Study Guide

Northanger Abbey Chapter 14

By Jane Austen

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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.

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