Jane Austen’ s novel Northanger Abbey (1798 – 1799) is the story of an ordinary girl, Catherine Morland, a clergyman’s (= prelate) daughter. She is described as the anti-heroine, a protagonist who mocks (= si fa gioco) the main characters of the Gothic novels in fashion during Jane Austen’s times: the typical beautiful, rich and clever girl abused and outraged by a villain and saved by her timeless love. She goes to spend some weeks in
with a middle aged couple, the Allens, friends of her family. There she meets the Thorpes and becomes close friend to Isabella, one of the daughters. At first Isabella gets engaged (= si fidanza) to Catherine’s brother while John Thorpe falls in love with the heroine of the novel. At a ball Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister, Eleanor. He is an intelligent young man attracted by the protagonist’s simplicity. His sister, kind and good-hearted, becomes Catherine’s bosom friend. All of them are enthusiastic readers of Mrs. Radcliff’s Gothic novels. Bath
Meanwhile Isabella Thorpe has revealed to be an opportunist, ready to break off (= rompere) her engagement (= fidanzamento) when she meets a wealthier (= più ricco) young man, Henry’s brother, Captain John Tilney..
Catherine falls in love with Henry and is invited by his father, Colonel Tilney, to spend some weeks at the family home, Northanger Abbey.
The building is an old abbey and Catherine here dreams to live the experiences of her heroines, the protagonists of Mrs. Radcliff’s novels.
But she is suddenly sent away by Colonel Tilney that has discovered, after speaking with John Thorpe, she is not the wealthy girl he hoped for his son.
Catherine, hurt (= ferita) and disillusioned (= delusa), returns home, but Henry understands he is sincerely in love with her and they finally get married.
There are two main TV adaptations of the novel in 1986 and 2007