Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Review


Author: Jane Austen 

Publisher: Penguin English Library 

Publication date: November, 2012 (Original edition in 1817)

Pages: 247

Price: $14.99 CAD (Paperback) at Indigo Books & Music Online


‘To look almost pretty, is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life, than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive’

During an eventful season at Bath, young, naïve Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who shares Catherine’s love of Gothic romance and horror, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father’s mysterious house, Northanger Abbey. There, her imagination influenced by novels of sensation and intrigue, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, this is the most youthful and and optimistic of Jane Austen’s works. -Goodreads

First Sentence 

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine.”


This is my first time reading a Jane Austen novel! I’m pretty sure my mom has read all of them, but this is my first! This novel was fairly short so it was not as intimidating at her other works. This book being shorter actually helped me a lot because this writing style is much different than the one I’m used to! I’ve got to say though, Jane Austen really knew how to write. Her writing style is hard to describe, but it seems really heartwarming and familiar even though this is my first time reading one of her books! I really enjoyed Catherine’s boldness, optimism, imagination, ans independence. I think it makes this book so much more riveting knowing that people like Austen were as bold to write about such different subjects in such a stereotyped and law abiding era.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I did think the storyline was a little slow though. The whole idea of going to the mysterious Northanger Abbey was really intriguing from the synopsis’ view point, but I had no idea it was going to take three quarters of the novel before they got there! Yes, the book isn’t that long, merely 200 pages or so, but the first like 135 pages of the novel got boring after a while, it seemed like not much was going on and the story was not really going anywhere. This made me bored quite fast and it made the process of reading this novel much longer than I anticipated. It actually led me into a month long reading slump! In general though, once they made it to Northanger Abbey, things picked up and got enjoyable. I won’t spoil but the ending was also really good!

Final Review|Recommendation


I ended up really enjoying Northanger Abbey, although slow at first, it was worth my time and I eventually got quite invested in the characters. 🙂 I’d recommend Northanger Abbey to anyone who wants to enjoy a good ol’ classic (obviously) or to someone who likes reading historical fiction from the early nineteenth century!


“It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Let me know what you thought of Northanger Abbey or my review!

Happy Sunday!

-Emma 🙂