Clever young Catherine so desperately wishes to "improve" upon her life that she imagines the worst when she is invited to Northanger Abbey, the country home of the Tilney family. Her imagination gets the better of her when she begins to believe she has discovered in the Abbey all the trappings of a gothic novel. Jane Austen slyly parodies the potboiler genre and skewers the obsession with manners of the day.
The genius of Jane Austen novels is in their ability to be at once both light-hearted, coming of age romances and biting satires of social customs. Northanger Abbey, the first full-length composition from Austen, is a perfect example of this. Performed here by the captivating veteran Flo Gibson Northanger Abbey is partly the story of young Catherine and her social rise, which includes a trip to Bath and the meeting and falling for of young Henry Tilney, and partly Austen's hilarious parody of the gothic novels which had been held in such high regard during her time.
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