- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; MP3CD Unabridged edition (October 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786161132
- ISBN-13: 978-0786161133
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,441 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,334,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Northanger Abbey MP3 CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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Though Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until after her death--well after she'd established her reputation with works such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day made popular in such 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all figure into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Consider Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are told on the very first page that "no one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine." The author goes on to explain that Miss Morland's father is a clergyman with "a considerable independence, besides two good livings--and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters." Furthermore, her mother does not die giving birth to her, and Catherine herself, far from engaging in "the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush" vastly prefers playing cricket with her brothers to any girlish pastimes.
Catherine grows up to be a passably pretty girl and is invited to spend a few weeks in Bath with a family friend. While there she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor, who invite her to visit their family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Austen amuses herself and us as Catherine, a great reader of Gothic romances, allows her imagination to run wild, finding dreadful portents in the most wonderfully prosaic events. But Austen is after something more than mere parody; she uses her rapier wit to mock not only the essential silliness of "horrid" novels, but to expose the even more horrid workings of polite society, for nothing Catherine imagines could possibly rival the hypocrisy she experiences at the hands of her supposed friends. In many respects Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen's novels, yet at its core is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage, 19th-century British style. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
A resurgence of interest in Austen, combined with a vivacious reading by British actress Amanda Root, makes this a timely audio selection. Usually considered Austen's earliest completed novel, this posthumously published work is a delightful parody of gothic novels. Heroine Catherine Moreland is introduced to the social whirl of Bath by a new friend, Isabella Thorpe. Alas, Catherine is disappointed by this disloyal lass and departs to spend time at the ancestral home of her true friend, Eleanor Tilney, and Eleanor's charming brother Henry. Meanwhile, Isabella's brother John, whose romantic overtures have been rejected by Catherine, is almost successful in his schemes to cause the Tilneys to reject our heroine. An excellent acquisition for public libraries.
Linda Bredengerd, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Author: Jane Austen
Read by: Alison Larkin
Publisher: British Classic Audio
Length: Approximately 13 hours and 29 minutes
Source: Review Copy from author Alison Larkin - Thank-you!
A perfect book for the Valentine’s Day holiday this month, Pride and Prejudice is one of the most romantic novels that have ever been written. What a delight it has been to listen to the audiobook version of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen wonderfully narrated by Alison Larkin. It made my daily commute much more enjoyable. Alison Larkin has a perfect voice for narration and had unique “voices” for the individual characters. As I’ve said in other reviews of audiobooks of Austen’s novels, I feel they translate particularly well to the audiobook format as Austen would read them herself to her family and I feel they were written to be read aloud. I enjoyed the piano music between each chapter.
My favorite part of this audiobook version was actually the regency songs at the end. Alison Larkin sang four regency era songs and had them in a scene where Mr. Darcy and others are listening to the singing. It was magnificent and humorous at the same time. I could listen to an entire CD of Alison Larkin singing regency era songs. They were beautiful.
Why is Pride and Prejudice such a romantic novel? I think it is because of the unique relationship between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. They don’t both meet, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset together. Mr. Darcy insults Elizabeth’s looks and his snobby behavior infuriates her. She is afterwards willing and able to believe the worst of him including any and all malicious rumors. As Darcy gets to know Elizabeth better, her sense of humor, and no nonsense observations on life attract him. She is unlike any other woman he has known, she is not afraid to tell him exactly what she thinks. Which is what she does when he proposes and she refuses. Things seem at an end until Elizabeth visits Pemberley with her Aunt and Uncle. She meets Darcy again and he has changed the way he treats everyone. Elizabeth also sees how he treats the staff and his sister and is impressed by his goodness. I believe it is because Elizabeth and Darcy have to work through their first misunderstandings to find true love that makes this such a romantic novel? What do you think? I also think watching Colin Firth as Darcy in a wet shirt in the 1995 mini-series helps to make this a romantic classic.
I was struck again while listening to this audiobook on how financial stability is one of the driving forces of the novel. Who has what living or money is the talk of everyone in the novel With Longbourn entailed away to Mr. Collins, Mrs. Bennet has a real concern that if Mr. Bennet dies, she and her daughters will have no way to support themselves. I like when in the novel, Mr. Bennet reflects on how the only money they will have is what Mrs. Bennet brought to the marriage and that he probably should have been saving money all along. He then shrugs it off and thinks it’s too late now. That is why my British novel instructor in college said that Mr. Bennet is the real villain and Mrs. Bennet is the real heroine when you look beyond the comedy of the novel. Elizabeth Bennet holds out for love, but her friend Charlotte is more practical and marries Mr. Collins knowing that their marriage will provide a secure future for herself.
Pride and Prejudice is full of some of my favorite quotes of all time. Listening to this audiobook was like listening to an old friend tell my favorite story. Here are just a random sampling of some of my favorite quotes:
“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”
“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me, and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”
“They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.”
“How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.”
Overall, Pride and Prejudice with Songs from Regency England by Jane Austen and read by Alison Larkin is a beautiful version of one of my favorite books. Alison Larkin is a wonderful narrator and I love the unique rendition of the regency songs at the end of this audiobook. It’s a perfect audiobook to listen to, especially when you want to relax and escape from the daily grind or daily news.
Austen arranges a blend of characters in her novels whose lives reflect on the others giving one a mosaic, or a tapestry; a visual image of that part of England in its time. But, there is something ceaselessly modern in her writing craft and her stories. This novel is so funny and it is so easy to see it translated as it was into the modern film “Clueless”.
If all that wasn’t a bonus, it is Austen’s superb craft-person-ship with metaphor. They operate on so many levels. The landscape is as a bowl in Emma and the transverse of characters into it and up the sides mixes all together but in a way that a perfect dish will come of it. And there are pointers to it – the bowels of nourishing gruel that Mr Woodhouse always must have. As well, there is her arrangement of characters and how one pair reflects on another – principally Emma slash Harriet and the opposite sex pair Mr Knightly and Mr Martin as constant and sensible. These are set off against the young Miss Fairfax and Mr Churchill and their difficult relationship and then the ones of avarice in the Minister of religion and his wife – and isn’t that a subtle dig! And then, as way of moving the story along and filling in – like stippling in a drawing – she has Miss Bates mixing all the bits together.
Because I’ve read Emma a few times I have to acknowledge that my re reading is somewhat slow and the novel is not a page turner as might be some modern detective story. But, this novel is one to wallow in and enjoy the sound and chuckle at the human foibles and prejudice being uncovered. Austen’s novels are the benchmark of all good writing.