Study Guide

Northanger Abbey Chapter 9

By Jane Austen

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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.

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