(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)
Northanger Abbey

Although a plain girl, Catherine Morland believes she is destined to become a heroine like those in her favorite gothic novels. She might, however, have spent her entire life in Fullerton, the small village in which she was born, had not Mrs. Allen, the wife of a wealthy neighbor, invited her to go to Bath. There a whole new world was opened to Catherine, who was delighted with the social life of the colony. At Bath, she meets Isabella Thorpe, who is more worldly than Catherine and takes it upon herself to instruct Catherine in the ways of society. Isabella also introduces Catherine to her brother, John Thorpe. He and Catherine’s brother, James Morland, are friends, and the four young people spend many enjoyable hours together.

Catherine meets Henry Tilney, a young clergyman, and his sister Eleanor, with whom she is anxious to become better acquainted. John thwarts her in this desire, and Isabella and James aide him in deceptions aimed at keeping her away from Henry and Eleanor. After Isabella and James are engaged, Isabella doubles her efforts to interest Catherine in her beloved brother. Although Catherine loves her friend dearly, she cannot extend this love to John, whom she knows in her heart to be an indolent, undesirable young man.

While James is at home arranging for an allowance so that he and Isabella can be married, Henry Tilney’s brother, Captain Tilney, appears on the scene. He is as worldly as Isabella and, even more important to her, extremely wealthy. Catherine is a little disturbed by the manner in which Isabella conducts herself with Captain Tilney, but she is too loyal to her friend to suspect her of being unfaithful to James.

Shortly after Captain Tilney arrives in Bath, Catherine is invited by Eleanor Tilney and her father, General Tilney, to visit them at Northanger Abbey, their old country home. Catherine is delighted; she always wanted to visit a real abbey. She quickly writes for and receives a letter of permission from her parents. Henry arouses her imagination with stories of dark passageways and mysterious chests and closets.

When the party arrives at Northanger Abbey, Catherine is surprised and a little frightened to find that the Tilney’s descriptions had been so exact. When she hears that Mrs. Tilney died suddenly several years previously, Catherine begins to suspect that the general murdered her. At the first...

(The entire section is 979 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter Summaries

Northanger Abbey Chapter 1 Summary

Northanger Abbey was the first novel Jane Austen wrote (around 1798), but it was not published until after her death in 1818. The story follows teenager Catherine Morland as she makes her way through the British society of her time. In this story, Catherine loves Gothic novels. Some critics have suggested that Northanger Abbey may have been written as a parody of that genre.

Catherine Morland is the daughter of a clergyman. Richard Morland and his wife have ten children; Catherine is the fourth oldest. At the age of ten, Catherine is described as a skinny girl with dark, lank hair and colorless skin. She is plain looking and does not care about her appearance. Cleanliness and education are of little interest to her. She would rather be playing cricket with the boys or rolling down a grassy field than practicing music, drawing, or learning French, the entertainments of most girls her age.

Catherine is very attentive and patient with her siblings and gently cares for the six sisters and brothers born after her. She loves small animals like mice and birds, is not quarrelsome with her parents or older brothers, and abhors being confined indoors.

As Catherine matures from ten to fifteen, her parents notice physical changes in their daughter. Her features are softened by the extra weight she puts on, and her attention is diverted from dirt to the refinement of nice clothes. Her parents are often overheard saying that Catherine has become “almost pretty.”

Although Catherine prefers riding horses to reading books, she does enjoy novels. It is through books of fiction that Catherine forms her opinions of who might be considered a hero and what that entails. Her definitions of heroism have nothing to do with the life around her, though. There are no young men upon whom she can invest the information she has gleaned from the fictional tales in which she indulges. None of her family’s friends have sons her age. There are no young men in her town or in neighboring villages. There are no young lords to stir her passions.

When she turns seventeen, a friend of her father’s, Mr. Allen, who is described as a warm-hearted man, must travel to Bath to treat an ailment. Mrs. Allen surmises that if a young girl cannot find adventures at home she must go elsewhere to find them, so she Allen asks the Morlands if Catherine might travel with them. When the Morlands consent, Catherine is extremely thankful.

Northanger Abbey Chapter 2 Summary

Catherine prepares for her departure with the Allens to Bath. Catherine’s mother does not make a fuss over her leaving; she merely warns Catherine to keep warm so that she does not catch a cold. Mrs. Allen’s concern is not due to a lack of love for her young daughter on her first venture into society but rather a lack of experience. Mrs. Allen knows very little about the potential mischief of some young men toward young, innocent girls, so she does not know to warn her daughter. Catherine’s closest sibling is her younger sister, Sally (who sometimes prefers the name Sarah). She does not, as some other sisters might have, insist that Catherine write to her every day that she is gone. No, the Morlands approach Catherine’s departure with a very modest spirit. The attitude seems to be that Catherine will not be gone long, and one day she will return.

The trip, much like the reactions of the Morlands, is quiet. Catherine and her companions, the Allens, encounter no storms along the road. Neither are they bothered by any thieves. Catherine looks about the countryside, but she does not set her eyes upon any young man who might incite her imagination into proclaiming him to be a possible hero.

Once settled in Bath, Mrs. Allen examines Catherine’s wardrobe and finds it lacking. The first outing of Mrs. Allen and Catherine is to procure new dresses. Soon afterward, Mrs. Allen is ready to chaperone Catherine to her first ball. Catherine’s hair is cut, and she dons one of her new outfits. The Allens announce, upon seeing her so dressed, that Catherine is sufficiently prepared for admiration from any young man who should see her.

They are late in arriving to the ball because Mrs. Allen takes very long to dress. By the time they reach the ballroom, it is so crowded the women have difficulty passing through. Catherine was hoping to find a place to sit and watch the dancing, but all they manage is to stand behind a wall of...

(The entire section is 534 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 3 Summary

In the next few days, Catherine and Mrs. Allen spend much of their time shopping and roaming the streets of Bath, exploring places they have never seen before. One day they go to the Lower Rooms, a place of gathering, and Catherine meets a young man. James King, the master of ceremonies, introduces Catherine to Henry Tilney, a twenty-four-year-old clergyman.

Tilney begins a conversation with Catherine; he asks when she arrived at Bath and what she has done since she has been there. Catherine finds the young man refreshing and well mannered. He teases her about writing in her journal when she gets home that night. He even suggests how she might describe having met him. He says she will probably state that she was harassed by a strange young man who made her dance with him and made her feel uncomfortable. After laughing over this, Tilney suggests another possible journal entry, one that is more flattering. He tells her to describe him as a very agreeable young man who seems like an extraordinary genius. She is to write that she has met a young man so interesting that she hope to see him again.

Mrs. Allen joins their conversation but talks of nothing but dresses. Mr. Tilney, it turns out, knows a lot about fashion and fabric. He claims to buy material out of which his sisters make dresses. He knows what types of material are better than others. Mrs. Allen asks Mr. Tilney to give his opinion of her dress and Catherine’s. He likes the one Mrs. Allen is wearing but suggests that Catherine must have spent too little money on hers, and he is concerned the dress will soon fray. Catherine is slightly embarrassed by this conversation, thinking that Mrs. Allen has spent too much time absorbed in a frivolous subject. But the couple soon leaves Mrs. Allen’s company as the dancing has begun.

As they walk toward the dance floor, Mr. Tilney notices the strange expression on Catherine’s face and asks what she is thinking about. She had been considering his personality, thinking him somewhat foolish. She does not want to expose her thoughts to him, so she tells him she was not thinking about anything at all. Mr. Tilney suggests that they are destined to become acquainted with one another, so she should be honest with him—she should merely tell him that she would rather not share her thoughts with him. This is exactly what she tells him.

Northanger Abbey Chapter 4 Summary

The next day, Catherine is anxious to return to the Lower Rooms with Mrs. Allen in anticipation of meeting again with Henry Tilney, and she rushes Mrs. Allen out of the house. The meeting room is crowded but there is no sign of Mr. Tilney. Again Mrs. Allen bemoans the fact that she and Mr. Allen have no acquaintances in Bath. She believes this puts her and Catherine at a great disadvantage. Catherine has grown tired of hearing the same complaint but feels a sense of ease when a woman turns toward Mrs. Allen. This woman says she knows Mrs. Allen and calls her by name. She has to remind Mrs. Allen of tidbits of the past history shared between them before Mrs. Allen remembers her. The woman is Mrs. Thorpe, a widow and mother of six...

(The entire section is 468 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 5 Summary

Catherine and Isabella become inseparable, but this does not keep Catherine from wondering about Mr. Tilney, who seems to have disappeared from Bath. Every time Catherine goes for a walk, she looks for him. She talks to Isabella about him, and Isabella suggests that Mr. Tilney is probably a good man. Isabella adds that maybe Catherine should have been a bit more forthcoming about her interest in him. Maybe that would have kept him in Bath.

Catherine goes to the theater in the evening with Isabella. They go together to the ballroom to dance. There is never any sign of Mr. Tilney no matter where they go or when they are out. However, rather than dismaying Catherine, his absence only increases her interest in him. She...

(The entire section is 436 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 6 Summary

Catherine is late for a meeting with Isabella. When she arrives, Isabella chides her for making her wait so long, though Catherine notes she is just a few minutes late. Isabella will not hear this and complains she has been waiting forever—she has a tendency for exaggeration. Isabella asks what has kept her, and Catherine explains that she lost track of time because she was so involved in the novel she had been reading. She tells Isabella that she is reading The Mysteries of Udolpho, written by Ann Radcliffe and one of the most popular books of the late eighteenth century. Udolpho is now...

(The entire section is 497 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 7 Summary

As Isabella and Catherine follow the two men from the Pump Room, they are barred from crossing the street by a carriage that is racing past them. When the carriage stops, they recognize the two men inside it as James Morland, Catherine’s brother, and John Thorpe, Isabella’s brother.

The women go to meet them, and Catherine is introduced to John, who is fairly handsome but quarrelsome. He argues with James about how fast they were going, how far they have traveled, and how long they have been on the road. John exaggerates the distance, speed, and duration. He also monopolizes the conversation. He tells Catherine about the man from whom he recently bought the carriage, how much he paid for it, and how strong his horse...

(The entire section is 490 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 8 Summary

It is evening, and James, Isabella, Catherine, and John go to the ball. John quickly excuses himself so he can enter the card room, leaving the other three behind. When James asks Isabella to dance, she tells him she will not dance until Catherine has a partner. However, only a few minutes later, Isabella tells Catherine—with much flourish—that James is so impatient to dance that she cannot refuse him. Isabella thus leaves Catherine to sit with Mrs. Thorpe and Mrs. Allen.

Catherine is depressed and feels like the other women who are sitting on the sidelines. She endures her discomfort by recalling heroines in her favorite novels who have fortitude and never complain in all their disagreeable situations. A few...

(The entire section is 455 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 9 Summary

Catherine was very disappointed with the ball the night before. However, her spirits are restored upon awaking from a nine-hour sleep. Her plan for that day is to seek Miss Tilney at the Pump Room. Of all the people she had dealt with at the ball, Miss Tilney was most on her mind—with the exception of her brother. Catherine will wait until noon and then go by herself to the Pump Room and renew her acquaintance with Miss Tilney.

While she is reading in the parlor with Mrs. Allen, who is working on a sewing project, there is a loud knock on the door. When Mrs. Allen looks out the front window, she sees two carriages: one is empty and the other is occupied by James Morland and Isabella Thorpe. The sound of heavy...

(The entire section is 489 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 10 Summary

Mr. and Mrs. Allen, Catherine, her brother James, and the Thorpes go to the theater together. While they wait for the performance, Isabella wants Catherine to look around the audience to see if Mr. Tilney is there. She is very anxious to see what he looks like. She says he can hardly be expected “to exist” until she does.

Isabella quickly forgets this topic, though, and switches to one more personal. She talks about how much she and James are alike. Their opinions about every subject are identical, she declares. She looks over at James at this point and tells him that he is not to expect one word from her because she will be completely absorbed in conversation with Catherine—but not two minutes later, Catherine...

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Northanger Abbey Chapter 11 Summary

Catherine wakes up in a happy disposition, anxious for her walk with Mr. Tilney and his sister. But as she stands at the front window, watching the darkening skies, she fears that it will rain. Soon it does. Though her spirits are dampened, Catherine holds out hope that the clouds will clear before it is time for the Tilneys to appear at her door. They have promised to be there at noon.

At twenty after twelve, the rain continues and the Tilneys have not approached her door. Catherine discusses with Mrs. Allen the prospects of walking after such a downpour. It will be dirty, Mrs. Allen warns.

Shorty afterward, two carriages appear, as they did several days before. James Morland and Isabella are sitting in...

(The entire section is 498 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 12 Summary

Catherine sets out to walk to the Tilneys’ house. Upon arriving, she knocks on the door and is greetd by a butler. She asks if Miss Tilney is at home. The butler says he thinks she is, but he then he returns and says he was mistaken. Miss Tilney had just recently left.

Catherine is perplexed. She senses that the butler is not being honest. She walks away but looks back, thinking she might see someone at the window. She sees no one. After walking but a short distance from the house, however, she turns back again and sees someone leaving the house. It is Miss Tilney with her father. Catherine feels that the Tilneys are shaming her by refusing to see her because she missed the appointment with Miss Tilney and her brother...

(The entire section is 479 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 13 Summary

Catherine is walking with her brother, James, Isabella, and John Thorpe. Isabella tells Catherine about a plan they have concocted. They will once again attempt to go to Blaize Castle the following day. Catherine tells her she cannot go because she has scheduled a walk with Miss Tilney. Isabella does not allow this to bother her: all Catherine has to do is change that appointment to another day.

Catherine does not want to do this. She already missed the first time she was supposed to walk with Miss Tilney. John Thorpe tells Catherine she must go with them. She has only to tell Miss Tilney that she had forgotten about a previous engagement she had made with them. Catherine still resists.

Isabella becomes very...

(The entire section is 497 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 14 Summary

The following morning, Catherine waits for Henry and Eleanor Tilney to show up for their planned walk. All the while, Catherine is very nervous that her brother, Isabella, and John Thorpe will come around and insist that she go with them to Blaize Castle. She is relieved when she sees no sign of them.

Soon the Tilneys arrive. She leaves with them, happy to finally have time to get to better know the brother and sister. Some of the initial topics that they discuss include what the three of them enjoy reading. Catherine confesses her love of Radcliffe’s writing, especially The Mysteries of Udolpho. To her surprise, Henry Tilney says this novel is one of his favorites. He says that he could not put the...

(The entire section is 563 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 15 Summary

Isabella meets with Catherine and tells her how much she is in love with James Morland. During their outing to Blaize Castle, Isabella says, James confided in her that he feels the same about her. With great exclamation, Isabella adds that she and James are engaged. She and Catherine are finally to be sisters, as Isabella has always imagined. Isabella adds that she will be closer to Catherine than she is to her real sisters. The Morlands will be more of a family to her than her own.

Isabella provides very few details about the trip. She does not reprimand Catherine for not going with them to Blaize Castle. All sentiment is focused on Isabella and her emotions. Isabella is happy that James wants to marry her but feels...

(The entire section is 496 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 16 Summary

Catherine reflects on her previous evening’s dinner with the Tilneys; she cannot help but be disappointed. When she analyzes why this is so, she finds the following reason: Miss Tilney was rather withdrawn. The dinner did little to increase any sense of intimacy between them. With Henry, Catherine was surprised at how little he talked, less than at other meetings. Although she cannot blame General Tilney for the change in the brother’s or the sister’s manners, Catherine determines that she was glad to be rid of the father. She will wait, however, before defining her relationship with Henry and Eleanor Tilney. They will be at the dance that night. Catherine will see if the previous evening’s encounter has permanently changed...

(The entire section is 543 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 17 Summary

Catherine is saddened by the fast-approaching date of her departure from Bath. Her concern is slightly alleviated when she hears that the Allens have extended their stay by one week. But this still gives Catherine only three weeks in which to enjoy the pleasures and excitements Bath has offered her. Her experience has far extended her hopes. She had come from a small village, where country routines had perpetuated a monotonous pattern. Bath, in contrast, has provided her with new friends, exciting excursions, and hints of romance. She does not want to leave. One extra week is a blessing, but she still longs for more.

While visiting Miss Tilney, Catherine learns that the Tilneys are leaving even sooner. They will be gone...

(The entire section is 388 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 18 Summary

Catherine has not seen Isabella for several days but meets her one morning in the Pump Room. Isabella steers Catherine away from Mrs. Allen and leads her to a bench near the front doors, telling Catherine this is her favorite place to sit down. It is obvious to Catherine that Isabella is distracted, as if she is waiting for someone to walk through the doors. Isabella denies this and proceeds to tell Catherine that she has received a letter from her brother John.

Isabella asks teasingly what Catherine thinks is in John’s letter. She thinks Catherine can probably guess what John has written. Catherine assures Isabella that she has no idea of the contents. At this, Isabella accuses Catherine of having false modesty and...

(The entire section is 462 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 19 Summary

Catherine notices the changes in Isabella. When they are in a group of friends, the changes seem slight and noticeable. But when Catherine is alone with Captain Tilney and Isabella, she is shocked by the attention Isabella gives to the man. She pays almost as much attention to Captain Tilney as she does to James.

James looks sullen whenever Catherine sees him, and she feels sorry for him. Catherine believes Captain Tilney must not know that Isabella is engaged to James, otherwise he would not be as attentive to Isabella. Catherine wishes Captain Tilney were leaving with his family when they go to Northanger Abbey. Then Isabella would have no occasion to flirt with him and James would be happier. However, Catherine has...

(The entire section is 425 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 20 Summary

As the day arrives for Catherine’s departure to Northanger Abbey, Mr. and Mrs. Allen grow distressed. They have greatly enjoyed Catherine’s company. They note, however, that their own stay in Bath is coming to an end and they would have to give up Catherine one way or the other.

Mr. Allen walks Catherine to the Tilneys’ house to have breakfast with them before they begin their journey. After saying good-bye to Mr. Allen, Catherine suffers moments when she wishes she could go back with him. She is so agitated about fitting in with the Tilney family that she does not enjoy the first few moments. She wants to make sure she does everything right so the Tilneys will like her. However, Catherine is also anxious about...

(The entire section is 455 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 21 Summary

Alone in her room, Catherine takes some time to look around her new quarters, although she knows she is expected for dinner shortly. The room is different from how Henry had described it. There are no tapestries hanging on the wall, behind which strangers might lurk. The large windows let in much sunlight. The room is not scary, as Henry had laughingly suggested.

There is an unusual wooden chest, though. It is large and pushed to one side as if in an attempt to partially conceal it. Catherine is drawn to it. Henry had mentioned a chest, and she is anxious to explore this one. She struggles with the lock and the heavy weight of the lid. Just as she is opening it, Eleanor enters the room. Eleanor calmly alludes to the...

(The entire section is 556 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 22 Summary

Upon awakening the next morning, Catherine waits only long enough for the morning maid to leave her bedroom before she gets out of bed and rushes toward the manuscript she had found in the tall cabinet the night before. What she had thought was a large scroll of rolled paper turns out to be several separate small pieces of paper rolled together. Some of the pieces are strewn on the floor, and she is surprised the maid did not pick them up.

Catherine hastens to read the writing on the papers. She is disappointed when she reads what turns out to be lists of clothing supplies, laundry lists, and bills. She wonders how she could have been so foolish, how she could have waited up most of the night in anticipation of some...

(The entire section is 493 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 23 Summary

Catherine’s tour of the gardens is completed. She has been waiting inside the abbey for General Tilney to appear so that the tour of the interior can begin. After the girls wait an hour, the general comes inside. Catherine interprets the general’s long meditations alone in the gardens as a sign of depression or gloom. Despite Catherine’s presumed attitude for the man, the general smiles and leads Catherine and Eleanor on a tour of the largest, more public rooms.

The furnishings and size of the rooms do not affect Catherine. She is more interested in the history of the building and its reflection on the personal lives of the Tilneys. However, the general guides them away from the personal rooms. Catherine sees some...

(The entire section is 481 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 24 Summary

Catherine awakens the next day with hopes that she will see the rest of the abbey. She waits until the general has gone for a walk and then asks Eleanor if she will show her the rooms they did not see the previous day. Eleanor agrees and first takes Catherine to see her mother’s portrait. In the picture Catherine searches for resemblances to Eleanor and Henry in the mother’s face. They then proceed through the gallery and reach the door that leads to Catherine’s mother’s rooms. Just as Eleanor is about to turn the doorknob, a loud voice booms out from behind them, calling out the name “Eleanor.”

At the sound of the general’s voice, Catherine is filled with terror. Eleanor follows her father out of view,...

(The entire section is 538 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 25 Summary

Catherine is filled with shame for having been found out by Henry, and she laments that Henry might have lost all affection for her. She is sure that whatever he might have felt for her before has been spoiled by her fantasy that Henry’s father had tortured his mother. She should have known better than to think so poorly of General Tilney and his relationship with his wife. How horribly wrong she had been to assume so many detrimental things. She had jumped to conclusions through a combination of events that she had misinterpreted and her proclivity for drama. She allowed her enjoyment of Gothic romance and mystery books to color her thoughts, to influence her to poorly judge the general’s character. Catherine realizes that...

(The entire section is 560 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 26 Summary

Catherine considers the discussions she has heard between Eleanor and Henry about the unlikelihood that General Tilney will accept Isabella as Captain Tilney’s wife, and she wonders if she will have to endure a similar fate. If the general turns down Isabella because of a lack of family status and wealth, surely he will also not approve of Catherine, who is even poorer. She also believes that Henry should tell his father about his opinions of Isabella so the general will have time to ponder the situation before Captain Tilney arrives. This will give the general time to objectively reflect on the topic and possibly prepare his case for or against Isabella on more suitable grounds—not based on status and money. Henry disagrees....

(The entire section is 523 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 27 Summary

A strange letter arrives for Catherine from Isabella. Isabella begins by apologizing for having taken so long to write. She claims she has put a pen in her hand every morning with the intention of writing, but something always interfered. Then she asks Catherine to write to James, who has gone to Oxford in a terrible mood. Isabella claims she cannot make sense of James’s sudden departure and misses him very much. Although she looks hideous in purple, it is the only color she wears now because purple is James’s favorite. She adds that James is the only man she could love and wants Catherine to relay her message.

Isabella then continues her letter by remarking on Captain Tilney, who followed her around like a shadow...

(The entire section is 441 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 28 Summary

General Tilney is obliged to go to London for a week. This allows Eleanor, Catherine, and Henry to have the abbey to themselves. Before he leaves, the general apologizes for having to leave Catherine and orders his children to ensure her comfort. The three of them are not saddened by the departure of General Tilney; on the contrary, they rejoice. They laugh more, relax more, and walk when and where they want to without having the general to order them about. Each person feels a sense of release in his absence.

The only slight unhappiness for Catherine is the realization that she has been at Northanger for almost four weeks. Staying any longer will seem an imposition, she thinks, so she raises the issue with Eleanor....

(The entire section is 510 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 29 Summary

Catherine is unwilling to look out on the scenery around the abbey; she sits low in the carriage and averts her eyes. She cannot endure the thought of leaving this place and all the memories she has made here. Just ten days previously, she had been traveling along the same road on her way to Woodston. She had been so joyful, had thought Henry loved her, and had believed that Henry’s father approved. So much has changed and she does not understand why. She longs to know why the general has sent her away, what Henry will think when he finds out, and how Henry and Eleanor will talk of her.

Catherine’s journey ends without incident. She arrives home to the embraces of her family and to their questions. She does not know...

(The entire section is 512 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 30 Summary

Mrs. Morland worries about her daughter as she observes Catherine’s inability to sit still and her lack of interest in any chores about the house. After a few days, she warns Catherine not to lose herself in memories of what has happened or in comparing the circumstances of where she has been with the situation in which she presently lives. One must always appreciate home, she tells her daughter.

Catherine’s mood persists until a young man comes to visit—it is Henry Tilney. He is, at first, embarrassed for showing his face at the Morland home after what his father has done to Catherine. However, Mrs. Morland insists that he is welcomed. She is pleased not only by his gentle looks but also by the rising spirits she...

(The entire section is 508 words.)

Northanger Abbey Chapter 31 Summary

Henry approaches Mr. and Mrs. Morland to ask for Catherine’s hand. They are surprised by the announcement because they had never had a thought about the young people’s attraction. They approve of Henry and want nothing more than Catherine’s happiness. She will not prove to be a good housewife, Mrs. Morland tells Henry, but she is young enough to still learn.

There is only one impediment to Henry and Catherine’s engagement: the Morlands insist that Henry obtain his father’s consent. They make no demands for money for their daughter, as she has a small sum that is due her, and Henry earns enough to keep them well.

Henry leaves to procure his father’s approval. Although they are certain the general...

(The entire section is 458 words.)