Catherine Morland is a young woman of good breeding but no money in the early 19th century. She is invited to travel to Bath with her wealthy, but childless neighbors, and her first foray into society is filled with romance – both real and imaginary.
What is it about Jane Austen that resonates even today? For me, Catherine Morland reminded me of my own early teenage years and that of my friends. We had dreams of love and marriage, inspired by romance novels, and this often made us over-imaginative and flighty. If you can see yourself in young Catherine, you can’t help but cheer her on. You want her to have her prince charming, and you caution her when she does or says the wrong thing. In addition to these timeless propensities of teenage girls, it is also fun to see Austen’s world as social history.
Shortly after I finished reading Northanger Abbey, I watched the Andrew Davies film adaption (2007 TV movie) with my daughter. It was fantastic, and I was pleased to be able to share the wonderful world of Jane Austen with her.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1817