Thursday, July 19, 2007

Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (Jane Austen Book Reviews)

Northanger Abbey is a delightful read, and unlike any other book by Jane Austen that I have read. This book is not a character study much like her other novels. This novel is essentially a mockery of the, then, modern novel. It has references like "If my heroine was a normal heroine she would [do X], but she was too naive to know this." Fascinating, and quite enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

Here are some simply delightful quotes I found while reading this charming book (don't worry, they don't give the story away).

" young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman's love is declared."

"You will allow, that in both [dancing and marriage], man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution' that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with any one else."

"If I am wrong, I am doing what I believe to be right."

"The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing."

"His departure gave Catherine the first experimental conviction that a loss may be sometimes a gain."

Persuasion. This is my favorite book written by Jane Austen. And I've read all of them, including the posthumous Lady Susan. This last novel by Austen combines her personality analysis with her wonderful storytelling skills in a way that, in my opinion, surpasses even Pride and Prejudice. Shocking, I know. I heartily recommend the reading of this book to anyone who will understand and appreciate it. In other words, anyone that is a "teenager" (young adult) should be able to read this novel with delight. Guys, you may not read it with delight, but, no doubt, you still will enjoy it. And I do so recommend you read it. It is not a sappy love story (I tend to despise those), as aforestated it is a wonderful analysis, story, and work of art. Yes, I think effective storytelling is a work of art.

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