Saturday, 6 March 2010

JOURNAL OF THE SECOND MEETING - NORTHANGER ABBEY


The second meeting to discuss  Northanger Abbey started perfectly on time. Unusual for us Italians, but true. There were three new acquisitions but some of us were, unfortunately,  ill at home. Anyhow, Northanger Abbey and its  delightful plot and characters let us have a very good time.

We talked about
  • Northanger Abbey as an experiment of metaliterature;
  • Catherine Morland  as an antiheroine; comparison with Marianne Dashwood;
  • JA's Bath and  its wordly life;
  • Henry Tilney, his characterization, comparison with the male characters in Sense and Sensibility;
  • parody of the gothic taste
  • Minor characters and comedy:  Mr and Mrs Allen
  • Siblings & parallelisms: The Thorpes, The Tilneys
  • The gothic setting of Northanger Abbey
  • Education as a torment (Book I, ch. 14)
 We also read some excerpts from the book and finally watched two fragments from ITV Northanger Abbey (2007) starring Felicity Jones and J.J. Feild.

Most of the  girls are enthusiastic and eager to go on with this experienc. At least, this is the impression I get from their comments and smiles! The more hermetic of our group  is  still convinced we are reading romances, just romances. She feels Jane Austen's style is affected and her stories shallow. We ,  all we,  tried to convince her of the contrary but we really had a hard time. Can you guess who she is from the photos?




As you can see in some of the pictures above, today I asked the readers in my group to answer some questions after our discussion. It was a simple survey I prepared to get some feedback. Here are the results.

1. FAVOURITE CHARACTER IN NORTHANGER ABBEY
Henry Tilney  5
Catherine 4
Mr Allen 1


2. UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT

a. Catherine is forced to go out by the Thorpes and meets the Tilneys, she understands she's been deceived
b. Catherine's first frightening night at Northanger Abbey
c. The setting :  Bath
d. Catherine dancing with Henry at Bath for the first time
e. Henry arrives at Northanger Abbey and meets Catherine just getting out of his dead mother's room
f.  Henry teasing Catherine all the time
g. Catherine and Henry going to Northanger Abbey, his making fun of her love for gothic novels (3)
h. Henry and Catherine in the final clarification /proposal

FAVOURITE THEME IN THE NOVEL
Parody of the Gothic taste 3
Metaliterature 2
Love  1
Good manners and social conventions  3
Marriage 0
Sentimental education of the heroine 1



FAVOURITE MALE CHARACTER SO FAR (after reading S&S and NA)
Colonel Brandon
Edward Ferrars
John Willoughby  2
Henry Tilney        8
John Thorpe
Frederick Tilney

FAVOURITE FEMALE CHARACTER SO FAR (after reading S &S and NA)
Elinor              3
Marianne        2
Mrs Dashwood
Catherine        5
Isabella Thorpe
Eleanor Tilney


Till next meeting then! 
3 p.m.    March 27th     PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

5 comments:

Meredith said...

:( I wish I could be there! This looks like so much fun!

Luciana said...

Oh man, I want a club like that! it sunds so fun MG! Looking foward to the P&P meeting and your posts about it!

Hannah Stoneham said...

Sounds like you have a fantastic book group going on here - although I think that NA might be my least favourite Jane Austen. Lovely pictures and fascinating subjects discussed. i hope that all of you get more out of the book as a result!

thanks for sharing and I wish I was there,

Hannah

lunarossa said...

Looks like a great group of ladies! So good that you managed to watch a bit of the adaptation as well. Personally I liked it very much. I think you should organize a trip to Bath with your ladies. We could all meet up and have tea and scones, after vising the Jane Austen's Experience! What do you think? Ciao. A.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

I think that it'd be great! Both being in Bath and meeting you, A.!