Northanger Abbey (by Jane Austen)

'Northanger Abbey' is a classic novel by Jane Austen, now considered historical although at the time it was written it was up-to-date! I read it aloud to my sons to introduce them to this author, when they were 13 and 11.

Catherine Morland is taken to stay in Bath by Mr and Mrs Allen, falls in love with a young man, is courted by another, and is invited to stay at the old Abbey where her imagination runs riot.

There's not much plot, but plenty of humour, as characters are cleverly revealed by their speech and actions. It's supposedly a spoof on the romantic 'Gothic' fiction of the time. Then there's a satisfying happy ending after several misunderstandings are cleared up.

We all enjoyed it somewhat - it's the lightest of Austen's novels, but worked well to read aloud. My younger son went on to read all her other books, but my older son didn't bother!

Review copyright 1999 Sue's Book Reviews

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