Northanger Abbey: A Preview Infographic

Happy Christmas, my friends!

I love this time of year. As I write this, our Christmas tree is decorated and lit across the room from me. It’s windy and brisk outside and we are dreaming of snow (not probably in Texas, but we can dream!)

A few months ago, I was contacted by Emma Welch from Invaluable about sharing an infographic about Gothic literature that she helped create. I am honored she wants to collaborate with me! Plus, this was a perfect opportunity to share some Gothic literature background in connection with my next Classics Club novel: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

I first read Northanger Abbey as an undergrad at BYU. I remember enjoying it and also being surprised by how different it seemed from Pride and Prejudice. When I was in graduate school, I had the opportunity to work as a graduate instructor under a full time professor. We taught this book as part of the 19th-20th century survey course in British Literature. I have just started the first few pages on this reread and I am loving being back in Jane Austen’s work.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Northanger Abbey parodies the popular Gothic novel in late 18th century England. It is witty, surprising, and more complex than it seems.

Emma was kind enough to write a custom intro for me as I share her infographic. Thanks, Emma!

There’s something about cold, winter months and Gothic literature that fits so perfectly. The word “Gothic” was applied to literature in the late 18th century, when Horace Walpole published his The Castle of Otranto. Since, celebrated Gothic novelists from the likes of Mary Shelley, Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe, and so many others have used the genre to create eerily beautiful masterpieces.

The Gothic genre is characterized by expressions of terror and gruesome narratives, but there are many other elements that truly extraordinary Gothic novels encompass. Invaluable created an informative infographic of the ten essential elements of Gothic novels, and included notable authors and works as examples. Upon choosing to read Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen’s Gothic parody, this infographic has been especially helpful in defining what truly makes her writing so captivating. Use it to guide your writing or inspire you to read one of the classics.

I included the graphic below. But the font is quite small. So if you want to zoom in to see the details, click here.

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Now I want to hear what you think about Gothic lit. Have you read much? Do you think it was a worthwhile genre? Favorite elements? Would you consider writing in the gothic style? And, of course, what do you think of Northanger Abbey?

Happy Gothic literature reading!

8 thoughts on “Northanger Abbey: A Preview Infographic

  1. Hallo, Hallo – always lovely to ‘meet’ another Classics Clubber!!

    What truly intrigued me is the infographic – as I made one this year for doing the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge – as it was such a long list, I wanted to way to look at it and feel inspired. I didn’t do anything as fancy as this one though – just a straight list and a way for me to sort out the prompts as I select the books to read for it – however, I wanted to say, I love Gothic Lit but I’ve strayed away from reading it for a bit too long!

    I am even embarrassed to say I haven’t yet finished Jane Eyre though if I could before New Year’s Eve, I’d feel a bit more accomplished!! Its only taken me nearly four and a half years since I first started reading it! (long, long story!) Plus, I have Northanger Abbey on my list to read for tCC as well! I was gifted a beautiful copy of it by my Mum and Dad during my 1st blogoversary party – along with Mansfield Park. These are the first two Austen novels I’ll be reading past Pride and Prejudice which is a cosy comforting favourite!

    This year, my parents surprised me with a copy of Dracula as they knew how much I wanted to read it – then, Mum surprised me and wants to buddy read it hopefully in 2019!

    I gave up on Emily B’s Wuthering Heights when I learnt more about what is involved with the story-line but I dearly want to read Jekyll & Hyde as I loved the adaptation in film by Spencer Tracy! Did you ever see that one!? The depth that man could put into that character is highly impressive!! Also, Dorian Grey is of interest, too!

    On a weather front, we had blustery high winds and drowning rains today – I would have preferred SNOW to RAIN; felt like I was drenched so dearly that even my skin could be wrung out with excess! Then, the lightning came and all was lost for a warming shower! 😦 Oy. At least I’m planning a cosy warm dinner!! lol Instead I had some hot green tea and decided to just have a go at visiting blogs & seeking new blogs to follow – hence how I alighted on yours via the WP Reader!! 🙂

    Isn’t that the truth!? About how weather and seasons can play a strong role in our readerly lives? I have oft felt this way myself – not that I find a lot of others who feel similarly but I do feel it dearly — as right round October, I start to ache and hanker for a selection of Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers – that lasts straight through Winter and why, this December I am participating in #cloakanddaggerchristmas – though I was slightly delayed getting it started! lol It just felt perfect for me!

    After reading your post – I think I’ll see if I can plan something (an event, say readathon) for tCC this Winter strictly focusing on Gothic Lit. I’d love to do something like that!! Would you like to co-host it with me? If not, its okay — but you inspired me and I wanted to offer!?

    — Since I coined the term “Cosy Horror” on my blog a few years back, you could say I’m game to put my pen where my heart is! I’m a writer by trade, whose moonlighting as a book blogger (these past five years) and whose reclaiming her pen during 2019 by focusing her writerly life rather than strictly her readerly one! I’m not planning to ink out a Cosy Horror / Gothic tale in 2019, but part of what I want to do during the year is really re-assess my writings and sort out which one-offs & serials I want to continue writing!! I’m also a poet so there are some collections of poetry I want to fuse back together as well.

    Elements I love most?! Goodness!! Where to begin? I really love the aesthetic of Gothic stories – I liked to feel chilled with that spookiness but not feel overtly affected to where I’d get nightmares! Think more Hitchcock w/o The Birds and early Old Hollywood psychological suspense films before they became modern Horror as their Classic Horror films were about what was suspected but it was all supposition and off-scene; no gritty grisly nightmaric inclusions! In fact your imagination was your worst enemy!

    I love the settings too and the mannerisms of narrative and dialogue choices – I love that suspension of something otherworldly which merges or reunites into our own reality or our sense of reality… truly, there is so much to love!!

    What are yours?

    Thanks for inspiring me today and I’ll be reading more of your blog! I should have grabbed the link to my first part of reading Jane Eyre – as I left ruminations behind on it; the second part I really hope goes up before NYE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate your comment!

      Jane Eyre is one of my recent favorites. I only read it for the first time maybe 3 years ago. So I’m a new fan as well. I have read Wuthering Heights but it’s not my favorite.

      I love that you had a blogiversary party! I should do that! The copies of Austen from your parents sound lovely. I love pretty books!

      Sounds like you have a great TBR of gothic inspired classics! How neat! I have not read Dracula or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (nor have I seen that adaptation yet!) I like your term “Cosy horror”!

      That is so neat that you’re planning a cosy horror novel in 2019! Good luck with the process!

      I am not as well read in gothic literature as I could be. In general, I prefer Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to their gothic/horror contemporaries. I did read Frankenstein for tCC a few years ago and loved it. Like you, I think it’s fascinating how reality and the supernatural are connected. As well as the complications of identity for the created. Really a fascinating novel!

      Thanks again for your comment! I hope to see you around here. And yes, send your review my way–I would love to hear your thoughts. good luck finishing too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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