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Northanger Abbey Discussion Post #1 Chapters 1-3


Happy Thursday! Hope you're all having a good week. Today I'm checking in with my answers to the first round of discussion questions for the Northanger Abbey read along. We're covering the first three chapters. The questions listed below were written by Amber. Enjoy!

1. What do you find most endearing about Catherine's character? Do you consider her to be good heroine material?
I think firstly the fact that she was described as being plain and awkward in her youth. I mean, there are very few people who couldn't relate to that. And I like that now she seems a bit witty; as she speaks with Henry for the first time she banters with him and doesn't play dumb. I really admire that especially in Victorian literature when it seemed like they really tried to dumb women down.


2. What are your first impressions of Mr. and Mrs. Allen? What sort of impact do they have on Catherine?
Mrs. Allen seems to be a bit of a worry-wart and rather fussy. Especially during the dance when she keeps fretting over Catherine's not finding a dance partner (which admittedly is a rather funny thing to imagine- she almost sounds like Mrs. Bennet in this scene to me). I feel like so far we haven't seen a whole lot of Mr. Allen, though the few scenes we have seen he seems very paternal toward Catherine, which is sweet. I can see where Mrs. Allen could have a negative impact on Catherine, causing her to become more vain and self-conscious, but I hope that doesn't happen.

3. Has Mr. Tilney already stolen your heart, or are you still forming your opinion of his character? Which of his positive or negative qualities stand out to you most? Do you consider him to be good hero material?
I'm still forming my opinion of Mr. Tilney. In a way, I like that he jokes around and keeps the mood light because I think humor is a good thing in both friendships and romances. Yet I also feel like he could get a tad annoying. Not too much, but he needs just a touch of seriousness to round him out. When we see those moments, I feel like he'll become a very good hero and will then steal my heart. ;)

So far I'm having fun with this read along. I can't believe we're already three days in! Time flies by so fast. Can't wait to read more of Northanger Abbey and become reacquainted with the endearing Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney.


-Miranda Atchley

10 comments

  1. Oh I like your observations! Especially where Mr. and Mrs. Allen are concerned. I guess I didn't see the part of Mrs. Allen worrying so much about Catherine not dancing as a good thing, but an annoying thing because she lacked anything else intelligent to say. ha! Good post and I look forward to more discussions!

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    1. Exactly! Like, couldn't she think of something else to say that might draw Catherine's attention away from the fact she hadn't found a dance partner? But I guess that's just one of the differences between the Victorian era and modern day.

      Thank you so much, Julie! I'm looking forward to discussing this book with you, too!

      -Miranda Atchley

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  2. Great thoughts. I didn't even think of Mr. Tilney possibly being annoying if there is no serious side to him. I could definitely see that happening now that you've pointed it out.

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    1. Thanks Jenni! I like a humorous hero, I just hope he shows a little seriousness now and then. Then he'll be a great guy!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      -Miranda Atchley

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  3. I definitely love that Catherine rises to the occasion and banters back with Tilney! I feel like, given her age and lack of experience, there might be some comments that go over her head, but she's definitely got some wit and spunk. :)

    Ooh, great comparison between Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Bennet! Even though I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, I'm familiar with the story from the 2005 movie, and they definitely have similar behaviors. ;) Mrs. Allen seems to mean well, but she seems to struggle with social and emotional interactions. That is, she doesn't really seem to understand how to comfort Catherine without making her feel worse (or driving her crazy, LOL).

    And I agree with Jenni - great point about Tilney needing some seriousness to round him out! It's intriguing to me that someone so humorous and fun would be a reverend. He breaks the stereotype, for sure, and has a lot of personality. :)

    Loved reading your thoughts, Miranda!

    ~Amber

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    1. It is odd to think of Tilney as a reverend! Especially for the Victorian era when most clergymen were so dry and boring.

      The 2005 Pride and Prejudice film is one of my favorite movies; so beautiful!

      Thanks for stopping by, Amber!

      -Miranda Atchley

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    2. Excuse me for hopping in here, but I totally keep forgetting that Tilney is a reverend! So true about the clergy being dry and boring at that time. Especially when you compare him with Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice! Ack! And girls, girls, girls, the 2005 version of P&P just doesn't do the book justice. You must watch the PBS version or the BBC version. So much better and captures the time period so much better. :)

      Julie @ My Favorite Pastime

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    3. Haha! People keep telling me that I need to watch the BBC version and saying how much better it is than the 2005 version. I'd definitely like to watch it and the PBS version some day!

      And you never have to excuse yourself for hopping in on any conversation here; you're always more than welcome to comment anytime you want! :)

      -Miranda Atchley

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    4. I'm really late in my reply, but I thought I better chime in! ;) I did attempt to watch the BBC version once with a friend in college. It probably just wasn't the right time to do so, as I fell asleep. (!)

      I think I find it a little daunting that it's so long, and now I have the bad association of falling asleep during the movie. But I'm sure I ought to give it another try at some point. :) I do understand why it would be more accurate to the book and time period than the 2005 one. But for the prettiness factor alone in terms of music and scenery and acting, I do quite enjoy the 2005 version. :)

      ~Amber

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    5. I'm definitely curious about the BBC version, though I am a bit intimidated by it because of it's length. I agree with you, Amber; the focus feature version is soooo beautiful and I love the actors. But I can see where some people are partial to the others, so I'm not going to dismiss any opinions.

      Nice hearing from all of you! :)

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