Northanger Abbey has always been among the most popular of Jane Austen’s novels.
It is the coming-of-age story of seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland, one of ten children of a country clergyman.
Although a tomboy, Catherine is excessively fond of reading sensational Gothic novels, and by the age of 17 she is "in training to become a full-fledged heroine."
Catherine is introduced to Henry Tilney, a young clergyman who impresses Catherine with his wit and pleasant conversation. Catherine quickly falls for Henry.
At its core, Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen’s commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British style. Austen uses her rapier wit to expose the horrid workings of British polite society, for nothing Catherine imagines could possibly rival the hypocrisy she experiences at the hands of her supposed friends.
Published in hundreds of editions and translated into virtually every modern language, Northanger Abbey has not been out of print since 1817.
JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817), one of the greatest English authors, transformed the art of fiction. Author of numerous novels, including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, she is considered to be a central figure in the development of the modern novel.