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Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey was Jane Austen's first novel, but was not published until after her death due to difficulties with the original publishing house.

The majority of the novel takes place in Bath, England where the young woman and heroine of the story, Catherine Moreland, spends her time visiting friends and going to balls. Through her social activities, she comes in contact with a Mr. Henry Tilney, who captivates her with his view on novels and knowledge of history and the world. He eventually invites her to visit his father's estate, Northanger Abbey, which, because she has been reading Ann Radcliffe's gothic novel, Mysteries of Udolfo, Catherine expects to be dark, ancient and full of fantastical mystery. In stark contrast to her expectations, the abbey is actually very clean and modern, but her mind still plays tricks on her throughout her stay.

Northanger Abbey exposes the difference between reality and fantasy and questions who can be trusted as a true companion and who might actually be a shallow, false friend. It is considered to be the most light-hearted of her novels.

External Link

  • the e-text of Northanger Abbey (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=1454)

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