Thursday, March 17, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read-Along: Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 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 11-17. 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. 

~ ~ ~

Northanger Abbey Chapters 11-17

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

Favorite Quote

"Catherine...enjoyed her usual happiness with Henry Tilney, listening with sparkling eyes to everything he said; and, in finding him irresistible, becoming so herself."

General Impressions

This section included some meatier chapters as compared to the earlier ones! Poor Catherine desires nothing more than a walk with the Tilneys, but it seems to be the Thorpes' duty to keep Catherine to themselves and present her in the worst possible light to Henry and his sister. (Boo!)

But nothing keeps our heroine down for long. :) She will make her desires clear and take that walk, no matter how many times she must set the record straight!

I love that Catherine makes a stand in these chapters - striving to remain kindhearted about it, but still determined to keep her commitments, express her true wishes, and be honest about the situation. Meanwhile, she remains sweetly naive about the machinations of those around her.

This section also includes an intriguing conversation about novels and reading; the announcement of James and Isabella's engagement (reactions to this, anyone?); a reluctant (??) dance between the handsome Captain Tilney and Isabella; and an invitation issued to Catherine to visit none other than Northanger Abbey, home of the Tilneys.

Life is really taking off for Catherine and her friends! We shall see if these new developments bode well or ill in the end...

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 do you feel about the way Catherine handled herself with John, Isabella, and James when they pressured her into ditching her walk with the Tilneys in favor of their own outings? How do you feel about the way she explained herself to the Tilneys?

2. Henry, his sister, and Catherine have an interesting discussion about books and education on their walk. What was your favorite part of that conversation? Did any of their opinions on novels, history, or the difficulties in learning to read resonate with you?

3. We've been given more glimpses into Henry's character - as well as Catherine's infatuation with him. Do you think Catherine has fallen too hard too fast? Or do you think Henry is proving himself worthy of such admiration?


First, I'm excited to announce the winner of the first giveaway! The prize was a DVD copy of Masterpiece's Northanger Abbey, which we'll hopefully all be watching "together" (via a chat on Twitter) at the end of the read-along. And the winner is...

Mary Horton!

Congratulations, Mary! Be on the lookout for my email - and be prepared to be swept off your feet by JJ Feild's interpretation of Henry Tilney. ;)

Next up is 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Join us next Thursday to chat about chapters 18-24!

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you stumble upon some unexpected joys today, as I did when I recently discovered the four-leaf clovers I pressed in the pages of Northanger Abbey the last time I read it. :)


Julie said...

Congratulations to Mary on winning the DVD! How fun for you to turn the page and have a surprise 4 leaf clover there! I wonder what else you may find between the pages? I too liked the fact that Catherine grew some sort of backbone in these chapters and determined to thwart the Thorpes in their endeavors to keep her from the Tilney's. I'm looking forward to seeing what her trip to Northanger Abbey produces!

Here is my post for this week:

Carissa said...

Loving reading through Northanger Abbey. It's the first time I've actually read it. I am loving learning that most of my favorite Jane Austen quotes come from this book.

1. I feel that Catherine handled herself pretty good considering she doesn't seem like the time that normally stands up for herself nor is so outspoken. She was truthful to the Tilney's because she hadn't known that the Thrope's were going to do what they did.

2. Henry's comment after Catherine says that as a gentleman he doesn't read novels. It was a classic comeback.

3. Catherine may be falling a little too fast, however I do think that Henry will prove himself worthy of such admiration.

On another note I think James and Isabella engagement is a little sudden.

Courtney Clark (The Green Mockingbird Blog) said...

Oooh, I just realized I chose the same quote as one of my favorites! Great minds think alike :)

How nice finding the clover in such an appropriate week!

Here's my post and thoughts for week 3.

Amber Holcomb said...


Isn't that fun? I had forgotten about the four-leaf clovers, so it was great to come across them this month. :) I also kept the card my friend gave me when she gifted me the book for Easter back in college, and I've been using it for a bookmark. :)

Yes! Love that Catherine turned the tables and decided to do some "thwarting" of her own!

Thanks so much for participating in the read-along. I've got to go catch up on commenting on your blog!


Amber Holcomb said...


Yay! That's awesome. :D So glad you're enjoying it. And I totally agree - the quotes from this book are fabulous and beloved!

Great thoughts on this section! It's great that Catherine is able to defend herself with the truth, and that she makes the effort to do so. And yes, that quote from Tilney about novels is priceless. ;)

James and Isabella's engagement does seem to come out of nowhere, doesn't it? I'm not entirely sure how long they've known each other, as I believe they met when James was in school...I think? But it does make one wonder if they really know that much about each other.

I'll be curious to hear your final verdict on Tilney next week!


Amber Holcomb said...


Sweet! Isn't that such a lovely line? :)

I actually came across the clover a few weeks back, while preparing for or just starting the read-along - but still, it's definitely a perfect time of year for it. :)

Thank you for sharing your post! Again, hope to visit soon!


Amber Holcomb said...


In chapter 25 it mentioned that James was still in Oxford - so I guess that answers that question for me. :) So...I think he and Isabella haven't known each other all that long...?


Kara said...

Finally getting my answers up on Monday! *sigh* I am so behind. But that's okay! I'll hopefully get the next bit read this weekend so I can catch up with everyone else before Thur. YES. I shall! :)

Also, to add to your convo with Carissa, I believe Isabella and James met when James stayed with the Thorpe's at Christmas? Or at least over some holiday time, rather than going to see his own family. Not sure how long that was before events in the book happen though.

And I heart Mr. Tilney. :D I love how fun and teasing and NICE he is!

Jenni Elyse said...

Woot woot! I'm caught up to Section 3 now! :)

1. I'm glad she finally stood up for herself. And, I'm glad she didn't let them bully her into it, even they did bully her quite a bit. I'm mad that her brother took their side, but whatever. I think she used a good argument as to why she couldn't go and she even offered a compromise which was nice.

2. I like how Henry teases Catherine. He's fast becoming my favorite Austen hero. And, I'm with Catherine. I have reading history. I'd much rather read about it in a novel than a textbook. But, I do agree with Henry in the sense that historians have a purpose and that there are those who love learning about history and reading about it too.

3. I don't think she's falling too hard or too fast at all. I mean they've been in Bath getting to know each other for at least a month. So, I think it's on schedule, lol. Plus, I'd be in the same boat. Heck, I already am, lol.

Amber Holcomb said...


And here I am, finally responding to your comment! So sorry for the delay. :(

Did you end up finishing Northanger Abbey? If not, I hope you're still enjoying the story. :)

Thank you for jumping in and refreshing our minds on how James and Isabella met! That sounds about right. :) I feel like it couldn't have been too terribly long before the events of the book...not sure if that feeling is accurate, though, haha.

There's so much to love about Tilney, isn't there?? #NiceGuysFTW

Happy you stopped by, friend!


Amber Holcomb said...


Woohoo! :D

I'm proud of Catherine, too - and I agree that it was rather frustrating James didn't stand up for his sister! But it was very mature of Catherine to stick to her convictions while still suggesting a compromise that would work for everyone. Sadly, her "friends" weren't very mature in return. :\

Great to hear your thoughts about Tilney and his conversation with Catherine on their walk! And LOL, I think you make a great point about their romance being "on schedule." ;) It's pretty hard not to fall for Tilney!