Northanger Abbey, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Introduction and Notes by David Blair, University of Kent.

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s.

Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her.

In this, her first full-length novel, Austen also fixes her sharp, ironic gaze on other kinds of contemporary novel, especially the Gothic school made famous by Ann Radcliffe.

Catherine's reading becomes intertwined with her social and romantic adventures, adding to the uncertainties and embarrassments she must undergo before finding happiness.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages, notes, bibliography
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853260438


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Perhaps I really am not one of the fans of Jane Austen. I had a false start on Pride and Prejudice at least twice, and this book really had trouble catching my attention for the first bit.Not that it's bad. Quite the contrary - it's well written, and the story that's there is interesting. But, for me, as I read through it, I found myself a bit bored with the manners of society. Once I realized that it was more of a mockery of other Gothic novels, though, I started to enjoy it more.Some people have told me that this is a horror novel, but it really isn't. Gothic, yes. Horror, not at all. Perhaps it's the culture I grew up in (and the fact that I work in a forensic field). Either way, I would recommend it to fans of Austen, and even to those who haven't read her yet. It's always good to get your feet wet at least once.

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