Monday, March 14, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read-Along: Week 2

Favorite Quotes:

I have several favorite quotes, so I'm going to put down a few of them. I couldn't decide on just one this time!

"Her own family were plain, matter-of-fact people who seldom aimed at wit of any kind; her father, at the utmost, being contented with a pun, and her mother with a proverb; they were not in the habit therefore of telling lies to increase their importance, or of asserting at one moment what they would contradict the next."

I relate to that! It takes more patience than I care for to deal with people like this, and lots of prayers! I could step up on a soapbox with this topic, but I'll try to refrain. ;) I have a super hard time tolerating lies, though, and it makes the anger bubble under my skin!

"This civility was duly returned; and they parted-on Miss Tilney's side with some knowledge of her new acquaintance's feelings, and on Catherine's, without the smallest consciousness of having explained them."

I just find that sweet, and makes me like Catherine even more.

"It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biased by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull, or the jackonet. Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and something of a shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter."

Such Truth!

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Isabella a friend or a "frenemy"? Do you think there's the seed of a genuine friendship between her and Catherine, or is Isabella only loyal to her own ambitions?

I'm not fond of Isabella at this point, so I think she's definitely a frenemy, and only out for herself. She appears quite selfish, indeed!

2. Let's talk about John Thorpe, whose presence is obviously a problem! How would you advise Catherine in her interactions with Mr. Thorpe?

What a man! A HORRIBLE one! ;)

"Novels are all so full of nonsense and stuff; there has not been a tolerably decent one come out since Tom Jones, except The Monk; I read that t'other day; but as for all the others, they are the stupidest things in creation."

A quote from John Thorpe himself. I love how Jane Austen created a reader in Catherine, and a somewhat non-reader in Thorpe(although he appears more of an exaggerator and liar, as opposed to a true non-reader). My advice for Catherine? In this case, avoidance and honesty.

3. Do you agree with Mr. Tilney's comparisons between dancing and marriage? And do you consider dancing an important component of romance?

I'm going to mostly pass on this question, since I really have no experience with dancing. I read that particular passage twice, and I think I can agree with both of them to an extent, but I have no strong opinion on it.



  1. I liked the quotes you picked! Especially the one about her parents. No wonder Catherine is so confused by Isabella and her brother, she has no experience with any behavior beyond honesty and integrity. I think that is lacking in John for sure, but both of them to some extent. I can relate with the non-dancing experience. I think dancing in that era was much more conducive to romance than today where it is much more conducive to gain a sexual partner. I enjoyed your post :)

  2. Sounds like a great read! Hope you are still enjoying it, Tammy; all of these read-along posts are making me all too keenly aware that I do need to make a real effort to finish this one. ;)

  3. Great quote choices and responses, Bluerose! Very wise words indeed on the importance of fashion. ;) And Catherine and her family are so likable!

    As opposed to Thorpe, who is most assuredly not. :P I think that's some solid advice you would give: avoidance and honesty.

    So fun to hear your thoughts on the book so far!