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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

Northanger Abbey

By Jane Austen

Ha! Austen scorns again!

Austen pokes fun at so many things in this light-hearted satirical novel through the innocent eyes of her protagonist, Catherine.

She becomes the foil for all of Austen’s observations—taken in by scheming friends, by the intrigue of gothic novels, by naivete—so that we fall in love with her and root for her even while we laugh along the way.

From the very beginning, Austen calls Catherine a heroine, but still a heroine-in-the-making who will be shaped in the story. Austen has some wonderful scathing passages. Here’s one: “The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capitol pen of a sister author, and to her treatment of the subject, I will only add, injustice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance.”

Austen is truly scorning other authors who celebrate stupidity in women. Loved reading Jane Austen again.

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