Tag Archives: Northanger Abbey

Inside Northanger Abbey.

“Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter.”

                                                                – Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.

Nothanger Abbey published in 1817 with Mansfield Park in a four volume pack is the first novel Jane Austen completed which she started when she was 15. A classic piece of juvenile writing, this novel is the story of Catherine Morland, a naive young woman who leaves her sheltered country life and travels to Bath, a busy hub of fashion, activity and high society for seeking adventures. 

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Northanger Abbey

I must confess, the first time i heard about Northanger Abbey,I wasn’t quite impressed. Catherine struck me as a very odd name for a Jane Austen heroine, but my aim to read all of Austen’s novels lead me on to prevent one of the biggest mistakes i could have made! Catherine is not your typical heroine, infact even Austen insists on her being unlike any heroine you have ever read about. Catherine, a tomboy at the age of 10 loves playing boy’s games, rolling down grassy slopes at the back of her house, does not mind being dirty and muddy and hates reading anything connected with studies. However at the age of 15, she grows pretty, develops an affinity for neatness and grows refined. At the age of 18, a fortunate incident leads her to Bath where the novel proceeds. There she meets intelligent, witty and amusing Henry Tilney, a clergyman whose ancestral house is Northanger Abbey (which is the location for the second part of the novel). She also forms an acquaintance with the high spirit, cunning gold digger Isabella Thorpe who influences her to read horror novels, particularly Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho. Isabella’s brother and Catherine’s brothers’s friend John Thorpe flirts with Catherine who does not understand his intentions. (clever Catherine! :P). Fortune’s favourite child Catherine soon bags an opportunity  to visit Northanger Abbey where the rest of the novel continues. 

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Catherine Morland

 

Because of The novel’s unique plot line, un heroine like heroine, a witty hero and some hilarious characters, the novel ranks second on my Favourite Jane Austen books list. Catherine’s naivety and Tilney’s worldly wisdom makes a complete match although One wishes to see more of Henry during the novel. Some say that Catherine’s character is based on Jane Austen. Brought up in a household of boys in a parsonage, Jane was a complete tomboy who improved in manners as she grew up. She too loved rolling down the slopes at the back of her parsonage. Her parents too were simple and naive like the Morlands. One of her earliest pieces of writing, N.A. helps in detailing Austen’s childhood. 

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The 2007 tele series

I saw the 2007 tele series and it was awesome! There are of course a movie version too which i hav not seen but the 2007 one is better , so i have heard. The series just had a few changes with Cathy (she has a big name, my fingers are almost paining!), being more cleverer than in the novel, Tilney as usual, amusing and funny, Thorpe…irritating, Isabella cunning, Mrs’ Allen hilarious and James morland….dumb! I would totally recommend you watching this one even if you have not read the book.

Coming up- Persuasion! 🙂

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Jane Austen and me…

“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.”
-Jane Austen.

I was 13 when i first started reading Jane Austen. Like all other wannabe cool teenagers, i had kept on ignoring her books till boredom compelled me to pick up the first (and only) book lying in front of me, it was Pride and Prejudice—–… Unfortunately the book cupboard was locked, thanks to my mom and the only book related to any form of fantasy and stories and no way related

Imageto studies was P and P, this time thanks to my sister. She just could not be bothered reading any other story except the one which was now being turned and checked by myself for any form of interesting stuff because i was totally convinced that this was boring, without even reading it, Yeah, i thought i was psychic, it’s perfectly obvious right now that i ain’t!

Pride and Prejudice follows the lives of the Bennet household in 19th century England as they brave their ways through the most difficult part of their lives, yeah…finding husbands! Definitely not my personal views, that’s Mrs Bennet for you!  Anyways, the characters are hilarious and are so realistically drawn from real lives that at times you will actually find yourselves exclaiming, “hey that’s me!” or calling Mr Collins, the hilariously annoying persistent suitor as freakishly similar to some random stalker who is infatuated with you…!

The powerful narrative tones with all the right mixtures of sarcasm, wit, graveness and pure fun of this book is worth reading and you should have read this book at least twice or multiple times during your lifetime as well as Austen’s other 5 books namely Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Mansfield Park. These six books, now holding a very special place both in my cupboard (finally it opened!) and my heart, taught me a lot about life and all those who live it. J.A.’s books do not always have the same concept about marriage and love, yes, it does have its happy endings but the content right in the heart of the book has its own individuality like the six heroines have their own special aura.

Just recently i read Clare Tomalin’s Jane Austen which detailed on every part of the famous author’s life right from her childhood to her death and all those people who were a part of her short journey, As a second daughter  myself, i could actually relate to her. It is said that Lizzy Bennet’s character is inspired from Jane herself and Darcy from Tom Lefroy who was her first and perhaps her last love. J.A. was a very defensive person, her real feelings were protected by a strong cover she had made around herself. The gateway pass was given to very few including her brother, Henry and sister, Cassandra. Her dry wit and sarcasm hid her true feelings and sometimes conveyed them.

Jane’s legacy still continues after nearly 2 centuries and perhaps will continue forever (most probably till this december!) . I would definitely recommend every teenager to start reading J.A.’s book because who knows maybe it will sort all your teen problems as it did for me!

P.S. – I am rereading all her books and will update about them soon! 🙂

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April 30, 2012 · 8:19 am