Being the first novel by Jane Austen which has been completed for publication, in fact "Northanger Abbey" was only published in 1818, one year after the authorīs death. ------ Catherine Morland, a 17-year-old girl and protagonist of the novel, lives her life as she was a heroine in a Gothic novel. She is invited by her wealthier neighbours to accompany them to visit Bath where she partakes in the winter season of balls, theatre and other social events. There she is introduced to Henry Tilney, a clever young gentleman, with whom she spends a delightful time. But things do not turn out as Catherine expects and hopes. Therefore she has to go through a time of harsh disillusions: although novels may be delightful, the stories told do not relate to everyday life. Realizing that, she gradually becomes a real heroine who learns from her mistakes while being exposed to the outside world of Bath. ------ "Northanger Abbey" is a parody of Gothic fiction. The conventions of eighteenth-century novels are turned on their head by Austen. This novel is more explicitly comic than the other works of the author. Like her other major novels, "Northanger Abbey" has been the subject of several dramatic adaptations for stage, television and cinema.
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Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics. Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. From her teenage years into her thirties she experimented with various literary forms, including an epistolary novel which she then abandoned, wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it. Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her works, though usually popular, were first published anonymously and brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.
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