Study Guide

Northanger Abbey Summary

By Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey Summary

Catherine Morland is a fairly unremarkable seventeen-year-old living in a small village, Fullerton, with her nine siblings and her parents. Fortunately for Catherine, this boring state of affairs only lasts one chapter. The Allens, a well-off childless couple, invite Catherine to visit tourist hot-spot Bath (a resort town in England) with them. Catherine is thrilled to get out of her dull town. But Catherine's views of life outside of her small town are highly colored by the romantic Gothic novels she reads, as well her own inexperience and naiveté. This leads to a lot of comedic mishaps during her time away from home.

While in Bath, Catherine meets and befriends two families: the scheming Thorpes and the wealthy, educated Tilneys. She first meets the charming and witty Henry Tilney at a ball and quickly develops a huge crush on him. Luckily, Catherine also befriends Isabella Thorpe, so she has someone with whom to discuss her crush. Isabella and Catherine bond quickly and go on a spree of reading Gothic novels, gossiping, and attending balls.

Isabella is also in love with Catherine's older brother James. And James is good friends with Isabella's older brother, John. So, naturally, the Thorpes decide that Catherine is the perfect match for John. They can all double date. John is, unfortunately (and hilariously), rude and overbearing. The Thorpe siblings spend their time manipulating both James and Catherine in order to ensure advantageous marriages for themselves. While the Morlands are certainly not rich, they do have more money than the Thorpes. Catherine remains largely oblivious to the Thorpe's schemes and tends to assume that everyone is as honest as herself and James. This leads to a whole series of comedic mishaps where the naive Catherine continually manages to extricate herself from situations orchestrated by the Thorpes.

Despite John's ham-fisted attempts at wooing and Isabella's shrewd efforts at distraction, Catherine is still falling in love with the wealthy Henry Tilney. She also befriends his polite and quiet sister Eleanor, who is the polar opposite of the artificial Isabella. While Catherine grows closer to Henry, Isabella gets engaged to James. But, within a few days, Isabella meets the handsome Captain Tilney, Henry's older brother, and begins to flirt outrageously with him.

Henry, Eleanor, and their father, General Tilney, decide to leave Bath and invite Catherine to visit them at their home, Northanger Abbey. While at Northanger Abbey, Catherine's love of Gothic novels and her tendency to confuse fiction with reality come back to haunt her. Catherine makes some bad assumptions after hearing of Mrs. Tilney's death, and she begins to suspect the controlling General Tilney of murder. Henry calls her out on this, and Catherine feels bad when she learns that Mrs. Tilney died of perfectly natural causes.

After this, Catherine also learns that James has called off his engagement to Isabella. Isabella had embarked on a relationship with Captain Tilney, but, unfortunately for her, Captain Tilney has no marriage plans. Isabella is socially ruined by this scandal and Catherine realizes that their friendship was a sham.

Things are going well with Henry and Catherine, however. But, before their relationship can progress towards an engagement, General Tilney throws Catherine out of his house. Catherine is confused and returns home to Fullerton. But Henry follows, explaining that his father learned that Catherine wasn't as rich as he had thought, which meant they could no longer socialize. Against his father's wishes, Henry proposes to Catherine. Eleanor, meanwhile, marries a wealthy man, and General Tilney soon gives his approval to Henry and Catherine. Henry and Catherine then marry. The End.

  • Chapter 1

    • Catherine Morland is born, which is good since she is the star of this book.
    • The narrator introduces us to her family. Dad's a clergyman and Mom takes care of Catherine and her nine siblings.
    • The narrator helpfully informs us that Catherine is a pretty bad heroine: no suffering or tragedies or anything like that.
    • Catherine is awkward and tomboyish and generally unremarkable as a kid.
    • Then Catherine hits her teen years and gets better looking. Good for her.
    • She also becomes interested in fashion, boys, and reading popular Gothic fiction instead of "boring" educational junk – which is like saying she got obsessed with Twilight and thought the classics like, well, Jane Austen, were really lame.
    • Catherine finds school pretty dull and can't really boast of a talent like drawing or music.
    • Sadly, Catherine lives in a small community and has yet to meet any handsome young men. Her improving looks are going to waste.
    • But her neighbors, the Allens, don't have any children and decide to invite Catherine, now seventeen, to visit Bath with them. Catherine is super-excited.
    • Fun fact: Bath is famous for its hot springs and was a popular spa town/fashionable tourist destination in early nineteenth century Britain.

  • Chapter 2

    • The narrator reminds us that Catherine is a pretty average seventeen-year-old and is rather naive.
    • Mrs. Morland isn't very savvy and gives Catherine some less than useful advice about her first trip to a big town, telling her to dress warm and stuff like that.
    • Catherine's sister Sally (short for Sarah) does not care that Catherine is leaving – probably because she gets a room to herself for once.
    • Mr. Morland gives Catherine a small amount of money and tells her to ask for more later if she wants it. So much for Catherine's unlimited shopping spree.
    • The Allens and Catherine travel to Bath. It's pretty boring.
    • They arrive in Bath and go to their lodgings.
    • Mrs. Allen is obsessed with fashion, and is also a bit dimwitted, just FYI. She takes Catherine shopping for days. Catherine gets her hair cut and styled too.
    • Finally, the Allens and Catherine attend their first ball in Bath (a Bath ball?) and it's very crowded.
    • Mr. Allen goes off to play cards.
    • Catherine and Mrs. Allen struggle through the crowd till they find a bench where they can watch all the fashionable people dance.
    • Mrs. Allen isn't much of a conversationalist and Catherine starts getting bored.
    • They all go for tea, which is like party refreshments, but it's still really crowded and Catherine starts getting annoyed by all the people.
    • She finds it uncomfortable since she doesn't know anyone there.
    • Mrs. Allen and Catherine have to sit at a table with strangers during tea and it's really awkward. Mrs. Allen keeps wishing they knew someone there and commenting on the fashion.
    • Finally Mr. Allen comes back from his card game and they all make their way to an exit.
    • Catherine gets noticed by some guys on the way out and overhears two of them say she is pretty. Catherine is way excited.

  • Chapter 3

    • Catherine settles into a Bath routine (we'll stop with the Bath jokes now) which consists of shopping, sightseeing, visiting the Pump-room, which was a spa/social gathering spot – much more fun than being cooped up with nine siblings all day.
    • Catherine attends another ball and finally gets a dancing partner: a handsome man named Henry Tilney.
    • Henry is attractive, smart, and very witty and Catherine likes him instantly.
    • Henry banters with Catherine while they dance and he mocks traditional "getting to know you" conversation by asking her inane questions about the ball and giving over-excited replies.
    • Henry then instructs Catherine on how to describe him in her journal, which she insists she doesn't keep.
    • Henry finds this assertion scandalous and insists that all ladies keep journals.
    • Henry then gives women everywhere a backhanded compliment, noting that women write wonderful letters and journal entries that don't obey the laws of grammar and spelling. Catherine finds that questionable and Henry backpedals.
    • They finish dancing and head back over to Mrs. Allen.
    • Mrs. Allen needs help pinning her sleeve and Henry starts talking to her about women's fashion.
    • Catherine thinks he is strange, but funny.
    • Henry lets us know that he has a sister, hence his women's fashion knowledge.
    • After chatting up Mrs. Allen about shopping and clothes, Henry and Catherine dance again.
    • Catherine thinks Henry might enjoy mocking people a bit too much.
    • He confirms this by mocking Catherine for refusing to tell him what she's thinking about.
    • The ball ends and Catherine goes home. She may or may not have dreamed about Henry that night.
    • The next day Catherine and the Allens discuss the ball.
    • Mr. Allen fills us in on Henry. He finds Henry suitable company since he is from a respectable family and is a clergyman. Yes, Henry is a clergyman.
    • Historical Context Lesson: You might be wondering why Henry is a clergyman. Well, back in this period, the younger sons of wealthy families were really out of luck when it came to job options. Older sons inherited the whole estate, castle, whatever. Younger sons had to go fend for themselves in a handful of "respectable' professions: the army, the church, the law, or maybe business. Why Henry picked the church is anyone's guess, but his Sunday sermons were most likely highly entertaining.

  • Chapter 4

    • Catherine hopes her new crush Henry is at the Pump-room (which would make a risqué name for a club), but he totally doesn't show and Catherine is bummed out.
    • She's stuck talking to Mrs. Allen again.
    • But then a random lady comes up and says she remembers Mrs. Allen from school.
    • It turns out this is Mrs. Allen's old friend Mrs. Thorpe, who totally tracked her down on Facebook. Oh, wait.
    • Mrs. Thorpe brags about her sons and Mrs. Allen can only fake interest since she has no kids.
    • Luckily for Catherine, Mrs. Thorpe has three daughters around Catherine's age.
    • The eldest, Isabella, is twenty-one, and is introduced as the best looking by Mrs. Thorpe. Isabella is thus the Marcia Brady of her family.
    • In a remarkable coincidence, Isabella's brother John is best friends with Catherine's brother James at Oxford.
    • So Catherine and Isabella promptly become best friends too.
    • Catherine and Isabella gossip about fashion, boys, dances, and London, which Isabella knows all about since she's visited like two times or something.
    • Isabella is four years older and dazzles Catherine with all her worldly experience and Catherine is a bit awed by her at first.
    • The two new friends are thrilled to find out that they are both attending the theater tonight and will be attending the same church the next day.
    • The narrator closes the chapter by telling us that Mrs. Thorpe is a widow and the family does not have much money.

  • Chapter 5

    • That night, Catherine and the Allens attend the theater with the Thorpes.
    • Catherine is disappointed that Henry isn't there.
    • But Henry's mysterious disappearing act lends him an aura of intrigue that Catherine finds attractive.
    • Mrs. Allen is now really happy that she knows people in Bath and says so, repeatedly.
    • Isabella and Catherine bond rapidly and do things like read novels together and walk arm in arm. If friendship bracelets existed back then, they'd totally make some.
    • The narrator gives us a spiel on novels. Other novels tend to bash novels even though they are novels. It's confusing.
    • Novels are considered corrupting material for impressionable young female minds, so heroines in novels typically don't read novels themselves.
    • Our narrator takes issue with this and goes on a satirical rant against commentators who bash the novel and apologetic novelists.
    • Novels, says our narrator, are interesting and entertaining. They are also relevant. And the best thing since sliced bread.

  • Chapter 6

    • Catherine and Isabella have known each other around ten days. They meet in the Pump-room, Bath's best hot-spot, for some gossip.
    • Isabella gripes that Catherine kept her waiting forever. Catherine thought she made good time.
    • The two discuss reading Anne Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Catherine is reading it for the first time and is spoiler-free, so Isabella won't tell her plot points.
    • Catherine says that she would spend her entire life reading Udolpho, except she wanted to see Isabella, so she tore herself away.
    • Isabella gives Catherine a list of some of her favorite Gothic novels, thus ensuring that Catherine won't read anything particularly educational for at least a few months.
    • Isabella switches topics and gossips about her friend Miss Andrews, who is not admired by men. Isabella is upset by this.
    • Isabella refused to dance with some man unless he would admit Miss Andrews was beautiful. Isabella assures Catherine that she will defend her if anyone bashes her and tells Catherine that she must be popular with boys.
    • Catherine is embarrassed by this.
    • Isabella switches gears again and now calls Miss Andrews insipid, or dumb. Good to see she sticks to her opinions and her friends.
    • Isabella will not stop talking. She now hints at Catherine's crush on Henry and tells her she understands her feelings – she won't dish on the name of her crush though.
    • Catherine points out that she may never see Henry again and starts talking about Udolpho.
    • If they had the internet Catherine would probably be cooped up at her house on a Udolpho message board.
    • She and Isabella discuss what Mrs. Morland reads. Mrs. Morland does read novels, but not the Gothic ones that Isabella and Catherine enjoy.
    • Isabella insists that she and Catherine dress the same for tonight's ball. She claims that men notice such things.
    • After ragging on men in general for a bit, Isabella asks what type of guy Catherine finds attractive.
    • Catherine flounders a bit and then settles on a guy with a bit of a tan. Isabella latches onto that and notes how that describes Henry Tilney.
    • She then says that she herself likes fair complexions and then stops, saying she's giving too much away.
    • Catherine is confused.
    • Isabella says some men are bothering her and insists that she and Catherine move.
    • The men depart soon after and Isabella now insists that she has to show Catherine a hat in a shop, so they take off in the direction the men walked. Conveniently.

  • Chapter 7

    • Catherine and Isabella are walking and Isabella is complaining about all the traffic – horses and carriages and the like.
    • Suddenly, a carriage pulls up containing John Thorpe and James Morland, the elder brothers of Isabella and Catherine.
    • After introductions, John starts disputing the distance he and James had driven – charming from the get go.
    • John switches to disputing the time with James.
    • John turns his attention to Catherine and brags about how fast his horse is and goes into a lengthy spiel about how he came to buy his horse, and how much it cost. Thrilling stuff.
    • The group sets off for the Thorpe's house.
    • Isabella is happy to be with James and only glances at the men from the Pump-room a few times as they pass them.
    • Catherine is stuck riding in the gig with John and he keeps droning on about his horse and carriage. Fast forward a few centuries and John Thorpe is the type who never shuts up about his car.
    • John offers to drive Catherine around daily and Catherine is uncomfortable at the suggestion since it seems improper.
    • (Historical Context Lesson! There were really strict rules governing how men and women could behave around each other back in this period. Basically, single men and women required some sort of chaperone. So John's suggestion is a bit rebellious.)
    • Isabella approves of this plan since she'll be riding with James.
    • John refuses to drive any of his sisters around Bath.
    • Catherine spends the time listening to John carry on and agreeing with him occasionally.
    • After a bit Catherine asks John if he's read Udolpho. John insists he never reads novels except for a few.
    • Catherine feels he might like Udolpho, but John says he'll only read Mrs. Radcliffe's novels.
    • Catherine points out that Mrs. Radcliffe wrote Udolpho.
    • John blows right past that and starts bashing a book called Camilla.
    • Finally they arrive at the Thorpe's house. John walks in and promptly insults his mother by saying she looks like a witch in her hat. What on earth kind of hat is she wearing?
    • He then tells his younger sisters that they look ugly.
    • Catherine decides that John has awful manners.
    • But John asks Catherine to dance with him tonight at the ball and Catherine agrees. It's pretty awesome to already have a dance partner lined up, so Catherine is excited.
    • James and Catherine then head back to the Allens. James will be staying with the Thorpes, but he's walking Catherine home.
    • James asks if Catherine likes John and she lies and says yes.
    • The Morland siblings then discuss Isabella and agree that she is super cool.
    • James is clearly smitten with Isabella.
    • Catherine and James then discuss their family and he drops her off at the Allens.
    • Catherine rushes upstairs to read Udolpho some more.

  • Chapter 8

    • Time for another ball. Catherine arrives just after the Thorpes and James.
    • James wants to dance with Isabella but John has wandered off to play cards, leaving Catherine without a partner.
    • Isabella insists that she'll sit with Catherine for all of five seconds before she ditches her to go dance with James.
    • Catherine's cool with it and chills with Mrs. Thorpe and Mrs. Allen.
    • Catherine does wish she had a partner and didn't look like a wallflower, though.
    • Mr. Tilney shows back up. Catherine spots him with a woman she assumes to be his sister.
    • Henry comes over and chats with Mrs. Allen. He then asks Catherine to dance, but she has to refuse since she told John she'd dance with him.
    • John finally shows up to dance and talks about horses, dogs, etc.
    • Catherine can't find Isabella and is bummed out.
    • A Mrs. Hughes comes up and introduces Catherine to Miss Eleanor Tilney, Henry's younger sister, and asks if Catherine minds letting Eleanor into the set.
    • (Historical Content Lesson! Back in this era, dancing was done in sets or formations – men and women didn't waltz together or anything. Rather, they danced across from one another and people could kind of wander in and out of sets and chat with people around them.)
    • Miss Tilney is very mild mannered, poised, and polite. She and Catherine strike up an acquaintance. Catherine does most of the talking.
    • Isabella descends and scolds Catherine for not finding her sooner. Isabella proceeds to tell Catherine how she has been scolding James and is basically very flirty and flighty.
    • Catherine points out Eleanor and Henry to Isabella.
    • James and Isabella flirt some more and then Isabella refuses to dance with James again, saying it would look bad. She decides to dance with James anyway after all of two seconds though. Isabella needs to work on her playing hard to get tactics.
    • Catherine goes off to find Henry again but he's already dancing with someone else. Catherine is bummed.
    • John pops back up but Catherine says she's tired and won't dance again.
    • Catherine is bored for the rest of the evening and she still never got to dance with Henry.

  • Chapter 9

    • Catherine is in a bad mood when she first arrives home, but she quickly gets over it.
    • After a good night's sleep, Catherine decides that her goal for the day is to get to know Eleanor Tilney better. So she heads to the Pump-room in the hopes of finding her. Life was way hard in the days before cell phones and Facebook.
    • Before heading to the Pump-room, Catherine settles down to read in the parlor.
    • Mrs. Allen keeps up a nice running commentary about anything that pops into her head.
    • Just after noon the Thorpes and James show up to hustle her off for a road trip.
    • Catherine doesn't really want to go, but Mrs. Allen totally fails to pick up on the vibes Catherine is sending her way, and says she has permission to go.
    • Catherine says hi to Isabella, who complains about how long they waited for her, and hops into the carriage with John.
    • John tells her that his horse is spirited but that she shouldn't be frightened.
    • Catherine is a bit frightened, but won't say so. But when they set off it is clear that the horse is very mild.
    • When she comments on it, John assures her it is all because of his crazy awesome driving skills.
    • Catherine thinks that John was a bit of a punk to scare her. She sits back to enjoy the ride.
    • John asks Catherine about the Allens, namely how rich they are and how much time she spends with them.
    • John then asks if Mr. Allen drinks a lot and Catherine says no.
    • John gripes about how women are always so concerned about drinking.
    • Catherine notes that there is a lot of drinking at Oxford, which John vehemently denies – a bit too vehemently really.
    • Catherine gets the impression that they are all drunkards at Oxford now. She insists James doesn't drink so much though.
    • John carries on in his usual inarticulate manner and Catherine is convinced that James is comparatively sober and that John can add "hard core drinker" to his list of other fine attributes.
    • John blathers on about how great his horse and carriage are again. Catherine really should just hit him.
    • John then hints that James' gig is a piece of junk and Catherine is worried he will break down and they'll have to call Triple A or something
    • John insists it's not unsafe at all and is actually a very nice carriage. Catherine is confused as to why he would contradict himself and make things so ambiguous.
    • John goes back to talking about horses again. Hey, John, two words for you: shut up.
    • Catherine comes to the bold conclusion that John is not very cool or interesting and that she doesn't want to hang out with him anymore.
    • They arrive back at the Allens and Isabella insists the time flew by. Catherine begs to differ – silently, but still.
    • Mrs. Allen has meanwhile been to the Pump-room where she got some info on the Tilneys from Mrs. Thorpe.
    • Turns out the Tilneys are very rich and that Mrs. Tilney is dead. Mrs. Allen isn't exactly a fountain of information there, but she tries.

  • Chapter 10

    • The Allens, Thorpes, and two Morlands all attend the theater together.
    • Isabella is anxious to see Henry Tilney, but Catherine can't spot him.
    • Isabella tells Catherine and she and James have magically aligned opinions on every topic ever. She goes on to joke about how Catherine would have teased them if she had been present.
    • Catherine is overly serious and denies this accusation. Isabella is incredulous – it isn't made entirely clear, but it seems that Isabella can't quite believe how earnest and naive Catherine is.
    • The next day Catherine heads to the Pump-room to find Eleanor Tilney. She meets up with the Thorpes and James.
    • Catherine ends up walking around with James and Isabella and totally feels like a third wheel.
    • Luckily she spots Miss Tilney, and goes to talk to her. She tries to subtly grill Eleanor about Henry, but Catherine isn't great with subtlety, so the grilling is pretty obvious.
    • Eleanor is totally on to how Catherine feels about Henry now, but Catherine isn't aware that she's given anything away.
    • The two new friends part and plan to meet up at the ball tomorrow night. Bath is a non-stop party.
    • Catherine goes home happy and ponders her wardrobe. She's not sure what to wear to the ball tonight.
    • The narrator lets us know that this is silly, since most men don't notice what women wear at all.
    • The night of the ball has arrived and Catherine is a bit anxious. She really wants to avoid John Thorpe and she really wants Henry to notice her.
    • Isabella ditches her to go dance with James and Catherine is scared that John is going to ask her to dance and bore her by talking about the same old subjects.
    • Luckily, Henry asks her to dance, instead.
    • But then John comes up and says he thought he and Catherine were set to dance together already. Oh, snap. Drama alert.
    • Catherine denies this, saying he never actually asked her. John insists he asked her like five days ago or something.
    • John asks who this Tilney character is and rambles on till a group of passing ladies distracts him and he wanders off. This guy is such a class act.
    • Catherine goes back to Henry, relieved. Henry says that he's annoyed with John.
    • He insists that dancing is like a marriage and that he and Catherine are bound together for the duration of their dance.
    • Catherine finds this marriage/dancing comparison weird, and Henry hilariously goes on to list the similarities between the two.
    • Henry then asks about John and makes sure that Catherine isn't going to get distracted and break their dancing "engagement" (it's a pun – Henry's so clever). Catherine insists she doesn't want to dance with anyone else and Henry is happy.
    • They discuss Bath and Catherine says that she likes Bath society better since the country can be boring.
    • Henry appreciates Catherine's enthusiasm for Bath and notes that most people there are the jaded, high society type.
    • As the dance is finishing up, Catherine notices a man staring at her. Is it a stalker?
    • It's an older guy, handsome though, and he starts talking to Henry.
    • Henry comes back over and notes that the old man is his dad, General Tilney.
    • Catherine thinks that the whole family is really good looking. Good genes. This bodes well for future offspring.
    • Catherine chats with Miss Tilney too and the two decide to meet up tomorrow at noon to go on a walk, as long as it doesn't rain. Henry will be joining him.
    • Catherine barely saw Isabella all evening.

  • Chapter 11

    • The next day it is overcast and Catherine worries that it might rain.
    • She hangs out in the parlor with Mrs. Allen and obsesses over the weather. Mrs. Allen agrees with everything Catherine says and makes some great observations, like that the street will be wet since it has started to rain. Genius.
    • It keeps raining harder but the sun finally comes back out at half past twelve. Catherine isn't sure if the Tilneys are still coming, though. Too bad no one has a cell phone.
    • The Thorpes and James show up suddenly. They are all very loud and tell Catherine to hurry up, she's going with them on a ride to Bristol.
    • Catherine says she can't go because she's waiting for the Tilneys.
    • James points out that they won't make it all the way to Bristol today, but John and Isabella ignore him and rattle off a really lengthy itinerary.
    • John mentions that they plan to stop at Blaize Castle. Catherine is super-excited over this since she's obsessed with Gothic novels and castles.
    • (Fun historical fact: Blaize Castle was actually built in 1766 and is not medieval, even though the Thorpes insist it is the oldest castle in England.)
    • Catherine still is reluctant to go.
    • John suddenly recalls that he saw Henry and Eleanor driving off in a carriage. So they won't be coming over after all.
    • Catherine finally agrees to go, but she isn't sure about it.
    • Catherine is excited to see the castle, but is worried about the Tilneys.
    • The group drives off and Catherine sees the Tilneys walking down the street to her house.
    • Catherine is really upset and tells John to stop, but he just makes his horse go faster and laughs.
    • Catherine gets mad at John and asks why he lied, but John won't admit that he lied about seeing Henry.
    • Catherine gives John the silent treatment after their argument and imagines how awesome Blaize Castle will be to make herself feel better.
    • James stops them and says it's getting late and they have to go back home. Serious bummer.
    • John says that James is cheap and should buy his own carriage and horse so they could make better time. His rental stinks, apparently.
    • Catherine takes offense on her brother's behalf and says he can't afford his own carriage.
    • John grumbles incoherently and says it's not cool to be stingy with your money.
    • They return and drop Catherine off at her house. The footman tells Catherine that a lady called for her but didn't have a card to leave.
    • Catherine is really upset that she missed the Tilneys.
    • The Allens and Catherine go visit the Thorpes that night.
    • Isabella talks about how she's glad she isn't at a ball and wonders aloud what everyone is doing at the ball.
    • Catherine is bummed out and Isabella tells her to buck up. She insists the whole thing was the Tilneys fault because they weren't punctual.
    • Catherine doesn't get much sleep that night.

  • Chapter 12

    • Catherine goes to call on the Tilneys in order to apologize for the mix up yesterday.
    • She asks to see Miss Tilney but the butler tells her she isn't at home.
    • But, as Catherine is leaving, she sees Eleanor leaving the house with her dad. Harsh. Catherine feels dissed and is very upset.
    • Catherine blames herself for the whole business though and decides that Eleanor is responding to Catherine's original rudeness.
    • Catherine goes to the theater that night with the Thorpes and spies the Tilneys.
    • Henry spots her and bows coolly. Catherine is miserable.
    • She plans to find the Tilneys after the play in order to beg forgiveness and to explain herself.
    • After the play, Henry comes over to her and Mrs. Allen to say hello. Catherine gives a very jumbled apology, but Henry gets the gist of what happened. He quickly forgives her.
    • Catherine asks if Eleanor is mad at her, and Henry explains that she had just been called away with her dad right as Catherine called, so she wasn't able to see her.
    • Catherine asks if Henry is mad at her, and he denies that he looked angry or felt angry at all.
    • Henry hangs out for awhile.
    • Catherine notices that John Thorpe is talking to General Tilney, which is weird. She asks Henry how they know each other, and Henry says his father knows a lot of people and he's not really sure.
    • John Thorpe arrives to see Catherine out and brags about knowing General Tilney. He says he saw him at the billiard-room and then tells Catherine a billiard story.
    • John says the General thinks she's the finest girl in Bath. Catherine is astonished.

  • Chapter 13

    • It is now Sunday. The chapter is a little vague on where everyone actually is at this point – most likely they are all leaving church.
    • John, Isabella, and James decide to once again head down to Bristol and Blaize Castle. They tell Catherine to saddle up since she's coming with them tomorrow. No "please" guys?
    • Catherine has made plans with Eleanor though – they're going to try again to go on their walk with Henry.
    • The Thorpes and James throw a fit and insist she come with them. Things quickly go downhill and turn into a bad educational movie on peer pressure.
    • The peer pressuring trio insist that Catherine can go walking another time. But Catherine feels it's wrong to break her engagement and it's especially wrong to lie about why she's changing her plans to Eleanor. So she refuses to alter her plans.
    • Isabella starts insulting Catherine and says that Catherine has thrown her over for Eleanor.
    • Catherine thinks everyone is behaving like lousy friends and that her brother is being a punk.
    • John wanders off and comes back over to say that he talked to Eleanor himself and told her that Catherine had other plans. So she can go on their road trip now.
    • Catherine is really mad – she says that John had no right to interfere and lie.
    • Catherine runs off, with the other three protesting and insulting her.
    • Catherine runs after the Tilneys and bursts into their house. She explains that John is a liar liar pants on fire and that she still wants to go out with them tomorrow.
    • Things are cleared up and Catherine is introduced to General Tilney, who is overly polite to her.
    • The General invites her to stay and dine with them, but Catherine has to go home since the Allens are expecting her.
    • Catherine walks home and is certain that she did the right thing by refusing to go with the peer pressuring trio.
    • When she gets home Catherine mentions the road trip scheme to Mr. Allen. Mr. Allen is scandalized and says that she shouldn't be riding around un-chaperoned with boys. He's glad she isn't going.
    • Catherine is freaked and asks Mrs. Allen why she let her do it before if it's so scandalous.
    • Mrs. Allen blathers on about young people being young people. She's the best chaperone ever.
    • Catherine is still put out.
    • Mr. Allen says it's all cool, just don't do it again.
    • Catherine is worried about Isabella's reputation now, but Mr. Allen tells her not to meddle.
    • Catherine thinks about how tricky it is navigating all the rules of society.

  • Chapter 14

    • The day of the walk has arrived and the Tilneys arrive right on time.
    • They decide to walk at Beechen Cliff.
    • Catherine says the scenery reminds her of the south of France, which she has read about in Gothic novels. She notes that Henry probably doesn't read novels since they aren't smart enough for him.
    • Henry insists he loves novels and that anyone who doesn't is a moron.
    • Catherine is glad and says she won't be ashamed of liking novels anymore. Catherine has clearly become the president of the Henry Tilney fan club.
    • Henry and Eleanor do the sibling banter thing, and Eleanor shares embarrassing stories about Henry and how he totally stole her book one time.
    • Henry starts nitpicking people's word choice and brags about how he's read way more novels than Catherine since he's older.
    • Eleanor says Henry is annoying and asks Catherine what else she likes to read. The two discuss history books. Eleanor likes them and Catherine finds them boring.
    • Catherine only knows men who like to read history, so Eleanor is unusual in that respect.
    • Catherine shares about growing up with nine siblings and notes that trying to educate them all is really annoying.
    • The Tilneys start discussing picturesque views and Catherine is ashamed that she knows nothing about it.
    • The narrator breaks in to let us know (ironically) that unintelligent young women always attract more men – so the ill-informed Catherine is really good to go here.
    • The Tilneys kindly tell Catherine all about the picturesque.
    • Catherine then mentions that something shocking will soon happen in London – she's referring to the release of a new novel, but Eleanor thinks she means a riot is going to happen or something.
    • Henry finds this hilarious and makes fun of them.
    • He finally explains the miscommunication to them and then goes on to insult the intelligence of all women everywhere.
    • Eleanor tells him to knock it off, but he keeps joking.
    • Eleanor assures Catherine that Henry is joking and that he isn't really a misogynistic jerk, he just pretends to be one.
    • Catherine is cool with this, since she thinks that Henry can do no wrong.
    • After the walk, Catherine runs into Anne Thorpe, the Jan Brady of the Thorpes. Anne didn't go, or wasn't invited, to go on the road trip with her siblings and James.
    • Anne insists the whole thing was stupid and she didn't want to go. It's not clear if she's lying though.

  • Chapter 15

    • Next day. Isabella sends Catherine an apology note and Catherine goes to visit her.
    • She hears all about the road trip – they failed to make it all the way to the Castle once again.
    • Isabella starts dropping really obvious hints about James and Catherine finally picks up on it. She asks Isabella if she is in love with James.
    • Isabella does her one better and tells her that she and James have gotten engaged. Catherine is excited and Isabella carries on about how they'll be sisters now and how she'll like Catherine and the Morlands much more than her own family.
    • Catherine finds that sentiment a bit extreme.
    • Isabella rambles on about how she first fell in love with James.
    • Isabella is a bit worried about whether the Morlands will approve, but Catherine assures her that they will.
    • Isabella notes that she has no desire for a lot of money or a fancy house, and will be happy living in the country, though the town she names is actually a suburb of London. Catherine fails to pick up on that bit of irony. (Irony here means that we know something that Catherine doesn't know. Want to read more about irony? Check out the "Narrative Technique" section.)
    • James comes to say bye – he's heading off to see his parents.
    • Catherine hangs out with the Thorpes and is confused by the family dynamic. They spend the evening competing to see who can be the wittiest and, since Isabella's engagement isn't official yet, they all talk around it slyly.
    • The next day Isabella is freaking out from nerves. Finally a letter arrives from James saying everything his cool. His parents approve and they can get married.
    • The Thorpes are mega-excited.
    • James says he'll send details about the money and property settlement later.
    • John is going out of town now, so he says goodbye to Catherine.
    • John and Catherine are left alone and John starts dropping anvil hints about the two of them following Isabella and James's example and getting married themselves.
    • This completely goes over Catherine's head, and she responds to everything John says literally. It's hilarious.
    • John hints about coming to call on her in the future, and Catherine is like, "Whatever, fine."
    • Catherine notes as he is leaving that people shouldn't marry for money; it's tacky. John falls all over himself to agree with her and leaves thinking that he and Catherine are on the same page, when they totally aren't.
    • Catherine arrives home and is put out that the Allens are not surprised by James getting engaged, since they saw it coming a mile away.

  • Chapter 16

    • Catherine goes to dine with the Tilneys, but doesn't have the best time. Eleanor and Henry aren't very talkative. She can't figure out why since the General was so civil and nice.
    • Later she visits Isabella, who insults all the Tilneys and says that they are arrogant and snobby.
    • Isabella notes that John is way nicer and cooler than Henry. Catherine ignores this.
    • There's another ball. These people never stop with the parties.
    • Isabella insists that she won't dance tonight and will instead pine for James in a corner. Sounds like a plan.
    • Catherine hangs out with the Tilneys and has fun at the ball.
    • The eldest Tilney, Captain Frederick Tilney, has arrived in town. He's super-good-looking, but Catherine thinks that Henry has the better personality.
    • The Tilney brothers go off to chat after Henry dances with Catherine. Henry comes back and says that Frederick wants to be introduced to Isabella so he can ask her to dance. Catherine says "no thanks" on her friend's behalf, thinking that Isabella won't want to dance with anyone.
    • Henry laughs about how Catherine is clueless about people and has no understanding of the motives of others. He then compliments her about being so good-natured and nice.
    • Catherine is embarrassed.
    • Then she spies Isabella heading to the dance floor with Captain Tilney.
    • Henry finds this about-face hilarious. Catherine is confused.
    • After the dancing Catherine goes to confront Isabella about dancing when she said she wouldn't.
    • Isabella says she's only dancing because the Captain won't stop pestering her.
    • A few days later (the narrator doesn't specify how long exactly), the girls meet again to discuss James's second letter to Isabella. This one lets her know all the details, like their income and property.
    • It turns out it's not a lot and they won't be able to get married for three years, since James has to save up his money.
    • Isabella is not thrilled with this. The Thorpes start insinuating that Mr. Morland is being stingy and that he really has more money.
    • Catherine is upset by these insinuations and says that her father is very generous and totally did the best he could, especially since he has ten kids to consider.
    • Isabella gets herself together and insists she's only upset about having to wait three years, not about the money.
    • Catherine doubts this somewhat, but soon gets over it.

  • Chapter 17

    • The Allens and Catherine have been in Bath for six weeks and the Allens start thinking about going home.
    • Catherine ponders her relationship with Henry, since Isabella's engagement has given her some ideas. But she decides to just be happy in the present and not worry about the future. Catherine has a nice fortune cookie world view.
    • The Tilneys are leaving soon too, but they invite Catherine to come with them to their home, Northanger Abbey. The title finally makes sense.
    • Well, Eleanor tries to invite Catherine, but the General barges in and interrupts her and then asks Catherine himself.
    • The whole family wants her to come, though for varying implicit reasons. The General's reasons are totally ambiguous.
    • Eleanor and Henry clearly just want their friend/almost girlfriend to visit.
    • Catherine about dies from joy here. She says that her parents will probably be cool with her going.
    • The Morlands write back soon with their consent and Catherine thinks about how awesome life is for her lately. The fact that the Tilneys, her favorite people, live in a Gothic abbey is just icing on the cake for her.
    • Catherine assumes that Northanger Abbey will be just like the places she's read about. In other words: creepy, mysterious, exciting, and super "Gothic."

  • Chapter 18

    • Catherine is so thrilled by her upcoming trip that she doesn't notice she hasn't seen Isabella lately.
    • The two friends meet up at the Pump-room to catch up.
    • Isabella seems distracted though and Catherine assumes she misses James.
    • Isabella denies this and insists she's cool. She asks Catherine about her Northanger Abbey trip.
    • Isabella then lets Catherine know about her letter from John. She says that Catherine can probably guess what it's about.
    • Catherine cannot, of course.
    • Isabella chastises Catherine for feigning ignorance and insists that John's attentions to her were really, really obvious. Only a doofus could have missed them. Or someone as naive as Catherine.
    • Catherine is upset and denies that he was paying her attention. She's had no idea that he was thinking of proposing to her. She doesn't even remember the day when he did kind of propose.
    • Isabella is silent during this.
    • Catherine tries to reassure her, saying that they'll still be sisters since Isabella will marry James.
    • Isabella is awkward and says that there's more than one way of being sisters. That's a bit suspicious.
    • Isabella quickly changes tactics and tells Catherine that she doesn't blame her for the whole John mix up. She thinks that John was being dumb anyway, since neither of them have any money, and marriages don't work without money.
    • Isabella then gives a spiel about being young and having the right to change your mind and warns Catherine about rushing into romantic commitments and taking her time, which clearly has nothing to do with Isabella at all. Oh wait.
    • Suddenly Captain Tilney walks in and comes right up to Isabella and Catherine.
    • He and Isabella start flirting in a borderline scandalous (for nineteenth century England) way.
    • Catherine is shocked. She tries to get Isabella to come away with her, but Isabella stays put. Catherine tries to believe that Isabella is unconsciously encouraging Captain Tilney.
    • Catherine goes home disturbed about the John thing and about Isabella's behavior.

  • Chapter 19

    • Catherine starts watching Isabella closely and is alarmed about the changes she sees. Isabella is distracted and starts flirting with Captain Tilney in public all the time. She's also ignoring James.
    • Catherine is concerned for everyone, thinking they will all get their feelings hurt. She still feels that Isabella can't be aware of what she's doing.
    • Catherine speaks with Henry about the love triangle problem. She asks if Henry will talk to his brother.
    • Henry says that he's not his brother's keeper and that his brother is fully aware that Isabella is engaged and is hanging around anyway.
    • Henry then asks Catherine if James is upset that Captain Tilney is hanging around, or if he's upset because Isabella is hanging around Captain Tilney.
    • Catherine doesn't get the difference. She also insists that a woman in love can't flirt with anyone else.
    • Henry asks Catherine if she can't guess what's going on from the evidence. Of course Catherine can't.
    • Henry tells Catherine not to meddle and notes that, if James and Isabella have a solid relationship, they'll be able to work this out.
    • Catherine finally decides to drop it.
    • She spends one last evening with Isabella and James, who are both in good moods.

  • Chapter 20

    • The Allens bid Catherine farewell and she heads over to the Tilney's house to eat breakfast and then leave for Northanger.
    • The General is really overly solicitous and makes Catherine uncomfortable.
    • Captain Tilney is late for breakfast and gets chewed out by his dad on Catherine's behalf, which is awkward for her.
    • Captain Tilney is mostly silent and tells Eleanor he'll be glad when they all leave.
    • The General makes a production out of leaving on time and starts griping at his servants. They finally leave.
    • The ride is dull and uncomfortable, since the General seems to be able to suck the life out of any social gathering and to make everyone uncomfortable and nervous.
    • After a pit-stop, the General insists that Catherine ride with Henry in his carriage. Catherine is concerned about propriety, but is happy to be with Henry.
    • Catherine is struck by how much of a better driver Henry is than John Thorpe.
    • Henry thanks Catherine for coming on his sister's behalf. Turns out Eleanor is by herself a lot since the General goes out of town and Henry lives in a nearby village, Woodston, where he works as a clergyman.
    • Catherine tells Henry she's excited to see Northanger and bets it's exactly like the abbeys she has read about in Gothic novels.
    • Henry runs with this and gives Catherine a lengthy spiel about all the cliché horrors she can expect to find at Northanger: secret passages, dimly lit halls, old furniture, creepy servants, a guest room miles away from everyone else, a scary portrait, a thunder storm, an old chest, and a secret manuscript – lots of terror.
    • (Fun Fact: Henry is getting most of this material from The Mysteries of Udolpho, the Anne Radcliffe novel that Catherine adores. This novel gets name dropped all the time in Northanger Abbey.)
    • Given that Catherine has read this novel, it is not entirely clear why she gets so enthralled by Henry's spiel and does not see it for the joke that it is. This could be because Catherine takes her Gothic novels so seriously and seems to take them as factual documents instead of fiction.
    • Catherine is enthralled by this and begs Henry to keep going till he has to stop since he's laughing.
    • Catherine is embarrassed that she got so carried away by Gothic excitement and tries to assure herself and Henry that she isn't afraid of Northanger.
    • They arrive at the house and it is not very Gothic at all. The drive is very modern and there are no elements of doom or gloom.
    • They all go inside to a nice, well-lit drawing room with modern furniture. Catherine's Gothic/haunted house expectations are thwarted.
    • If Catherine were around today, she'd totally be the type who loves horror movies. She seems to enjoy being "scared."
    • The General is being anal about having dinner on time, so he rushes Eleanor and Catherine off to get ready.

  • Chapter 21

    • Catherine's guest room is very nice and not creepy at all. Catherine finds this lame.
    • She wastes time exploring the room and finds an old heavy chest like the one Henry described in his faux Gothic adventure story.
    • Catherine goes to investigate, but the maid comes in and startles her, causing her to slam the chest's lid shut loudly.
    • Catherine goes back to explore and finds a bedspread folded up inside.
    • Eleanor comes in and comments about the furniture and Catherine feels dumb.
    • The two run down to dinner, where the General is stroking out about the time.
    • He gets himself together and fakes being laid back and cool again. He then scolds Eleanor for rushing Catherine.
    • Dinner is super-fancy.
    • The General asks Catherine if she dines this well with the Allens, and she says no. This puts the General in a good mood.
    • After dinner it really was a dark and stormy night.
    • Catherine assures herself that there's no need to be nervous and boldly decides not to build up the fire to use as a nightlight.
    • She takes her time getting ready for bed.
    • The Catherine notices a black cabinet, which is like something Henry described in his faux Gothic horror adventure tale.
    • Catherine feels the need to investigate but she can't open it. Way mysterious.
    • Catherine struggles and finally manages to get the stupid thing open.
    • She sees lots of smaller drawers inside. Ooh, the intrigue.
    • Catherine searches around and finally finds some sheets of paper.
    • Catherine is freaking out with excitement at living her very own Gothic adventure.
    • But suddenly her candle blows out and it is very dark and stormy.
    • Catherine is terrified and quickly jumps into bed. She has trouble falling asleep.

  • Chapter 22

    • Catherine wakes up the next day and quickly investigates the papers she found. They turn out to be a laundry list and some receipts.
    • Catherine feels ridiculous and admits that a secret, scandalous manuscript wouldn't be hidden in a nice room like hers. She also realizes that she must have locked the cabinet accidentally, hence the problems getting it open.
    • Still embarrassed, Catherine heads down to breakfast.
    • Henry is there alone and they chat about flowers, which Catherine has learned to like thanks to Eleanor.
    • The General and Eleanor arrive and the General keeps dropping hints about Catherine and Henry's future marriage, which Catherine doesn't get.
    • Henry leaves to Woodston after breakfast and the General tells Catherine about it and his house there.
    • He notes that even though he's loaded he made his sons get jobs, so they won't be lazy.
    • Catherine is like, "Super, thanks for sharing."
    • The General offers to give her a tour and says they should check out the gardens first. Catherine complies, even though she'd rather see the house first. Gothic novels don't generally take place in nice gardens after all.
    • They walk around and "ooh" over the flowers.
    • The General grills Catherine about the Allens again and is happy to find out that his gardens are better. The General was totally that kid who had to one-up everybody, for sure.
    • Eleanor starts to take Catherine down a gloomy path and the General protests. But he sees that Catherine is interested and agrees to meet up with them later.
    • Eleanor shares that this path was her mother's favorite.
    • Eleanor shares some about her mom and Catherine asks about her.
    • Eleanor says that her mom's death has been really hard and Catherine starts grilling Eleanor about her, trying to see if she's anything like a tragic character in a novel.
    • Catherine decides that, since the General doesn't love his wife's favorite path, he didn't love her. Catherine should probably not become a lawyer with evidence analysis skills like those.
    • Catherine is further convinced that the General was a terrible husband when she learns that he doesn't have his wife's portrait hanging in his study. The General is totally a Gothic villain.
    • The General pops back up and tells Eleanor to hold off on the tour of the house till he can join them. The man's a control freak.

  • Chapter 23

    • Catherine grows more convinced that the General is evil since he wanders off by himself a lot.
    • The tour of the house commences. The house is very charming and well-decorated. It's also very modern, which doesn't appeal to Catherine. The creepy factor is about zero.
    • She is impressed by all the renovations the General has done on the place though – even though they aren't very "Gothic."
    • Catherine is sad to hear that an old part of the house was knocked down to put in modern kitchens and stables, but she finds the kitchens impressive. She still thinks this is a poor excuse for a Gothic abbey, though.
    • The General hints that Catherine's family might be paying a visit in the future. Catherine thinks he's cool to invite them over for no apparent reason. We'll pause to let you roll your eyes.
    • The General halts the tour as they reach a passage with a winding staircase and Catherine is convinced that the General is hiding a deep, dark secret there.
    • Eleanor tells Catherine she had planned to show her Mrs. Tilney's old rooms when the General stopped the tour.
    • Catherine interrogates Eleanor about Mrs. Tilney's death and finds out that Eleanor was away at school at the time. Catherine is now convinced that the General murdered Mrs. Tilney.
    • Catherine is further suspicious by the fact that the General is sitting up late to work. Clearly, only evil murderers pull all-nighters.
    • Catherine now suspects that Mrs. Tilney may not be dead at all, in true Gothic novel fashion. She may be locked up in a secret chamber.
    • Catherine decides to sit up late to see if the General goes to the area of the house he refused to show her, which Catherine can conveniently see from her window.
    • Catherine makes a lousy detective though, since she falls asleep during her surveillance.

  • Chapter 24

    • It's Sunday and the Tilneys and Catherine spend most of the day in church.
    • Catherine spies a memorial to Mrs. Tilney in the church and wonders how the General can't feel any guilt over murdering/locking up his wife.
    • Catherine feels that all the Gothic novels she's read confirm her suspicions.
    • The next day Eleanor shows Catherine her mother's portrait.
    • Eleanor is bummed after seeing the portrait and the girls head downstairs.
    • The General suddenly pops up and yells for Eleanor, badly startling them. Eleanor runs off and Catherine is scared and runs to her room.
    • When she comes back down she finds that they have visitors. Eleanor explains that her father wanted her to answer a note.
    • Catherine decides to go investigate Mrs. Tilney's rooms on her own and not to involve Eleanor in the potential "danger."
    • So Catherine runs off and finds that the rooms are modern and cheerful. Nothing secretive or creepy about them.
    • Catherine begins to realize how foolish she has behaved and wants to go be by herself.
    • She hears footsteps on the stairs and Henry comes in. He explains that there are stairs out back that are a shortcut to his own study.
    • Henry is surprised to see that Catherine was exploring his mother's rooms.
    • They chat about Eleanor and Isabella. Catherine confesses that she is surprised not to have heard from Isabella yet.
    • Henry finds that amusing, but he then turns the conversation back to what Catherine was doing in his mom's rooms. He finds her interest really suspicious.
    • Catherine confesses that her interest had more to do with his mom's sudden death and his father's odd behavior.
    • Henry sorts out what's going on. He tells her that her mother got ill very suddenly and that he was home when she died. The General was upset, in his own way. He's not the most open of people, but he did love his wife and was greatly affected by her death.
    • Henry is very upset at Catherine's assumptions and asks her how she could assume that a ludicrous Gothic novel plot could occur in the modern age among civilized people.
    • Catherine is humiliated and runs off in tears.

  • Chapter 25

    • Catherine has had an epiphany and realizes how she let her romantic imagination run away from her.
    • Catherine is very embarrassed but Henry is more attentive than usual towards her that evening, realizing that she is upset and ashamed of herself.
    • Catherine starts to recover and decides that she's learned a valuable lesson about using common sense and reason instead of relying on romantic imagination.
    • She traces her problems back to the Gothic literature she read in Bath and decides that it was a bad influence on her.
    • She decides that England is a civilized country where Gothic horrors do not happen. Those other European countries are still suspect, though.
    • Catherine gets back to the real world and begins to worry about James and Isabella, since she's has no news from them.
    • Nine days pass. Catherine finally receives a letter from James.
    • James writes that he and Isabella have broken up and hints that Isabella has run off with Captain Tilney. James cautions Catherine about giving her heart away too freely, since he learned the hard way with the duplicitous Isabella.
    • Catherine is horrified by this news and starts crying at the breakfast table.
    • The General is reading the newspaper and doesn't notice.
    • Henry and Eleanor are concerned, but give Catherine some time to herself before they ask what the matter is.
    • Catherine tells them what happened after Henry wagers a guess and lets him read the letter.
    • Henry and Eleanor are totally confused and can't believe that their brother would actually involve himself with Isabella.
    • Henry says that Captain Tilney has behaved like a moron and he's done for now.
    • Both the Tilney siblings are worried about their father's reaction to this scandal.
    • Catherine exclaims that she can't believe how deceived she was by Isabella, but she's comforted by the Tilneys and takes this news in stride.

  • Chapter 26

    • No one hears anything from either Isabella or Frederick Tilney, and Henry, Catherine, and Eleanor are really confused as to what exactly is going on. Are they getting married or not?
    • Catherine is a bit worried when she hears that the General is really concerned about money. She's definitely not rich. But Catherine decides that the Tilneys seem to love her and the General probably doesn't care as much about money as his kids say.
    • The General declares a few days later that they'll all pay a visit to Henry's house in Woodston.
    • Catherine is thrilled but is disappointed when Henry has to run off to prepare for their visit.
    • Catherine is miserable about James and is depressed by Henry's absence.
    • The day of the visit finally arrives and they have a lovely ride to Woodston. Catherine thinks it's a lot like Fullerton, except better.
    • The General chats up Woodston and Henry's house – not that he really needs to, Catherine is already sold.
    • They arrive and take a tour. Catherine thinks it's the best house ever and the General agrees with every observation she makes. At least Catherine doesn't realize that Henry is being embarrassed by his dad in front of his kinda/sorta girlfriend.
    • But wait, Catherine finally gets clued in. The General hints that Catherine may be in charge of decorating an empty room soon. And Catherine figures out what he's hinting at (impending marriage) and clams up quickly.
    • The day passes fast and Catherine is sad to leave.

  • Chapter 27

    • Finally, a letter arrives from Isabella.
    • Isabella writes in circles and hints that James has made a huge mistake, that the whole Captain Tilney thing is a big misunderstanding, that the Captain is a jerk, and that people are spreading rumors.
    • She asks Catherine to speak to James on her behalf.
    • Catherine is appalled by what a shallow and artificial person Isabella is and realizes that she's a big liar.
    • Catherine fills the Tilneys in on the latest developments and they are relieved that Frederick won't be stuck marrying Isabella, though Henry hints that Isabella's reputation is likely destroyed now.
    • Catherine still can't figure out Frederick's motives and asks Henry if he was just behaving badly and likes getting into trouble. Henry concedes this point.
    • Henry notes that Catherine is warped by a principle of general integrity and Catherine is flattered and forgets about being mad at Isabella and Frederick.
    • She decides not to answer Isabella's letter.

  • Chapter 28

    • The General has to go out of town, so it's party time at Northanger for Catherine, Henry, and Eleanor.
    • Catherine starts to worry that she has overstayed her welcome, but Eleanor insists she can stay longer if she wants and that she's happy to have her there.
    • Catherine is growing more confident in Henry's intentions towards her, and is pretty sure he loves her.
    • Henry has to go out of town. The girls are startled at someone arriving late at night. Catherine guesses it must be Captain Tilney and Catherine decides to make an effort to be civil towards him.
    • But Eleanor comes up to Catherine's room looking very distressed. It turns out the unexpected arrival was her father.
    • Eleanor has come to inform Catherine that the General has remembered an engagement and that Catherine has to leave immediately. And she means really immediately: the General is insisting that Catherine go first thing in the morning and he won't even supply transportation for her. Catherine will have to ride post, which is like the Greyhound bus service of nineteenth-century England.
    • Catherine is horrified, as is Eleanor. Catherine can't figure out what she did to make the General throw her out.
    • Eleanor is really upset and worries about how Catherine's family will react to this rudeness. She's also concerned about Catherine's safety, since she'll be traveling alone.
    • Catherine tries to reassure her, but she's too upset to do a good job of it. Catherine is appalled by how rude the General is being and is devastated about having to leave Henry.
    • The whole thing is a mystery. She can't figure out the General's motives at all.
    • Catherine has a very restless night.
    • The next morning, Eleanor comes to help her pack. Things are strained between them.
    • At breakfast Eleanor begs that Catherine write to her to let her know she got home all right. She also lends Catherine some money, since Catherine doesn't have enough cash to get home.
    • The post carriage arrives and Catherine has to leave.

  • Chapter 29

    • Catherine cries until she gets beyond Woodston and thinks of Henry.
    • Catherine anxiously tries to figure out why the General threw her out of his house and wonders about Henry and Eleanor. She spends the entire trip home fretting and worrying herself sick.
    • The journey passes without incident.
    • The narrator breaks in to ironically note that Catherine the heroine isn't returning home triumphant, but is rather arriving in disgrace.
    • Catherine's family is surprised but thrilled to see her back in Fullerton.
    • Her youngest siblings, George and Harriet, are particularly happy that Catherine is home.
    • Catherine reluctantly explains what happened. Her family is sympathetic but no one flies off the handle here.
    • Her parents conclude that General Tilney is very strange. Indeed.
    • Her sister Sarah says it's not surprising he threw Catherine out, but wonders why he didn't do it with more politeness.
    • Mama Morland sends Catherine to bed and is concerned the next day when Catherine is still agitated and distracted.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Morland don't suspect that their daughter has fallen in love with Henry and is love sick right now.
    • Catherine has a hard time writing her letter to Eleanor. She doesn't know how to express her gratitude properly, so she settles for a brief, polite note. She also sends money to Eleanor to pay her back for the loan.
    • Mrs. Morland helpfully notes that Catherine has had terrible luck making new friends and keeping them lately. She says James is still bummed but he's learned a lesson at least.
    • Catherine is upset at the prospect of never seeing the Tilneys again.
    • She and her mom go to call on the Allens. Catherine thinks about how much has changed since she last visited their house.
    • The Allens are glad to see Catherine and agree that the General is very strange. That must be a euphemism for insane in Fullerton. They are indignant on Catherine's behalf.
    • Mrs. Allen reminisces about Bath and how glad she and Catherine were to meet the Thorpes there.
    • Catherine thinks of Henry the entire walk home.

  • Chapter 30

    • Catherine is still upset and distracted and her mother starts to lose patience with her. She thinks that Catherine has gotten spoiled by high society shenanigans and is now mopey and bored at home.
    • Her mom goes to get her some educational pamphlets aimed at spoiled young ladies. Sounds like thrilling reading.
    • But then Henry Tilney shows up. Mrs. Morland is confused and Catherine is stunned silent.
    • Henry says he came to apologize for the whole, 'my dad threw your daughter out of his house' business and to see that Catherine made it home all right.
    • Mrs. Morland starts to get clued in to Catherine's feelings for Henry.
    • Mr. Morland isn't around, so the group sits in awkward silence for a bit.
    • Henry, genius that he is, asks Catherine if the Allens are around and if she'll show him the way to their house so he can go say howdy.
    • Sarah helpfully points out that he can see the Allen's house from the window.
    • Henry ignores her and waits till Mrs. Morland suggests that Catherine walk him there.
    • Henry proposes on their walk and Catherine accepts. It's very sweet.
    • They pay a very quick visit to the Allens and then rush back home to get Mr. and Mrs. Morland's permission to marry.
    • The narrator now gives us the low-down on what happened with the General.
    • Turns out the General got mad cause he discovered that Catherine was less rich than he thought she was.
    • John Thorpe is to blame for the whole mess. He lied about Catherine's family fortune in Bath, back when he thought he might marry Catherine. John is such an egomaniac that he exaggerated Catherine's wealth in order to make himself and his sister sound better, since they were set to marry into a rich family. John tells the general that Catherine's family is loaded and that the Allens are even richer and that Catherine is their heir.
    • So, the General buys this hook, line, and sinker. He sees no reason for John to lie. The General might be giving Catherine a run for her money here in terms of being gullible.
    • So the General kisses up to Catherine in the hopes that she and Henry will marry and will be fabulously rich together.
    • But, after John gets "dumped" by Catherine, and Isabella gets dumped, for real, by James, John is mad. So the next time he sees the General he tells him the exact opposite: that he was mistaken, that the Morlands are frauds and poor and disrespected and have about 20 children.
    • So the General is furious and throws Catherine out of his house.
    • Henry finds this out and is really mad. He and his dad have it out and the General effectively disowns Henry.

  • Chapter 31

    • The Morlands are surprised but excited that Henry wants to marry Catherine and they consent.
    • Mrs. Morland warns Henry that Catherine will make a lousy housekeeper though. Mama Morland is so supportive.
    • The only problem is that the General won't give his consent. Henry and Catherine don't want any money from him, but they do want his permission so they won't have to elope.
    • Henry and Catherine part and hope that the General will change his mind soon.
    • Luckily, Eleanor Tilney gets married that summer to a random and wealthy guy we have never heard of before. The narrator admits this and the whole thing is ludicrous and funny.
    • It turns out the long-suffering Eleanor was prevented from marrying the man she loved because he had no money. But, fortunately for her, this man suddenly comes into a fortune and becomes a Viscount. So he and Eleanor marry quickly.
    • The General is beyond thrilled by this and Eleanor, now a Viscountess, convinces him to give his consent to Henry and Catherine and assures him that Catherine isn't dirt poor, just not as rich as the Tilneys.
    • So the General says OK.
    • Henry and Catherine finally get married and have a happy life, according to the narrator.