I have a confession to make. This is something that I am very much ashamed of and have never told anyone but surely you guys will understand, right?
Yes. Yes. Yes, you will and in that honest confidence I am going to tell you that I have read ‘Northanger Abbey’ only one time. JUST ONCE!!!! UUgghhh….this is soooo embarrassing. I mean, I have read everything by our lovely Jane and I adore EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER WORKS but I just don’t know why I haven’t read Northanger Abbey more than once? How could I be soo unfaithful?
Well, I have to rectify it and so I thought that for my fourth post on her, I will read Northanger Abbey and record my thoughts. Here. I won’t edit them or ‘fancy’ them up! I am just going to write them as they come.
Okay so here’s what you need to know about this post –
One, all those well-stringed words you read in my previous ones, well, you won’t be seeing them here. These are my raw, unfiltered thoughts. So, please, bear with me.
Two, this will be a two/three part post. I am so sorry for that but this is my last day of A-Book-A-Day challenge and noo matter what, I am NOT going to loose.
Okay. So there you have it. Now we can start reading.
‘No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her to be born an heroine.’
Well, no one who had ever seen ME as a child would have supposed me to grow up to be a crazy, book-obsessed maniac. But life doesn’t play out the way we want it to, does it? 😂At least she will go to balls….she will get to dress in pretty gowns and glide about the room. When will I be able to do that???? UGH.. Life is so unfair.
‘She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on – lived to have six children more’
My, my……but, children are SOO annoying! Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOVVVEEE kids but I just feel like ripping their tongues out when they keep on repeating the SAME things OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER…..God! this makes me such an evil unlikable person, doesn’t it?
‘She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught.’
Meeee in every Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry class back in high school!!!! EXCEPT, I still couldn’t understand a thing even after being taught. I hated Mathematics with the same BURNING passion with which Smaug hated dwarfs!!
‘Her greatest deficiency was in the pencil – she had no notion of drawing – not enough to even attempt a sketch of her lover’s profile, that she might be detected in the design. There she fell miserably short of the true heroic height. at present she did not know her own poverty, for she had no lover to portray.’
Ouch! THAT HURT, Miss Austen! Is she talking about me? I am PRETTY sure she is! 😂
Sooo, our heroine Catherine has reached seventeen without ever having met someone who would call forth her ‘sensibility’ or to put it simply – she has not met anyone who ignited her passion. Uhhhhhhh..I feel you, Cathy! Same here.
You see, Catherine is to accompany Mr. and Mrs. Allen to Bath so that she could be at the advantage of meeting wealthy, young men who would be struck by her beauty and would want to marry her. Noo, this is not her mother’s actual design in sending her. But that is the thinking in general, isn’t it?
‘Mrs. Allen was one of that numerous class of females, whose society can raaise no other emotion than surprise at there being any men in the world who could like them well enough to marry them. She had neither beauty, genius, accomplishment, nor manner. ‘
Boy, do I have the same opinion about half a dozen women around me. Now you see see? How can you feel anything but LOVE for Austen?
‘As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but (Catherine) did not depend on it.’
Well, honey, that makes two of us. ♥
”What shall we do? – The gentlemen and ladies at this table look as if they wondered why we came here – we seem forcing ourselves into their party.”
Now I know how everyone must feel when I talk and talk and then talk some more about books I have read, about the absolutely gorgeous characters I fell in love with – in books, about what I shopped for – books, about where I see myself in a few years – surrounded by books?
‘He seemed to be about four or five and twenty, was rather tall, had a pleasing countenance, a very intelligent and lively eye..’
Oh…. oh…OOOHHH ….Here comes Mr. Tilney for if I remember something VERY distinctly about Northanger Abbey is one, MR. TILNEY WAS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS AND WORTH SWOONING AFTER and two, Catherine has a hyper-active imagination!!
Okayyy I am, now, on the part where Catherine and Tilney dances for the first time. ♥ I won’t reveal it all to you but I AM IN LOOOVEEE.
‘Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenor of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of everyday to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal? – My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies’ ways as you wish to believe me..’ – Mr. Tilney to Catherine.
OH SWEET MOTHER OF EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND PURE!! He is one smooth talker, isn’t he? Seriously, if you don’t love Mr. Tilney, I feel sorry for you.
Austen mocks Richardson’s remark in Rambler 97 on the process of falling in love in the following manner:
‘..for it is true, as a celebrated writer has maintained, than no young lady can be justified in falling in love before a gentleman’s love is declared, it must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.’
Sweet Creature, Jane! Always doing what’s right. Always satirizing the remarks DESPERATELY needing such treatment.
We have ALL of us been crossed in love, at one point or another, haven’t we? It’s like a necessity, as Mr. Bennet once said. And for that reason, I can imagine how disappointed our sweet Cathy must have been when she could not meet her Mr. Tillney again for many (at least for her) days to come. *sigh*
Okayy, so I am liking Isabella Thorpe’s character and I remember that I liked her during my first read too. She is a non-stupid version of Lydia Bennet. She reads and is an excellent charmer but a voracious flirt too. Ohh and did I say that she is a very well nurtured hypocrite too? To quote Fanny Price, she is ‘such a fine speaker that, I am afraid, (she) will actually end in convincing (herself)’
And her passionate monologues on men and their ‘insipid’ behavior will astonish and delight you, both at the same time!
Ohhh…..I almost forgot. It was only after reading Isabella and Catherine’s excited conversation about Mysteries of Udolpho that I first thought of reading the book. And no matter how much Austen attacks Gothic romance in this delightful book (and believe me, she does!!) I ended up falling in love with the sheer passion that the characters are full of and the natural beauty. I mean, don’t we remember what emotional damage Wuthering Heights did to us???
Okay, here ends my first installment to this *weird* post. I will do this again if you guys enjoyed it. And if you didn’t, then i’ll just wrap it up the next time. Oh, and also tell me this – Have you read Northanger Abbey yet? Or watched the movie? Let me know in the comments. 🙂