Books

Book 381: Northanger Abbey (Marvel Illustrated) – Nancy Butler & Janet Lee

Butler, Nancy, Jane Austen and Janet Lee - Northanger AbbeyI’m so glad I’m on Austen overload this year. I’m not really sure what I do on the years I don’t read this much Austen. Does that actually happen? I should start tracking my Austen reads in addition to everything else I track.

This is the second of the Marvel Illustrated Jane Austen series and I have to say I’m impressed so far. Butler knows how to reduce down the stories to their key elements without losing any of the wit and humor Austen infuses into her work. I preferred the illustration style of Hugo Petrus from Pride & Prejudice versus Janet Lee of Northanger Abbey. Which is interesting because I know it took me a while to adjust to that style, maybe when I read Emma, also illustrated by Lee, I won’t have as many issues. All of this being said, I really enjoyed this adaptation.

This is the third version of Northanger Abbey I’ve read this year after the original by Ms. Austen and the modern adaptation by Val McDermid as part of the The Austen Project. Each one was unique, but they all reminded me how much I love Henry Tilney. Butler said it best when she talked about people keeping their Dour  and Wicked Wickhams (or something like that), she’d keep her Humble Henry. And I can’t agree more! I think we discussed in Jane Austen Book group that Henry was a bit of a know-it-all, but what mid-twenties man isn’t a show off, especially around someone they’re attracted to!

2015 09-09 Austen SassButler has also convinced me that I need to actually read Austen’s juvenilia. She connected how sassy and ahead of her time Austen was. Butler connected a lot of this was visible in a thread from Austen’s juvenilia through to Northanger Abbey. (So did Adam over at Roof Beam Reader.) I’m still holding out to buy the beautiful Penguin edition that’ll be released later this year before I read them.

I particularly loved the quote to the right when I re-read the original this year and was SO happy it made it into this version. And to close it off, I’m not going to lie that I got a goofy grin on my face when I saw one of the final panels:

2015 09-10 Northanger Swoon

Recommendation: Do I really need to include this? Of course you should read it. I can’t wait to read the last two in the series, but I’m going to hold out so that I have a treat later in the year!

Opening Line: “No one who had ever met young Catherine Morland would have supposed her born to become a romantic heroine.”

Closing Line: “An interested observer might be convinced, furthermore, that the general’s interference, so far from being injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of each other and adding strength to their attachment.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)

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