Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen

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  • EAN: 9781387322763

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Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed for publication, in 1803, but published after her death, at the end of 1817. The novel is a satire of the Gothic novels popular at the time of its first writing in 1798–99. The heroine, Catherine, thinks life is like a Gothic novel, but her real experiences bring her down to earth as an ordinary young woman.

Austen first titled it Susan, when she sold it in 1803 for £10 to a London bookseller, Crosby & Co., who decided against publishing. In the spring of 1816, the bookseller sold it back to the novelist's brother, Henry Austen, for the same sum, as the bookseller did not know that the writer was by then the author of four popular novels. She further revised the novel in 1816-1817, with the intention of having it published. The lead character's name was changed from Susan to Catherine, and Austen changed the working title to Catherine.

Austen died in July 1817. Her brother Henry renamed the novel and arranged for publication of Northanger Abbey in late December 1817 (1818 given on the title page), as the first two volumes of a four-volume set, the other two volumes being the more recently completed Austen novel, Persuasion, with a preface for the first time publicly identifying Jane Austen as the author of all her novels. Neither novel was published under the working title Jane Austen used. Aside from first being published together, the two novels are not linked, and later editions were published as separate novels.

The novel is more explicitly comic than her other works and contains many literary allusions that her parents and siblings would have enjoyed, as a family entertainment--a piece of lighthearted parody to be read aloud by the fireside. The novel names many of the Gothic novels of that time and includes direct commentary by Austen on the value of novels, which were not valued as much as nonfiction or historical fiction. As almost all her letters were burned after her death, later scholars appreciate this insight into Austen's views.
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  • Jane Austen Cover

    Scrittrice inglese. Compì la sua educazione quasi interamente in casa, sotto la guida del padre ecclesiastico. Nel 1801 si trasferì con la famiglia a Bath; nel 1805, dopo la morte del padre, a Southampton; poi, nel 1809, a Chawton, Hampshire, dove scrisse quasi tutti i suoi romanzi. Profondamente attaccata alla famiglia, in particolare alla sorella Cassandra, la Austen non si sposò mai e trascorse un’esistenza raccolta e casalinga, interrotta solo da brevi visite a Londra e ai luoghi di villeggiatura sulla costa meridionale inglese. Il suo primo romanzo completo a noi pervenuto è L’abbazia di Northanger (Northanger abbey), pubblicato solo nel 1818. Il romanzo è centrato sul tema della maturazione di una giovane ingenuamente romantica, convinta,... Approfondisci
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