Monday, 8 June 2009

Northanger Abbey

"Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of despised love."
This is my favourite Austen quote but I'd forgotten which novel it comes from. Of course, it's Northanger Abbey.

Well that's the hardback budget blown for the year! I have now completed my collection of the handsome Everyman's Library Austen titles. There are seven in all - the six novels and Sanditon and Other Stories. A couple of years ago I visited Bath so I can now visualise the Pump Room and the streets as Catherine walks through them with Isabella. Anyone else fond of Northanger Abbey?


Mad Housewife said...

What a beautiful book! I'll have to read Northanger Abbey.

Teresa said...

I got that same edition from a friend for my birthday last year! I read Northanger Abbey in a Gothic novel class in college in which we also read a couple of the books Katherine read (Mysteries of Udolpho and The Monk, I think). It was such fun to see those books being parodied so brilliantly.
I haven't read Northanger Abbey since, but it's near the top of my to be reread list.

Anonymous said...

I love Northanger Abbey ... it was only when I re-read it as an adult that I realised how dry and funny Jane Austen can be. I think that was rather lost on me at school.

Paperback Reader said...

I love Northanger Abbey; I enjoyed its pastiche of the Gothic novels like Mysteries of Udolpho. I haven't read it since my uni days a number of years ago but will really need to fit in a re-read at some point soon.

My favourite Austen -cliched- is Pride and Prejudice but NA runs a close second.

zetor said...

That's a great quote!

_lethe_ said...

(Many) years ago I was going to read all her novels in order (but saving the Shorter Works for last). I got stuck in Northanger Abbey and have as yet not read beyond that.

As N.A. parodies gothic novels I thought perhaps I should first read Mysteries of Udolpho or so, in order to "get" the parody. Do you think that is necessary, or can it be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the genre?

StuckInABook said...

Good choice! I think, with these classics, it's best not to settle for average copies. I love my Jane Austens. Here they are -

Vintage Reading said...

I would like to read some of the books which influenced Austen. Udolpho would be interesting and Fanny Burney's Evelina and Cecilia (which I believe inspired P&P) and the poetry of Cowper.

One of the wonderful things about reading Austen is that you see different things in her novels in your twenties, thirties and forties as you re-read them. I've not reached my fifties yet, but I'll let you know!

I would actually like Bronte's Vilette in this series but hardbacks are pricey, although no more expensive than Persephone titles. Hope to post some more thoughts on NA soon.

Anonymous said...

Lovely edition, and I am very fond of Northanger Abbey. I read The Mysteries of Udolpho eventually too, but I think the parody was clear enough without it.

Sarah said...

I'll add my voice to the chorus of NA lovers!

I agree it's worth investing in good quality copies e. g Everyman of great books when you can afford it- I'm slowly buying their editions of Trollope as they're splendid.

I found Evalina surprisingly enjoyable (and also found out it's where Austen found the phrase Pride
and Prejudice). I bought Cecilia and Camilla as a result, but haven't read them yet. One day though...

Lora said...

Hi there, I really wanted to buy a number of Everyman’s Library editions of the Bronte’s and Jane Austen’s novels. I loved that the paper is acid-free, but I’ve run into a problem with the Everyman’s books and I’m wondering if you’ve experienced this: I’ve noticed that some volumes have a strong and unpleasant (at least to me) manufacturing type odor, perhaps from adhesive or the type of ink used (I’m not sure what it’s from).

Recently, I bought Wuthering Heights, Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights and Anne of Green Gables had no odor at all , but Jane Eyre had such a strong smell I had to return it. I bought another copy and it was the same, so I returned it too.

Then I went to another bookstore and noticed the same thing with most of the Jane Austen editions.

I just recently saw a review on Amazon of their volumes of War and Peace that mentioned this smell.

Have you ever noticed this? I’m wondering if it will fade over time.

I tried contacting Everyman’s Library twice, but despite the fact that their website says they are happy to answer questions about their books, they never responded. I’m afraid to buy them not knowing if the odor will ever fade.