Northanger Abbey

Introduction

Northanger Abbey (/ˈnɔːrθæŋər/)[1] was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed for publication, in 1803. However, it was not published until after her death in 1817, along with another novel of hers, Persuasion.[2] Northanger Abbey is a satire of Gothic novels, which were quite popular at the time, in 1798–99.[2] This coming-of-age story revolves around Catherine Morland, a young and naïve "heroine," who entertains the reader on her journey to a better understanding of the world and those around her.[3] In the course of the novel, she discovers that she differs from those other women who crave wealth or social acceptance, as instead she wishes only to have happiness supported by genuine morality.[4]

Austen first titled the novel Susan, when she sold it in 1803 for £10 to a London bookseller, Crosby & Co.. This publisher did not print the work but held on to the manuscript.[2] Austen reportedly threatened to take her work back from them, but Crosby & Co responded that she would face legal consequences for reclaiming her text.[5] In the spring of 1816, the bookseller sold it back to the novelist's brother, Henry Austen, for the same sum as he had paid for it. There is evidence that Austen further revised the novel in 1816-1817 with the intention of having it published. Austen rewrote sections, renaming the main character Catherine and using that as her working title.

After her death, Austen's brother Henry gave the novel its final name and arranged for publication of Northanger Abbey in late December 1817 (1818 given on the title page), as the first two volumes of a four-volume set, with a preface for the first time publicly identifying Jane Austen as the author of all her novels. Neither "Northanger Abbey" nor "Persuasion" was published under the working title Jane Austen used. Aside from first being published together, the two novels are not connected; later editions were published separately.


This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.