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The Annotated Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen


  Copyright © 2013 by David M. Shapard

  All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Anchor Books, a division of Random House LLC., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, both Penguin Random House Companies.

  Anchor Books and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

  eBook ISBN: 978-0-307-95026-0

  Print ISBN: 978-0-307-39080-6

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Austen, Jane, 1775–1817.

  The annotated Northanger Abbey / by Jane Austen ; annotated and edited, with an introduction, by David M. Shapard. — First Anchor Books edition.

  pages cm

  Includes bibliographical references.

  ISBN 978-0-307-39080-6 (pbk.)

  1. Austen, Jane, 1775–1817. Northanger Abbey.

  2. Young women—England—Fiction.

  3. Horror tales—Appreciation—Fiction.

  4. Gentry—England—Fiction.

  5. Marriage—Economic aspects—Fiction.

  6. England—Social life and customs—19th century—Fiction.

  7. Satire.8. Gothic fiction.9. Love stories.

  I. Shapard, David M. II. Title.

  III. Title: Northanger Abbey.

  PR4034.N7 2013



  Book design by Rebecca Aidlin

  Maps by Robert Bull

  Cover design: Megan Wilson


  “Tales of Wonder!”: a contemporary satire on horror novel reading.

  [From Works of James Gillray (London, 1849), Figure 514]

  [List of Illustrations]

  Annotations to the Front Cover

  1. The house in this painting, called Oriel Lodge, was built in the early nineteenth century in Gothic Revival style, as indicated by, among other things, the pointed arches and heavy stone walls that were features of medieval Gothic buildings. Gothic Revival style began in the late eighteenth century and became increasingly popular; it reflected the same fascination with the Middle Ages that spurred the tremendous popularity of Gothic horror novels, which were usually set in actual medieval buildings. Catherine, the heroine of Northanger Abbey, is a devoted reader of these novels, and her naïve belief that the horrors they depict are a normal part of life lead her into a series of embarrassing delusions when she visits Northanger Abbey.

  2. Villas such as Oriel Lodge were usually built in or near towns and, while elegant and highly adorned, were not as large as grand country houses such as Northanger Abbey (in this case, the picture shows most of the house’s front). Catherine’s friend Isabella at one point fantasizes about living in a villa near Richmond, a highly affluent suburb of London. Oriel Lodge is in Cheltenham, a popular spa town of the time; much of the novel is set in the even more popular spa town of Bath. Cheltenham also happens to be in Gloucestershire, the same county in which the fictional Northanger Abbey lies.

  3. The turrets and castellated roof seen on this house were basic elements of medieval castles, created for practical purposes of defense, though here, as in other Gothic Revival buildings, they are purely decorative. They are also prominent features of an imitation medieval structure of the eighteenth century, Blaise Castle, that figures in an important episode in the novel. The prospect of visiting Blaise Castle, which Catherine is told is a genuine medieval edifice, tempts her into committing a serious breach of etiquette.

  4. The windows of the house are heavily latticed. This was standard in medieval buildings, since the poor quality of glass at that time precluded larger panes, and Gothic Revival structures often imitate this feature. When she arrives at Northanger Abbey, Catherine is disappointed to discover that its windows, while still Gothic in their external outline, have been modernized, and thus that “every pane was so large, so clear.”



  Title Page


  Annotations to the Front Cover


  Notes to the Reader




  Advertisement by the Authoress


  (Note: The following chapter headings are not found in the novel.

  They are added here by the editor to assist the reader.)

  I The History of Catherine Morland

  II The First Ball at Bath

  III Introduction to Henry Tilney

  IV Introduction to the Thorpes

  V The Friendship of Catherine and Isabella

  VI The Discussion of Udolpho

  VII The Arrival of John Thorpe and James

  VIII Introduction to Eleanor Tilney

  IX The Excursion with John Thorpe

  X The Second Dance with Henry Tilney

  XI The Broken Engagement with the Tilneys

  XII Catherine’s Apology to the Tilneys

  XIII Introduction to General Tilney

  XIV The Walk with Henry and Eleanor

  XV Isabella’s Engagement


  I Isabella’s Disappointment

  II The Invitation to Northanger Abbey

  III Isabella’s Flirtation with Captain Tilney

  IV Henry on Isabella and Captain Tilney

  V Catherine’s Journey to Northanger Abbey

  VI Catherine’s Alarm About the Mysterious Paper

  VII The Tour of the Gardens

  VIII The Tour of the House

  IX Catherine’s Folly Exposed

  X Distressing News from James

  XI The Visit to Henry’s House

  XII Isabella’s Letter to Catherine

  XIII The Expulsion from Northanger Abbey

  XIV Catherine’s Return Home

  XV Henry’s Visit to Catherine

  XVI Conclusion





  About the Author

  Other Books by This Author


  The Pleasures of a Horror Novel

  Two Girls

  Playing Cricket

  A Girl with a Bird

  A Girl with a Bird

  A Girl Sketching

  A Woman with Curled Hair

  A Lord

  A Family with a Pianoforte

  A Map of Bath

  A Man with Gout

  The Discomforts of Travel

  A Mail Coach

  The Bank of England

  Pulteney Street

  Highway Robbery

  Women with High Feathers

  Two Women Dancing

  Tea Things

  A Ball in the Upper Rooms

  A Bath Chair

  The Pump Room

  Dancing at the Lower Rooms

  An Introduction by the Master of Ceremonies

  A Concert at Bath

  A Clothing Store

  A Pin for a Headdress

  Women in Caps

  The Pump Room

  A Woman with a Pelisse

  Women in Contemporary Costume

  The Bath Theatre

  A Bookstore

  Frances (Fanny) Burney

  Milsom Street

  A Gothic Revival House

  A Woman Leaving a Bookshop

  The Exterior of the Pump Room

  The Archway

  A Busy Street Scene

  A Gig

  A Turning in the Road

  A Curricle

  A Coach

  Women with Large Muffs

  A Tippetr />
  A Woman with a Tippet

  A Map of the Upper Rooms

  The Vestibule of the Upper Rooms

  The Ballroom of the Upper Rooms

  The Exterior of the Upper Rooms

  Bath Architecture

  A Woman with Jewelry in Her Hair

  A Jewel for the Head

  Women in Evening Dress

  A Letter by Jane Austen

  A Woman at Needlework

  A Horse

  The Main London Synagogue

  A Man with Gout

  Drinking at Oxford

  Horse Racing

  An Accident While Fox Hunting

  A Spotted Muslin Gown

  Women with Bonnets

  Avoiding a Dance Partner

  A Woman at an Embroidery Frame

  A Fan

  Fox Hunting

  Fox Hunting

  A Hunting Party

  Selling a Horse

  Dancing at Bath

  Men’s Evening Dress

  Dance Steps

  A Sedan Chair

  Women in Contemporary Fashion

  Blaise Castle House

  Kings Weston

  Pulteney Bridge

  A Ruined Castle

  A Woman in a White Gown

  Watching a Performance from a Box

  Watching a Performance from a Box

  The Bath Theatre

  A Bath Theatre Playbill

  A Bath Chair

  The Royal Crescent

  The Royal Crescent

  Falling Down the Royal Crescent

  A Crowded Outdoor Gathering

  An Older Man

  Portrait of a Woman

  The Old Bridge

  A Sampler

  Two Samplers

  The View from Beechen Cliff

  A Picturesque Image

  A Picturesque Image

  A Picturesque Image

  The Tower of London

  The Gordon Riots

  The Gordon Riots

  The Bank of England

  A Dragoon

  A Pastry Shop

  A Cottage

  A Cottage

  A Villa

  A Villa near London

  A Bath Interior

  Milsom Street

  A Bath Interior

  A Chaise

  A Man in Formal Dress

  Women in Evening Dress

  A Clergyman

  Drinking the Waters at Bath

  Milton Abbey

  An Older House in a Low Position

  The Exterior of the Pump Room

  Two Women

  The Pump Room—Interior

  A Young Woman

  A Man in Daytime Dress

  A Woman in Daytime Dress

  An Army Officer

  A Posting Inn


  A Chaise with Postilions

  A Ladies’ Toilette

  A Tapestry

  A Chest

  A Wardrobe

  A Chapel in the Moonlight

  Ruined Arches

  A Lodge

  A Woman with a Bonnet

  An Older Fireplace

  A Rumford Stove

  A Marble Chimneypiece

  A Fancy Staircase

  Older Windows

  A Chest

  A Woman in a Muslin Dress

  A Woman with Her Lady’s Maid

  A Dining Room

  A Drawing Room

  A Fender

  A Cabinet

  A Japanned Chest of Drawers

  A Bed

  A Man with Powdered Hair

  The London Wedgwood Shop

  A Landscaped Ground

  An Older House

  A Forcing Garden

  A Winding Path

  A Portrait Painting

  A Portrait Painter’s House

  A Private Library


  Shooting Birds

  A Partly Gothic House

  A Maidservant Ironing

  A Maidservant Washing


  A Carved Staircase

  A Mother with a Child

  An Interior Doorway

  Ancient Tombs

  A Bedroom

  Painted Chairs

  The College of Physicians

  A Gloomy Castle


  Young Men at Oxford

  A Drawing Room

  A Deer Park

  A Parsonage

  A Parsonage

  A Young Man Shooting

  A Cottage

  A House with a Sweep

  A Newfoundland Dog

  A Shop with Bow Windows

  A Cottage amid Trees

  A Side Table

  Bath Street


  A Woman with a Turban

  Two Women

  Costume for Outdoors

  An Older House

  Salisbury Cathedral

  Salisbury Cathedral

  A Phaeton

  Tea Tables



  A Young Woman

  A Mother with Children

  An Older Man

  A Marriage Ceremony

  A Lord

  Notes to the Reader

  Literary interpretations: Comments on the techniques and themes of the novel, more than other types of entries, represent the personal views and interpretations of the editor. Such views have been carefully considered, but inevitably they will provoke disagreement among some readers. I can only hope that, even in those cases, the opinions expressed provide useful food for thought.

  Differences of meaning: Many words in Jane Austen’s era, like many words now, had multiple meanings. The meaning of a word that is given at any particular place is intended to apply only to the way the word is used there; it does not represent a complete definition of the word in the language of the time. Thus some words are defined differently at different points, while many words are defined only in certain places, since in other places they are used in ways that remain familiar today.

  Repetitions: This book has been designed so it can be used as a reference. For this reason many entries refer the reader to other pages where more complete information about a topic exists. This, however, is not practical for definitions of words, so in some cases definitions are repeated at appropriate points.


  First and foremost I must once again thank my editor, Diana Secker Tesdell, who as always has proved invaluable in allowing me to finish this book. Her services included thorough reading and revision of everything I wrote, excellent suggestions regarding new material and ideas, and continual patience and resourcefulness in responding to the various difficulties or questions that arose. I am also grateful to Kathleen Cook and others at Anchor Books who helped shepherd this project toward completion.

  Further appreciation is due to the staff of the Bethlehem Public Library, the New York State Library, the New York Public Library, and the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for helping me procure the materials essential for my research.

  Finally, I must express my gratitude to the fellow members of the Capital District Jane Austen Society of North America for their support and encouragement in my continual exploration of the world of Jane Austen.


  Of Jane Austen’s six complete novels, Northanger Abbey was the first to attain its finished form. Appropriately, it is the one that most bears the traces of the author’s early literary experiences and efforts, which emerged out of the circumstances of her childhood. Born on December 16, 1775, in the county of Hampshire in southern England, Jane Austen, like the heroine of Northanger Abbey, was the daughter of a clergyman, George Austen. Her mother, Cassandra Austen Leigh, came from a family consisting mainly of landed gentry, the principal social group depicted in Jane Austen’s novels. The family provided an atmosphere that fostered learning and literature: her father supplemented his income
by running a school for boys, several of her brothers tried their hands at literary composition, and Jane received encouragement for her own literary efforts.

  These efforts began at thirteen. Initially she produced short, highly comical sketches, often mocking literary works of the day. Some longer pieces from her later adolescence continued in this spirit of satire and parody; others were more serious and reveal the interest in the delineation of character that would mark all her novels. As she matured, she began to draft entire novels. Her first known completed novel was Elinor and Marianne, the initial version of what eventually became Sense and Sensibility; it was probably written in 1795, when she was nineteen. Late in 1796 she began First Impressions, the first version of Pride and Prejudice, which upon completion impressed her family sufficiently that her father sent the manuscript to a publisher. Although First Impressions was rejected, Austen persevered, modifying Elinor and Marianne and composing a third novel, Susan, the original version of Northanger Abbey, which was probably completed in 1799.

  This last novel draws heavily on a specific experience in Jane Austen’s life: her time in the popular resort town of Bath. Most of Austen’s childhood had been spent with her parents and her sister, Cassandra, in the town of Steventon, though her existence there was punctuated by periodic travels. Two of those, in 1797 and 1799, were visits of a month or two to Bath. Her familiarity with the city increased further when her father retired from his clerical position and moved there with his wife and daughters in 1801. At some point after her arrival, and with the benefit of greater familiarity with the town, Jane Austen returned to Susan, and in 1803 a revised version was submitted to a publisher, who purchased the rights but never published it. Otherwise all she wrote during her five years in Bath was an unfinished novel called The Watsons. In this period she also rejected, after briefly accepting, her one known offer of marriage.

  Eventually, after she and her mother and sister left Bath in 1806, due to the death of Mr. Austen in the preceding year, and then resided in the port city of Southampton, they were able to move in 1809 into a cottage owned by Jane’s brother Edward, in the Hampshire village of Chawton. The quiet of its setting allowed Jane to dedicate herself more fully to writing. She began by revising her first two completed novels from the later 1790s. The result was the publication, in October 1811, of Sense and Sensibility and, in January 1813, of Pride and Prejudice. The first, with an author’s credit that said simply “By a Lady,” enjoyed fairly good sales, and the second experienced even greater success. She followed this with two completely new compositions, Mansfield Park, published in May 1814, and Emma, appearing in December of 1815.