Thursday, 9 December 2010

Eighteenth Century: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - Introduction

Northanger Abbey
I'm starting with Northanger Abbey because it always seems like the earliest/youngest of Jane Austen's novels, even though it wasn't.  Although published posthumously in 1818, it was started in 1798 - which was two years after the first version of Pride and Prejudice, and three after the original Sense and Sensibility.  Despite this, it feels as if it pre-dates those, possibly as a result of being kept by a bastard publisher for thirteen years (1803-1816) and only revised in the last months of her life.  Those are the serious, thought out, almost academic reasons for starting here, but there is also 1) it's a short book; 2) I really like it; 3) Henry Tilney; and 4) I did an essay and a chapter in my MA diss on this book so it has a special place in my heart.  I just like it (so there).

Not that this is going to be a particularly well thought out or even academic series of blog entires.  I might stray into that territory, but this is really not meant to be viewed as anything beyond an Austen fangirl pratting about (and procrastinating over her own writing; Jane would so approve).  And in lieu of that, I'm going to be keeping track of certain things in each chapter - it could be a drinking game except I think the first one could lead to alcohol poisoning.

- Catherine gets something wrong
- Every time I want to hit John Thorpe
- Every time I want to pounce Henry Tilney
- All name checks of other novels
- Gothic convention is turned on its head
- Catherine gets something right

As can possibly be told from the above, I've read this book a few times, so there will be spoilers in the posts.  I'm going to be working from Project Gutenburg's copy of the novel, because, while I own a hard copy, I hate going from book to screen and back again; it's just a kerfuffle.  Am pretty sure that's how I destroyed my original copy of the book while doing my dissertation.

A full list of these posts can be found either on the 18th Century page above or using the C18: Northanger Abbey tag.

1 comment:

  1. This - and the next post - are hilarious. Very well done!I read this book years ago and it never occurred to me what a great drinking game it would make. :-)

    P.S. I love the subtitle/formula of your blog too.


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