Jane Austen’s first novel, produced in series as part of the Folio Jane Austen Collection.
Illustrated by Jonathan Burton
Introduced by Val McDermid
The last of Austen’s novels to be published, this is a tongue-in-cheek tale of the hazards of female friendship and undesirable suitors.
If adventures will not befall a lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.
Crumbling castles shrouded in secrets, ghostly skeletons cloaked in black veils, and innocent maidens held in the gravest of danger: the clichéd tropes of gothic romance fill the mind of Catherine Morland, the young, naïve, but warm-hearted heroine of Jane Austen’s parody of the popular fiction of her time. Venturing away from her country parsonage home to delight in her first season amongst fashionable society in Bath, Catherine must navigate the more prosaic hazards of female friendship and undesirable suitors to secure the affection of eligible Henry Tilney. But when Catherine is invited to Northanger Abbey, the Tilneys’ ancient stately home, her love of sensational stories of murder and mystery fires her imagination, and threatens to destroy her future happiness.
Bound in blocked metallic cloth
Set in Baskerville with Trajan display
Frontispiece and 5 colour illustrations
9½˝ x 6¼˝
‘Somehow, Austen had the insight and skill to delineate life beyond her years and her experience.’
- Val McDermid
The last of Austen’s novels to be published, appearing posthumously in 1818, Northanger Abbey was the first to be completed, written when Austen was in her early twenties. Simply told in lively and elegant prose, this is Austen’s most playful work. But the tongue-in-cheek tone that characterises the story belies the skill of a truly great writer flexing her creative muscles. Just as Austen’s talent for satire exposes the failings of the overwrought gothic novels of the age, her subtle, beautifully observed portrait of Bath society reveals the real value of fiction: its power to convey ‘the most thorough knowledge of human nature’. As Val McDermid writes in her introduction – a heartfelt account of how Northanger Abbey has reinvented itself for her with each rereading – ‘Austen unfailingly provides us with the opportunity to investigate our own lives and find surprising truths there.’
Jonathan Burton has contributed six colour illustrations, depicting both the ballrooms of Bath and the imposing Abbey. Witty, fresh and perceptive, the images perfectly reflect Austen’s wonderfully sardonic novel. The penultimate edition in Folio’s Jane Austen series, this volume is bound in gold cloth, and the slipcase reproduces the work’s spirited first line.
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