noticed deterioration on the front binding. Actually the binding is so poor that, if not careful, you could easily tear some of the front pages out. The paper quality is cheap and is the same used for mass media paperbacks expect slightly thinner. Overall, I was so dissatisfied with this edition that I returned it.
However, I would also like to make a recommendation. After returning the book, I was still looking for collection of Austen's works and happened to find a 1995 hardcover edition of this exact book by Grammercy. The edition costs five dollars more but the quality is ten times better. The book has a faux leather cover with gold trimmed pages and a ribbon bookmark. The paper quality in thin but polished, smoother and more refined. The binding is very durable and I have noticed no deterioration yet after a week of use.
If I had to a chance to redo my purchases, I would have skipped this edition completely and ordered the 1995 edition. If your interested in this edition, it can be found using search under ISBN # 0517147688
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Format: Paperback
Miss Austin must be in violent rotation in her grave.
Her heroin has become an American speaking nitwit.

The richness of Miss Austin's English has been replaced with short sentences, 'like's, modern American expressions and a general lack of linguistic bounty which leaves the reader wondering why they are wasting their time on this book.
If this is the quality of modern writing I may give up reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Why do people still go on reading, quoting and making films about the novels of Jane Austen, a stay at home maiden lady who wrote her books almost two hundred years ago? An easy answer might be the romance and simplicity of the Austen age, where the most important news of the day was the arrival next door of a young, eligible bachelor. It was a world in which overheard conversations at a country dance, the imprudent behavior of a girl at a picnic, or a public snub in the village square would utterly change the course of your life. But this easy answer doesn't really explain the broad appeal of Jane Austen's novels. Her world is so unlike our own, that there simply must be more to it than romance. The fact is, that in spite of her limited experience, Jane Austen writes with tremendous wit, charm and perception. She appeals to the modern reader because she never minces words. She gets right into the heart of her characters, strips away the veneer of social grace, and makes shrewd observations about love, marriage, pride, snobbery, money and manners. Her opening sentences are a key to the clean, crisp writing you can expect from Austen. Take, for example, the character description that begins EMMA: "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence, and had lived nearly twenty one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." It is the brilliant use of the word 'seemed' that tips us off for the events that follow. In one sentence, Austen has given us a character who is spoiled, self assured and intelligent, and we can hardly wait to find out what is going to 'distress or vex her' in the following pages!Read more ›
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