Started in Austen's youth, "Northanger Abbey" was not completed until 1803. It was finally published in 1817, a year after Austen's death, in a single volume with "Persuasion". Catherine Morland meets several suitors during her coming out season in bath. Henry Tilney distinguishes himself by his love of gothic novels, and his invitation to the family estate, Northanger Abbey. How could she refuse? An abbey! Gothic ruins! The fashionable novels have infiltrated our heroine's imagination to such an extent that she doesn't know which potential clue to investigate first. Perhaps the notebook hidden in her bedroom chest is a mysterious ancient manuscript? Did Tilney's mother die of natural causes? Is she even dead - old Tilney might be an evil torturer! And all these corridors, and locked doors, and whole wings to which entry is forbidden... reality and fiction blend to the reader's great delight, until finally reality gets the upper hand and our heroes find satisfaction in a happy ending. Austen's tender parody of the Gothic novel - and its devoted readers - is also a vibrant plea for the genre of the novel as a unique vehicle for the portrayal of feelings and imagination.;Landmarks of the gothic revival: Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto" (1765); Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho" (1794); Lewis's "The Monk" (1796); Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" (1818) and Maturin's "Melmoth the Wanderer" (1820). This is a brilliant parody of the sentimental novel written when Austen was fourteen years old. It opens with the legend "Deceived in Friendship and Betrayed in Love", a revelation, if one was needed, of the satirical nature of the work, and the gift for irony characteristic of Austen's later writing. It is published here with the author's original spelling.