Reading about Northanger Abbey

The theme of 2010 AGM is “Jane Austen and The Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem, and Muslin in Portland,” focusing on Northanger Abbey.  JASNA’s web site is a rich source of essays about the novel.

“Mayhem in Northanger Abbey” was the subject of the 2010 student essay contest.  Winners have been chosen and first place essays are now posted.

Persuasions No. 7 includes a number of papers about Northanger Abbey.  Additional reading is available in Persuasions On-Line, JASNA’s electronic journal:

“Of Course You can Trust Me!”:  Jane Austen’s Narrator in Northanger Abbey, Henry N. Rogers III

Reading by the Book in Northanger Abbey, Barbara Benedict

“Willy-Nilly” and Other Tales of Male-Tails:  Rightful and Wrongful Laws of Landed Property in Northanger Abbey and Beyond, Deirdre E. Gilbert

The Invention of Civility in Northanger Abbey, Joseph Wiesenfarth

Persuasions No. 20 includes essays from the 1998 AGM in Quebec City, which focused on Northanger Abbey.  If you don’t have a copy of that volume, you can purchase it on this web site.

Janine Barchas
Janine Barchas

JASNA member Janine Barchas’s groundbreaking essay is also recommended reading in preparation for the AGM:  “Mapping Northanger Abbey: or, Why Austen’s Bath of 1803 Resembles Joyce’s Dublin of 1904.”  The essay appeared last year in The Review of English Studies, a leading scholarly journal published by Oxford University Press, and has recently been selected by the editors of the journal for public release.

Dr. Barchas, who is on the English faculty of the University of Texas-Austin, will be a speaker at the Portland AGM.  Her intriguing presentation is titled “The Real Bluebeard of Bath: A Historical Model for Northanger Abbey.”  Essays by Dr. Barchas also appear in JASNA’s journal Persuasions Nos. 30 and 31.