Northanger Abbey: An Audible Original Drama

By Jane Austen

What could be better than Emma Thompson reading to you? I enjoyed this dramatization of Northanger Abbey with music, sound effects, and each character portrayed by a different actor. Emma Thompson as the narrator, Jane Austen, was perfect and very amusing. She conveyed so many subtleties of the story by her inflections. It is an abridged version, unfortunately, but it seems that the abridgment was very well done. I have seen all of the movie versions that I know of, but I still look forward to reading the unabridged version sometime soon.

I see that a couple of weeks ago Audible released The Jane Austen Collection, similarly narrated and played by top British actors, such as Claire Foy, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billie Piper, and Florence Pugh. How Will I find the Time?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

November 16, 2020

16 thoughts on “Northanger Abbey: An Audible Original Drama

    • Do you think that Catherine Morland, considering when this was written, might be the most autobiographical of all the heroines? Supposedly this was begun when she was 18 or 19.


      • Well no. I think you’re confusing “Lady Susan” with the original title, “Susan” which is easy to do. Northanger Abbey was written when Jane was 23 or 24. But no, I don’t think it is autobiographical, except that Jane was from a largeish close-knit happy family and her father was a rector. She was one of the youngest in the family, not the oldest, like Catherine. Also, I think her taste in literature was much more eclectic.😄


    • I am very pleased to inform you that I am 45 minutes into the audiobook of “Northanger Abbey” and I am beginning to understand more clearly what her adulation and glorification is all about…….the gal can certainly turn a phrase can’t she. 🙂 I’m glad I watched the movies and read the bios first. Listening to it being read is special to me because it’s the way it was first introduced to members of her family, fresh from her pen and through her lips. It feels real. I can’t wait to get to Emma next.


      • That is an excellent point! Her voice would be great anytime but for the times she wrote in, it was an amazingthing. I am very interested in your reaction to Pride and Prejudice. I hate to be unoriginal, but it will always be my favorite.


      • I love Pride and Prejudice……it would be un-American not to!!😉 If you mean movie, I prefer the 2005 one because their hems were muddy. If you mean book, please suggest an audio version. For Northanger Abbey I’m doing Audiobooks Unleashed read by Elizabeth Klett. Right away it’s been obvious how much is missed in not reading her…….funny funny stuff that didn’t make it into the movies. I’m enjoying Elizabeth Jenkins’ book and I’m very glad I didn’t start with it……it’s more scholarly and I wouldn’t know what she was talking about. I’ve been so lucky with the order in which all this has unfolded and it wouldn’t have happened without your guidance, especially early on. Look what I found so I can be really sad:

        I discovered that list looking up Kempshott House, close to Godmersham, which was the scene of a big ball that Jane attended.(It was torn down to make way for a highway.(**&&*^^%%$!!!!!) This was a year after the Battle of the Nile and she wore a Mameluke cap and ‘in her white frock and green shoes the sister of Commander Francis Austen and Lieutenant Charles Austen made a most fashionable appearance’. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Audible has Rosamunde Pike reading it, but YouTube has at least several unabridged free ones, including one read by Jennifer Ehle. Stay away from Libravox, given the choice you have. They are amateur volunteers and some are pretty good but not as good as the professionals.


          • Okay thanks. I’m going to do Emma now because I’m very familiar with it. Doesn’t it just kill you that almost 2,000 of those beautiful old manors have been lost? One of the nice things about “reading” Northanger Abbey was getting distances and times involved in coach travel…….I got a real feel for what was involved. The book was way different from the movie version but no harm, no foul I guess. I am confused about why Catherine got 3,000 pounds at the end and why and from whom. Some viscount came through. Where did this viscount come from?


          • Afraid I’ve only “read” the abridged version, and this was not addressed! Suspect it might be part of the parody of a Gothic bolt out of the blue turn of good fortune that guarantees a happy ending and ensures the heroine is “worthy” to marry the hero.


  1. Oh God, stop me!!! That Emma Thompson video led to this( I love Dave!!!) and even though the interview devolved into lunacy I think I might like to watch Nanny McPhee. What say you? I’m watching Northanger again without the sense of foreboding and dread I felt the first time, waiting for Mrs. Danvers to appear.

    And, of course, any mention of Letterman (whom I miss mightily) makes me think of this that I always want to share with people who are qualified. 😉


  2. Watching Northanger Abbey again and Felicity Jones is blindingly radiant isn’t she. My reaction the first time I watched it really missed the boat. The stuff this person knows about early English dances is impressive. There are several of her videos you might enjoy. I think I remember her saying there shouldn’t be walking in them and that in some of them participants might be standing idle for up to ten minutes waiting for the action to get to them and that was when the talking happened, not while dancing but we all understand that wouldn’t work cinematically.


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