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American Poems: Books: Northanger Abbey--Annotated, with Commentary (Literature in Its Context)
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 Home » Books » Northanger Abbey--Annotated, with Commentary (Literature in Its Context)

Northanger Abbey--Annotated, with Commentary (Literature in Its Context)

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  • Sales Rank:954,310
  • Format:Kindle eBook
  • Language:English (Published)
  • Media:Kindle Edition
  • Pages:404
  • Publication Date:March 26, 2011
  • ASIN:B004U29LRW


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
BookDoors’ NORTHANGER ABBEY is comprehensively and expertly annotated edition of Jane Austen’s most broadly comic novel. Designed as an ebook, this and the other “Literature in Its Context” editions of the Austen novels offer you swift, seamless access to information, commentary, and illustrations.

The modest price underscores BookDoors' mission to make these works accessible to an audience of widely different experience and expectations (please see bookdoors.com). The “Literature in Its Context” series aspires to provide today’s reader with the knowledge an informed reader of 1815 possessed and that Austen took for granted. As you read you'll have, should you wish, an interpretive discussion of NORTHANGER ABBEY. You’ll also find illustrations, an Austen Glossary of some 1000 words, a time-line that includes cultural, scientific, and technological developments between 1770-1817, a select bibliography, and a brief biography of Austen.

Austen observes in EMMA that "Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken." That's true of NORTHANGER ABBEY as well, and now, nearly two centuries later, "a little mistaken" and "a little disguised" understate the challenge.

At a basic level, NORTHANGER ABBEY’S diction can be obscure, for words, themselves. have changed or disappeared. This In Context edition defines words and phrases such as “quizzers” (objects of mockery), “mizzling” (thin rain), “succession houses” (graduated greenhouses), “romance,” and “rhodomontade.”

A second order of annotation explains the historical background in which Austen roots the novel, including her life and its convergences with her fiction, and the novel’s social and cultural context. For example, Bath’s “Pump Room” and “Crescent” are alive with overtones, and “bilious fever,” and “the hanging of a curricle” are more than passing references. The heroine’s father gives her ten guineas as pocket money for her visit to Bath, yet just what is a guinea, what does that represent in today’s dollars, and what could it buy? This is Austen’s most deliberately literary novel, for it burlesques the hugely popular Gothic fiction of her day. Poets such as Pope, Thomson, and Sir Walter Scott have more than cameo roles in NORTHANGER ABBEY, as do such novelists as Mrs. Radcliffe, Fanny Burney, Matthew “Monk” Lewis, and Maria Edgeworth.

A third level of commentary addresses NORTHANGER ABBEY as a work of the literary imagination by one of England’s driest, subtlest comic writers. The novel also offers Austen’s most extensive comments on fiction and its different appeal according to gender. Without understanding the conventions of the Gothic novel and Austen’s many allusions, a reader cannot fully appreciate her most playful novel’s wit, no less its presiding ideas. Incidentally, the commentary discusses the novel as you read, never divulging or anticipating the plot yet to unfold.

Austen writes of one of her protagonists, Emma, what’s true of all: their two supreme moral strengths are discernment (to see what's actually there) and judgment (what to make of what’s there). Austen expects no less from her readers, but promises that the reward for our keener, braver discernment will be our far greater pleasure.

For more information and for the opportunity to read freely and to test drive BookDoors’ nimble search engine, please visit bookdoors.com.
Amazon.com Review
Though Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until after her death--well after she'd established her reputation with works such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day made popular in such 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all figure into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Consider Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are told on the very first page that "no one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." The author goes on to explain that Miss Morland's father is a clergyman with "a considerable independence, besides two good livings--and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters." Furthermore, her mother does not die giving birth to her, and Catherine herself, far from engaging in "the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush" vastly prefers playing cricket with her brothers to any girlish pastimes.

Catherine grows up to be a passably pretty girl and is invited to spend a few weeks in Bath with a family friend. While there she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor, who invite her to visit their family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Austen amuses herself and us as Catherine, a great reader of Gothic romances, allows her imagination to run wild, finding dreadful portents in the most wonderfully prosaic events. But Austen is after something more than mere parody; she uses her rapier wit to mock not only the essential silliness of "horrid" novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society, for nothing Catherine imagines could possibly rival the hypocrisy she experiences at the hands of her supposed friends. In many respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, yet at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British style. --Alix Wilber

Synopsis
BookDoors’ NORTHANGER ABBEY is comprehensively and expertly annotated edition of Jane Austen’s most broadly comic novel. Designed as an ebook, this and the other “Literature in Its Context” editions of the Austen novels offer you swift, seamless access to information, commentary, and illustrations.

The modest price underscores BookDoors' mission to make these works accessible to an audience of widely different experience and expectations (please see bookdoors.com). The “Literature in Its Context” series aspires to provide today’s reader with the knowledge an informed reader of 1815 possessed and that Austen took for granted. As you read you'll have, should you wish, an interpretive discussion of NORTHANGER ABBEY. You’ll also find illustrations, an Austen Glossary of some 1000 words, a time-line that includes cultural, scientific, and technological developments between 1770-1817, a select bibliography, and a brief biography of Austen.

Austen observes in EMMA that "Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken." That's true of NORTHANGER ABBEY as well, and now, nearly two centuries later, "a little mistaken" and "a little disguised" understate the challenge.

At a basic level, NORTHANGER ABBEY’S diction can be obscure, for words, themselves. have changed or disappeared. This In Context edition defines words and phrases such as “quizzers” (objects of mockery), “mizzling” (thin rain), “succession houses” (graduated greenhouses), “romance,” and “rhodomontade.”

A second order of annotation explains the historical background in which Austen roots the novel, including her life and its convergences with her fiction, and the novel’s social and cultural context. For example, Bath’s “Pump Room” and “Crescent” are alive with overtones, and “bilious fever,” and “the hanging of a curricle” are more than passing references. The heroine’s father gives her ten guineas as pocket money for her visit to Bath, yet just what is a guinea, what does that represent in today’s dollars, and what could it buy? This is Austen’s most deliberately literary novel, for it burlesques the hugely popular Gothic fiction of her day. Poets such as Pope, Thomson, and Sir Walter Scott have more than cameo roles in NORTHANGER ABBEY, as do such novelists as Mrs. Radcliffe, Fanny Burney, Matthew “Monk” Lewis, and Maria Edgeworth.

A third level of commentary addresses NORTHANGER ABBEY as a work of the literary imagination by one of England’s driest, subtlest comic writers. The novel also offers Austen’s most extensive comments on fiction and its different appeal according to gender. Without understanding the conventions of the Gothic novel and Austen’s many allusions, a reader cannot fully appreciate her most playful novel’s wit, no less its presiding ideas. Incidentally, the commentary discusses the novel as you read, never divulging or anticipating the plot yet to unfold.

Austen writes of one of her protagonists, Emma, what’s true of all: their two supreme moral strengths are discernment (to see what's actually there) and judgment (what to make of what’s there). Austen expects no less from her readers, but promises that the reward for our keener, braver discernment will be our far greater pleasure.

For more information and for the opportunity to read freely and to test drive BookDoors’ nimble search engine, please visit bookdoors.com.

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