Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen's Works

Northanger Abbey Moments

Catherine Morland, affrightedA violent gust of wind, rising with sudden fury, added fresh horror to the moment. Catherine trembled from head to foot. In the pause which suceeded, a sound like receding footsteps and the closing of a distant door struck on her affrighted ear. The Narrator on Catherine Morland

In honor of Halloween, it is appropriate that we should visit with the young, impressionable, and imaginative Catherine Morland during her stay with the Tilney’s at Northanger Abbey. I can think of no other passage in any of Jane Austen’s writings that builds to such tension and peril!

We are in turn affrighted for Catherine as she sits alone in her apartments late at night, with the wind howling outside, her single candle flickering in the draft, and footsteps resounding in the hallway.

Oh my! An active imagination, fueled by circumstance, can give one a Gothic scare!

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