A witty exploration of the perils of mistaking fiction for reality, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is edited with an introduction and notes by Marylin Butler in Penguin Classics. During an eventful season at Bath, young, naïve Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: rude, boorish John Thorpe, his flirtatious sister Isabella, who shares Catherine's love of sensational novels and intrigue, and sophisticated Eleanor and Henry Tilney, who invite her to their father's mysterious house, Northanger Abbey. There, her imagination, influenced by Gothic romances, such as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. With its broad comedy and irrepressible, impressionable heroine, this is the most youthful and optimistic of Jane Austen's works. The Penguin Classics edition of Northanger Abbey is based on the first edition of 1818, and includes a chronology and additional suggestions for further reading. Jane Austen (1775-1817) was extremely modest about her own genius but has become one of English literature's most famous women writers. Austen began writing at a young age, embarking on what is possibly her best-known work, Pride and Prejudice, at the age of 22. She was the author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey. If you enjoyed Northanger Abbey, you may like Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, also available in Penguin Classics. 'The most perfect artist among women, the writer whose books are immortal'Virginia Woolf 'These modern editions are to be strongly recommended for their scrupulous texts, informative notes and helpful introductions'Brian Southam, The Jane Austen Society
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was extremely modest about her own genius but has become one of English literature's most famous women writers. She is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Mansfield Park.
Marilyn Butler is rector of Exeter College, Oxford. She has also edited Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent and Ennui for Penguin Classics.