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A Reading of Northanger Abbey
Milsom Street looking south from George Street, Bath, 1840s
In 1997 on Austen-l and in 1999 on Janeites scheduled group conversations of Jane Austen's
Northanger Abbey occurred. On both lists we also read and discussed a series of
critical books which included critical essays on Northanger Abbey. I posted
continually during all these conversations, and have brought together
in one place a very few of my essay-postings, interventions and responses to others during
these online discussions. As with all the other group conversation and single
essays I have placed on the Net form such conversations, I have altered
the postings slightly so as to make for continuity and have occasionally
rearranged them so the reader can follow the conversation as one would a story. Read as a
series they form a close reading of Northanger Abbey against a scholarly critical
As a preface see my timeline for Northanger Abbey and an argument that a study of the calendar in the extant
Northanger Abbey suggests the novel underwent
several revisions and that the portion that takes place in the
Abbey is far less determinate than the portion of time that
takes place in Bath which is strictly kept, click
And as an alternative view to the one espoused in 1997, see my
recent essay on the three Northanger Abbey movies where I
argue there is actually little gothicism in Austen. It's at Jane Austen's World: The Three Northanger Abbey movies.
Claudia Johnson Northanger Abbey and other 1790s novels
Bibliography; Coral Ann Howells and Judith Wilt on the gothic and Jane Austen
Roger Gard's Art of Clarity and NA
Tave: The Expectations of Catherine Morland; Austen Cults; Powerlessness
Volume I, Chapters 1 - 3
What comes to mind with the word "Gothic", Strong Affection for Catherine & Young Girl's
Novelistic Satire and Catherine's Naïveté; Gay's "The Hare and His Many Friends"
First Dramatic Scene & Lines In All Austen's Novels
A Satire on Gothic Romance, Gay & Disillusioned Story
Acid Gaiety, The Debonair Hero and Heroine's Story; A Satire As Well As Novel
Volume I, Chapters 4 - 5
Will No One Stand Up for the Unprotected Novel? The Great Defense; Female
Kind and Unkind Teasing
Volume I, Chapters 6 - 7
"Are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?"; Done in By a Book
The Boor John Thorpe; Is Isabella just a liar?
NA to Sanditon: Burney's Camilla & The
Volume I, Chapters 8 - 9
The Bath Versus Northanger Sections: On the Revisions
Playing Upon on Our Emotions
The Creation of Anxiety
Volume I, Chapters 10 - 11
At long last, Tilney; Eleanor, True Gothic Friend; John Thorpe, a Horror
James Morland, Antifeminism; Structurally Like Emma
Sensitivity; Clues; Her Heart Danced Within Her; Susan
Real Misery and Embarrassment
'But Mr Thorpe only laughed; Real & Gothic Longings; Emily St Aubert
Volume I, Chapters 12 - 13
The Strength of Sincerity
Pressured, Harassed, Emotionally Blackmailed; Images of Heroines
Driven Wild with Frustration
Volume I, Chapters 14 - 15
A Conversation Piece in the Countryside
A Picturesque Literary Walk; 'The capital pen of a sister author . . .'
Epistolarity in this and other Austen novels
Gothic Tower, detail from John Rathbone (1750-1807), View of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
Volume II, Chapters 1 - 2 (or 16 - 17)
Catherine Begins to Judge as Well as Feel
An Invitation to An Abbey
Waiting Around to Get to the Abbey
Volume II, Chapters 3 - 4 (or 18 - 19)
Isabella/Captain Tilney/Catherine parallel Maria/Henry Crawford/Fanny
'He knows what he is about and must be his own master'
Parallel with Amélia Mansfield. (On this see further
Continent Not Isolated: Jane Austen among French Women)
Catherine's Response in the Context of Emma & Persuasion
Volume II, Chapters 5 - 6 (or 20 - 21)
"I am always sorry to leave Elinor"
The Breakfast Table, A Curricle -- & Henry's Fearful Storytelling
Bobbie Ann Mason's The Girl Sleuth
Volume II, Chapters 7 - 8 (or 22 - 23)
A Picturesque Abbey
Time slows down; Light and Dark
Mrs Allen, or How Not to Read Gothic
Free Indirect Speech; General Tilney & Erotic Kitchen Gardens
Rumsford Fireplace and the Dating of Northanger Abbey
Volume II, Chapters 9 - 10 (or 24 - 25)
"The visions of romance were over..."
'Of the Alps and Pyrenees ... ' and Marie Mancini
An Inset Gothic Romance
Catherine and Eleanor, a "strange" pair? & Austen's silences
Ghostly Heroine & Chivalrous Hero (Ghosts of the Gothic)
Volume II, Chapters 11 - 12 (or 26 - 27)
A Visit to Woodston
A Letter from Isabelle; Why Henry Doesn't Betray His Brother
Volume II, Chapters 13 - 14 (or 28 - 29)
The Parting of Eleanor and Catherine
"This has been a strange acquaintance..."
Mrs Morland Looking from the Outside In; Mother-Daughter
Volume II, Chapters 15 - 16 (or 30 - 31)
Why does Henry Tilney turn up at the parsonage?
The Same Henry Tilney
On reading NA & MP in French & Italian Translation
Lansdowne Crescent, David Cox, Six Views of the City of Bath (1820)
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Page Last Updated 3 November 2003