Friday, July 30, 2010

Northhanger Abbey Readalong week #2

Northhanger Abbey Readalong week #2

Pages read 64-120
Chapters read 10-15

I am really enjoying reading this book and am embracing all things Jane Austen lately. I am definitely on Team Tilney and can't wait till Catherine pushes Mr. Thorpe, (pompous ass) out of the door.

Here is what happened this week. Catherine befriends Eleanor Tilney, Henry's sister, and meets their father who seems to approve of their relationship so far. All three go on a walk and it is most enjoyable for the reader as they talk about novels, history, landscape painting and women. My favorite quote of this chapter (14) is one is which she talks about teaching: "you would allow that to torment and to instruct might sometimes be used as synonimous words." I thought this particularly funny as I am a history teacher and my students would most definitely agree with this sentiment sometimes. Ha, Ha.

Other important news was imparted when Isabelle became engaged to Catherine's brother, James. He ran home to get parental permission to marry Isabelle as she sat at home anxiety ridden that they would not approve. Most interesting, though is when Isabelle's pompous brother is prodding Catherine's feelings and determines most incorrectly, that she is his girlfriend and Catherine has no idea of it. She is so naive and he is so conceited. What a mismatch. Oh my, I feel like I am starting to think in Old English, Austen style.

So they drama continues next week as I read Chapters 16-23. I hope you can join along with me and the many others participating in this readalong. Check out Reading with Tequila's blog post for more updates and her opinion on the particulars in Catherine's life.


  1. I loved history in school! It was my second favorite subject in school after science. Even in college I liked my history classes.

    I'm wondering if Isabella isn't hiding something from Catherine and James. Why else would she be so worried their parents wouldn't approve? We shall see!

  2. +JMJ+

    Yes, that scene in which Thorpe and Catherine become "engaged" in his mind is really uncomfortable to read. Catherine seems so dumb. I know she's supposed to be naive in the pattern of Gothic heroines (since Northanger Abbey was like the Scary Movie or Not Another Teen Movie of its day), but I don't think Jane Austen wrote that scene very believably.

  3. I find myself thinking in Austen style too.

    I agree that Catherine seemed just too dim in that chapter.
    I think Isabellas worry comes from her assuming the Morlands are wealthier than her family and she be seen as a suitable bride for James.

  4. I really liked the instruct/torment quote too.

    I think both Isabella and John are after something (like the Morland's money). The way Isabella insists she and James are perfect together. And John, as much of an ass as he is, I think more of his attitude comes from his thinking that if he just acts like he and Catherine are a couple, she'll go along with it. Because she's portrayed as being kind of weak and since she has yet to firmly state she has no interest, he may think it's all working out nicely.