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Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey Summary


Here you will find a Northanger Abbey summary (Jane Austen's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

Northanger Abbey Summary Overview

The narrative begins with Catherine Morland, an innocent seventeen-year-old, embarking on a journey to Bath, a popular retreat for the affluent, escorted by the Allens, who are family friends. Her sheltered life undergoes a dramatic shift as she becomes acquainted with the captivating Henry Tilney. However, she also befriends Isabella Thorpe, a superficial gossip enthusiast who immerses Catherine in the complex social scene of Bath. Yet, the plot thickens when Isabella's brother, John, and Catherine's brother, James, arrive at Bath. Isabella and James' budding romance leaves Catherine unsure of her feelings for Henry and John. Despite John's efforts, Catherine remains uninterested owing to his arrogance, instead growing closer to Henry's sister, Eleanor. The first section culminates with Catherine discovering James' engagement to Isabella and John's misguided assumption that Catherine is enamored with him. The second part of the story takes a dramatic turn with the introduction of the flirtatious Captain Frederick Tilney, Henry's older brother. His arrival stirs Isabella's interest, leading to a complicated love triangle given her engagement to James. While this unfolds, Catherine is invited to the Tilney residence, Northanger Abbey, where she lets her imagination run wild, fueled by her love for Gothic novels. Despite her initial fears, Catherine realizes that Northanger Abbey is not as frightening or mysterious as she had imagined. However, the mysterious death of Eleanor and Henry's mother intrigues Catherine, leading her to suspect General Tilney of foul play. This suspicion is quickly dismissed by Henry, causing Catherine great shame. Lastly, Catherine receives distressing news about the collapse of James and Isabella's engagement, leading her to condemn Isabella's manipulative tactics. Catherine is then unjustly expelled from Northanger Abbey by General Tilney, based on false information about her financial status provided by the disgruntled John Thorpe. Despite this upheaval, Henry proposes to Catherine, revealing the misunderstanding regarding her wealth. The narrative concludes on a happy note with Eleanor's marriage to a wealthy suitor mollifying General Tilney. Once the true state of Catherine's financial situation is clarified, Henry and Catherine are granted permission to marry, marking the end of Catherine's journey of growth, self-discovery, and love.

volume 1 chapter 1

Catherine Morland, the main character, is a seventeen-year-old raised in Fullerton, a rural area in Hampshire, England, within a fairly affluent family. Though she dabbled in activities like piano and drawing as a youngster, her interests weren't strong enough to master anything. Catherine was a lively, good-natured child, but she was also a bit of a tomboy. The text states, "she was noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house." As she transitioned into her teens, she became more attractive and shifted her focus from outdoor activities such as cricket and horse riding to absorbing herself in books. She has had no romantic interests. The chapter concludes with the Allens, a rich and childless couple who are friends with the Morlands, inviting Catherine on a trip to Bath, a popular resort town. After getting her parents' consent, Catherine agrees.

volume 1 chapter 2

The narrative delves into Catherine's character traits, highlighting her loving heart, cheerful nature, and modest disposition. At seventeen, her beauty is pleasing, though her knowledge is limited, as is typical for young women of her age. As Catherine readies herself for her journey to Bath, her mother shows unusual calm about her daughter's impending trip. Her father gifts her a modest amount of money for her travels. The narrator introduces Mrs. Allen, a woman lacking in beauty and sophistication, but possessing a quiet temperament that has attracted a man like Mr. Allen. Upon reaching Bath, the trio attends a ball. Catherine attaches herself to Mrs. Allen, who complains about their lack of acquaintances in the town. Mrs. Allen is overly concerned with her dress, while Catherine fruitlessly hopes for a dance invitation. Mr. Allen is mostly busy in the card-room. Despite not getting an opportunity to dance, Catherine is content to hear compliments about her looks from two men before the ball concludes.

volume 1 chapter 3

Catherine and Mrs. Allen find themselves at the Lower Rooms, a popular spot for the elite. Catherine, lacking a dance partner, is introduced to a striking young man, Henry Tilney, by the master of ceremonies. Henry's charisma and good looks make a strong impression on Catherine as they dance and engage in conversation. Henry humorously mimics typical small talk, asking Catherine about her stay in Bath and if she's attended a concert. He even makes playful assumptions about how Catherine might describe him in her journal. He suggests she'd compose a dull critique, though when she disagrees, he imagines a more complimentary portrayal. They also discuss letter-writing, with Henry asserting that women generally write better letters than men, but sometimes lack subject matter, disregard punctuation, and show an occasional lack of grammatical knowledge. Henry also teases Mrs. Allen's fondness for attire by recounting his own shopping experience acquiring muslin at a reasonable price for his sister Eleanor. After a second dance, Catherine and Henry separate. That night, Catherine finds herself thinking of Henry and, as the narrator comically warns, makes a serious error – she's developed feelings for a man before she's sure he feels the same about her. Mr. Allen, meanwhile, learns that Henry is a respectable clergyman from a good family in Gloucestershire.

volume 1 chapter 4

On the following day, Catherine can't find Henry in any of the social spots. She and Mrs. Allen run into Mrs. Thorpe, an old school friend. Both ladies are thrilled to see a familiar face in Bath and they start conversing - talking more than listening. Mrs. Thorpe, a widow, talks about her children while Mrs. Allen boasts about her wealth. Mrs. Thorpe introduces her three daughters to Catherine and Mrs. Allen, and her eldest, Isabella, becomes fast friends with Catherine. Isabella educates Catherine on the Bath social scene, including fashion trends, flirting, and evaluating attractiveness. By the time she takes Catherine home, Isabella has earned Catherine's admiration. The chapter concludes by mentioning Mrs. Thorpe's meager wealth, and a tongue-in-cheek comment about the brevity of the Thorpe family history compared to how Mrs. Thorpe would have narrated it.

volume 1 chapter 5

Catherine and Isabella grow closer in Bath, with Catherine sharing her attraction towards Henry Tilney. Isabella happily indulges Catherine's infatuation. Simultaneously, Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Thorpe create their own dynamic, constantly trying to outdo each other - Mrs. Allen showcasing her riches, while Mrs. Thorpe boasting about her offspring. The narrator sheds light on Catherine and Isabella's occasional reading habit, notably novels. Instead of dismissing this pastime, the narrator robustly defends it, asking the reader to defy the critics and support Catherine's fondness for novels. The narrator argues that it's critical to celebrate the heroines who appreciate novels, as they are the ones showcasing the brilliance of human intellect, understanding of human nature, and the finest expressions of wit and humor. The chapter closes with a critique of the sensational newspapers of the time, derogatorily referred to as the "yellow press."

volume 1 chapter 6

Catherine and Isabella engage in a lively conversation after having decided to meet up one day. Despite Catherine's delayed arrival due to her engrossment in a Gothic novel, 'The Mysteries of Udolpho', suggested by Isabella, their discussion continues. Captivated by the novel, Catherine shares her enjoyment and anticipation about uncovering the secret of the black veil, which she suspects to be a skeleton. Isabella suggests a list of other Gothic novels for further reading once Catherine finishes the current one. They then talk about Miss Andrews, an acquaintance of Isabella's. Isabella describes Miss Andrews as an extremely beautiful girl, and even threatens to refuse dances with those who disagree. This leaves Catherine and readers with a feeling that Miss Andrews may not be as lovely as portrayed, and that Isabella is self-pleased with her kind words. Isabella assures Catherine that she would defend her in the same way against negative comments, considering her "just the kind of girl to be a great favorite with the men." The conversation shifts to men, with Isabella hinting her preference for fair-skinned, light-eyed men. Upon noticing two men observing them, Isabella expresses her discontent with such outrageous conduct. As the men leave, Isabella suggests a walk. Catherine points out that this could result in crossing paths with the men again, but Isabella dismisses the idea of giving them any satisfaction. Asserting her independence, Isabella decides to follow the men, leading Catherine to join her, intent on "humbling [the two men]".

volume 1 chapter 7

Catherine and Isabella encounter their brothers, James Morland and John Thorpe, unexpectedly in a carriage. Joining the girls, James seems to have a romantic interest in Isabella, which Catherine is oblivious to. John attempts to impress Catherine by boasting about his carriage and horse. He suggests taking Catherine on carriage rides, a proposal she hesitantly agrees to, unsure of its appropriateness. Catherine is disappointed when John expresses his dislike for novels, making her feel slightly guilty for enjoying them. John's invitation to dance at the upcoming ball excites Catherine. Later, Catherine and James talk about the Thorpes. James hints at his affection for Isabella, but Catherine fails to grasp his implication. She appreciates James for visiting her in Bath. Before the ball, Catherine immerses herself in reading the Gothic novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho. She is so engrossed in the book that she ignores everything else around her.

volume 1 chapter 8

Catherine attends the ball with her prearranged partner, John Thorpe, along with James and Isabella. John quickly leaves for the card room, and despite Isabella's attempt at company, she’s coaxed into dancing with James. Catherine finds herself vexed by John's absence but is momentarily distracted by the arrival of Henry Tilney and his sister, Eleanor. She would like to accept Henry's invitation to dance but must decline due to her commitment with John. Once John reappears, they dance, but Catherine feels disgruntled over his tardiness. During this, she meets Eleanor. Post-dance, John vanishes, and Catherine introduces Eleanor to Isabella while searching for Henry. Isabella feigns interest but promptly leaves to charm James. This sparks some skepticism in Catherine about Isabella's indifference towards Henry. James and Isabella dance again, despite her mock objections about it being a "scandal". Left alone once more, Catherine retreats to the company of Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Thorpe. She attempts to talk with Henry but never manages to. John makes a futile attempt to charm Catherine, to which she gracefully withdraws.

volume 1 chapter 9

Awakening with a desire to know Eleanor Tilney better, Catherine's plan is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of John Thorpe, his sister Isabella and her brother James at the Allens'. She's convinced to join them on a carriage ride, with James and Isabella in one and herself and John in the other. Catherine struggles to understand John's self-centered conversation, especially his tendency to exaggerate. He alternates between criticizing James's carriage, claiming it's about to fall apart, then insisting it's robust enough for their journey, leaving Catherine confused. Despite her brother's approval, Catherine concludes that John is not "entirely agreeable." Upon their return, Isabella refuses to believe their journey lasted three hours, insisting the enjoyable time must have made it seem shorter. When Catherine later catches up with Mrs. Allen, she learns that Henry's father, General Tilney, is in town. She reflects regretfully that had she known about the Tilneys' presence, she would have chosen to skip the carriage ride.

volume 1 chapter 10

Accompanied by James, the Allens, and the Thorpes, Catherine visits the theater. Isabella, as usual, talks endlessly, about her carriage journey with James, seemingly unaware that Catherine doesn’t see the budding romance between them. The following day, Catherine goes to the Pump-room, intending to connect with Eleanor Tilney. She endures some time with James and Isabella's secretive, giggly chatter before she finally meets Eleanor. The two find common ground and during their chat, Catherine commends Henry's dance abilities, curious about his previous partner. Eleanor discerns Catherine's affection for Henry, even though Catherine herself is oblivious to her own feelings. That night, Catherine eagerly gets ready for the ball, hoping to see Henry. She manages to dodge John Thorpe until Henry appears and extends an invitation to dance. John's arrival is unwelcome, and he seems miffed. However, he remains convinced Catherine only has eyes for him, even asking if Henry might want to purchase a horse. As the dance begins, Catherine is pulled away, but she encounters Henry again who criticizes John's attitude. Henry likens dancing to a temporary marriage with its own set of obligations, a notion Catherine partially agrees with. He then warns her about the fleeting allure of Bath and introduces her to his father, General Tilney. The chapter concludes with Henry and Eleanor scheduling a walk with Catherine the next day, much to her joy.

volume 1 chapter 11

Catherine can't go for her planned walk with Eleanor and Henry Tilney because it's raining in the morning. Around midday, she gets a surprise visit from John Thorpe, Isabella, and James who suggest a trip to Bristol. At first, Catherine declines, holding out hope that the Tilneys might come. John, however, persuades her to join them by mentioning a castle visit and claiming he saw Henry Tilney leaving earlier. Catherine agrees to go, but with reluctance. As they start their journey from Bath, John draws Catherine's attention to a girl who is looking at her. To her shock, Catherine sees Henry and Eleanor approaching her house. She pleads with John to turn back, but he dismisses her request. Catherine then adopts a cold and disinterested demeanor towards John for the remainder of their trip. Isabella eventually decides she wants to go back to Bath without seeing the castle, causing John to reluctantly change course. Catherine spends the evening with the Thorpes, where Isabella and James are excessively affectionate towards each other while Catherine broods. Isabella babbles about her happiness at missing the night's ball, but her words imply she'd rather be there. Isabella gives Catherine little sympathy over the Tilney mishap. The narrator ends this part by likening Catherine's disappointment to the hardship of a grand heroine and assigns her "a sleepless couch, which is the true heroine's portion."

volume 1 chapter 12

Catherine pays a morning visit to the Tilney home, only to be informed by the servant that Eleanor is out. To her surprise, she sees Eleanor and her father emerge from the house as she's leaving, which leaves her mortified and concerned about potentially insulting the Tilneys. During an evening at the theater, she sees Henry. She initially perceives anger in his gaze. However, when Henry approaches her post-play, she manages to ease his ire by explaining she tried to stop John Thorpe's carriage and would have preferred to be with him and Eleanor. Henry's attitude softens significantly when he realizes Catherine's lack of commitment to John Thorpe. As they chat about the play, Catherine notices John speaking with General Tilney, Henry's father. After Henry departs and John assists Catherine from her seat, he tells her that the General referred to her as the "finest girl in Bath." This comment uplifts her spirits as she had been worried about the General's impression of her. Using this opportunity, she swiftly escapes from John with the Allens.

volume 1 chapter 13

John, James and Isabella intend to revisit Clifton and want Catherine to join. Despite their insistence, Catherine sticks to her initial plans of walking with Henry and Eleanor. This strains Catherine's bond with Isabella, who tries to guilt trip her for not tagging along. Isabella goes as far as saying that Catherine doesn't find it "no great struggle" to choose the Tilneys over them, which irks Catherine. John, without Catherine's consent, informs Eleanor that Catherine can't join for the walk. Upon hearing this, Catherine angrily leaves to join the Tilneys and apologize for John's lie. While John brands her as "obstinate," James prevents him from following her. Catherine dashes to the Tilney's home in Bath and apologizes for the confusion. She meets General Tilney for the first time, who treats her kindly. After a pleasant conversation with Eleanor and the General, he extends an invitation for Catherine to dine with them soon. Catherine then heads back to the Allens' and uses their criticism of the Clifton plan as a reason for her refusal to join that group. Mr. Allen even advises Catherine against spending more time with John Thorpe, a suggestion she is happy to follow.

volume 1 chapter 14

With no new requests from James, Isabella, or John, Catherine embarks on a stroll with Henry and Eleanor. Catherine, still shaken from her run-in with John, talks about novels, although she hints that they may not be "clever enough" for someone like Henry. Henry retorts that people who can't find enjoyment in a novel are "intolerably stupid." He displays a touch of pride when he talks about the "hundreds and hundreds" of novels he's read. A disagreement over Catherine's use of the word "nice" shows Henry's attention to linguistic detail, earning a teasing comment from Eleanor. Catherine expresses her preference for novels over history, and Henry attempts to justify the worth of historical books and their authors. The Tilneys shift the conversation to art and landscapes, leaving Catherine feeling out of place due to her unfamiliarity with artistic terms. She's slightly embarrassed but the narrator comes to her defense, pointing out that many men find women with a naive mind but a willingness to learn appealing. When Catherine starts asking questions, Henry begins to guide her to perceive the world as an artist would. He concludes that she has "a good deal of natural taste." Catherine mentions an upcoming "shocking" event in London, implying the release of a new Gothic novel. However, Eleanor misinterprets, thinking she's referring to something more serious like a riot or war plot. Henry jests about women's intelligence, and although Eleanor reassures Catherine that he's not serious, Henry maintains his playful demeanor. Once back in Bath, Catherine learns from one of Isabella's younger sisters that James, Isabella, and John left for Clifton with another Thorpe sister.

volume 1 chapter 15

After receiving an urgent message from Isabella, Catherine rushes to meet her, only to discover that Isabella is set to marry James. Isabella, although fond of James, is worried about his parents' approval due to her own financial situation, which she believes is significantly lower than the Morlands. Catherine, however, is confident in their approval. Isabella is not aware that the Morlands' wealth is not much higher than her family's. Catherine spends the remainder of the day discussing the engagement with the Thorpes. The following day, a letter arrives from James confirming that his parents have given their blessing. The section concludes with a short interaction between Catherine and John Thorpe, who is about to leave Bath for some weeks. John insinuates his desire to marry Catherine, although she doesn't pick up on his subtle hints. Despite this, John departs Bath, certain that Catherine reciprocates his feelings.

volume 2 chapter 1

Catherine partakes in a meal with the Tilney family - Henry, Eleanor and their dad, General Tilney. She's caught off guard by Henry's silence and the quiet demeanour of both siblings. However, she's charmed by the General’s friendliness and does not attribute the tense atmosphere to him. Isabella suggests the awkwardness could be due to the Tilneys' arrogant behaviour, but Catherine remains unconvinced. That same day, Captain Frederick Tilney, Henry's eldest brother, shows up in Bath and starts flirting with Isabella. Despite being aware of her engagement, he persuades her to join him in a dance. Afterwards, the girls convene to discuss a letter Isabella got from James. He says they must wait three years to wed, as he will then come into a yearly income of around four hundred pounds. Isabella is visibly upset, which Catherine fails to notice. Mrs. Thorpe, however, does notice and attempts to reassure a disappointed Isabella that the income is decent. Isabella implies that she believes Catherine's father isn't generous with his wealth, but she quickly abandons this line of thought when Catherine appears shocked at the suggestion.

volume 2 chapter 2

Catherine is quite smitten with Henry Tilney and can't help but dream about a future engagement with him. Her happiness takes a hit when Eleanor discloses their imminent departure from Bath. However, Catherine's joy knows no bounds when she gets an invite from General Tilney to their residence, Northanger Abbey. This opportunity to further deepen her association with the Tilneys excites her. Also, the prospect of visiting a real abbey, which she has only read about in her favorite Gothic novels, fills her with anticipation. After getting a nod from her parents and the Allens', her trip to the Tilney home is finalized.

volume 2 chapter 3

Catherine encounters Isabella after a three-day absence. Isabella reveals a letter from John, in which he plans to offer his hand to Catherine. Catherine, taken aback, insists that Isabella inform John of her lack of romantic feelings for him, apologizing for any unintentional miscommunication. Isabella initially defends her brother but eventually concurs. They discuss remaining sisters, prompting Isabella to oddly state, "there are more ways than one of our being sisters." This hints at the potential for both to wed a Tilney, given Isabella's flirtation with Frederick Tilney and Catherine's growing affections for Henry Tilney. Catherine, however, doesn't comprehend the comment. Isabella exhibits no anger toward Catherine for rejecting John, assuming Catherine's feelings have shifted since her initial flirtation. Frederick Tilney joins them and starts to charm Isabella, who reciprocates. This unsettles Catherine, who suspects that Isabella, though likely not intentionally, is leading Frederick on. In her naivety, Catherine is convinced that Isabella wouldn't betray James. Overwhelmed by their obvious flirtation, a troubled Catherine leaves them to their own devices.

volume 2 chapter 4

Catherine observes Isabella's continual flirtations with Tilney, which seem to distress James quite a bit. Despite this, Isabella doesn't appear to care. Catherine starts to worry about James, Isabella's reckless behavior with Frederick, and Frederick himself, suspecting he is smitten with a girl who will never reciprocate his feelings. In an attempt to resolve the situation, Catherine urges Henry to persuade Frederick to distance himself from Isabella. However, Henry declines, implying that Isabella knows exactly what she's doing. He further indicates that her intervention might upset James, who would ideally like to retain Isabella's fondness without needing Frederick to back off. Henry comforts Catherine by reassuring her of James and Isabella's mutual affection and predicts that Frederick's time in Bath is nearing its end.

volume 2 chapter 5

Catherine is set to depart for Northanger Abbey with the Tilneys, feeling anxious and striving to act properly. General Tilney's excessive efforts to ensure her comfort annoy her, as does his harsh rebuke of his son Frederick. Frederick's whispered comment to Eleanor about looking forward to everyone's departure is interpreted by Catherine as a result of the General's discourtesy. Setting off in two separate carriages, a brief halt leads to the General recommending Catherine to travel with Henry, an offer she gladly accepts. During their journey, Henry reveals his residence is not the Abbey but a place called Woodston, where he serves as a parson. Catherine's enthusiasm for the Abbey prompts Henry into a teasing narrative filled with mysteries and horrors that might await her there. Entranced by the tale, Catherine later feels embarrassed by her keenness, assuring Henry that the Abbey can't be as frightful as suggested. On arrival, Catherine is disenchanted by the Abbey's modernity, thanks to the General's renovations, including an entire wing replacement. Only a handful of original features, like arched windows, survive. The General, obsessively explaining every detail of the Abbey to Catherine, suddenly stops when he remembers it's dinner time and Eleanor leads Catherine to the guest quarters.

volume 2 chapter 6

In her room at the Abbey, Catherine is relieved to find it comfortable and unspooky, unlike the eerie chamber Henry depicted earlier. She stumbles upon a sizable chest harboring nothing more than Eleanor's antiquated hats. Eleanor rushes her off to supper, concerned about upsetting the General by tardiness. They hear the General's booming voice summoning them for supper, which almost scares Catherine due to his grumpy demeanor. Soon enough, he reinstates his friendly manner towards Catherine. He remarks on the size of his dining area and assumes Catherine's accustomed to a larger one. However, she assures him that Mr. Allen's parlor pales in comparison to his, much to his satisfaction. That evening, a severe storm hits the Abbey, causing unsettling sounds that terrify Catherine. She finds a peculiar cabinet in her room and eagerly inspects all its compartments. Contrary to Henry's tale where Catherine finds a mysterious manuscript, she finds only a stack of papers. Before she could read them, her candle burns out and the sound of footsteps startles her, causing her to abandon the papers and dive into bed. She spends the rest of the night restlessly, overwhelmed by curiosity.

volume 2 chapter 7

Catherine, feeling embarrassed, finds the discovered manuscript to be mere laundry bills, not the thrilling secret she had hoped. At breakfast, she talks with Henry about various topics until General Tilney arrives. He discusses his breakfast table set and subtly hints at Catherine marrying Henry, a suggestion Catherine fails to understand. When Henry departs for Woodston, Catherine gets a tour of the Abbey from General Tilney and Eleanor, noticing with disappointment that the building is entirely modern. Eleanor guides her through a gloomy path, contrasting with the rest of the Abbey's appearance. The path, disliked by the General, once provided Eleanor and her mother with pleasure. Catherine's curiosity about Mrs. Tilney increases and she becomes suspicious of the General. At the end of the walk, Catherine seems perturbed. The General attributes her discomfort to the path, instructing Eleanor to not show Catherine around until he's back, a command sparking Catherine's interest.

volume 2 chapter 8

General Tilney comes back from his walk after an hour. Catherine is convinced that his frequent strolls are an indication of his guilt-ridden mind. She lets her imagination take over and suspects him of murdering his wife. The General tours Catherine through the house, barring a small section. Catherine is captivated by the mystery of the off-limits area, particularly after finding out that the deceased Mrs. Tilney used to have a room there. Catherine probes Eleanor about her mother's sudden death due to illness when Eleanor wasn't around. Catherine interprets this as validation of her suspicions. She starts seeing the General's every action as another proof of his guilt. She even fantasizes about Mrs. Tilney still being alive and confined somewhere in the abbey's basement. She resolves to stay alert until midnight to observe if the General visits the basement where she believes he's hiding his wife. However, she falls asleep before midnight, despite her intent.

volume 2 chapter 9

Catherine craves a glimpse of Mrs. Tilney's old bedroom but General Tilney's constant presence makes it impossible. On a Sunday, they all attend church services with lunch in between, leaving her no room to sneak a peek. She observes a memorial for Mrs. Tilney in the Tilney family pew, but this doesn't quell her suspicions about the General being a murderer. She reckons he could bear to gaze upon the monument each week if he has the audacity to put it up. On Monday, the General sets off on his regular walk, providing Catherine with an opportunity. She requests Eleanor to guide her to the room and Eleanor complies. However, just as they're about to enter, the General calls out to Eleanor. Frightened, Catherine flees to her room but later comes down to find the General and Eleanor hosting guests. Relieved that she wasn't caught, or at least, that the General isn't furious, she plans to attempt another investigation later. Before Henry's return from Woodston, Catherine sneaks off alone to Mrs. Tilney's old room at around four in the afternoon. Much to her surprise, the room holds no mysteries - it's simply a part of the Abbey's new wing. Feeling disappointed yet still skeptical of the General, Catherine returns to her room. On her way back, she bumps into an early-returned Henry. In their conversation, her hesitant replies tip him off about her secret adventure. He lays out the truth - both he and his brother Frederick were present during their mother's illness and passing, which had deeply affected General Tilney. He reprimands her for harboring such dreadful thoughts. Overwhelmed with shame and humiliation, Catherine rushes off to her room, crying.

volume 2 chapter 10

In a state of despair, Catherine worries she has sabotaged any potential romance with Henry. After a spell of tears, she joins dinner where Henry's usual demeanor, with a touch more attention towards her, gives her some hope. She reflects on her situation, recognizing her "voluntary, self-created delusion, each trifling circumstance receiving importance from an imagination resolved on alarm." Catherine attributes her missteps to her obsession with Gothic novels at Bath. She acknowledges her reality in modern England, dismissing the fanciful world of author Anne Radcliffe. With this rational realization, Catherine steadies her emotions, and Henry's chivalrous behavior further uplifts her spirits. The earlier incident is not brought up by Henry. She receives news from her brother James: his engagement with Isabella Thorpe is off, and Isabella appears to be pursuing Frederick Tilney. Catherine keeps this news to herself initially, but Henry discerns the truth from her subtle hints. Despite reading James's letter, Henry doubts Frederick's intention to wed Isabella, expressing concern over his brother's judgement. He ponders if Isabella's motivations are merely financial. On asking Catherine her feelings about possibly losing Isabella's friendship, Catherine surprisingly realizes she is barely affected.

volume 2 chapter 11

Catherine, Eleanor, and Henry try to predict Frederick Tilney's actions regarding his supposed engagement to Isabella. The Tilneys believe their father won't approve of Frederick marrying Isabella due to her lack of wealth, which troubles Catherine. Yet, she finds solace in General Tilney's kind demeanor towards her. The General suggests a visit to Henry's residence in Woodston. Henry leaves early to get things ready for their visit. In Woodston, Catherine is captivated by the unpretentious house, the delightful fields, and apple orchard. The General heavily implies a likely marriage between Catherine and Henry, which Catherine picks up on. However, she is uncertain about Henry's feelings. The part concludes with their return to Northanger Abbey.

volume 2 chapter 12

Catherine is upset upon receiving a letter from Isabella, who confesses that Frederick Tilney left her for another girl. Isabella tries to disguise her own guilt and urges Catherine to convince James to give her a second chance. Catherine, however, refuses to help Isabella, publicly ending their friendship in the presence of Henry and Eleanor. Despite her anger, she is confused about Frederick Tilney's behaviour. Henry suggests that Frederick may have just been looking for some fun, irritating Catherine. Yet, he reminds her that if she truly cared for her brother, she should be relieved that he didn't end up with someone like Isabella.

volume 2 chapter 13

After a month at Northanger Abbey, Catherine worries she may be overstaying. Eleanor, however, puts her at ease. General Tilney heads off on a business trip, leaving the two ladies and Henry with ample freedom. However, Henry is required to visit Woodston for a few days. In an unexpected turn of events, the General makes an abrupt return one night and summons Eleanor. Returning from the meeting, Eleanor appears extremely distressed. She confides in Catherine that the General had overlooked a commitment in Hereford and orders the family's departure in two days. Consequently, Catherine must return to Fullerton the following day, as early as seven. The General's hasty action of sending Catherine home is rude and explains Eleanor's mortification. When the morning comes, the women bid each other farewell. Eleanor hands Catherine some travel money and Catherine promises to keep in touch, in spite of the General's discourteous behavior. The fact that Catherine is unable to bid Henry farewell before leaving adds to her sorrow.

volume 2 chapter 14

As she heads home, Catherine puzzles over what she might have done to upset General Tilney. Despite her brief suspicion of him being a murderer, she's at a loss about the cause of his displeasure, particularly after his prior kindness. She arrives back at Fullerton and briefs her family about the situation. They display confusion and anger, but suppress it at Catherine's request. The following day, Catherine is visibly glum. Her mother, Mrs. Morland, is unable to discern the reason behind her daughter's gloominess. The idea that Catherine, just seventeen and returning from her first journey, could be smitten with someone, doesn't cross Mrs. Morland's mind. Catherine and her mother visit Mrs. Allen, during which Mrs. Morland continually dispenses advice to Catherine.

volume 2 chapter 15

Catherine continues to brood a couple of days later when Henry suddenly shows up in Fullerton. He assures Mrs. Morland he came to ascertain Catherine's safe return home. He proposes a visit to the Allens, with Catherine accompanying him. During their walk, Henry proposes marriage which she readily accepts. He then reveals the cause of his father's ill-treatment was John Thorpe. In Bath, John falsely portrayed Catherine as wealthy to General Tilney, hoping to gain her affection. Later, upon realizing Catherine didn't reciprocate his feelings, John spitefully told the General about the Morlands' modest means. Infuriated, the General had Catherine dismissed as a display of disdain towards her lack of wealth. On discovering these events, Henry had a heated disagreement with his father, expressing his intention to propose to Catherine. They parted on bad terms, prompting Henry to journey to Fullerton the following day.

volume 2 chapter 16

Henry proposes to Catherine, catching the Morlands off guard. Despite their swift approval, they hold firm on the necessity of the General's approval. Both Catherine and Henry also desire this approval, although they worry it may be a while before he complies. However, luck is on their side as Eleanor becomes betrothed and subsequently weds a rich nobleman. This event cheers up the General, who, after understanding that the Morlands are financially stable contrary to John Thorpe's claim, consents to Henry's marriage. A letter from the General to Mr. Morland seals the deal, and Henry and Catherine tie the knot.

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