Atonement Northanger Abbey

Ian McEwan's "Atonement" opens up with a quote (a letter) from Jane Austen's 1818 "Northanger Abbey."

The book was published posthumously in 1818 (begun in 1798, accepted by publisher in 1803) and is Austen's shortest major work. In short, the novel makes fun of the prevailing fashion for the Gothic novel.

Catherine Morland goes to Bath for the season where she meets the eccentric General Tilney, his son Henry Tilney and his daughter Elanor Tilney. Catherine is invited to the Tilney's home, the Northanger Abbey of the title, where she imagines numerous gruesome secrets surrounding the General and his house. Henry proves that her suspicions have no substance by, while she is still recovering from the humiliation, she finds herself ordered out of the house by the General. She returns home and is followed by Henry. He explains that the General, mistakenly believing her to be penniless, had been anxious to keep her away from his son. Restored to a sensible humour by the truth, the General finally gives his blessing to Henry's marriage to Catherine.