Friday, April 1, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read Along And Watch Along Wrap Up

I participated in this Read Along during the month of March. I enjoyed it very much. Being able to discuss each week what we read, how we felt and what we thought about what was going on in the book was so fun. Thanks to Amber at Seasons of Humility for hosting this read along. I especially enjoyed getting to know a new author/blogger(Miranda Atchley I'm talking to you!). The Watch Along happened last night and I enjoyed participating in that. I just might get this Twitter thing someday! So here are my thoughts on the movie and the book. If you have never read a Jane Austen book I would recommend that you try one soon. Maybe join us next time we have a Read Along as that is a great incentive to keep up and involved in the reading :)

Northanger Abbey the book:

Not my favorite Austen read I have to say that. But I think that in this story we get to see Jane Austen's wit and observation of humankind more than in other stories. My understanding is that this was her attempt at mocking/spoofing the current gothic tales of the day which I think she accomplished perfectly. The heroine, Catherine, was quite a naive young woman and the hero, Henry, a bit more seasoned and quite a bit the tease. The antagonists The Thorpes(everyone who read the book shudder!), were exceptionally obnoxious. And then we have Northanger itself. Every bit as spooky as Catherine's vivid imagination could conjure. Poor Catherine's only faults are that she was pretty gullible and fanciful. She let her imagination run away with her and that got her into trouble with Henry for a bit. When The General(Henry and his sister Eleanor's father) threw Catherine out of Northanger with no explanation at all I was miffed. I have to say that the book didn't do the whole scene justice, but that the movie did this part wonderfully! Of course the ending of the story was perfect because we all need that Happily Ever After scene.

Northanger Abbey the movie:

The version of the movie that we watched for the watch along was PBS's 2007 version starring J.J. Feild as Henry and Felicity Jones as Catherine. I loved the running commentary on Twitter of those of us who were watching at the same time. I have to agree with Amber on the part that you need to see the twinkle in Henry's eye to see that he is teasing  or speaking tongue-in-cheek to Catherine and that was portrayed perfectly by J. J. Feild. As for handsomeness of J.J. Feild as Henry, meh, he was okay, but definitely not a Mr. Darcy! I have to say that the Thorpes were just as slimy and conniving in the movie as they were in the book. I thought the book did Mrs. Allen's character much better than the movie version. The movie didn't show her total absorption in herself as the book had us believe. I thought the relationship between Eleanor and Catherine was better explained in the movie and the movie did a better job of bringing in Eleanor's love interest whereas the book kind of just dropped that tidbit on us at the very end with no details or hints that one even existed. I think that the part of General Tilney was portrayed great in the movie. The book didn't seem to indicate that Eleanor had a clue why Catherine was being sent away, but the movie was quite clear that she knew. In either case I thought that this scene was kind of out of the blue. I thought that The General was familiar with the Thorpes and didn't care for them so why would he listen to the lies being told about Catherine? In any case the movie portrayed The General's fierceness much better than the book did. Maybe seeing him glaring down at Catherine as she left got to me! I have to say that I liked the book outcome much better than the movie outcome in that in the book all was eventually well with The General and his children, but in the movie there was a break in the family relationship that was never mended. I enjoyed the movie in that it gave more clarity to some scenes from the book. Oh, before I forget! I had to laugh in the movie the dream sequences that Catherine had which truly showed how much her imagination had run amok from reading so many gothic novels!

That wraps up my thoughts on the book and movie. I'm definitely an Austen fan and totally look forward to the next Read Along. I wonder which book will be chosen next? Now to go check out my BBC version of Northanger Abbey!


  1. Aww, thank you, Julie! I've enjoyed getting to know you, too, and look forward to many more read-alongs in the future! I wish I could have participated in the watch-along, but was unable to, though I'm so glad you all had fun! I'll definitely have to watch the movie(s) sometime.

    I forgot to mention it in my discussion post yesterday; but yeah, it was kind of odd that in the book Eleanor's love interest was dropped on us in the last pages. But, Jane Austen is such a marvelous author, I'll look over it.

    Thanks again for all your talks on Northanger Abbey! So looking forward to the next read-along! :)

  2. You're so welcome! I enjoy hosting these read-alongs - but they wouldn't be any fun at all without you guys participating, so thank you! :)

    You made some great points about the movie. I, too, preferred the movie version of the Allens. I'm so glad you agree about JJ Feild's performance and the way he pulled off that teasing! ;) (Although I confess I must have found his smiling more attractive than you found it to be, haha.) Yes to General Tilney's fierceness in the movie, and to the nice wrap-up to the book's ending!

    Thank you again for all your great thoughts! :D


    P.S. *Waving to Miranda!*

    1. Thanks for stopping by Amber :) It's always a treat to participate in the read alongs you host. And yes, you found JJ Feilds way more attractive than I do, but then I've always liked the older men ;)

    2. Thanks for stopping by Amber :) It's always a treat to participate in the read alongs you host. And yes, you found JJ Feilds way more attractive than I do, but then I've always liked the older men ;)

  3. This film is the best of the Northanger Abbey versions out there. In my opinion the 80s version is "too weird." ;) But then, I do heart JJ in this role, so...

    Glad you all had fun watching this one! One of these days I should FINALLY finish this novel (I started it years ago).

    1. I watched another version after the watch-along and wow! It was BAD! ha! So yes, I will agree that the JJ one is much better, even though I don't think JJ is as handsome as Mr. Darcy :)