Welcome to the final episode in our series on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. On The Literary Life Podcast today, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks go chapter by chapter through the end of the book. First we see that Catherine finally comes to the realization that people are a mixture of good and bad, not all angels or villains. Cindy and Angelina point out the ways that Catherine does not follow the typical behavior of a heroine in a sentimental novel but is actually more sensible.
Our hosts discuss General Tilney’s character and the similarities he shares with the Thorpes. Thomas points out the parallel sleepless night scenes and that Catherine now doesn’t need imaginary fears because she has real dangers to worry about. Austen parodies several more themes of the sentimental novels in this section, culminating with Henry Tilney’s unromantic proposal and the rather ordinary way in which everything gets worked out. Our hosts chuckle over Austen’s way of poking fun at closing with a moral.
Come back next week for a special Literary Life of…. episode on Christmas Eve. Join the Patreon community to take part in a Live Q&A on Northanger Abbey. Then join us in the new year for Shakespeare, and so much more!
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The Clod and the Pebble
by William Blake
“Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”
So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:
“Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”
A Prayer for My Son by Hugh Walpole
The Killer and The Slain by Hugh Walpole
Mr. Standfast by John Buchan
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle
Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
Penseés by Blaise Pascal
Camilla by Fanny Burney
The History of Rassellas by Samuel Johnson
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