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Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

An Annotated Edition

by Jane Austen and Susan J. Wolfson
Hardback
Publication Date: 09/05/2014
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OFF
RRP  $59.95 $48.50
The star of Northanger Abbey is seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland, Jane Austen's youngest and most impressionable heroine. Away from home for the first time, on a visit to Bath with family friends, Catherine, a passionate consumer of novels (especially of the gothic variety), encounters a world in which everything beckons as a readable text: not only books, but also conversations and behaviors, clothes, carriages, estates, and vistas. In her lively introduction to this newest volume in Harvard's celebrated annotated Austen series, Susan Wolfson proposes that Austen's most underappreciated, most playful novel is about fiction itself and how it can take possession of everyday understandings.

The first of Austen's major works to be completed (it was revised in 1803 and again in 1816-17), Northanger Abbey was published months after Austen's death in July 1817, together with Persuasion. The 1818 text, whose singularly frustrating course to publication Wolfson recounts, is the basis for this freshly edited and annotated edition.

Wolfson's running commentary will engage new readers while offering delights for scholars and devoted Janeites. A wealth of color images bring to life Bath society in Austen's era--the parade of female fashions, the carriages running over open roads and through the city's streets, circulating libraries, and nouveau-riche country estates--as well as the larger cultural milieu of Northanger Abbey. This unique edition holds appeal not just for "Friends of Jane" but for all readers looking for a fuller engagement with Austen's extraordinary first novel.
ISBN:
9780674725676
9780674725676
Category:
Literature: history & criticism
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
09-05-2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
384
Dimensions (mm):
248x240x32mm
Weight:
1.3kg
Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon, near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on 18 July 1817.

Jane Austen was extremely modest about her own genius, describing her work to her nephew, Edward, as 'the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory, on which I work with so fine a Brush, as produces little effect after much labour'.

As a girl she wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances. Her works were published only after much revision, four novels being published in her lifetime.

These are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1817 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16. She also left two earlier compositions, a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, and an unfinished novel, The Watsons. At the time of her death, she was working on a new novel, Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which survives.

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