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review 2017-10-27 13:36
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

My last Booklikes Halloween Bingo read. I'm done with all the themes as of early this morning.

 

Sometimes I forget how Jane Austen could look at something, poke gentle fun at it and still respect it. Yes a lot of genre fiction (not called it then but now this is the tar it's painted with) is frivolous. There are some arguments that it can cause people to have an unrealistic view of the world and this is what Austen tackles here.  She shows that it might colour how people think but it also helps them frame things and also people learn that these things are not true from rational thinking. And that diverting tales that include your gender beats boring histories without. There are also minor pokes at what is considered proper knowledge for women, fashion victims and other apparently eternal tropes. There are some excellent feminist moments in it, and careful looks at what is expected versus what someone wants from life.

 

Catherine Morland lives in the country in Wiltshire when she gets a chance to change her scene and go to Bath with neighbours (Mr and Mrs Allen) there she meets with people her own age and forms friendships. One is Eleanor Tilney and her brother Henry. Catherine and Henry find themselves attracted to each other but when Catherine visits the Gothic Northanger Abbey her imagination provides a lot of extras. However the truth may be less interesting and more upsetting.

 

While some of it flowed a bit differently from modern fiction, it was full of moments where I could imagine Austen reading to family or friends and them getting a kick of the reflection of events that had happened.

 

I found it thoroughly enjoyable and would like to thank Tannat and Themis Athena for their suggestions of this one. I would recommend.

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text 2017-10-25 13:44
Reading progress update: I've read 132 out of 324 pages.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

"[about history books]...the men so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all-it is very tiresome: and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull.."

 

If Jane Austen could see that women were absent from history books how come it took so long for us to start putting them in?  How come we still have to have Women's departments where often they serve as ways for the main body of the department to continue to ignore women in, for example, history?

 

Why are we still fighting this fight? Why isn't it part of the past? Why can't we yet look at it as an interesting past habit that we've grown out of?

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text 2017-10-23 16:30
Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 324 pages.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

I really would like to find out what she's referencing I'm sure there are a lot of swipes at a lot of tropes here.

 

Interesting article here

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review 2017-10-10 18:58
Northanger Abbey / Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Elizabeth Hardwick

'To look almost pretty, is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life, than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive'

During an eventful season at Bath, young, naïve Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who shares Catherine's love of Gothic romance and horror, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father's mysterious house, Northanger Abbey. There, her imagination influenced by novels of sensation and intrigue, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, this is the most youthful and and optimistic of Jane Austen's works.

 

I chose this novel to fill the “Gothic” square of my 2017 Halloween Book Bingo.

In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen turns the gothic novel inside out, having some fun with all of its parts. Catherine Morland, our main character, is not a stereotypical gothic heroine—she isn’t tremendously beautiful, she isn’t sophisticated or educated, and she’s not even too bright! But she does read gothic romances, like The Mysteries of Udolpho to use as a guide for her behaviour. Unfortunately for her, her frenemy Isabella turns out to be a gold-digger, her visit to Northanger Abbey produces no murders nor secret passages, and there turn out to be no impediments between her and the man of her choice. The most ungothic of gothic romances!

I do have to wonder a bit about Henry, who is obviously intelligent and amusing, if only Catherine had the wits to understand him! I’m afraid he will be singularly bored, unless she can be enlivened a bit.

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review 2017-09-30 23:40
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

I went into this pretty blind aside from having heard that it counts as gothic and that it was apparently a kind of satire of gothic novels of the late 18th century. I'll definitely second calling it a gothic satire. I'd say its only real fault was was taking the satire a bit too far sometimes and the subsequent authorial digressions (which were part of the satire, I'm pretty sure). Basically, it got a bit silly at times, but it did make me laugh out loud once or twice, and it was a lot of fun.

 

It's the tale of how Catherine Morland goes off on her own (well, with friends but away from her family) for the first time at seventeen to Bath after having lived a retired kind of life in the country, and some of her experiences there and at Northanger Abbey, where she gets invited. Austen has Catherine acting quite silly at times in acting out her role of gothic heroine, but it was quite fun to read of her glee at reading the gothic novels of her day and how they influenced her imagination.

 

I read this for the "Gothic" square for Halloween Bingo. I don't think it would fit any of the other squares, really, unless you tried to count it for "Terrifying Women". I am tempted to try out The Complete Northanger Horrid Novel Collection, though, out of curiosity.

 

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