August 23, 2016

Northanger Abbey

Well, ladies, I have just this month completed what could be my favorite Jane Austen novel, and watched yet another wonderful Jane Austen movie. Within a space of two or three days I have read and watched Northanger Abbey. And I have something to say on the matter.

Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey (2007)  #film #Jane_Austen #read #book:

The book itself is a marvel. I never thought I could read Jane Austen so fast, and with so much focus! Sure, a few sentences are oddly structured, but the majority were fun, spirited, and as always, extremely intuitive in human nature. I love the way Jane Austen goes about comparing Catherine Morland's life to a heroine's. 
       "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be a heroine."
Can't you just imagine Jane Austen writing that with a twinkle in her eye? After that first line, Austen goes on to spin a tale about a girl (who is seventeen, by the way!) who goes on a trip to Bath with some rich, kind ,but rather dull neighbors. Unlike Pride and Prejudice, there's no initial tension between Catherine and the hero of the story; she and Henry Tilney hit it off right away. With the help of limited communication and horrible, terrible friends, Catherine and Henry's romance takes a while to grow, but eventually Catherine is invited to stay at the Tilney residence: Northanger Abbey. 

Northanger Abbey- I really like Catherine Morland's powder-blue, navy-inspired overcoat.:

Catherine is in awe of Northanger Abbey. She has read dozens of dime-novels of terrible crime and mystery, and the Abbey seems the perfect place to discover some real-life horror. On the first night of her visit, Catherine searches all the nooks and crannies of a giant cabinet in her room, only to discover that the mysterious-looking parchments crumpled in a corner are only old laundry receipts. 
This does not satisfy Catherine's curiosity for long. She soon finds herself investigating a much more serious mystery; one that involves the death of Henry Tilney's mother. One assumption leads to another, and when Catherine's sleuthing goes too far, she is discovered by Henry himself.

This creates a temporary wedge in Catherine and Henry's relationship, of course, but Henry's nobility (in the truest sense of the word) soon puts Catherine a bit more at ease. But then something happens that convinces Catherine that all romance has been lost. While Henry is away, she is suddenly sent away from Northanger Abbey in the middle of the night by an infuriated General Tilney, Henry's father. She returns home in disgrace, convinced that what she has done has ended her relationship with Henry forever.
Dear reader, this is happily not the case! When Henry discovers what his father has done, he immediately goes to Catherine's home, and..well...

they live happily ever after!

The book is practically perfect (although the Thorpes are awful people to have to read about!), and the movie is nearly perfect as well. There are some scenes where it shows Catherine's imagination running wild, which I thought rather unnecessary. And, as all movies do, it doesn't follow the book exactly. But it isn't too far off. I'm willing to overlook it, because the movie shows me the beautiful costumes, the shopping and dancing in Bath, the sparkling ballrooms, the sparkling conversations, Catherine's cure hairstyle, Henry Tilney's smirk...the list goes on and on! 

Basically, I love this romance. I'm still a little in love with Henry Tilney, and I think Catherine and I could be great friends (especially if I steered her to more suitable novels!). They were simply made for each other. 
Now I must give one more lovely picture, and then we may be rational again. ;)

J.J. Feild may be a bit cheesy, but he's also the perfect slightly goofy sweetheart.:

Have you seen or read Northanger Abbey?
Have you ever been to Bath, where this story takes place? Do you want to go? (aka do you want to plan a group trip so we can all see it together? ;) )


  1. I have read and seen Northanger Abbey! It's really great!

  2. I have seen Northanger Abbey and it's lovely! I'm reading the book right now. :)

  3. LOVE NORTHANGER ABBEY!!!! This was a lovey post.
    "I think Catherine and I could be great friends (especially if I steered her to more suitable novels!)" <= Yesssss, she simply needs a better reading list! We could help her out, poor dear. ;)
    This post was, as I said, lovely. A reminder of NA doesn't go wrong in my book! I love the pictures, too!

    1. Thanks, Rae! And yes, we could find some good books for her to read! Northanger Abbey is a very photogenic movie. :)

  4. I just love Northanger Abbey, I think it the funniest book JA has ever written, and I truly enjoy all her little witty author remarks:) Henry Tilney is my favourite Austen hero, and him and Catherine are so cute together... I must reread the book soon