Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a book about the life of Catherine Morland and her romantic relationships. The novel is divided into two parts; the first part begins with Catherine’s visit to Bath and her relationship with Henry Tilney and the other people she met there, and the second part starts with the arrival of Frederick Tilney and her visit to Northanger Abbey.
This book alongside Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility is considered one of the major works of Jane Austen. The novel had undergone many revisions before its publication and it was even originally titled “Catherine.” It adopted the title Northanger Abbey when it was published posthumously in 1817.
Catherine Morland, the main character in the book is an attractive girl in her late-teens who was invited by her family’s friends, the Allens to go with them to Bath for a holiday. There she discovered many things in life which she hasn’t known before. She met many new friends there including Isabella, who became her close friend and rival to some of her relationships. Aside from her, she also met Henry Tilney, a person who turned out to be very special to her.
Catherine also met John, Isabella’s brother who’ll later attempted to propose marriage to her. Meanwhile, her brother James met Isabella during their vacation and eventually had a serious relationship with her.
Northanger Abbey isn’t just a novel about the romantic relationships of the different characters in the story. It also discusses other issues in society at that time like marriage for property and financial gain and the shallow attitude of some people have when it comes to love. Many critics also call this book a “Gothic parody.” For sure, people who have already read “Sense and Sensibility” or “Pride and Prejudice,” will also love this book.