Jane Austen's earliest major novel, NORTHANGER ABBEY, is a work of wonderful ironic humor, a parody of the popular literature of the time, and an intriguing tale of men and women in pursuit of love, marriage, and money.
The romantic folly of young Catherine Morland, who encounters "the difficulties and dangers of a six weeks' residence in Bath," leads to some of Jane Austen's most brilliant social satire: Catherine's hilarious liaison with a paragon of bad manners and boastfulness; her disastrous friendship with an unforgettably crass coquette, Isabella Thorpe; and a whirl of cotillion dances complete with such timeless mortifications as a girl not asked to dance--or worse, asked to dance by the wrong partner The delightful climax, a visit to ancient Northanger Abbey, the ancestral home of the novel's handsome hero, excites the irrepressible Catherine's hopes of romance amid Gothic horrors, but what awaits her there is a drama of a different kind, in this most youthfully exuberant and broadly comic of Jane Austen's works.
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I have read most of Miss Jane Austen's books, and I have enjoyed them, but this one and Mansfield Park were two that I missed some how. I decided to rectify this so read this book first. It was Jane Austen's first major novel, so it was interesting to read if for that reason alone. Miss Austin's talents are many, but I think the two that are the most remarkable are her characterizations, and her wonderful way of writing satire. She is known for her very real and human heroines. Catherine Morland in this book is one of these. She is very much a young 17 year old who is a product of the era she lives in. But her own innate good sense, and practicality help her to see people and the masks they assume in society for what they are. I found this book to be very warm and wonderfully light-hearted. Jane Austen's genius runs rampant through this little novel. I enjoyed it immensely.