Book 1 – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
I know, I know, Jane Austen has books that are so much better, however, I think starting with a more obscure Austen book will really jump start the challenge.
Northanger Abbey was Jane Austen’s first book written solely for publication purposes. She originally wrote the book and sold it to a publisher for 10 pounds. He, however, chose to not sell the book (he was completely unaware that Austen was, by then, a popular author, since none of her books were published under her name during her lifetime). The book was eventually sold back to her brother, Henry, for the 10 pounds and Austen set about re-editing the book. The heroine’s name was changed to Catherine and the book was re-titled Catherine. Austen, unfortunately, would not live to see the book published. She passed away in July 1817 and the book was published in December 1817. Henry is believed to have changed the name to Northanger Abbey.
According to the back of the book:
“Northanger Abbey is about the misadventures of Catherine Morland, young, ingenious, and mettlesome, and an indefatigable reader of Gothic novels. Their romantic excess and dark overstatement feed her imagination, as tyrannical fathers and diabolical villains work their evil on forlorn heroines in isolated settings. What could be more remote from the uneventful securities of life in the midland counties of England? Yet as Austen brilliantly contrasts fiction with reality, ordinary life takes a more sinister turn, and edginess and circumspection are reaffirmed alongside comedy and literary burlesque.”
Sounds like fun. Here we go!
Book Club Challenge: Read first two chapters. Luckily, Jane Austen was fantastic at short chapters.