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Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s. Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her. In this, her first full-length novel, Austen also fixes her sharp, ironic gaze on other kinds of contemporary novel, especially the Gothic school made famous by Ann Radcliffe. Catherine's reading becomes intertwined with her social and romantic adventures, adding to the uncertainties and embarrassments she must undergo before finding happiness.
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About the Author
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist known for six major novels, Pride and Prejudice; Sense and Sensibility; Becoming Jane; Emma; Mansfield Park; and Northanger Abbey. Her writing style has been widely thought of as a cross between realist and romantic genres. Austen's prose is poignant, and always features a strong-willed female protagonist. While sparing no detail depicting the lavishness of women in the English upper class, Austen also portrayed the reality of gendered social dynamics in the 19th century. Austen has been hailed as a heroine of her own time, in large part because most of the novels of the day were written by men. Indeed, her literature portrayed a female narrative that was often overlooked in the catalogue of male authors at the time. Austen's platform gave an important voice to girls and women in literature, and it is for that reason, among countless others, that her works continue to inspire readers today.