Northanger Abbey | Sunday Observer

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is set in Hampshire, Bath and Gloucestershire, England during the late eighteenth century. It is a Bildungsroman which features the development of the heroine, Catherine Morland from an innocent and naïve young girl to a mature woman. At the beginning of the novel, Catherine who is seventeen years old leaves her home in small town Fullerton, Hampshire and goes on a trip to Bath with the Allens. In Bath, Catherine meets Isabella Thorpe who befriends her with calculated motives which she cannot discern at the beginning. Catherine also meets Henry Tilney, an intelligent and educated young man and they begin a romantic relationship. Henry’s sister Eleanor invites Catherine to their home, Northanger Abbey in Gloucestershire. Catherine likes to read Gothic novels about intriguing mysteries and she imagines Northanger Abbey to be shrouded in mystery. In Northanger Abbey, Henry and Catherine’s relationship develops further.

As the novel progresses, Catherine realizes Isabella’s sinister motives and distances herself from Isabella. There is a setback in Henry and Catherine’s relationship which is caused by Isabella’s brother John Thorpe who is interested in Catherine, but it is resolved and Henry proposes marriage to Catherine and she accepts. In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen presents a young and naïve heroine who learns about life as she grows up and is fortunate to meet the right man.

Reviewed by Ryhanna Salie

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