Thursday, 18 November 2010

'Northanger Abbey' by Jane Austen

I decided to re-read 'Northanger Abbey' by Jane Austen, having recently enjoyed watching the film again (the perfect way to relax for me). For me, it doesn't quite match up to 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Emma', but still all 6 of her novels are very special; really something. What a shame it was that Jane Austen didn't live longer, and wasn't able to write more. Still, we must just enjoy what we have, and it helps me to focus and sobers me up, to contemplate on the fact that life is quite short really, and if we do not really 'go' for externalising what is deep within us, and making it happen for us, and live life to the full, then we can end up living a life of regrets.
So, Jane Austen died at 40 years of age, with 6 novels written; so far, I have not completed one! I have my non-fiction books and articles which I am, of course, very proud of, and I am so very glad that I broke through that barrier. However, my first love was fiction, my first fantasy was to write a novel, and I really must and will make this happen. There always just seem to be so many things stopping me from progressing with it. I must and will find another window soon, so that I can return to it.
Anyway, Jane Austen's ability to create something beautiful through the words she used, the way in which she phrased things, is breath-taking, I think. She creates something very special and wonderful out of what, on one level can be seen to be something quite ordinary. 'Emma' for example - about match-making. And one of the main themes of 'Northanger Abey' is about how a young girl, Catherine Morland's love of reading Gothic romance novels, clouded her judgement on reality, leading her to mistaken believe that Henry Tilney's mother had been murdered by Henry's father, General Tilney. Well, there is more to it than that, but that is a very important theme. But all comes good in the end anyway, Catherine matures, and Henry and Catherine are married.


  1. Must be an enjoyable read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

  2. Did you get to read this book? That was a lovely thing to say - that you found my review to be genuine and original. Certainly, from one perspective, I was trying to write it that way. I think Jane Austen had an amazing ability to be able to re-craft something artistic and beautiful out of something that was really quite ordinary on another level. I mean, she was clearly frustrated with some of the females in her circle at the time, for example, but through her novels she somehow transformed such types into interesting and amusing characters - e.g. Harriet Smith, Miss Bates, Mrs Bennett.

    In my review of 'Pride and Prejudice' (also on this blog) I say that her level of genius was on a par with the likes of Marx, Freud and Shakespeare. Someone at one of the Social Dances that I go to was shocked by reading this, and did not agree. But as time goes on, I feel it even more strongly. Indeed, my mistake was to suggest that Freud was on the same level as her, as he had such an essentially bad view of human nature. Anyway, I put my thoughts and feelings right in regard to this, in the blog that I wrote recently, entitled 'The Freud Exposure'.