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“Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen

First read: 03.10.2011

I so identify with Catherine’s deep unshakable conviction that real life can hold the same excitement as books, or maybe that books are as real as life (or more), even as I find her extremely naive, often to the point of annoyance. I like Henry, he’s a more sedate male lead than Mr. Darcy, but his love of reading and obsession with  the proper usage of language obviously endear him to me greatly.

Strangely enough, because I’m living with two girls named that (both of them very agreeable), I interpreted Isabella’s shallowness as dramatic flair hiding something more interesting at the beginning and discovered almost with Catherine that she was a fickle idiot. John was a supreme asshole, he talked over Catherine and then decided that she agreed with him with no proof whatsoever! And going around lying not only to her but for her, thus eliminating her voice and opinion...

As Dr. Timothy Spurgin has pointed out, Austen took the bantering from Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew, As you like it) and everybody else (Hello Hollywood) has taken it from her. NA is not a specially good example of this since Catherine is a bit too naive to a be a thruly impressive bantering companion like Elizabeth but it is interesting to note that JA introduced the idea that love couldn't be all seriousness, that it had to engage the heart and the mind both.

The ending wasn't very polished but I had fun reading it.

</font>+     "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe's works, and most of them with great pleasure.  The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again;
I remember finishing it in two days--my hair standing on end the whole time."

+   She was heartily ashamed of her ignorance.  A misplaced shame. Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid.


author: jane austen, book-2011, 2011, #novel, *author: female, @read in english, #audiobook, +19th century, +historical, +romance, +social issues, +family, +feminist, +gender, [quotes], [quotes] book

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