A thousand alarming presentiments of evil to her beloved Catherine from this terrific separation must oppress her heart with sadness, and drown her in tears for the last day or two of their being together; and advice of the most important and applicable nature must of course flow from her wise lips in their parting conference in her closet.
In creating Catherine, the heroine of Northanger Abbey, Austen creates the heroine of a Gothic novel. Both Austen and Catherine portray Catherine's life in heroic terms—Austen humorously, and Catherine seriously, especially when she suspects General Tilney of murdering his wife.
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A wife and mother to ten children, Mrs. Morland is not very aware of the dangers of society for a young, inexperienced woman of seventeen. She allows her eldest daughter Catherine to go to Bath with Mrs. Allen, whose character makes her an inadequate chaperone, and never imagines that Catherine might fall in love while there.
Many Austen fans are not aware that NORTHANGER ABBEY was the first novel Jane Austen wrote. It was true that Austen started what were later to be titled SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, but according to Cassandra Austen’s Memorandum, Northanger Abbey was written circa 1798-99.
Catherine leaves with the Tilneys for Northanger Abbey. On the way, Catherine tells Henry how she imagines the Abbey to resemble the haunted ruins of the Gothic novels she loves. Henry, amused, responds by giving a hypothetical account of her first night at the Abbey, complete with mysterious chests, violent storms, and secret passages.
- Jane Austen
The following morning, back at Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland receives a letter from Isabella Thorpe finally. Isabe... Read More: Chapter 28: General Tilney goes to London for a week, entreating Eleanor and Henry Tilney to see to Catherine Morland's comfort and ... Read More: Chapter 29: Catherine Morland is confused and upset, and rightly so.