March 28, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read-Along :: Discussion Post :: Chapters 11-17

Well here I am again! Late, as seems to be my usual. But at least I'm here, right? :) Life has been a bit crazy recently, plus I had not the heart to do any happy writing (or reading *sadface*) last weekend due to stuff going on. However! This past week was nice and I finally caught up to chapter 17. Only now I'm even further behind on the next chapters! *sigh* Life.

Anyhoo, on to the good stuff. Have I mentioned that I am really enjoying this book? So many of my blogging friends had told me I would love it and I am thrilled that they were right! Only why did I wait so long to finally pick it up again. Because I'm an idiot. Obviously. ;)

{Per the usual, click over here to see all the posts and discussions going on. There's also another giveaway, so be sure and check it out quick!}

Northanger Abbey :: Chapters 11-17

Favorite Quote ::

"Is there a Henry in the world who could be insensible to such a declaration? Henry Tilney at least was not. With a yet sweeter smile, he said everything that need be said of his sister's concern, regret, and dependence on Catherine's honour."
Henry smiled, and said, "How very little trouble it can give you to understand the motive of other people's actions."
"Why? What do you mean?"
"With you, it is not, How is such a one likely to be influenced, What is the inducement most likely to act upon such a person's feelings, age, situation, and probable habits of life considered--but, How should I be influenced, What would be my inducement in acting so and so?"
"I do not understand you."
"Then we are on very unequal terms, for I understand you perfectly well."
"Me? Yes; I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible."
"Bravo! An excellent satire on modern language."
"But pray tell me what you mean."
"Shall I indeed? Do you really desire it? But you are not aware of the consequences; it will involve you in a very cruel embarrassment, and certainly bring on a disagreement between us."
"No, no; it shall not do either; I am not afraid."
"Well, then, I only meant that your attributing my brother's wish of dancing with Miss Thorpe to good nature alone convinced me of your being superior in good nature yourself to all the rest of the world."
Catherine blushed and disclaimed and the gentleman's predictions were verified. 
"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

General Impressions ::

I admit to being disappointed in Mrs. Allen. I had anticipated liking her, based on her portrayal from the '07 adaptation, but I don't. She's quite flaky, and clearly spends most of her time consumed with thoughts on fashion. She's nice! But I guess I just wanted more from her and I'm not getting it. Perhaps later...?

1532611The Thorpe's have got to go!! I do not like them. I'm just sorry that it took a bad experience for Catherine to begin (at least slightly) to comprehend how awful they truly are. I had inklings of this from watching the adaptation, but it's now becoming very apparent that both siblings are only after what they can monetarily gain from other people. (I will be so gleeful when they figure out that Catherine and her brother have no fortune at their disposal!) I'll also be really glad once Catherine figures out how false their friendliness and good natures are.

Also, I heart Mr. Henry Tilney. That is all. :D

Discussion Questions :: 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?

I loved that bit! I was shouting, "You go, girl!" to Catherine during the scene where she adamantly refuses no matter how they cajole. It's hilarious to me that Isabella even tried to use the idea of Catherine being "...her best and oldest friend..." because they've known each other all of what? A matter of days if not weeks? Catherine may have met Isabella first, before Eleanor Tilney, but that was only by a few days at most. I just shake my head at the Thorpes' antics anymore. I will say that it saddened me that her brother joined in with the pressure against her. He's clearly spent way too much time with the wrong sort of friends.

I was so proud of Catherine when she ran to catch up with the Tilney's and explained herself. I get the impression that Eleanor understands Catherine very well. She knows how naive Catherine can be and so Catherine's hasty and slightly confusing explanation is understood. Have I mentioned that I think both Mr. and Miss Tilney are quite lovely? Because they are. I love how they are Catherine's only true friends close to her age in Bath and how kind and sweet they are to her. They seem to genuinely enjoy spending time with her.

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?

I think my favorite bit was when Eleanor suggests that Henry has become comfortable enough with Catherine to tease her. I'm pretty sure part of that's just his personality and he'd tease a great many people with whom he's acquainted, but not to the same degree as he would someone he's with whom he's really comfortable. If you see what I'm trying to say...? I just like the fact that he's comfortable with Catherine and he seems to genuinely like her. He's definitely been showing partiality towards her. :)

Reading has never been difficult for me that I can recall, but I did like Henry's point that struggling through the process is necessary to open a child's eyes to the wonder of reading! So true, for how sad would I be if I couldn't? (Very.)

I also love how the Tilney's challenge Catherine. Just through conversation and drawing her out they cause her to think about things she never has before. They challenge her to see the possibility of a different point of view.

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?

I don't think Catherine has fallen too fast at all. For one thing, I imagine this was common back then, for what else did people have to go on but dancing and walking conversations? The rules of society limited the amount of time they could spend together. And for another, Henry is clearly showing interest as well. He makes a point to go and speak with her at the concert and notably decides to converse with her when she admits to thinking he's offended and upset. Plus he keeps spending time with her and asking her to dance. You don't do that with someone you're not interested in.

Like I said before, I heart Henry Tilney! He has endeared himself to me and it's going to take a whole lot for him to cause me not to like him. I'm not anticipating that happening, at this point. :)


  1. I really don't remember this one having this much meat to it. Clearly I might need to reread it.

    1. Jenny: Well, I DO like to analyze all the details, so... That might account for all my lengthy thoughts on it! :) It's definitely a fun story though. So glad I finally picked it up!

  2. Great observations! You make me like the Tilney's better as I kind of just had a blah feeling about them. I'm kind of wondering if Catherine's brother was just as naive as Catherine when it came to judging the character of people outside of their family. It seems that he too is duped by the Thorpes. Love your quote, I too picked the last part of it, but like that you added the context :)

    1. Julie: I like to analyze the details, especially about the characters in a story, so I probably spent a great deal more time thinking about them than I needed to. But I'm glad I could help you like them a bit better! :)

      I think you may be right. He IS her brother, so if she's naive, it makes sense he would be too. The Thorpe's have definitely got him duped! :(

      I loved that little moment between Catherine and Henry!

  3. I love reading your comments. I completely agree with you. I was sad with James joined in with Isabella's and John's manipulations as well. I wanted to punch him.

    I also heart Mr. Tilney. He is fast becoming my favorite Austen hero.

    1. Jenni: Aw, thanks. :) YES. I was so mad at James during that scene. He was so horrible! He's her brother, he should have known her better. But as Julie pointed out above, the Thorpe's have obviously got him duped.

      Mr. Tilney is certainly starting to rival Captain Wentworth for my favorite Austen hero! I didn't think anybody would be able to do that. :D

  4. Yay for more discussion on Northanger Abbey! I so agree about Mr. and Miss Tilney being such dear friends and wonderful influences on Catherine. And I also completely agree about the Thorpes being shallow friends and terrible influences. :P Grrr!


    So happy you're enjoying the story so far! :)


    1. Amber: I AM enjoying the story! I just got stuck for some odd reason and haven't finished it yet. I hope to get back to it really soon though! :)

      Mr. And Miss Tilney are just lovely! I so love how they've taken Catherine under their wings. True friends for sure! :) And down with the Thorpe's!!!



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