Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen audiobook

Northanger Abbey

By Jane Austen
Read by Wanda McCaddon

Blackstone Publishing
7.58 Hours 1
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Jane Austen's first major novel, a parody of the popular literature of the time, is an ironic tale of the romantic folly of men and women in pursuit of love, marriage, and money. The humorous adventures of young Catherine as she encounters "the difficulties and dangers of a six weeks' residence in Bath" lead to some of Austen's most brilliant social satire. There is Catherine's hilarious liaison with a paragon of bad manners and boastfulness, her disastrous friendship with an unforgettably crass coquette, and a whirl of cotillion dances with their timeless mortifications. A visit to ancient Northanger Abbey, the ancestral home of the novel's handsome hero, excites the irrepressible Catherine's hopes of romance amid gothic horrors. But what awaits her there is a drama of a different kind. This novel is the most youthfully exuberant and broadly comic of Jane Austen's works.

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Summary

Summary

Jane Austen's first major novel, a parody of the popular literature of the time, is an ironic tale of the romantic folly of men and women in pursuit of love, marriage, and money. The humorous adventures of young Catherine as she encounters "the difficulties and dangers of a six weeks' residence in Bath" lead to some of Austen's most brilliant social satire. There is Catherine's hilarious liaison with a paragon of bad manners and boastfulness, her disastrous friendship with an unforgettably crass coquette, and a whirl of cotillion dances with their timeless mortifications. A visit to ancient Northanger Abbey, the ancestral home of the novel's handsome hero, excites the irrepressible Catherine's hopes of romance amid gothic horrors. But what awaits her there is a drama of a different kind. This novel is the most youthfully exuberant and broadly comic of Jane Austen's works.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“About an imaginative young woman who reads too many Gothic novels, the story is Austen’s most lighthearted.” Boston Globe
“Northanger Abbey, her most youthful and in many ways her most brillant novel…at times dares us to pay close attention to the artistic positions and processes her other novels tend to relegate to the background.” Claudia L. Johnson, Murray Professor of English Literature at Princeton University
“[Austen] uses her rapier wit to mock not only the essential silliness of ‘horrid’ novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society…In many respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen’s novels, yet at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, nineteenth-century British style.” Amazon.com, editorial review
“Combines a satire on conventional novels of polite society with one on gothic tales of terror.” Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature

Reviews

Reviews

by Bertie Wooster 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

What I Learned in Jane Austen Land

One of the highest—or, depending on your point of view, lowest--points in the ribald and hilarious British sit com Red Dwarf is when the crew of the Dwarf take time off from their World War II simulated reality games to take a turn in the gardens and forest paths of a place called Jane Austen Land.

The resulting comedy--including their mechanoid servant Kryton borrowing a Sherman tank from the World War II game and blasting the crew back to his laboriously prepared dinner--is nothing of which Miss Austen would have approved (she could never see the merit in Fielding’s Tom Jones, either).

But for all the buffoonery from the BBC, there really is a place called Jane Austen Land. You enter it through any one of her novels. It is a place where you find sanity and sense, where it is even possible to recover your balance and see that doing the right thing really is the right thing to do.

You are also reminded that the proportion of less agreeable and forthright people we meet in life was just as high in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries as now. That the more agreeable and honest folks were just as few then as now. And that in spite of this disproportion it is not beyond reason to expect that we just might find the happiness that is suited to us. Added goose: while dealing with serious ideas and situations, this is also Jane Austen’s funniest, most light-hearted work.

My wife, who has read and reread all six of the canonical Austen novels more times than I can count during our 20-odd years of marriage, tells me that the books were given to British shell shock cases during the First World War. If so I can see why. It has been at least a decade and a half since I last read Northanger Abbey, but this listen took me back immediately to a world where, eventually, turmoil and misunderstanding get straightened out, misperceptions and false fronts are seen for what they are—or rather, for what they are not—and both the heroine and the reader arrive at the end in possession of all the facts and a full understanding. Very sane stuff.

At the same time, Austen is never a Pollyanna. The happy ending always comes with concessions to Life as we know it. For example, Henry Tilney, if truth be told (and in Austen it always is) only reciprocated Catherine Morland’s affection because he was flattered to receive her notice. It is the sort of detail that makes the happy ending more real and even happier than any maker of fairy tales could manage. After all, after all, in tallies with our experience, with our knowledge of the slight chances and odd turns that have shaped our lives.

Wanda McCaddon (aka Nadia May) is simply superb; her crisp, businesslike diction makes Austen’s master-crafted sentences sound even better. Always alive to the tone of the words she is reading, she never misses a nuance, a change of pace, or a serious or humorous moment.

Author

Author Bio: Jane Austen

Author Bio: Jane Austen

Jane Austen (1775–1817) is considered by many scholars to be the first great woman novelist. Born in Steventon, England, she later moved to Bath and began to write for her own and her family’s amusement. Her novels, set in her own English countryside, depict the daily lives of provincial middle-class families with wry observation, a delicate irony, and a good-humored wit.

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 7.58
Audience: Adult
Language: English