Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen’s first completed novel, published posthumously with Persuasion after her death in 1817. The plot of Northanger Abbey becomes the blueprint for her next five novels. While Pride and Prejudice and Emma are the books that producers will turn to most often to adapt for the screen, Northanger Abbey has only been adapted a handful of times.
Catherine Moreland (Felicity Jones) is the sheltered teenage daughter of a country clergymen and his wife. The fourth of ten children, she has developed a dream like penchant for gothic novels. Mr. and Mrs. Allen, childless neighbors of the Morlands, offer to take Catherine to Bath. In her mind, Bath represents the adventure that has up to that point, only existed in her books.
Two very different sets of siblings will come into her life and provide in the adventure that she is hoping for. Mrs. Allen’s former classmate, Mrs. Thorpe, has several daughters. The eldest Thorpe daughter, Isabella (Carey Mulligan) becomes friends with Catherine while Isabella’s older brother, John (William Beck) tries to impress Catherine to point of expecting that she accept his marriage proposal.
Henry Tilney (JJ Feild) and Eleanor Tilney (Catherine Walker) make the greater impression on Catherine. They are without guile, open and amiable. When Catherine is invited to Northanger Abbey, the Tilney’s ancestral home, she immediately accepts the invitation. But Catherine, by way of her favorite novels, imagines that is a secret or two behind the gates of Northanger Abbey.
I genuinely like this adaptation. It’s well done, the screenplay closely mirrors the plot of the book and the cast is well chosen.
I recommend this adaptation.