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Sunday, January 20

Northanger Abbey: A Tale Horrifically Condensed

Once upon a time a lovely young girl named Catherine Morland lived a quiet and sheltered life in an ivy covered house with her mother and father and nine brothers and sisters.

She loved to read novels of the Gothic Persuasion, placing herself as the heroine in the most lurid fantasies.

Then true excitement came Catherine's way. The kindly Allens took her along on a holiday to Bath, where she attended a crush in the Lower Assembly rooms. There she met no one ...

... until Mrs. Allen bumped into a handsome young man named Henry Tilney. They quickly learned they could trust him for he knew all about choosing muslins for his sister and such.

Our erstwhile young heroine spent a delightful evening dancing with Henry. (Part of the ITV scene below was cut out of the 90-minute PBS version of the movie.)

She then met a new girlfriend named Isabella in the middle of the street and the two girls immediately bonded.

Isabella was not only young and gay and sophisticated, but she was always busting out ...

with excitement over gothic novels and novel men.

Soon the two young misses were on a first-name basis and running around with each others’ brothers.

But Catherine thought John was icky. He lied to her and abducted her in an open gig,

leaving Henry and his sister in the lurch, and getting Catherine wet in the rain.

Catherine liked Henry ever so much better than John. She even dreamed about the handsome newly ordained young reverend, misplacing her clothes in the process.

Henry’s father, mistaking Catherine for an heiress (thanks to tattler John) ...

... invited her to visit his cozy house in the country.

Henry drove an unchaperoned Catherine to Northanger Abbey. (Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.)

There, comfortably ensconced in bed, Catherine could read to her heart's delight until the wee hours of the morning ...

and double check laundry lists. One night a gust of wind blew out Catherine's candles.
Gasp! Will Catherine live to survive the horrors of Northanger Abbey?

Will Henry will wipe the smudges of mud off Catherine's face?

Will he forgive her for thinking that his father kept his mother locked up in her rooms and threw away the key, or worse murdered her? Will the eight years difference in their ages prevent him from proposing to her and living happily ever after?

Stay tuned to PBS Masterpiece Classic this Sunday night to find out. Click here for scheduling details.

Read more about the actors in the following links:

Posted by Ms. Place and Laurel Ann


Miss Morland said...

There's a very good fansite for JJ Feild at

Charleybrown said...

I had started to watch an older version of Northanger Abbey years ago but it wasn't very good so I was delighted to find this film enchanting. The two leads are engaging and I thought that Catherine Walker was beautiful as Eleanor.It was nice to revisit the world of Jane Austen with a new story.

becca said...

I thought the production was charming. I was very pleased too.

Ms. Place said...

Thank you for the fan site, Miss Morland. I hope you enjoyed the production as much as charleybrown, becca, and I did.

Miss Morland said...

Thank you, yes. I loved it! :) It is a lovely adaptation, and the cast, especially Felicity Jones and JJ Feild, are excellent. Luckily I have was able to watch the uncut UK version and also own the UK DVD. I'm afraid PBS cut several lovely scenes from the film.