Sunday, May 10, 2009
The 17th installment of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey (delivered via email by dailylit.com) revealed, for the first time, the subtle irony -- even satire -- in the writing. Austen makes the story sound like the saga of a valiant heroine doing daily battle against the enemies of the human race -- when, in fact, all Catherine Morland is doing is trying to deal with the disappointment of not being asked to dance at the regular evening ball at Bath, where Catherine is vacationing. In this episode, the mysterious Mr. Tilney re-enters the picture (he comes to the ball) with a woman on his arm. Catherine hopes it is his sister, not his wife.