I thought the cover of my 1968 Magnum Easy Eye Northanger Abbey was unironically melodramatic, but this one (read inside blurb) is even better. Apparently, in the sixties Northanger Abbey was marketed as a Gothic novel, which is hilariously sad for a satire of Gothic novels.
After the Jane Austen mania on PBS earlier this year, I felt embarrassed to realize that I was more familiar with movies based off Austen's books than with the books themselves. I can now add Northanger Abbey to my "have read" pile, along with Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and (of course) Pride and Prejudice. (Only two to go!)
It must say something for the book that I could enjoy Catherine's misplaced suspicions and trust, while still knowing everything that was going to happen.
Side note: Even in this early novel, Austen's sentence structure is elegantly complex. Any disruptions to that structure can be frustrating. As a former editor, I know a typo or two occansionally escapes notice. But my Magnum copy of Northanger Abbey had several, including this brain-twister (in bold):
[...]Henry, turning to Catherine, for the first time since her mother's entrance, asked her, with sudden alacrity, if Mr. and Mrs. Allen were now at Fullerton? And on developing, from amidst all her perplexity of words in reply, the meaning, which one short syllable would have given, immediately expressed his intention of paying his respects to them, and, with a rising colour, asked her if she would have the goodness to show him the way. "You may see the house from the window, sir," was information on Sarah's side, which produced only a bow of acknowledgement from the gentleman, and a silencing nod from her mother; Mrs. Morland, thinking it probable, as a secondary consideration in his wish of waiting on their on their worthy neighbors, that he might have some explanation to give on his father's account he had to give; but his pleasant for him to communicate only to Catherine, would not on any account prevent her accompanying him.
The last bit had me rereading that paragraph half a dozen times. Google Books reveals that this passage is not meant to sound like poorly translated Luxembourgish:
[...]Mrs. Morland, thinking it probable, as a secondary consideration in his wish of waiting on their on their worthy neighbors, that he might have some explanation to give of his father's behaviour, which it must be more pleasant for him to communicate only to Catherine, would not on any account prevent her accompanying him.
That's better. I'm not sure what happened to my copy. Blame it on the sixties?