Northanger Abby

Northanger Abby

When you think of Jane Austen, usually the first book to come to mind is Pride and Prejudice followed by (in no particular order) Persuasion, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. For some odd reason, Northanger Abby—the first written, the last published—is often overlooked.

As I’m wrapping up my adaptation of this clever novel, I wonder why it is so often at the bottom of many Janeites pile of favorites.

From a writer’s perspective, I am finding it to be witty, funny, clever, and fun. Granted, the plot is different from Jane’s other books, but the characters are just as rewarding to follow. In my opinion, Catherine is Morland just as—dare I say, even more? —realistic and endearing as our dear Elizabeth Bennett. In the beginning, she is as innocent and naïve as Fanny Price. Her active imagination gets her in more trouble than Emma and she demonstrates a contrasting mixture of sense and sensibility when it comes to dealing with Henry and John. And by the end of the story, she has the same level of contriteness as Anne in Persuasion.

Indeed, Northanger Abby might have been her last published but it is clear that Jane Austen pulled pieces of Catherine Morland into all of her subsequent heroines.

Now that I am finishing with my Jane Austen adaptations, I am moving onto another set of adaptations: the Bronte sisters. Equally challenging, I must admit. But I will miss these wonderful characters that Jane Austen brought to life in her novels. And I will enjoy readapting them in other stories in the months/years to come under my soon-to-be published pen name, Catherine Eleanor.

I suspect you will see more of Catherine Morland. She is, after all, the grandmother of all Jane’s heroines. And I look forward to creating more grandchildren in my future novels.

P.S. My adaptation of Mansfield Park, Mount Hope, is available for preorder and ships on August 2nd.

10 Responses to Northanger Abby

  1. Northanger Abbey is my favourite Jane story since the first time I read it. I laughed my way through the book as well as through the 2007 film adaptation, which I consider one of the best book adaptations ever. I am very interested to see what you do with the story. (I do trust there will be lots of the dreamy Henry Tilney too!) Best wishes for every success, and I’m now off to add this title to my Must-Read list!

  2. Northanger Abbey is the one I haven’t read as yet. Gotta do it, because I really enjoyed the movie adaptation!

    Best of luck with the new releases and new adventures in writing, Sarah (and Catherine)!

  3. I Love Northanger Abby. I suppose it is because of the imagination depicted by the main character…like all of us… it exposes how we think, act or react when reading a story. Hope you have an awesome launch. JWG

  4. I have several DVDs of this book and really enjoy the one with JJ Feild in particular. There are several endearing scenes in that movie. I am sure your variation will be most interesting.

  5. I ADORE Northanger Abbey! I love everything about it. It’s possible that if I had read it first, it would have become my favorite instead of Pride and Prejudice. I can’t wait for your adaptation of this as well as Mount Hope!

  6. I have often wondered about sequels or adaptions written about other Austen books. I’ve never seemed to take the time to search because I always have another P&P book to read! I need to search them out! Thank you for reminding me!

  7. Sarah I CAN’T WAIT for Mount Hope!! August seems a long time away. And I’ll really be looking forward to your Northanger Abbey adaptation. It was the last of the Austen books that I read but when I did I really enjoyed it and was sorry to have left it so long.

Your thoughts are precious!