“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine”: so runs the inauspicious opening of

Northanger Abbey

, foregrounding in its first line its amusing concern to subvert the expectations of contemporary readers who delighted in sentimental and gothic romances.

Northanger Abbey

was in fact Jane Austen’s first completed novel, initially drafted in Steventon between 1798 and 1799 under the title


, then revised in the winter of 1802-3 after the family had moved to Bath. However, the novel was the last to be published, appearing as the first volume of a three-volume set with


in December 1817. It was originally sold to the publisher Richard Cosby for £10 in 1803 but Crosby did not bring it out, perhaps because he…

2944 words

Citation: Schneider, Ana-Karina. "Northanger Abbey". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 February 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3214, accessed 05 March 2024.]

3214 Northanger Abbey 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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