My Radcliffe Intermission: A Preparation for Northanger Abbey

As planned, I will be reading through Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian before beginning Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Word has it that Northanger looks at a certain topic (cough cough), and that it might be prudent to know the parodied before reading the parody. I’m trying to be vague and open-minded about it because I don’t want any assumptions to spoil what might otherwise be an unbiased and thoughtful reading.

I am posting this not only as information for those who might be following along, but as an attempt to keep to my own convictions about time constraints. I intend to finish The Italian in a week, which shouldn’t be too much trouble given that I won’t be spending time making posts for it. And after that, I want to move swiftly though Northanger so that I can at least try to start Pride and Prejudice before February is up. If you’re wondering about my original schedule, see My Schedule for Reading Jane Austen.

Also up during my intermission will be some thoughts on 2 film adaptations of Sense and Sensibility. Nope, we’re not quite done with the Dashwoods yet. Stay tuned!

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9 Comments on “My Radcliffe Intermission: A Preparation for Northanger Abbey”

  1. Livia Says:

    I don’t know how you are able to read so much in so little time, but I’m looking forward to the next posts.
    Why did you chose “The Italian”? “Udolpho” seems to be the most popular Radcliffe book for NA readers. Just asking, hehe.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Livia,

    Thanks for the comment. In fact, I have not been able to read as much as I want to. At present, I am about 1 month behind in what I had originally planned to be a 3-month venture.

    Regarding The Italian, I don’t remember having a specific reason for choosing that novel. I bought the book in October of 2008 with the intention of reading it as part of a survey of the genre, but never got around to it. When I began this project, I found The Italian conveniently already somewhat on the docket. Thank you for the information about The Mysteries of Udolpho, as it is helpful for me to get information about how novels are perceived.

    – joseph

  3. Kaye Dacus Says:

    I read Udolpho as an undergraduate for a survey of British women writers. And it was LONG—and actually somewhat boring. It’s the only book of hers I’ve read (or tried to read), and it is the one mentioned in Northanger Abbey. But if The Italian is shorter (my copy of Udolpho clocks in at 672 pages), by all means, stick with that one!

  4. Laurel Ann Says:

    Looking forward to your views on Northanger Abbey Joseph. Keep up the great work!

  5. Duygu Says:

    I hope you haven’t given up already!
    Seems you haven’t posted anything for more than two weeks so I have my suspicions here.

    Influenced by your work, I was -and still am- planning to read S&S next.

  6. Laurel Ann and Duygu,

    Thanks for checking up on my progress. Things have been a bit busy lately, but I intend to start up with readings/postings on the second novel this week (March 1).


    – joseph

  7. Sylwia Says:

    So I caught up with you finally! Your posts are great, and I hope we’ll have the pleasure of reading your thoughts on Northanger Abbey soon.

    Some time ago I posted about Pierre Huet’s Treatise on the Origin of Novels at my blog. Austen makes very similar points at Northanger Abbey, so you might read it as an additional material. The excerpts are very short.

  8. Sylwia Says:

    BTW Could you claim your blog at Technorati? It’d then keep updating on mine. Here’s the link:

  9. Sylwia,

    Thanks for the comments. I have claimed my blog at Technorati.

    – joseph

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