Study Guide

Northanger Abbey Chapter 22

By Jane Austen

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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.

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