Sunday, July 25, 2010

Northhanger Abbey Readalong week #1

Northhanger Abbey Read-along Week #1

Pages read 1-64
Chapters read 1-9

I joined the Northhanger Abbey Read-along sponsored by the blog
Reading with Tequila. I have only read one book by Jane Austen in my lifetime and it was difficult and slow going for me. It took me three weeks to read Sense and Sensibility and while I want to read more Jane Austen I just haven't had the urge to spend weeks on end suffering through any more of her novels by myself. So when this read-along came up, I joined it.

Northhanger Abbey is so far delightful and easier to read than Sense and Sensibility. Catherine the main character is a bit of a bore as she is quite naive but at least she is likable unlike Isabelle and John Thorpe who are completely conceited and irritating. The characters tend to lead lives that are very frivolous and concern themselves with being seen at the pump-house daily or going to dances. The characters lead lives that are so very different from my own.

What I like about Catherine and Isabelle is that they are readers of novels. Novels are new to the time-period when this book was written as a satire to the popular gothic romances of the day. I love Austen's references to real novels published at the time and feel the need to get my hands on a book by Ann Radcliffe. Many people despise the "novel" while secretly reading them with passion. It is interesting how far the novel has changed and traveled since Northhanger Abbey was written.

I am excited to continue this novel and I am looking forward to watching the film version of the book. That is my reward. I really like all the films based on Austen's books, I just wish the books flowed better for me so I could enjoy the process of reading them.

This week the plan is to read chapter 10 through 15. I hope you pick up this book and give it a try.


  1. I heart Northanger! It's my second favorite Austen, after Persuasion. It's funny- I really love her last, most mature work (Persuasion) and her first, much more light-hearted work (Northanger) best out of all her novels. I think it's great that her first book was almost a self examination about whether novels were a worthy pursuit.

  2. I read Pride and Prejudice twice for a class in high school (once during the summer, and once in the school year). It was very very slow, but overall enjoyable - well, compared to the other books we'd had to read (Lord of the Flies? Heart of Darkness? Bleck!).

    Northanger Abbey seems to be (so far) much better paced, and I'm finding it a lot funnier to read by comparing it to some modern Gothic novels (Twilight, for example). Here's hoping the next 6 chapters are good!

    Care to venture into The Wolf's Den?

  3. I'm glad you're giving Austen another try. I've only seen the movie of Sense and Sensibility and liked it. The book is waiting on my shelf...someday I'll get to it. My favorite is still Pride and Prejudice but Persuasion was alright.

    I hadn't thought about watching the movie for N.A.! I forgot there was one (I haven't seen it yet). We should all try and watch it when we're done reading the book and see what we like/didn't like about the movie.

  4. I agree with Chelle. I never considered watching the movie either. I'll make sure to mention it in the next post.