Today on The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins, along with Thomas Banks, are discussing chapters 4-10 of Northanger Abbey. They start out talking about Jane Austen’s light touch and her gentle satirical way of pointing out the pros and cons of the novel. Angelina and Thomas bring up some of the historical and social context for this setting in Regency period Bath. They contrast the proper social code with the way the Thorpes behave and with Catherine Morland’s naïvetè and innocence. Cindy laughs about the way in which Jane Austen pokes fun at the novel’s form while writing a novel herself.
After the critics’ early disgust for the novel, Jane Austen elevated the form to the point that they finally had to recognize the novel as a worthy work of literature. Cindy also brings up the idea that Austen may have partly written this novel because she wanted to talk with others about all these books that she references. They chat about all the things that occurred in history that led up to the availability of the novel to the masses, and to women in particular.
Angelina observes that Austen plays with the tropes within a realistic situation in contrast to the over-the-top situations presented in sensational novels of the period. They wrap up the conversation with highlights about the different characters and what we can be looking for in the next several chapters.
Also, be sure to check out Thomas Banks’ webinar, The Poetry of Advent, taking place on December 4, 2019.
Listen to The Literary Life:
Love and Live
by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams giv’n o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.
The time that is to come is not;
How can it then be mine?
The present moment’s all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
Phyllis, is only thine.
Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows;
If I, by miracle, can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
’Tis all that Heav’n allows.
Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse
Pamela by Samuel Richardson
Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge
Biographia Literaria by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Becoming Jane (film)
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Love and Friendship (film)
Support The Literary Life:
Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!