Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The Beam Magazine presentation of the Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey is the story of a young woman, named Catherine Morland.

The book begins with the Allens, family friends of Catherine’s family, offering to take her along with them to Bath, a resort for the wealthier British members. The social world of Bath is filled with balls, dances, shows, fashion and its gossip. In this world, Catherine makes two sets of friends: Isabella and her brother John Thorpe, and Eleanor and her brother Henry Tilney. Catherine is attracted towards Henry, whereas John falsely believes that Catherine is attracted to him. The trials and tribulations of the young people, including Catherine’s brother James, make up the first part of the novel.

The second part of the novel involves Catherine being invited by Eleanor for a short stay in their home, Northanger Abbey. Catherine accepts the invitation, delighted at the chance of seeing a real Abbey and spending more time with Henry. Fuelled by an overactive imagination on account of the gothic novels she reads, Catherine has fancy thoughts about the Abbey and the mysteries it holds. The second part of the book deals with her experiences in Northanger Abbey and her relationship with Henry Tilney.

Northanger Abbey is a coming of age story of Catherine, who realizes that she differs from those other women who crave wealth or social acceptance, as instead she wishes only to have happiness supported by genuine morality.

Northanger Abbey

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