Study Guide

Northanger Abbey Chapter 28

By Jane Austen

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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.

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