Archive for January 7th, 2010

7th January
written by Steph
Check out my dreamy Folio society edition!

Check out my dreamy Folio Society edition (purchased with my own $$$)!

I have a confession to make: I love Jane Austen.  Ok, ok, that is no surprise to anyone who has read at least three posts (probably even the cooking ones) here at S&TI! or engaged me in about 5 minutes of conversation, but it’s such a fundamental part of who I am that I think it bears repeating.  Truth be told, however, that wasn’t my confession.  My real confession is this: I love Jane Austen, but I have always secretly felt that Northanger Abbey was one of her lesser works.  The thing is though, I’m human so, rare though it is, I do occasionally make mistakes.  Consider this prior notion of mine to be one such error. I first read Northanger Abbey during the summer of 2005 when my friend Laura and I were backpacking around Europe and the UK.  I can’t remember where I got the copy I read, only I know I didn’t bring it with me, so I must have found it at one of the hostels we stayed at and took it along for a train ride or two.  Prior to reading the book (or perhaps concurrently), Laura and I visited the Jane Austen costume exhibit that was going on in Bath and part of the exhibit involved a quote from Mr. Tilney about muslin and various other fabrics and dressmaking which caused Laura and I to turn simultaneously to one another and mouth the word “GAY!” before collapsing into a fit of giggles. True story.  So anyway, while I read the book and knew it was a spoof on the popular gothic novel of the time, I really walked away with the strong perception that Henry Tilney was a huge fop, hardly deserving of the title of Austen hero, and that was about it.  There was nothing wrong with Northanger Abbey – it wasn’t a bad book – it just got catalogued in my mind as sort of a limp, less significant Austen novel. (more…)