Saturday 26 August 2017

Reviewing the Classics #10 Northanger Abbey

Goodreads Summary:

While enjoying a six weeks’ stay in fashionable Bath, the young and callow Catherine Morland is introduced to the delights of high society. Thanks to a new literary diet of the sensational and the macabre, Catherine travels to Northanger Abbey fully expecting to become embroiled in a Gothic adventure of intrigue and suspense – and, once there, soon begins to form the most gruesome and improbable theories about the exploits of its occupants.

An early work, but published posthumously, Northanger Abbey is a parody of the Gothic genre typified by the novels of Ann Radcliffe, as well as a witty comedy of manners in the style of Jane Austen’s later novels and, ultimately, an enchanting love story. 

So for this months classic, my lovely twitter folowers chose Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. The only Austen book I've read before is her most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, so I was eager to read her earliest work. Before I start talking about the book, I want to thank Alma for sending me such a gorgeous classic! I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with this little segment of my blog without them, so go check them out!

The book follows Catherine Morland, a seventeen year old debutante, who gets invited by her neighbours to visit Bath with them. After reading Pride and Prejudice I had an idea of what I was getting myself into, but I couldn't help feeling as if the first half of the book was quite dull. Although the book is called Northanger Abbey, Catherine doesn't actually visit the abbey until halfway through the book. I found the first half to be tedious and repetitive, as apart from a couple of planned daytrips that are cancelled due to bad weather and not enough time, all Catherine really does is attend balls and talk to her friend, Isabella. Of course it wouldn't be a Jane Austen novel without a love interest that has us all swooning, which came in the form of Henry Tilney. Henry was a sweet character, but unfortunately I felt as if he just didn't have the unique personality that Mr Darcy had. One thing that I loved about Mr Darcy was the character development he went through, and I didn't really see anything similar to that with Mr Tilney. I did however love how he treated the women, and lets face it, a man who loves discussing books is ultimate goals.

Catherine was a sweet and innocent protagonist, and I loved how she was unaware of certain things around her, particularly with John's romantic advances. I found it funny how she was completely shocked after learning that John had feelings for her, when it was obvious to the reader and the other characters. John, like his sister Isabella, was quite an annoying character, and I wasn't a fan of the love triangle that was happening.Honestly I can't believe that I can't escape love triangles  even in classic literature!

I enjoyed the second half of the book a lot more, and I particularly loved the Gothic satire. Catherine is a big fan of Gothic literature, and upon visiting Northanger Abbey, seems to think she is the protagonist of the novels she loves so much. This was actually my favourite part of the book just because of how dramatic she was being, and how she was creating her own version of events about Henry's mother. I particualry loved how Catherine thought she was unearthing some great secret by snooping around in a cabinet, when all she found was a few pieces of paper that turned out to be a laundry list and some receipts. Catberne was naïve and ridiculous and I loved her!

There were some characters who were just irksome, particularly John and Isabella. Isabella seemed to go after whatever man was interested in her at the time, and I felt sorry for James, who seemed to have genuine feelings for her. I also found John annoying, as he wouldn't leave Catherine alone, and got annoyed when she tried to spend time with Henry and Eleanor. I felt as if he seemed jealous that she had other friends, and kept trying to persuade her to change any plans she had made with the Tilney's. I was glad that Caterhine didn't reciprocate his feelings, as I felt as if that would have turned into a really unhealthy relationhip. He was also a huge brat for shit talking Catherine to General Tilney after he found out she didn't want him back lets be real.

I didn't enjoy this one as much as Pride and Prejudice, but I did love the satirical elements, and found Catherine to be a delightful creature (internal cringe) It made me want to go to an extravagant ball and wear a poofy dress. Seriously why aren't balls still a thing? I'm sure I would enjoy them more than sweaty nightclubs. I will hopefully read more Jane Austen books in the future!

Northanger Abbey is now available to purchase!

 Alma Classics  | Amazon Book Depository 

No comments:

Post a Comment