On a quiet evening last week I felt the need to satisfy a Jane Austen craving and so borrowed the PBS film version of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey from the library. I am sad to admit that I have never read Austen’s novel and therefore cannot offer a novel v. film critique. But I can tell you that, having never known the story of Northanger Abbey, I adored the film!
Catherine Morland grows up one of many children, enjoying the pleasantries of a country up-bringing. When her aunt and uncle whisk her away to Bath for a season, she finds herself immersed in high society. She attends balls, buys new gowns, and brushes elbows with many handsome young men, one of them the brother of her good friend Isabella Thorpe, the other a clever gentleman named Henry Tilney. Henry shares her interest in Gothic novels and quickly proves a great match for Catherine. (I rooted for Henry and Catherine from their introduction!) Henry and his sister Eleanor invite Catherine to their home Northanger Abbey for a visit, but while there Catherine’s wild imagination and her suspicion of a dark family secret cause her trouble and threaten her chance at love and happiness.