Last modified on 13 April 2014, at 22:45
Northanger Abbey (1817) is a novel by Jane Austen. An early version, called Susan was completed in 1803, but was not published. Austen revised the manuscript in 1816, and it was published as Northanger Abbey after her death in 1817.
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- Mrs. Morland was a very good woman, and wished to see her children everything they ought to be; but her time was so much occupied in lying–in and teaching the little ones, that her elder daughters were inevitably left to shift for themselves; and it was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had by nature nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books — or at least books of information — for, provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she had never any objection to books at all.
- Chapter 1, paragraph 3 (possibly the earliest reference to baseball in English literature...)
- But Mrs. Morland knew so little of lords and baronets, that she entertained no notion of their general mischievousness, and was wholly unsuspicious of danger to her daughter from their machinations.
- Chapter 2
- Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.
- Chapter 3
- Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens — there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them. "I am no novel-reader — I seldom look into novels — Do not imagine that I often read novels — It is really very well for a novel." Such is the common cant. "And what are you reading, Miss — ?" "Oh! It is only a novel!" replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. "It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda"; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.
- Chapter 5
- "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." - Mr. Tilney
- Chapter 14
- A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
- Chapter 14
- From politics it was an easy step to silence.
- Chapter 14
- The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing.
- Chapter 22
- ...Prepare for your sister-in-law, Eleanor, and such a sister-in-law as you must delight in! Open, candid, artless, guileless, with affections strong but simple, forming no pretensions, and knowing no disguise.