->''No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.''
-->-- '''Opening Line'''

The definitive [[GothicHorror Gothic]] parody, ''Northanger Abbey'' was Creator/JaneAusten's first completed novel, which she wrote as "Susan"; it developed farther the satiric vein found in her juvenilia, such as ''Literature/LoveAndFreindship''. However, circumstances prevented the novel from being published until ''after her death'' in 1817.

The fourth of ten children, and eldest daughter, 17-year-old Catherine Morland is a {{Tomboy}} grown into a major GothicNovel fan girl. She's become so involved in reading that she fancies herself as the heroine of such a work as ''Literature/TheMysteriesOfUdolpho''. One day, she is invited to come along with the childless Allens for a trip to the spring resort of Bath. There, she meets two families, the Thorpes and the Tilneys. The Thorpes' eldest son, the egocentric twit John, tries to woo her. However, Catherine fancies the Tilneys' second son, the gentleman Henry. Henry's father, General Tilney, invites Catherine over to the Tilneys' estate, the eponymous Northanger Abbey. There, Catherine's expectations of the world clash with bitter reality.

Countering the AdaptationOverdosed tendency of Austen's other works, this has to be the least adapted of all her works. It was twice adapted into {{Made for TV Movie}}s, once by TheBBC in 1986 and once by {{ITV}} in 2007. Marvel Illustrated is releasing a ComicBookAdaptation starting November 2011, script by Nancy Butler, pencils and inks by Janet Lee, and covers by Julian Totino Tedesco.
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!!Provides Examples Of:

* AbusiveParents: General Tilney might be seen as emotionally abusive. His behavior to his children goes from overbearing to tyrannising and it's clear that Eleanor fears him. Catherine even wonders why his children are always so sedate when he's present.
* AdultsAreUseless: Mrs. Allen fails to do her job when it comes to advising Catherine on etiquette. Enough so, in fact, that Catherine finally complains that she's being left dangerously to her own devices.
* AffectionateParody: Of Gothic Romances.
* AluminiumChristmasTrees: After the 2007 adaptation was broadcast, a letter to the ''RadioTimes'' complained that the scriptwriter had added a jarring reference to baseball. That passage came word for word from the book. In fact, the OED records it as the first mention of baseball (by that name) in literature.
* [[AscendedFanboy Ascended Fangirl]]: Gothic romance novel fangirl Catherine gets to spend some weeks in a Gothic abbey. [[spoiler: The trope is ultimately subverted, when Catherine is proven to be WrongGenreSavvy.]]
* AristocratsAreEvil: Mrs. Morland is unaware of this, and does not warn her daughter against the peril.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Catherine's firm belief at the opening of the novel.
** In the end you could argue that the novel encourages to consider things as TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil with a lot of ALighterShadeOfGrey and ClassicalAntiHero (Catherine, despite being moral, being this).
* BigFancyHouse: Northanger Abbey from the title. Catherine is disappointed as it is too fancy and too comfortable for her taste. She would have preferred something of a haunted house.
* BuildingOfAdventure: Catherine expects the abbey to be this and is rather disappointed when it turns out to be just an elegant building with every modern comfort.
* ChekhovsGun: Deliberately invoked by the {{Narrator}} to ''deliberately narrowly avert'' an AssPull!
* ClockKing: General Tilney.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: The Paperback Library printing of this book, egregiously so. They [[http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/nhabgoth.jpg mistook it for]] [[http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/nabgoth2.gif an actual gothic novel]] of the sort that it parodies. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity ensued]]. Could also count as a ContemptibleCover.
* CoordinatedClothes:
** Isabella Thorpe, a reputed beauty, tries to invoke the trope by suggesting her newest, bestest friend Catherine that they should be dressed exactly like each other because men often do take notice of that. She probably wants to invoke the beautiful twins image and attract attention. The innocent Catherine doesn't follow.
** Isabella's younger and less attractive sisters Maria and Anne try to imitate Isabella's style and they dress like her. According to the narrator, it kind of works, but their rude brother John thinks his younger sisters are laughable and quirky.
* ConversationalTroping: EVERYWHERE!
* ConspiracyTheorist: Catherine has all these suspicions about the Tilneys and the abbey, all of them based on nothing except conventions of gothic novels, and jumping to wild conclusions based on tiny discrepancies in what she thinks someone's behaviour should be. For this, she earns the title of IdiotHero, because although she tends to be smart if naive in other matters, here she drops down right into deep stupidity. She [[CharacterDevelopment gets better, though]].
* DancesAndBalls: At Bath. Catherine meets Henry Tilney at one.
* {{Diary}}: Whether Catherine actually keeps one is never mentioned in the novel, but Henry jokingly assumes that all young women do, and goes on to speculate that that's why they're (supposedly) so good at letter-writing. This is an early (perhaps the first) example of the word "journal" used as a verb. Henry speaks several times about "journaling", making the whole conversation sound oddly modern. Played straight in the 2007 movie, in which she is revealed, two seconds after this conversation, to be writing about the events.
* DeadpanSnarker: The narrator. Also Henry Tilney who might be described as spear version of Elizabeth Bennett.
* DeathByChildbirth: Since this was a DeadHorseTrope even in Austen's day, she explicitly points out in the first paragraph that this ''did not'' happen to Mrs. Morland.
* DeusExMachina: General Tilney refused to let Catherine wed Henry only because [[spoiler:he did not want Henry to marry a poor girl]]. But then, his daughter Eleanor marries a nobleman, making him happy enough to consent to his son's marrying whomever he wants (although it also doesn't hurt when he finds out that Catherine's [[spoiler: not as poor as he thought]]). By the way, [[ChekhovsGun remember]] the [[spoiler:laundry list? That was said rich man's]].
* DoorstopBaby: No family in Catherine's neighborhood raised a boy found on their doorstep. No wonder she had to leave home to have adventures.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: John Thorpe. The scene where he invites Catherine for a ride in his carriage is actually rather terrifying, especially since he refuses to listen to her insistent pleas to stop and let her get out. It's hard to tell how crazily he's actually driving, since Catherine's sensibilities for such things are probably pretty low, but Henry Tilney is ''much'' more sensible.
* EnglishRose: Eleanor Tilney, long-suffering English country gentry girl who is a beauty but makes no fuss about it, and is a great support to her father (who does not even appreciate her kindness) and has a loving and teasing relationship with her brother Henry.
* FirstNameBasis: Isabella and Catherine reach this very quickly.
* ForegoneConclusion[=/=]MediumAwareness[=/=]SpoiledByTheFormat: "The anxiety, which ... must be the portion of [[spoiler:Henry and Catherine]] ... can hardly extend, I fear, to the bosom of my readers, [[LampshadeHanging who will see in the tell-tale compression of the pages before them]], that we are all hastening together to [[HappilyEverAfter perfect felicity]]."
** Subverted in editions that include Lady Susan and the unfinished novels, the end of Northanger Abbey occurs when only halfway through the book.
* GenerationXerox : Notably averted as Catherine has to do a lot of effort to see, between a very realistic painting of their mother on the one hand and Henry and Eleanor on the other, any resemblance. The same, in mind, happens with their father: Henry Tilney is kind, generous, satirical and open, while his father is mean, mercenary, ridiculous for the narrator, and mysterious.
* HaveAGayOldTime:
** Catherine "remembered that her eldest brother had lately formed an intimacy with a young man of his own college".
*** At the time this would be a strong, deep bond known as a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_friendship romantic friendship]]. Friend couples hugged, kissed, ''just'' slept together, wrote passionate letters, and pledged their devotion with rings, locks of hair and keepsakes. There were church ceremonies to solemnize their platonic union.
** Henry Tilney refers to himself as a "queer man".
** Mrs. Allen uses the word "fag" to describe a long, tiring voyage.
* HypocriticalHumor: Isabella Thorpe is made of this trope.
* IdenticalGrandson: Catherine expects this of the mother's portrait
* IDoNotSpeakNonverbal: Mrs. Allen explicitly doesn't.
* IGaveMyWord: Henry proposes marriage to Catherine and ''then'' tells her his father forbade it. She's glad, saying that if she learned first of the objection, she would have been honor bound to turn Henry down. But now that she accepted him, she's bound to keep her promise.
** In the 2007 movie version, this is inverted, as Catherine must, to be romantic in current context, accept to marry Henry even if he becomes poor. So, he tells her first that he broke with his father because he opposed the idea of the marriage and that he'll probably be dishinertited (this is total [[PragmaticAdaptation modern romanticism taking over the rule of the work's universe]] and lack of research, as this never happens in the book, wouldn't have been possible as Henry is a second son and wouldn't have inherited, and finally doesn't even happen in the movie either), and then asks her. She ignores his father's opposition and accepts [[TearsofJoy gladly]].
* IrritationIsTheSincerestFormOfFlattery:
** Subverted with Isabella and her younger sisters. Isabella is the beauty of the family and she gets imitated, but not irritated. She might even be pleased that she's a star.
** Played straight when one girl tried to copy Isabella's look and wore a turban like Isabella did. In Isabella's opinion, Charlotte did not pull it off as turbans only suit her own fair face.
* LampshadeHanging: ''Everywhere''.
** The BBC Radio adaptation adds more; at the beginning of the second episode, Mrs Allen recounts the events of the first to her husband, who replies "Thank you, my dear, for that clear account of Catherine's adventures to date."
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Again, everywhere.
* LemonyNarrator: Austen's most prominent use of the trope.
* LoveTriangle: Two of them, with each person in one a sibling of someone in the other -- John Thorpe/Catherine Morland/Henry Tilney, and James Morland/Isabella Thorpe/Frederick Tilney. Yes, this makes things awkward.
* MatingDance: dancing is a metaphor for marriage, according to Henry Tilney.
* MeaningfulRename: {{Lampshaded}} and {{Subverted}} as Catherine's younger sister Sally changes her name to... Sarah, for what young lady of common gentility will reach the age of sixteen without altering her name as far as she can?
* MissingMom: Mrs. Tilney. She died when Eleanor was a teenage girl at school.
* MistakenForMurderer: General Tilney.
* MoralityKitchenSink: A major part of the Aesop for Catherine.
* TheOathBreaker: Isabella's jilting her fiance is treated with all the gravity that the era would regard it.
* OhWaitThisIsMyGroceryList: Catherine finds some old papers, and imagines their terrifying contents just as the lights go out. When she gets some light and reads them, she finds a laundry list. [[spoiler:This is a ChekhovsGun]].
* ParentalMarriageVeto:
** Isabella fears this from James's parents, for [[WrongGenreSavvy no good reason]].
** General Tilney does veto Henry's engagement to Catherine.
* PimpedOutCar: John Thorpe's "curricle-hung" gig is the Regency equivalent.
* ThePlace: Northanger Abbey from the title is a place.
* PoorCommunicationKills
* RearWindowInvestigation: Catherine snoops around the Abbey when she suspects General Tilney of killing his wife.
* RelativeError: Averted, and the narrator is amused. When Catherine sees Henry with an attractive young woman, she immediately (and correctly) assumes it's his sister, because he already mentioned having a sister. The narrator points out that she missed a great opportunity for a dramatic fainting fit there. It is played straight in the 2007 miniseries, in which she mistakes Eleanor for Henry's fiance, which makes their laughing while Henry looks at her while whispering in Eleanor's ear seemingly more cruel.
* SacredHospitality:
** Played straight by Henry and Eleanor.
** Subverted by General Tilney.
* ShootTheMessenger: Inverted. Near the end, Eleanor has to inform Catherine of the General's decision to (more or less) kick her out of the house. Catherine does not shoot the messenger. She actually pities her because she knows it's hard for her.
* ShoutOut: To numerous pieces of literature from its day.
* SpoiledByTheFormat: Lampshaded (see ForegoneConclusion, above). [[invoked]]
* SpoofAesop: Only by Henry proposing to Catherine against his father's wishes is a happy ending possible. The second page quote discusses the trope.
* SuddenlySuitableSuitor: The ''deus ex machina'' ending.
* TearsOfRemorse: Catherine, after Henry disillusions her about his mother's death.
* ThreeAmigos: Catherine and Eleanor and Henry Tilney.
* UnableToSupportAWife: Eleanor's lover -- brought up in the end.
* WhileYouWereInDiapers: Henry teasingly boasts to Catherine that he's surely read a lot more novels than she has. Really though, by the end of the book, Henry is 26 and Catherine is 18.
--> '''Henry''': I have had years the start of you. I had entered on my studies at Oxford, while you were a good little girl working your sampler at home![[note]]A sampler is used for needlework that was commonly taught to all girls[[/note]]
* WrongGenreSavvy: The result of Catherine seeing the world of a Regency Romance through Gothic Literature Eyes.
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->''I leave it to be settled by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.''
-->-- '''Closing Line'''
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