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Northanger Abbey Norton Critical Editions by W. W. Norton & Company

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Northanger Abbey, composed in Jane Austen’s youth and posthumously published, is arguably her most mysterious, inventive, and optimistic novel.

This Norton Essential Edition is the most extensively annotated university student edition readily available.

"Backgrounds" functions material very carefully chosen to enhance readers’ appreciation of the novel, which includes biographical commentary, early operates and correspondence connected to Northanger Abbey, and excerpts by Ann Radcliffe, Frances Burney, and William Wordsworth, among other individuals, tracing Austen’s relationship to her Affectionate contemporaries.

"Criticism" collects thirteen assessments of Northanger Abbey from a extensive assortment of voices and periods, which includes essays by Margaret Oliphant and Rebecca West and critics Patricia Meyer Spacks, Claudia L. Johnson, Lee Erickson, and Joseph Litvak.

A Chronology and Picked Bibliography are also included.

Though Northanger Abbey is a single of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until finally following her death--effectively following she'd established her status with operates this sort of as Delight and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this a single is the most explicitly literary in that it is largely involved with books and with visitors. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day produced well-known in this sort of 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all determine into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Take into account Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are informed on the really very first webpage that "no a single who had actually seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." The writer goes on to make clear that Miss Morland's father is a clergyman with "a appreciable independence, apart from two great livings--and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters." Additionally, her mother does not die supplying beginning to her, and Catherine herself, much from engaging in "the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush" vastly prefers enjoying cricket with her brothers to any girlish pastimes.

Catherine grows up to be a passably quite woman and is invited to commit a number of weeks in Bath with a family members pal. While there she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor, who invite her to visit their family members estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Austen amuses herself and us as Catherine, a great reader of Gothic romances, allows her creativeness to run wild, discovering dreadful portents in the most wonderfully prosaic occasions. But Austen is following something more than mere parody she employs her rapier wit to mock not only the important silliness of "horrid" novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society, for absolutely nothing Catherine imagines could perhaps rival the hypocrisy she activities at the arms of her supposed buddies. In numerous respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, but at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British type. --Alix Wilber

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