Thursday, March 17, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read-Along: Discussion 3

Today is discussion three so head over to Amber's blog at Seasons of Humility to check out all the details.

Discussion Questions:

1. How do you feel about the way Catherine handled herself with John, Isabella, and James when they pressured her into ditching her walk with the Tilneys in favor of their own outings? How do you feel about the way she explained herself to the Tilneys?

I'm glad she finally stood up for herself. I think she is way too confused and tossed about by circumstances where they are concerned. I wish she would wise up and dump them! She is way naive where they are concerned and it kind of irritates me sometimes. I can't remember anything specific about the way she explained herself to the Tilneys except in being honest and really isn't honesty the best policy? Catherine seems to always be honest because she hasn't had any experience in having to edit her words or feelings, I like that about her, what you see is what you get. She's sweet, if excessively ignorant of the duplicity of the Thorpes. 

2. Henry, his sister, and Catherine have an interesting discussion about books and education on their walk. What was your favorite part of that conversation? Did any of their opinions on novels, history, or the difficulties in learning to read resonate with you?

Well of course my favorite part of the conversation was this gem:

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

Spoken by Mr. Tilney. Truer words were never spoken! And now I have GOT to find a copy of The Mysteries of Udolpho to explore this hair-raising tale!

Note: I just looked up the book on Amazon and there is a Kindle copy for free, but there is also a book comprised of all 9 of the "horrid" books mentioned in Northanger Abbey for only .99 on Amazon. Check it out! I bought a copy!

3. We've been given more glimpses into Henry's character - as well as Catherine's infatuation with him. Do you think Catherine has fallen too hard too fast? Or do you think Henry is proving himself worthy of such admiration?

My verdict is still out on Henry. At the moment he is still not hero material for me. I liked how he expressed himself about novels and such, but there is still some knowledge of him that is lacking. He's elusive maybe? I just can't put my finger on it, but there is something that he is holding back. I frankly can't see what Catherine sees in him. Hopefully once Catherine arrives at Northanger Abbey she will get to know him more and so will we.

Favorite Quotes:

"Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind, is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can."

"John would have me go, for he vowed he would not drive her because she had such thick ankles."
That made me laugh again at Austen and her wit! 

General Impressions:

I have to admit that chapters 11-17 were harder for me to get through. It seems that they weren't as entertaining as the first 11 chapters. Maybe it was just me? But it seems to have bogged down here. I'm disgusted with the Thorpes and growing weary of their antics that is for sure! I'm afraid that the whole conversation that John had with Catherine about James and Isabella's engagement has led him to think that he and Catherine may become engaged, if not in his clumsy way thinking that they are engaged already. This confusion on Catherine's part is what frustrates me about her. The fact that she cannot see where he is going in this conversation or what he is implying makes me want to shake the stupidity out of her!

 Once again I'm thinking that Isabella and James think that Catherine's family has more money than they really do. Have they heard something to that nature or are they assuming that their attachment to the Allen's must mean they are of the same financial circle? With Isabella subtle complaining about the living that James' father bestows on them at their engagement there obviously is an expectation of wealth there. It will be interesting to see what transpires. And again, even though Catherine did kind of defend her father's endowment she still doesn't seem to understand the subtlety(or blatant) hints from Isabella and John's desire to attach themselves to her and James.

I'm definitely anxious to see what happens with these two and how Catherine's trip to Northanger Abbey pans out!

Have you read Northanger Abbey? What are your thoughts? Feel free to share in the comments or leave a link to a post on your blog!

Until next week!!


  1. Henry is winning my heart, but I can see what you mean about him being elusive. It still feels like we don't completely know him because we haven't seen a ton of him, (we've seen waaaay too much of the Thorpes!) but I have a feeling he'll really makes us fall for him in the coming chapters. Lovely answers, Julie!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Miranda! I agree, waaay too much of the Thorpes! Gah! They are going to be the end of me! If I could only reach through the pages and tell Catherine what is what! I hope that Henry will become better known as the book progresses. While witty, there has been no substance to him so far :)

  2. I love this whole post! Especially the first quote you chose -- that one is so tongue-in-cheek witty of Austen. Like: "Some friendly advice: if you know anything, it's better to keep it to yourself and appear ignorant."

    I hadn't considered that the Thorpes must think the Morlands well off financially. That makes perfect sense as their motive! And I understand how Catherine's naivety is almost too much. But, a good example of how a person must stay on his or her toes with the deceptions and shallowness of society. :)

    1. Awww, thanks Courtney! Isn't it the truth? I would rather appear as if I know nothing than open my mouth and prove it to be true! ha! I think the Thorpes are giving Catherine a good education in the deceptive and shallowness of people, she can't but help come away from an acquaintance with them a bit more wiser than she went into it. Thanks so much for stopping by! Looking forward to next week :)

  3. I love how you describe Catherine: "She hasn't had any experience in having to edit her words or feelings." So true! There are definitely pros and cons to her innocence - she perhaps need to be a bit more "wise as serpents," given the duplicity around her. (To quote Matthew 10:16.) She gets herself into trouble by being unaware of others' motives. But at the same time, she shouldn't lose her sweet nature or her reliance on honesty. :)

    Thank you for sharing that book link - so fun! And I'm so eager to hear what you think of the story and characters overall, once we finish. :)


    1. I totally agree, Catherine's honesty and sweet nature are what make her such a likable heroine and that's a perfect verse to be reminded of for the situation :)