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Community Level 6Discerna


A Fine Romance in its time?

AdvantagesA light entertaining read with gentle humour

DisadvantagesPreoccupations peculiar to the period in which it was written

"...a couple of weeks at Northanger Abbey, the ancestral home of a potential suitor who would be her choice if love could only have its way. Once again she must adjust to the social requirements of her new environment. While all looks set for a fairy-tale ending, the course does not run smooth; actions by her friends and family members jeopardise the relationship by undermining her reputation and status, items so necessary to ensure parental approval ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

A thorough knowledge of human nature

AdvantagesVery funny and readable Austen novel

DisadvantagesNot quite as accomplished as her later work

"...in the first half of Northanger Abbey. Set in Bath, it is full of Austen's social comedy and there are several entertaining characters, including Mrs Allen, whose only thoughts are for her outfits, and the selfish Isabella. Into all this comes the witty and sarcastic Henry Tilney. Even in a novel written over two hundred years ago, it is clear Austen had a deep understanding of human nature, and it's entertaining yet disturbingly realistic to see ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 6oldchem


No Mr Darcy here !!

AdvantagesA charming and humerous book with some entertaining characters.

DisadvantagesSecond half of the bok is not as good as the first

"== NORTHANGER ABBEY == === JANE AUSTEN === Think of Jane Austin and thoughts like 'women's book' and 'A level book' spring to mind. Recent period dramas on TV and films have made the stories of Jane Austin a lot more popular - but for me Northanger Abbey has always been my favourite. The book was written when Jane Austen was in her late teens or early 20s, It was finished in 1803 but wasn't published for another 13 years - by which ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 2crapitoche


a bitter satire


Disadvantagestoo ironic ?

"Jane Austen is a real pain for foreign students, because there are many problems. First, there is the language, though it is relatively easy to understand. Then, there are so many levels of understanding that we can get lost. In the novel, Catherine Morland is a young woman, in her 20's, she is beautiful, clever, generous, and so on, but also naive. She lives in the country, and is sent to Bath, where she meets a lot of people. First, she ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Austen's Best

AdvantagesReadable, timeless, humorous.

DisadvantagesMay be lost on some people.

"...romance and gentle mocking tone, Northanger Abbey, for me, outshines it. Where Pride and Prejudice parodies the nature of matchmaking in high society at the time, Northanger Abbey lampoons it, in the most tongue in cheek way possible. The characters are more ridiculous, more caricatured than in Pride and Prejudice, although still believable, and as always with Austen, beautifully constructed on the page. Northanger Abbey also parodies the Romantic ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Ironic critique of the gothic novel

AdvantagesDetailed portrayal of Bath in 19th Century.

DisadvantagesPoor storyline. Unlikable characters.

"Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels although it was not published until after her death. Dominated by the contemporary interest in gothic and romantic books and their readers, Austen makes an ironic dig at the overly romantic and unrealistic styles of writing. Written with tongue in cheek, Austen incorporates into her novel the gothic characteristics of large ruined buildings, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Community Level 2penguin_too



AdvantagesGood read


"Northanger Abbey is the novel which set me on my love affair with Jane Austen. So much so that I devoured all of her novels and wanted more. It is a novel which I could read again and again as it is a such a tame story by today's standards and Jane Austen was having quite a dig at social structures and literature to boot. It is only when I dug deeper into the context of the story, I realised how much fun Jane Austen must have been having poking fun ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Community Level 1mgriffit22


Refreshingly personal period piece

AdvantagesEnjoyable use of language, and interesting changes in central character

DisadvantagesMay be less appealing to people wanting faster pace

"Driving fom Norfolk to the Midlands on a dull Sunday afternoon, with the car radio fixed on BBC Radio 4 and unable to switch over in case it woke my (sleeping) partner in the passenger seat, I was mesmerised by the first instalment of their production of this book. So much so that I had to rush out and buy a copy, reading it avidly and recalling the embarrassment of my own callow youth - mistakes made, divided loyalties, unconscious growth of personality ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: somewhat helpful

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