Northanger Abbey Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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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. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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 :
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
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.
Most recent customer reviews
To put things in perspective, I would happily give Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, or Emma a 5 of 5.
This book is not in the same class. Read more
Great value for the money! Hardcover and cleared shelf space for me when I donated my individual copies.Published 11 months ago by Allison
I really liked this book. I found it too short and quick to end. But overall I enjoy all of Austen's books. I would have loved if this was drawn out a little longer though. Read morePublished 12 months ago by kat kazakoff
My Kindle never received this book and I had to re-order a different version of it from my Kindle, (Illustrated), as opposed to the original order on Amazon. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Hereward Pooley
Well I haven't read the book completely yet, however I just want to comment on the "Contains Real Page Numbers." It does not reveal the page numbers on Kindle (PC Version). Read morePublished 18 months ago by Clarence Kwok
The full star rating is representative of Jane Austen's fabulous works. Although the product description says it comes with complete audiobooks it does not. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Green Isis
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