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Northanger Abbey Read Along Chapters 4-10

It's the second week of the Northanger Abbey read along! Today we're discussing chapters 4-10 and the discussion questions were written by Amber.

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Isabella a friend or a "frenemy"? Do you think there's the seed of a genuine friendship between her and Catherine, or is Isabella only loyal to her own ambitions?

I'm confused about Isabella, honestly. When she was first introduced, my sensors kind of went off and I thought she was going to be a jerk, but then she started being really friendly with Catherine, talking about books and boys with her. And Catherine seems to really like her. But now I'm wondering if that's all a facade. Like her brother, Isabella seems rather chatty and just gives off a disagreeable vibe. I do have a feeling she just wants to be nice to Catherine so she'll look better to James.

2. Let's talk about John Thorpe, whose presence is obviously a problem! How would you advise Catherine in her interactions with Mr. Thorpe?

John Thorpe is icky. I would definitely warn Catherine to be careful when she's with Mr. Thorpe and to not hang around him anymore than she has to! I love what the narrator says in chapter 10 about every girl knowing the feeling of trying to avoid a man they do not like because it's so true! Been there done that.

3. Do you agree with Mr. Tilney's comparisons between dancing and marriage? And do you consider dancing an important component of romance?

I agree more with Catherine. Especially in this day and age, marriage and dancing are such different things that they can't even be compared. I've never danced. I think once in the fifth grade I went to a Valentine's Day dance and may have danced with a teacher but I've never seriously danced with anyone. I really don't view it as an important part of romance, but I know things were so different in the Victorian era; there was always a dance or a ball or a cotillion going on. It was just a part of life, so it probably seemed more important back then.

Other Impressions:

I'm beginning to see more sides of Mr. Tileny and thinking of him more as a hero, especially that he sees John Thorpe for who he really is! (Hallelujah!) 

Favorite Quote:

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for disappointed friendship."

I'm still enjoying Northanger Abbey and am looking forward to reading more and discussing more as the month goes by!

-Miranda Atchley


  1. Yes! I so agree with what you said about John Thorpe. He's icky. And yay for more Mr. Tilney! I loved that convo during the dance. I'm liking the vibe he gives off. He's so personable and funny. I also love that he lets Catherine actually converse with him! Unlike another I could name. Great answers! :)

    1. Yes, that was a great conversation! I like Mr. Tilney too; he seems like a nice guy, much better than that whom shall remain nameless. ;) Thanks for stopping by, Kara!

      -Miranda Atchley

  2. I'm so not a fan of the Thorpe's! I think they are both fake people and he is definitely a blow-hard!

    You danced with a teacher? Poor you! I went to a dance once and a guy asked me to dance but I was so petrified(extremely shy) that I said no and then left :) I wasn't supposed to be there anyway per parental orders! LOL!

    I think the discussion that amused me the most was the one of the gothic books. Of course it involved John Thorpe, but it glaringly pointed out what an idiot he is!

    I like your answers! Looking forward to this week's reading :)

    1. I agree 100% about the Thorpe's: they give me the creeps! And yes, the conversation about the gothic novels is great; I really love the narrator's take on it, too.

      Haha, yeah, it was interesting. But it being fifth grade and not many of us really wanting to dance with each other, a lot teachers were dancing with us. At that age I probably would run away from a boy had one asked me, too!

      Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

  3. I agree with you about dancing! I somewhat skipped this question, but I should have answered, "Of course it's NOT important!", since I've never danced. ;)

    I completely agree with you on Thorpe, too. He IS icky!

    1. Right? Dancing just ins't the big deal it was 200 years ago. And John Thorpe just keeps getting worse!

      Thanks for stopping by today!

  4. Great thoughts, Miranda!

    I probably was unfair in asking that third question. I think I put too much of my own personal experience and interest into it. ;) Although it's been interesting hearing everyone's reactions to the question, anyway!

    I love dancing, and I've had some really good experiences at school dances and barn/folk dances. So I guess I kind of associate dancing with romance in my mind. ;) But I definitely agree that it's not a vital part of romance like it was in Austen's day!

    And yes to Tilney seeing Thorpe for who he really is! Thanks goodness. :)


    1. I can totally see where you're coming from, Amber. I imagine if I'd actually danced with someone I liked, I would feel different about it! Tilney has definitely won my heart! :)


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