Review: Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I decided to re-read Northanger Abbey so I could listen to the Literary Life podcast episodes from last fall with an updated read. I don’t really remember when I started it, but I know this spring hasn’t been as conducive to reading in the evenings, so it has taken me a while to read through it.

I read it quite a while ago, when I first read all of the Austen I could get my hands on, and I enjoyed it, but it is the only one I hadn’t re-read. I liked it on that first read, but it never called me back.

This read was different. I’ve very much enjoyed meeting Catherine in a different way; I understood the plot better with General Tilney – it had seemed more confused and “gothicy” dark before. For some reason I had been more confused of the timetable before, probably skimming long descriptive passages 😉

Anyway, this was fun. It was worth the last couple of chapters to see how Mr and Mrs Morland handled their daughter’s situation. They are the finest of the Austen parents, IMO.

I also am contemplating Henry Tilney’s “Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?” This is a gentle rebuke; what a declaration and brings to mind Mr. Knightley’s similar rebuke in Emma. As I’ve been considering Charlotte Mason’s Ways of Will and Reason principles, this was a wonderful example in story form of “Therefore, children should be taught, as they become mature enough to understand such teaching, that the chief responsibility which rests on them as persons is the acceptance or rejection of ideas.”

I’m excited to listen to the podcast episodes and hear Cindy and Angelina’s discussion of the book.

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