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Northanger Abbey (Classic Literature with Classical Music)

By Jane Austen (Author)
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Item description for Northanger Abbey (Classic Literature with Classical Music) by Jane Austen...

Outline ReviewThough Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until after her death--well after she'd established her reputation with works such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day made popular in such 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all figure into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Consider Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are told on the very first page that "no one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." The author goes on to explain that Miss Morland's father is a clergyman with "a considerable independence, besides two good livings--and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters." Furthermore, her mother does not die giving birth to her, and Catherine herself, far from engaging in "the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush" vastly prefers playing cricket with her brothers to any girlish pastimes.

Catherine grows up to be a passably pretty girl and is invited to spend a few weeks in Bath with a family friend. While there she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor, who invite her to visit their family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Austen amuses herself and us as Catherine, a great reader of Gothic romances, allows her imagination to run wild, finding dreadful portents in the most wonderfully prosaic events. But Austen is after something more than mere parody; she uses her rapier wit to mock not only the essential silliness of "horrid" novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society, for nothing Catherine imagines could possibly rival the hypocrisy she experiences at the hands of her supposed friends. In many respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, yet at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British style. --Alix Wilber

Product Description
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and wound up Catherine's feelings to the highest point of ecstasy.' Considered the most light-hearted and satirical of Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of an unlikely young heroine Catherine Morland. While staying in Bath, Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor who invite her to their family estate, Northanger Abbey. A fan of Gothic Romance novels, naive Catherine is soon letting her imagination run wild in the atmospheric abbey, fuelled by her friendship with the vivacious Isabella Thorpe. It is only when the realities of life set in around her that Catherine's fantastical world is shattered. A coming-of-age novel, Austen expertly parodies the Gothic romance novels of her time and reveals much about her unsentimental view of love and marriage in the eighteenth century.

Book Description
One of the first of Jane Austen's novels to be written, and one of the last to be published, Northanger Abbey is both an amusing story of how a naive girl enters society and wins the affection of a witty young clergyman, and a high-spirited parody of the lurid Gothic novels that were popular during Austen's youth. In the process it features a vivid account of social life in late eighteenth-century Bath, and Austen's famous defence of the novel as a literary form. This edition, based on the text of the novel as published posthumously in 1818, is accompanied by explanatory notes, and an appendix summarising the plots and situations of the Gothic fictions that form the basis of much of Austen's comedy. In addition there is an extensive critical introduction covering the context, publication, and critical history of the novel, a chronology of Austen's life, and authoritative textual apparatus.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged,   Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Pages   33
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.59" Width: 4.88" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.22 lbs.
Binding  CD
Publisher   Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN  9626340762  
ISBN13  9789626340769  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jane Austen

Jane Austen Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

Jane Austen was born in 1775 and died in 1817.

Jane Austen has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Artfolds Classic Editions
  2. Bantam Classics
  3. Barnes & Noble Classics
  4. Classic Collection (Brilliance Audio)
  5. Collins Classics
  6. Dover Thrift Editions
  7. Enriched Classics (Pocket)
  8. Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
  9. Ignatius Critical Editions
  10. Modern Library (Hardcover)
  11. Modern Library (Paperback)
  12. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  13. Novel Journal
  14. Oxford Children's Classics
  15. Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen
  16. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  17. Penguin Classics
  18. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions
  19. Penguin Drop Caps
  20. Penguin English Library
  21. Quirk Classics
  22. Signet Classics
  23. Unabridged Classics in Audio
  24. Vintage Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Audio CDs
2Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Classics
3Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > General
4Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Austen, Jane > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > British > Austen, Jane

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Reviews - What do customers think about Northanger Abbey (Classic Literature with Classical Music)?

Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics)  Jun 5, 2008
I watched the recent BBC version of the Northanger Abbey story first and loved it. I'm a Jane Austen fan who hasn't read all the novels but I'm working on it. So I got the novel to see how it compared. It was great! I love her humor - tongue in cheek and so witty. But the thing I really want to comment favorably about is the Penguin Classics edition. I get so much background and insight and explanatory information from these editions. I've read 3 of them now and they are marvelous. I've read quite a few novels from this era and it is really helpful to have notes to refer to in the back that explain things.
very slow  Apr 8, 2008
This is my first Austen novel, and I must say, I don't know what all the hype is about. I thought it was excruciatingly slow at times, and then all of a sudden it was fast and over. Some of the writing was beautiful and poetic, but that is like 5% of the book. The other 95% of the book was pretty boring to me. Maybe I am jaded by all the horror and mysteries I read where I am used to fast paced suspense, but seriously, I would read one chapter a day or maybe two with this book and that was all I could handle, because it would make me tired. I felt no connection with the main character Catherine, and I found myself not caring what happened to her, good or bad. I just wanted the book to be over.
A Little Gothic Romance....  Mar 25, 2008
Jane Austen wrote "Northanger Abbey" in the late 1790's, but it was not finally published until 1818, after her death. It is a broad satire of the Gothic Romance novels popular in her day. Its lead character, the innocent young Catherine Morland, is moderately attractive, good-hearted, and highly imaginative, but perhaps the least compelling of Austen's heroines. Nevertheless, Jane Austen's excellent writing gifts are on display in this short novel, which offers some superbly funny dialogue, witty commentary on social manners, and a sympathetic heroine.

Catherine is offered the opportunity to vacation in the resort town of Bath by family friends Mr. and Mrs. Allen. In Bath, she falls in with two people her own age, Isabella and John Thorpe. Isabella is to be engaged to Catherine's brother James, while John, a college friend of James, takes an interest in Catherine. The Thorpes involve the inexperienced Catherine in the social whirl of Bath. They will also provide her with some hard lessons in manners.

Catherine also meets Henry and Elinor Tilney, a brother and sister who introduce her to walks and intellectual discussion. Their father, the imposing General Tilney, invites Catherine to visit the family estate of Northanger Abbey. Catherine eagerly accepts the invitation, in part to stay close to Henry, on whom she has a crush, and in part to see the ancient abbey, sure to be the embodiment of her cherished Gothic Romances.

Catherine's willingness to see dark secrets in ordinary events leads her on a search of the Abbey for clues to the suspected murder of General Tilney's wife. In a gentle confrontation, Henry ends the search, but is not able to save her from the sudden wrath of the General, who banishes her from the Abbey. A heartbroken Catherine is separated from Henry and Catherine, and returned unceremoniously to her home. There, an unexpected visit by Henry Tilney will offer an explanation for what happened at Northanger Abbey and a chance to reunite with the Tilneys.

Readers expecting a story with the heft of "Pride and Prejudice" or "Mansfield Park" may be disappointed. However, "Northanger Abbey" is a fun book on its own terms, very much a Jane Austen product and likely to be enjoyed by her fans. It is highly recommended as an entertaining read.
Fill out your Austen collection  Jul 31, 2007
As a lover of Austen novels, it is well worth reading "Northanger Abby", which was Austen's first (but last published) novel. As her first novel, her writing style is still rough and lacks some of the refinment of her later works, but she still brings her sharp eye for satire and examination of societal/marriage topics. Catherine Morland pales in comparison to later strong heronies like Elizabeth Bennet or Fanny Price, but she's delightful to read and chuckle about her naive outlook on life.
Northanger Abbey: Janeites rejoice in this light and lively tour de force  Jul 12, 2007
Northanger Abbey is a gem. Jane Austen (1775-1817)has written a charmiing little novel about a charming little lady named Catherine Moreland. Catherine is 15 as the novel begins in Wiltshire. She and the hilariously stupid Mrs. Allen go on a six week trip to nearby Bath to take the waters. Catherine meets the fashionable and fast Isabella Thorpe. Catherine dances with the clergyman Henry Tilney at a ball becoming infatuated with the clever young man. Henry and Catherine share a love for the Romantic Gothic novels of such authors as Ann Radcliff and Fanny Burney. Complications ensue but in the end the couple are wed.
The first half of the novel deals with doings in Bath; the second half is a trip taken by Catherine to the Tilney estate Northanger Abbey. Catherine thinks the house may contain a ghost as she is influenced in her thinking by a vivid imagination fueled by her sensational Gothic reading.
Minor characters are of interest: Captain Frederick Tilney the ladies man brother of Henry; old General Tilney the gruff father of Fred and Henry; Catherine's parents and Eleanor Tilney the kind and lovely sister of the two Tilney boys with whom Catherine forms a solid friendship.
The book includes a spirited defense of the art of novel writing by Miss Austen. It is a light and commonplace tale of young love told with the wit and wisdom of one of England's greatest authors. This less well known Austen novel is a delightful way to become an addict of the spinster from Hawton parsongage!

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