Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reading Through the Classics: Northanger Abbey

TITLE: Northanger Abbey
AUTHOR: Jane Austen
GENRE: Romance
PREMISE: Catherine enjoys her season at Bath with a delightful new friend who introduces her to gothic romances which fuels her imagination while she visits her friend at Northanger Abbey.
MY THOUGHTS: For me, this is an underrated Austen book. I kept hearing this one and Mansfield Park were her worst. While I wasn't as into Mansfield Park, this one I actually liked quite a bit. This is probably going to get me yelled at, but I kind of liked Mr. Tilney better then Mr. Darcy.
Like all of Austen's books, there is some brilliant social commentary mixed in here with the slightly more quiet romance of Catherine and Mr. Tilney. Most of the commentary is aimed at gothic romances, which were all the rage back then. Yes, gothic romances are nothing new. For those of you who like to sneer at popular fiction nowadays, I'd like to point out that a lot of classics nowadays were yesterday's popular fiction. That book snobs like you also sneered at.
This is probably the lightest of Austen's books that I've read so far. There's very little angst, everything ends happily as always with Austen. It's also a very fast read. The audiobook itself, is less then three hours long. It's great way to spend an afternoon.

Quotable Austen:

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

“It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language” 

“The person, be it gentlemen or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 

“If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard?”

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