Sunday, February 14, 2010

Northanger Abbey

Happy Valentine's Day!  
(Image from PBS)

There's no better way to celebrate it, in my humble opinion, than with the Encore Presentation of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey on PBS tonight.  This is especially true if you are like me going through Emma withdrawal, which was just aired on PBS last month.  I must confess that it has been years since I've read Northanger Abbey so to refresh my memory, I am listening to the audio cd and loving it!  I am definitely excited to check out the show tonight. It's a great novel that is lighthearted and essentially a parody of Gothic literature.   If you aren't familiar with the novel, here's a basic summary from Goodreads:
"A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austens Gothic parody. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist. The storys unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henrys mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art. Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is at its core a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage."
One of my favorite quotes from Northanger Abbey: "Provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she had never any objection to books at all."

Enjoy and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!



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