Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen : Review



Several times did Austen's novel resonate with my thoughts, specially in the following lines -

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

Although I faced a lot of discouragement towards reading "Northanger Abbey" by Austen, I am glad I picked it up and I am half-afraid that it may supplant Pride and Prejudice 's position as my so long favourite of Austen.

First of all, Austen's amazing narrative style which always amazes me and leaves me wanting more of it, didn't disappoint me. The novel mocks Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and is a delightful satire of the Gothic Novels that were being penned down in the period.

Catherine Morland, the seventeen year old heroine of the novel is a true model for me, as she devours up novels and engages the reader with her sarcastic replies. No wonder Mr. Tilney was lovestruck, well who can resist such witty flirtations? It is her obsession with Udolpho which sets her yearning for Gothic turns of events while her stay at Northanger Abbey.

It is Catherine's journey towards a more mature self that the novel traces, as it dawn's upon her that reality is contrary to fiction and not all abbeys smells of horror and not all men living in dark abbeys are murderers. It somewhat made me laugh, her realisation of her foolishness. But I indeed second Austen in her own thoughts for the novel -

“Only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.”

It will be unfair to rate the novel anything under 5 stars, As I enjoyed every bit of it.

Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen Vintage Classics Series)

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