Thursday, March 31, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read-Along: Conclusion

Welcome to Week 5 of the Northanger Abbey read-along - our last week! You can check out previous read-along posts HERE.

Today we're going to discuss chapters 25-31. 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 the final 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 25-31

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week's reading.

Favorite Quote

"Her father, mother, Sarah, George, and Harriet, all assembled at the door, to welcome her with affectionate eagerness, was a sight to awaken the best feelings of Catherine's heart; and in the embrace of each, as she stepped from the carriage, she found herself soothed beyond anything that she had believed possible."

General Impressions

Can you believe we've reached the end?? We've watched Catherine recover from her mortification. We've experienced her joy in visiting Henry's home and parish. We've witnessed the true horror of this Gothic parody - that of being unkindly banished from Northanger Abbey for no reason other than a lack of wealth in General Tilney's eyes.

We've also absorbed the ever-welcoming love of family and accepted the apologies and affection of the dashing Henry Tilney. We've seen the sad (?) ending of Isabella and James's relationship, as well as Eleanor's happy ever after. And we've pondered the true message behind such an intriguing tale. ;) (Or, at least, we're about to!)

Since this is my second time through the book, and since I've seen the 2007 movie on numerous occasions, I can't really speak to my surprise on any of these final revelations. But it's been fun to reunite with these characters and to read your impressions of them!

I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons I love Henry Tilney so much is because I saw the movie first - and there's just something about actually seeing his smile and hearing his tone as he teases Catherine that makes his humor that much more delightful. :) (And, I mean, we're talking about JJ Feild!)

Some of his remarks in the book do come across as perhaps a bit too mocking or patronizing... But I love that he has a genuine affection for Catherine and a proven loyalty to her. He desires to see her taken care of, both emotionally and physically. And he has a soft spot for his sister and reading!

Speaking of Eleanor, her character stood out to me a lot in this reading. She's such a genuinely kind person, and she provides a beautiful example of friendship and family love in the wake of Isabella's betrayal. I'm happy for Eleanor, that she finds someone equally charming to settle down with!

Discussion Questions

Feel free to answer one, two, or all three of these questions in the comments section or in a separate blog post!

1. How would you respond to General Tilney's rudeness if you were: Catherine? Eleanor? Catherine's parents?

2. How do you feel about Henry Tilney by the end of the story? What do you think of his home in Woodston, his response to his father's actions toward Catherine, and his initial reasons for pursuing her?

3. The final line of the book states, "I leave it to be settled by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience." What is your verdict? Do you believe the story recommends parental tyranny or a child's disobedience? What do you believe is the book's real message?

Twitter Watch-Along!

Purchase the DVD: Amazon | Target | Walmart

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: Tonight 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! 

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the 200th-Anniversary Annotated Edition of Emma by Jane Austen is...

Carissa Miller!

Congratulations, Carissa! Be on the lookout for my email. :)

Final Note

It's been such a blast re-reading this book and discussing it with you all! I've enjoyed your thoughtful comments and blog posts, and I sincerely appreciate you joining me on this journey. I hope you've enjoyed the experience, too!

I'm hoping to discuss more Jane Austen books with you in the future. :) I currently have Emma, Mansfield Park, and Pride and Prejudice on my TBR shelf!


Miranda Atchley said...

I can't believe this is the last week! That doesn't seem possible. Time flies when you're having fun! This last section was a treat to read and I am happy with the conclusion. Unfortunately, I won't be able to participate in the watch-along. :( But I hope you all have a great time! Watch-alongs are a lot of fun. And congrats to Carissa on winning a copy of Emma!

Here are my answers to the discussion questions:

Thank you for hosting this read-along, Amber! It's been great fun. :-)

Julie said...

I'm with Miranda! I can't believe this is the last week. It flew by so quickly and was definitely full of fun! I too am happy with the conclusion. Have fun with the watch-along. I will try and join in, but have family tonight so might be a bit behind. Will definitely post about the movie once I finish.

Thanks so much Amber for hosting the read-along. I've enjoyed reading others' posts and look forward to future read-alongs!

Here is my post for this last week:

Miranda, I'll be by to check yours out in a bit :)

Grace said...

Thank you for hosting this read-along, Amber. While I haven't been chatting much with the other participants, it did give me the incentive to finally read the one Jane Austen book I had on my bookshelves. I fell in love with this story, and do plan to try more of Austen's books. And perhaps sooner than later. I'm already missing her writing!

Answer to question 1.) I would first be shocked and hurt if I was Catherine. Though, like in the book, I'd feel that it happened because he might have found out about my past less than favorable opinion of him.// If I was Eleanor, I would just be sad. Cannot my father see that I need a friend?// And if I were Catherine's parents, I'd be offended. Very offended.

Answer to question 2.) I still love Henry, but I feel his passion for Catherine doesn't come across as strongly romantic as other romance heroes. But I don't mind that much.

Answer to question 3.) Tough question. Hm, perhaps it does recommend disobedience, as Henry does go against his father. I wouldn't say, though, that it promotes tyranny. I think it rather shows the ill effects it can cause.

I hope I can watch along this evening. The only way I'll be able to watch it is on my lap top, though, and since I only use twitter on the lap top as well, it will be hard for me to watch and chat at the same time. But I'll try to stop and check in around the same time. I've never fully seen this film, so I'm excited about it! :-D

Carissa said...

1. I don't know who I would respond if I was Catherine, I think that I would be in shock. Eleanor I would spend a messenger urging him to come back home. Catherine's parents I would stick up for my daughter.

2. At the end of the story I'm rather fond of Henry Tilney. I love his home in Woodston, and I admire him for standing up for Catherine.

3. I don't believe the story recommends parental tyranny or a child disobedience because General Tilney was shamed for his behavior and finally realized that he was in the wrong. Nor does it recommend child disobedience because Catherine and Henry wait to marry until they have the General's permission. To me the real message is be true to yourself.

The only two Jane Austen novels that I haven't read yet is Mansfield Park and Sense Sensibility.

Deborah O'Carroll said...

This was so much fun! Thanks for hosting! ^_^ I'm so glad I FINALLY got around to reading Northanger Abbey! :) Ooh, another readalong someday would be FUN! :D I haven't read Emma or Mansfield Park yet... and P&P deserves a reread someday... ;)

Jenni Elyse said...

I can't believe I finished! Woo hoo! I'm sorry I can't watch the movie. I don't have a copy, but I'm going to try to get at it soon. I really enjoyed Northanger Abbey. It's now my favorite Austen novel. Thanks for organizing the read-along.

1. If I were Catherine, I would've left crying wondering what happened. If I were Eleanor, I would've had a hard time going along with the charade. If I were Catherine's parents, I would've been livid at having my daughter sent away alone.

2. I love him. But, I loved him from the very beginning. Woodston sounds lovely and I wouldn't mind being mistress of it. He did exactly what I expected him to do. :)

3. I don't know, honestly. I don't really think it's either. I think Mr. Tilney would've asked Catherine to marry him whether his father was okay with it or not. But, it sounds like Catherine's parents wouldn't have let her if his father hadn't consented. But, maybe when Catherine was older she could've married him anyway. Maybe, it's both?

Julie said...

I enjoyed the watch along. I think I was about 15 minutes behind the start time, but it was still fun keeping up with the Twitter convo. Here is my wrap up post for the movie and the book:

Thanks so much Amber for hosting and truly am looking forward to the next read along!

Bluerose said...

I hate to admit that I got so behind with reading that I still haven't finished. :/ I'm still slowly making my way through, though.

Amber Holcomb said...


I'm so glad you enjoyed the read-along! It was fabulous to have you join in. :) Time definitely flies when you're having fun!

I hope to stop by your final post soon! :D


Amber Holcomb said...


Aw, I'm so happy you had fun with the read-along - and that you enjoyed the ending of the story! I hope to comment on your blog soon; I saw that you also posted your thoughts on the movie. Yay! :D

It was my pleasure to host the read-along! We must do it again sometime, for sure. :)


Amber Holcomb said...


That's so awesome! I'm thrilled this read-along helped give you incentive to read the book - and I'm even more thrilled that you loved it. :) There's something charming and wonderful about Jane Austen's writing, isn't there? Hoping to read another of her books with you guys in the not-too-distant future!

Loved reading your responses to the final questions! Isn't it so true about Eleanor's loneliness? Poor thing. And then her father (rudely sends away) her friend. :(

I agree with you that Henry isn't the typical romance hero. It was interesting to read that one of the big initial draws for him was Catherine's attentions. Perhaps not typically romantic, but the way things develop between them is rather adorable. ;)

And yep, parental tyranny didn't seem to promote any sort of good will, even if things worked out all right in the end!

It was a blast doing the watch-along with you. :D I'm so glad you were able to watch the movie at that time! Thanks for tweeting about it with me. :)


Amber Holcomb said...


First off, congratulations on winning the giveaway!! I sent you another email to the address you gave in the Rafflecopter form; hoping to hear back from you soon. :)

Oooh, good point about Eleanor! Send for the cavalry (i.e. Henry)!

Yep, yep - Henry inspires much fondness in the reader, doesn't he? :) I really liked the descriptions of his home in Woodston, too. The place seemed to suit him and Catherine very well.

I love what you said about the real message of the book. That's a great point, that things worked out well for the characters who were true to themselves - and true to the relationships they had made. :) (Unlike, say, Isabella.)

Good to know about the Jane Austen books you have yet to read! I got a copy of Mansfield Park from a friend, and that could be a fun one to do a read-along for. :)

Thank you for participating in the read-along!


Amber Holcomb said...


That makes me so happy! Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed the read-along and the book. :) And I'm glad you're interested in doing another read-along! Can you believe I haven't read Pride and Prejudice yet??


Amber Holcomb said...


Huzzah! How awesome that Northanger Abbey has become your favorite Austen book. :D It was my pleasure to host the read-along - thank you for participating!

(And oh yes - you should definitely watch the 2007 version at some point! It's pretty wonderful. :))

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the end of the book!

Aww, it was love at first description for you and Tilney? ;) He's a charmer, for sure! And I totally agree about Woodston and the way he responded to his father's actions.

And great points about the complicated relationships between Catherine, Henry, and their parents. It's difficult to imagine that they wouldn't have made it work eventually. :)


Amber Holcomb said...


I'm happy you were able to jump into the watch-along for a bit, and that you enjoyed the tweets! Looking forward to stopping by your blog and reading your thoughts. :) And thank you once again for participating in the read-along - and being willing to participate in more!


Amber Holcomb said...


Believe me - I totally understand how that goes! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story, whenever you get the chance to read it. :) Thank you for joining in the read-along as you were able!