Monday, February 03, 2014

Northanger Abbey

Patrick and I have developed a thing for Jane Austen movies. Our current favorite is the 2007 BBC production of Northanger Abbey. The novel is parody of the vogue for gothic novels, full of huge mansions, mad monks, dark secrets and so on. At the same time, NA is a defense of the novel as a valid art form. Austen is comparing the gothic with real life and realistic fiction, which has its own secrets, dishonesties and betrayals. An interesting early novel, with a charming hero, who is close to his sister, likes novels, and knows a lot about female fashions. He is very sound on muslin. The heroine is a former tomboy, who is learning to be a young lady. In comparison to them we have the awful Thorpes. John Thorpe is a parody of a manly man, and his sister Isabella is a flirt. Both are fortune hunters.

It's minor Austen, but still Austen, and the TV movie is lovely. Because the novel is minor, it's easier to cram into a movie. The guy playing General Tilney is wonderful. What a creep!


Blogger Laura Morrigan said...

I loved the 2007 version of Northanger Abbey! The costumes were brilliant too, and I loved the scenes where she imagines she is in a Gothic novel. I have recently started reading The Mysteries of Udolpho.

9:38 PM  

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