Welcome to Week 4 of the Northanger Abbey read-along! You can learn more about our read-along plans in this invitation post.
Today we're going to discuss chapters 18-24. If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts below! Otherwise, feel free to check in later, after you've had a chance to read today's chapter. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!
P.S. If you're a blogger, you're more than welcome to put together your own post using the button above and linking back to the Northanger Abbey read-along tag, if you'd prefer to participate in the discussion that way.
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Northanger Abbey Chapters 18-24
Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week's reading.
"No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment."
~ Mr. Tilney
So much - and yet so little - happens in these chapters!
This section begins with the Isabella situation. Catherine witnesses the attentions Captain Tilney (Henry's brother) gives to Isabella...and the way Isabella doesn't exactly refuse them. More like responds to them. Flirtatiously.
Which doesn't really set right with Catherine, thinking of her own dear brother and how his feelings would be crushed. :\ Isabella's true colors are finally coming to light for our heroine, who tends to think the best of everyone but can't quite dismiss this incident.
Catherine tries to get Henry to talk to his brother, but Henry declares that Frederick knows what he's doing and has to make his own choices - as does Isabella.
So Catherine eventually accepts this and embraces the happy (?) distraction of her visit to Northanger Abbey.
One of the best scenes in this section, in my opinion, is Henry and Catherine's conversation in the curricle on the way to the abbey. First of all, it sounds like Henry is a much better driver than Thorpe. (Are we surprised? Um, no.) Second, Henry is quite the storyteller! He takes his teasing to a whole new level with the imagined proceedings of Catherine's visit at Northanger. The best-best part is when he has to stop because he's too amused by Catherine's reactions. ;) Can't you just picture the smiles and chuckles? And Catherine's return smiles and blushes?
Eventually, they arrive at Northanger Abbey, which is not quite all Catherine expected. There is some mystery...or is there? There are some horrid secrets...aren't there? And where on earth is all the dark, ancient, terrible beauty of Catherine's beloved Gothic novels?
Alas, General Tilney likes to have modern furnishings in his house. (Silly man!) ;)
There are some close calls and lots of descriptions of the location...and we end with the culmination of Catherine's carried-away fancies: the disappointment and disbelief of dear Henry.
The aftermath of this fallout will launch our final section of reading...
Feel free to answer one, two, or all three of these questions in the comments section or in a separate blog post!
1. If you were Captain Tilney's sibling, would you say something to him about his behavior toward Isabella? Or if you were Isabella's friend, would you try to warn or correct her? What do you think of Henry's reaction to Catherine's concern about the situation?
2. After reading all about Northanger Abbey, what are your thoughts of the place? Is it anything like you were expecting? Would you ever want to visit or live there if you could?
3. How do you feel about Catherine's thoughts and behavior in this section? Was it all harmless intrigue, or do you thinks it's possible to be too caught up in daydreams and fictional worlds?
What's a watch-along, you ask? Basically, we'll meet up on Twitter and begin watching Northanger Abbey (2007) at the same time, proceeding to tweet our observations, favorite quotes, and reactions. It's the next best thing to actually getting all your blogging friends together in front of the TV in your living room!
Here are the details:
- Who: You, me, and whoever wants to join in!
- What: A watch-along of Northanger Abbey (2007), with commentary to be live-tweeted during the viewing
- When: Thursday, March 31st at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST
- Where: Twitter (#NAWatchAlong; I tweet with the handle @SeasonsHumility)
- Why: Just one name: JJ Feild. You will fall in love with Henry Tilney all over again!
Want a chance to win the 200th-Anniversary Annotated Edition of Emma by Jane Austen? You can log your entries using the Rafflecopter form below. (Giveaway open to US residents only.) The winner will be announced on March 31st. Good luck!
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Join us next Thursday for the final discussion!
We'll be chatting about chapters 25-31.
We'll be chatting about chapters 25-31.