The BHPL First Friday of the Month Book Group will discuss Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen(1775 - 1817) on May 2 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a series of BHPL Book Blog posts about Northanger Abbey between now and the second of May because there is so much information available about Austen's works, it would be difficult to cover in one post. So today, if you want to start with me, here is the link to a summary of the plot from the Vanderbilt University Department of English. And here is a link to the full text of the first chapter. If you want to read ahead, click on the chapter links from this page: the Northanger Abbey Index. At three chapters a day, readers will be right on target for the May 2 discussion if you would like to join us at the library.
I suggested this particular Austen title to the book group because I remember liking it when I read it way back when in my youth, finding it a bit lighter and less wordy than most Austen, in other words: shorter. It's a nice satire of gothic novels featuring a very imaginative heroine, Catherine Morland who visits the city of Bath during the social season.
Click here for a very short Austen biography. Austen began writing Northanger Abbey from 1795 - 1798 but it was not published until 1818, a year after her death in 1817. So it was one of her earliest written books, but the last to be published. Click here for an Austen chronology.
To the right is an adaptation of a portrait of Jane by her sister Cassandra.
The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, UK
Full text of the Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliff, the book that Austen satirizes in Northanger Abbey.
Reading Group Guide discussion questions
The Republic of Pemberly (Jane Austen website)