Sunday, August 9, 2009

41. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I finished Northanger Abbey for the third time in less than twelve months. Each time, my perspective has changed, each time I'm pleasantly surprised to remember a sentence or detail I missed, and each time reminded of how amusing and magical it can be. I've focused this time on the narrator as a character and on how Catherine, the protagonist, really grows over the course of the novel. Of Austen, she is probably the heroine who changes most, which is saying something. I am also concurrently reading The Mysteries of Udolpho, the primary of the Gothic novels Austen is satirizing.

Northanger Abbey is definitely the easiest read of the six, the best introduction for an Austen neophyte, and even a book I would recommend to people who don't like Austen in general.

I realize I haven't really been writing "reviews" on the Austen books, per se, more just comments and effusions. I guess I feel that people should already have read them, and I only want to record the specific difference in readings that I experienced. So, that's that.

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