Your Sunday Austen Meditation


Because we know there are people who call themselves knowledgeable about Austen out there who have never read Northanger Abbey, here’s a message right from the narrator:

Alas! if the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body.

From Volume I, Chapter V. Here endeth the lesson.

10 thoughts on “Your Sunday Austen Meditation

  1. Sue S

    I really enjoy Northanger Abbey movie and book. I enjoy Mansfield Park also. Many people don’t know what they are missing. Of the two here Northanger Abbey is by far my favorite…tho’ I do like Fanny Price…I really enjoy the characters in NA too tho’. Henry tilney is one of my favorites.


  2. I recently reread Northanger Abbey. I had read it as a teenager and remember dismissing it as the “lesser” Jane Austen novel. WHAT A YOUNG FOOL I WAS! Rereading it now I absolutely loved it. It’s clever and funny with wonderfully drawn characters. And all the great lines!

    “But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.”

    “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”

    “I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.”

    And my personal favorite, spoken by the brilliant Henry Tilney:
    “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid.”


  3. A. Marie

    I believe that “Here endeth the lesson” predates Buffy by a few hundred years–it’s the phrase that ends the reading of the two scriptural lessons in the Episcopalian/Anglican Morning and Evening Prayer services. (The Rev. George Austen would have used it countless times at the Steventon church.) And many thanks to the Rev. Mags for the lesson! Can the “Sunday Austen Meditation” become a regular feature?


  4. Jane Austen herself makes the best defense of the novel I’ve ever read in Ch 5 of N.A. She just suspends the story and appeals directly to the reader.

    Further on in Ch 14 the very witty and clever Henry Tilney says it most sarcastically: “….The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid….”

    “Nuff said? I’m a BELIEVER!


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