Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Read-Along Week 1

I’m participating in the March Read-Along of Northanger Abbey hosted by Amber over at Seasons of HumilitySo far, we’ve made it through the first few chapters with ease! This is a discussion post for Week 1 which covers the very beginning: chapters 1-3.

Northanger Abbey Read-Along Graphic 2016 (2)

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week’s reading.

Favorite Quote

As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it. -Chapter 2, of Catherine

General Impressions

I’m impressed with the narrative voice of the story! The “omniscient” perspective of the writer addressing the reader in telling of Catherine is so humorous and witty! I’m also impressed with how different this story is from more well known Austen works. She really was a great author!


1. What do you find most endearing about Catherine’s character? Do you consider her to be good heroine material?

So far, I appreciate her innocence and what seems to be a kind demeanor. We don’t know much about her personality yet, but I think that will be revealed. I do think she will make a good heroine — after all, the “writer” has declared her to be the cheerful heroine of the story 🙂 .

2. What are your first impressions of Mr. and Mrs. Allen? What sort of impact do they have on Catherine?

Mrs. Allen has been hinted to be distressing to Catherine later. This made me think of her as an antagonistic woman like Austen seems to always include (like Lady Catherine in Pride & Prejudice or Lady Russell in Persuasion). Right now, they have offered Catherine a great opportunity, but they have a great deal of control over her situation and schedule. We’ll see if this proves a good thing.

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 opinions, though his first impression was close to perfect ;). His wit and kindness stand out the most, especially in his handling of Mrs. Allen and her muslin musings. From the movie adaptation and other readings, I know him to be a unique Austen hero because of his positive nature and general demeanor, so I’m excited to see how this is carried out in the book.


Well, there’s my thought process! Head over to Amber’s Week 1 post for everyone’s answers/links to other posts & to enter the fun GIVEAWAY !

8 thoughts on “Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Read-Along Week 1

  1. I think my verdict is still out on the “omniscient” perspective. I am finding it sometimes witty and helpful, but then sometimes preachy and a bit ranting(the end of chapter 5). I’m looking forward to discussing the next chapters next Thursday for sure. I agree this writing style seems different than the other more popular works of Austen. I like the quote you chose 🙂

    • I’ve not read chapter 5 yet (I will later tonight), but I can see what you mean. It has the potential to get in the way of the story a bit. Thanks for reading my thoughts!

  2. I agree with Julie about your chosen quote! That’s a great reminder, really, to not base your happiness on whether or not you receive compliments or attention, but to appreciate them when they come. 🙂

    The narration is pretty hilarious, isn’t it? My copy of the book notes that this was “written when she was twenty-four.” It’s so interesting to think Jane was my age when she wrote this! So much talent. 😀

    Love all your thoughts on these main characters! That would be a really interesting study/essay, comparing Mrs. Allen to Lady Catherine and Lady Russell. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of Mrs. Allen and the others moving forward!

    BTW, “muslin musings”…that’s BRILLIANT. I love it!! 😉


    • Thank you! It is funny! I didn’t realize she was 24 when she wrote this — I wondered but hadn’t looked it up yet. How neat! (And yes, to think she was so close to my age, even, is further proof of her talent.)

      Hmm, now the wheels are turning with the comparison idea! I’ll have to make note of her character as we go on.

      “muslin musings” 🙂 🙂 Thank you!

  3. I love the quote you chose! Kind of describes Catherine perfectly to me. And I agree that Mr. Tilney is a definite unicorn of Austen’s heroes; he certainly isn’t a Mr. Darcy type of guy, but a charming man indeed. 🙂

    • Thank you, Miranda! It DOES describe her :). I love how her naivety makes her uncomplicated and straightforward. I have a feeling she has a lot of growing to do before the story’s end! And yes, Mr. Tilney is quite charming. He’s just “reappeared” in my reading progress, and I’m anxious to see how he will treat Catherine now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  4. That quote is so perfect! It’s one aspect of Catherine’s character that I’m liking so far, how genuine and unassuming she is. The littlest things make her happy! I hope she stays that way. Yes! I love the kindness and friendliness of Mr. Tilney! It definitely makes him different than any of Austen’s other heroes. He might just move up my favorites list! We shall see. 🙂

    • Thank you, Kara! Yes, she seems very good-natured and not tainted by the social games people are playing. And, Mrs. Allen is the perfect contrast to her so far!

      Yes. I’m anxious to see how Tilney and Catherine’s relationship will progress! It’s been so long since I’ve watched the adaptation that I don’t remember every detail, but I’m ok with that! Certain aspects are fresh for me, that way. Happy reading!

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