Sunday, March 26, 2006

Northanger Abbey

by Jane Austen

The only one of Jane Austen's six novels that I haven't read, probably because it is her least best. Though I shouldn't say worst, just least best. There's a difference.

Also about a young girl who is entering British society and ends up with a husband. I had heard that this was Austen's most gothic novel but though the gothic novels of the time figure prominently in the story the novel itself isn't gothic. Instead Austen seems to be poking gentle fun at the popular novels of the time, thought the popular novels of the 19th century have become today's anthologized classics. While Austen suggests that Henry Fielding and Tom Jones are less than refined reading, there isn't a campus in America that doesn't have it on it's required reading for British Lit.

But the story is appealing and enjoyable, not as compelling as Persuasion or as comic as Emma but certainly a good read and better than most.