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Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
By: (1775-1817)

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a book about the life of Catherine Morland and her romantic relationships. The novel is divided into two parts; the first part begins with Catherine’s visit to Bath and her relationship with Henry Tilney and the other people she met there, and the second part starts with the arrival of Frederick Tilney and her visit to Northanger Abbey.

This book alongside Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility is considered one of the major works of Jane Austen. The novel had undergone many revisions before its publication and it was even originally titled “Catherine.” It adopted the title Northanger Abbey when it was published posthumously in 1817.

Catherine Morland, the main character in the book is an attractive girl in her late-teens who was invited by her family’s friends, the Allens to go with them to Bath for a holiday. There she discovered many things in life which she hasn’t known before. She met many new friends there including Isabella, who became her close friend and rival to some of her relationships. Aside from her, she also met Henry Tilney, a person who turned out to be very special to her.

Catherine also met John, Isabella’s brother who’ll later attempted to propose marriage to her. Meanwhile, her brother James met Isabella during their vacation and eventually had a serious relationship with her.

Northanger Abbey isn’t just a novel about the romantic relationships of the different characters in the story. It also discusses other issues in society at that time like marriage for property and financial gain and the shallow attitude of some people have when it comes to love. Many critics also call this book a “Gothic parody.” For sure, people who have already read “Sense and Sensibility” or “Pride and Prejudice,” will also love this book.

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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 9 reviews)

Reviewer: - May 1, 2018
Subject: Mostly good reading
Most of the readers are good and the story was quite enjoyable.
Reviewer: - July 17, 2016
Subject: Different versions available
At time of this review, Librivox offers three different versions of the audiobook. Curiously, it seems they share all the same reviews. So, if you don't like one version, then try another! Quite different from one another ....
Reviewer: - September 28, 2015
Subject: Great book, decent reading
The majority of the readers are great. I'm not sure why there are so many complaints. There were only a couple readers that were very terrible, but as they only read a few chapters the book was still enjoyable.
Reviewer: - September 23, 2014
Subject: Northanger Abbey
I should have checked before I began reading this because I do not like the change of readers in any book. Some of these readers were distracting and the flow of the story was therefor uneven.
Reviewer: - July 1, 2014
The readers switching for each chapter was distracting. Chapter 5 was brutal and I had to stop.
Reviewer: - September 25, 2013
I did not like that there was a new reader with every chapter. Hard to enjoy the story when you're constantly adjusting to a new reading style.
Reviewer: - June 3, 2013
Most of the readers were very good, but I wasn't happy with the chapter 10 reader. She read with absolutely no inflection and you couldn't tell who was talking in the dialogue sections. Other than that, I loved listening to this. Witty, enjoyable, and I loved all the characters. One of Jane's best.
Reviewer: - May 31, 2013
Very enjoyable read. Surprisingly funny and very well written. Definitely one of Austen's best.
Reviewer: - December 2, 2012
Subject: many readers
A lovely treat to listen to this early Austen novel. Her work certainly lends itself to being read - unsurprising given Austen's family culture of giving readings and putting on plays. The rhythm and nuances are less likely to escape the ear than the impatient eye, at least in my case. Some of the characterisation, particularly of the hero, seems a little idealised and not fully rounded, as you might expect in an early work - but it is witty, fluent and uplifting. There are many readers, with different voices for the characters, which is a little unsettling, but don't forgo the pleasure of the book on that account.

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