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Jane Austen’s Erotic Advice$
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Sarah Raff

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199760336

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199760336.001.0001

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Propositioning the Reader in Northanger Abbey

Propositioning the Reader in Northanger Abbey

(p.100) Chapter 4 Propositioning the Reader in Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen’s Erotic Advice

Sarah Raff

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 argues that Fanny Knight appears in Northanger Abbey both as the reader and as that ideal heroine whom the narrator declines to write about. By presenting Fanny as the “picture of perfection” Catherine Morland is not, Austen’s narrator jokingly corrects Emma’s unflattering portraits of Fanny. Meanwhile, Northanger Abbey’s narrator presents herself to a Fanny-identified reader as the seductive, quixote-making author reviled in antinovel treatises. Not only does this narrator court the reader, as critics have sometimes noticed, but she undertakes to turn her reader into a quixote, just as her hero Henry Tilney does with Catherine Morland.

Keywords:   Northanger Abbey, Fanny Knight, heroine, Jane Austen, Catherine Morland, Quixote, Henry Tilney, Jane Austen’s narrator

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