Recently, I was surprised to learn that Northanger Abbey is one of the least popular of Jane Austen novels based on book sales. Oh my. It must be because they have not read it yet. I unabashedly adore it. Just the thought of being with heroine Catherine Morland as she discovers early nineteenth-century Bath with all its delights and diversions of dancing, shopping, taking the waters and socializing is enough to chase away any black cloud hovering over my day. Note: to all classical book buyers out there who pass over Northanger Abbey for other staid tried and true war horses like David Copperfield and Ivanhoe, get a life — live on the edge — and go Gothic with Catherine and Henry, you won’t regret it!
So why do I like Northanger Abbey? Hmm? Well, it makes me laugh, which I dearly love to do; it is a sassy burlesque which adds on more points in its favor; it was written by a youthful Jane Austen as a parody on the over dramatic and sensational Gothic fiction of her day; and it is so darn exuberant. It just screams youth, folly and fun: three things in my humble opinion that we can never have too much of.
One of the things that I love about blogging is that it is one of the few things in my life I have complete creative control over (accept my hair which is another story), and I can choose the content and tone. Admittedly, blogging about Jane Austen is a bit obscure, but I do it because she is my favorite novelist. When I have the opportunity to blog about my author of choice and about one of my favorite novels written by her, plus invite my friends and professional associates to join in the party as well, it does not get much better on the blogosphere.
Please note a few changes to the previously announced group reading schedule. On the advice of a good friend and college lit professor, regretfully I have been compelled to postpone the group read of The Mysteries of Udolpho that was schedule during Go Gothic. The book is huge at over 600 pages of fine print in my Oxford edition and should be read over a two month schedule, not the two weeks that I projected. Total miscalculation on my part and I apologize to any readers who rushed to purchase books, or dug them out of the attic! I agonized over the decision but on the positive side, it will give us more time to read Northanger Abbey, and I have adjusted the reading schedule accordingly.
And so gentle readers please join the celebration in progress here at Austenprose as we discover again the brilliance of Jane Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey with a group read, discussion, guest bloggers, and free giveaways. Enjoy!
Cheers, Laurel Ann
Go Gothic with Northanger Abbey: DAY 1 Giveaway
Oxford World’s Classics edition of Northanger Abbey
& Minor Works, by Jane Austen
Oxford University Press (2008). The new revised edition includes a full unabridged text, of Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watson’s and Sandition, an introduction by Claudia L. Johnson and loads of great supplemental material. A nice compact medium sized edition with informative and helpful appendixes, notes, bio and chronology on the author.
Leave a comment by October 30th to qualify for the free drawing on October 31st for one copy of Northanger Abbey & Minor Works (US residents only)