Friday, August 13, 2010

Northanger Abbey Readalong: Chapters 24-31 #NARead

Readalong: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Participant list and schedule can be found on this post.

So, that's it. I can't say I loved the book, but it was enjoyable and did love the experiencing it with all of the readalong participants!

Chapter 24
Catherine believe that even if she saw Mrs. Tilney's tomb, she wouldn't believe her to be dead. She's read about how easily these things can be faked.

When the general catches her poking around the Abbey, Catherine fears for her life and will only be in the general's company when there are others around.

Catherine explores alone so Miss Tilney doesn't get into trouble. She runs into Mr. Tilney, who has returned home early.

Tilney assures Catherine that his mother died of natural causes and that his father loved his mother - in his own way.

Catherine is ashamed and runs away crying.

Chapter 25
Catherine fears Tilney thinks less of her and will never be with her because of it. Henry acts like nothing happened.

Catherine is annoyed that Isabella hasn't written to her. Just then, a letter from James arrives.

James has ended things with Isabella, stating that Isabella is with Captain Tilney now.

Tilney doubts his brother intends to marry Isabella. Henry & Eleanor quickly discern that Isabella is motivated by ambition.

Chapter 26
Catherine wants Henry to tell his father about Isabella and her many faults. Henry refuses.

Catherine plans to visit Tilney's house on Wednesday, causing him to leave the Abbey early to prepare for her arrival.

While at Tilney's home, Catherine mentions liking the cottage on the property. The general says that it stays because she likes it. He tries to get her to share more thoughts on the house, but she will not.

Chapter 27
Catherine receives a letter from Isabella claiming that James is the only man she has ever loved and that there might have been a misunderstanding. She also claims to hate Captain Tilney and says she's glad he's gone. She wants Catherine to write to James for her.

Catherine sees right through Isabella's motives.

Chapter 28
The general goes away and Catherine enjoys the time without him.

Catherine becomes concerned that she has overstayed her welcome by staying for 4 weeks. She is assured by Eleanor that they hope she can stay longer.

The general returns and says they're leaving and he's sending Catherine home immediately.

Eleanor asks Catherine to write to her, but to use a fake name when she does.

Chapter 29
Catherine is sad her entire trip home.

Catherine visits the Allen's. Mrs. Allen constantly repeats that she "have not patience with the general."

Chapter 30
Catherine is noticeably depressed.

Tilney visits and explains that Catherine was sent away because the general found out she wasn't rich. Thorpe had led him to believe that she was, which is why the general wanted Tilney to pursue her.

Thorpe told the general Catherine was actually very poor because he was angry Catherine had denied him. The general told Tilney to never speak to Catherine again.

Henry rebels against his father and declares his intentions to propose to Catherine.

Chapter 31
Tilney asks for the Morland's consent and makes a clean break from his father.

Once Eleanor is married, and the general learns that Catherine isn't as poor as he thought, all is forgiven.

My overall thoughts
The characters in Northanger Abbey seem to be motivated predominately by greed (Isabella, John and General Tilney) and naivety (Catherine and James). The other characters - Eleanor and James are more dull than anything else, even though Tilney shows some spunk near the end. One wonders how Henry could care so much for Catherine when he couldn't stop mocking her throughout the book.

To sum up
Northanger Abbey will never become my favorite Jane Austen book. Catherine didn't seem to learn anything in the end. There was no romance, just Tilney declaring his intentions at the end. It seemed more like he wanted to be with Catherine because his father wouldn't like it. As a parody, I missed the humor. Read at face value, it aggravated me and not always in a good way. I'll eventually write a full review.

More Wrap Up Posts
Cat's post @ Tell Me a Story
Booksnob's post @ Book Snob
Chelle's post @ The Prairie Library

Discuss your thoughts, opinions, questions, etc in the comments. If you've written your own post, leave the link and I'll add it to this post.


  1. Overall I really enjoyed it even though, I agree, it was aggravating at times and it will never be my favourite Austen either.
    I did think Catherine was changing in the final chapters - she wasn't taken in by Isabella's letter and she understood what Henry was saying when he told her off.
    Not the most exciting of characters but I did love the first half in Bath and missed the social commentary when it ended.

    Thanks for hosting, Jennifer . It's been fun .
    My post is here

  2. +JMJ+

    I'm not very impressed by Mr. Tilney, either, although he is some people's favourite Austen hero ever. (Yes, I've run into them, so they do exist! LOL!) I do remember that the first time I read Northanger Abbey, I was filled with such a warm rush of admiration for him when I learned that he defies his father to do right by Catherine--especially since he is so cowed by his father for most of the story. I didn't get the same feeling during this re-read, though.

  3. I have finally posted my update for last week. I have only read two books by Austen and so far this is the better book in my opinion. I did like Henry, he was my favorite character.
    My review is at:

  4. @Cat - Added your post. It did seem like two very distinct parts - in Bath and at Northanger Abbey. I'll agree that Catherine changed, but much of it seemed to be at Tilney's influence.

    @Enbrethiliel - There are Team Tilney tshirts! I definitely don't get that kind of love. He defied his father in the end, but it seemed like a teenager who's parents tell him he can't date someone. It was like he didn't care one way or another until Catherine was forbidden. Then he had to have her.

    @Booksnob - Post linked. I didn't like this as much as Emma or Pride and Prejudice, but I did like it much more than Mansfield Park.

  5. +JMJ+

    I think that in this novel, Austen sacrifices the integrity of her characters or the sake of the satire. It might be true, for instance, that some men only become interested in certain women after earning that the women admire and are infatuated with them--and it's humorous enough when that turns out to be the case in a Romance--but it make Tiney very two-dimensional in the end. As if he is defined by the conventions of the Gothic form (so that he can send them up) and is not a real person.

  6. @Enbrethiliel - Great points. I had SUCH a hard time remembering this is a parody. I remember that from high school too - boys liking girls just because they found out the girl likes them. When considered that way, it is pretty funny.

  7. Well, I finally finished and put up my post! I'm still trying to figure Henry out. Anywho, thanks for hosting! I've enjoyed participating.

  8. @Chelle - Post added. Henry was definitely something of a mystery.