Study Guide

Mrs. Thorpe in Northanger Abbey

By Jane Austen

Mrs. Thorpe

The matriarch of the Thorpe clan seems to have a very hands-off approach to parenting. Her children pretty much run amok in Bath, engaging in scandalous behavior, and causing problems. She seems completely oblivious to this though, or else simply doesn't care. The text never makes that entirely clear. She flatters Isabella constantly, and indulges John's rudeness. Her children are spoiled and obnoxious, but Mrs. Thorpe seems unaware of this fact. She definitely isn't Austen's idea of a great parent.