Northanger Abbey

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Mrs. Thorpe Character Analysis

A widow who thinks and talks only about her children, Mrs. Thorpe hopes for her children to marry well. Mrs. Thorpe went to boarding school with Mrs. Allen and knew her to have married a rich man. She believes the Morlands to be wealthy based on their friendship with the Allens.

Mrs. Thorpe Quotes in Northanger Abbey

The Northanger Abbey quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Thorpe or refer to Mrs. Thorpe. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Northanger Abbey published in 2003.
Volume 2, Chapter 1 Quotes

“It is not on my own account I wish for more; but I cannot bear to be the means of injuring my dear Morland, making him sit down upon an income hardly enough to find one in the common necessaries of life. For myself, it is nothing; I never think of myself.”
“I know you never do, my dear; and you will always find your reward in the affection it makes every body feel for you. There never was a young woman so beloved as you are by every body that knows you; and I dare say when Mr. Morland sees you, my dear child—but do not let us distress our dear Catherine by talking of such things. Mr. Morland has behaved so very handsome you know. I always heard he was a most excellent man; and you know, my dear, we are not to suppose but what, if you had had a suitable fortune, he would have come down with something more, for I am sure he must be a most liberal-minded man.”
“Nobody can think better of Mr. Morland than I do, I am sure. But every body has their failing you know, and every body has a right to do what they like with their own money.” Catherine was hurt by these insinuations. “I am very sure” said she, “that my father has promised to do as much as he can afford.”

Related Characters: Catherine Morland (speaker), Isabella Thorpe (speaker), Mrs. Thorpe (speaker), James Morland, Mr. Morland
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

Isabella has received a letter from James informing her of how much they can expect to receive from his father upon their marrying—and it is a much smaller amount than Isabella had hoped for. Mrs. Thorpe may have been the source of the Thorpes’ mistaken idea that the Morlands are a very wealthy family; she went to school with Mrs. Allen and knows the Allens to be wealthy. She may have heard from her son John that he had met someone named James Morland and told John to cultivate a friendship with James, just as Isabella has cultivated a friendship with Catherine, in the hope that her children would marry into money.

Isabella’s disappointment in the provision promised by Mr. Moreland does not prevent her from continuing to hypocritically declare how little she cares for money. She claims that she is disappointed only because she feels that by marrying her, James will miss out on his fair share of the family wealth. It was not uncommon for parents to give a smaller amount of money to children who wanted to marry someone that the parents did not approve of. Isabella and Mrs. Thorpe seem not yet to have realized that Mr. Morland has provided for his son as generously as he can. They believe that Mr. Morland is withholding his money out of a desire that his son marry a richer woman. They may hope to test this theory out, then, by dropping such broad hints to Catherine that they are disappointed in what Mr. Morland will provide.

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Mrs. Thorpe Character Timeline in Northanger Abbey

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Thorpe appears in Northanger Abbey. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 1, Chapter 4
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
...anyone in Bath, this wish is finally, unexpectedly fulfilled. Mrs. Allen is approached by a Mrs. Thorpe , an old schoolmate, and they are joyful at this reunion, despite having never missed... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Mrs. Thorpe ’s three daughters approach, and when they are introduced to Catherine, exclaim how much she... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 5
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Daily, Mrs. Allen exclaims how happy she is to have met Mrs. Thorpe in Bath so that they have some acquaintance. She and Mrs. Thorpe spend all their... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 7
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...tells his mother to find a place for him and James to stay near them. Mrs. Thorpe is charmed to see her son. Catherine does not like John Thorpe’s manners, but she... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 8
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Catherine is left alone with Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Thorpe . She feels sure everyone around her believes that she was unable to secure a... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...along with Mrs. Hughes, a woman who is accompanying his sister Miss Tilney and knows Mrs. Thorpe . He addresses himself to both Catherine and Mrs. Allen, who says that she is... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...dance floor. Mrs. Allen says that Mr. Tilney is a very agreeable young man, and Mrs. Thorpe says she thinks him the most agreeable man in the world, although she is his... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 15
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...the evening is spent with Isabella scheming about her and James’ future happiness. John and Mrs. Thorpe are aware of Isabella’s engagement, but, in what seems to Catherine like an unkind and... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 1
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
Catherine congratulates Isabella warmly. Isabella and Mrs. Thorpe praise Mr. Morland’s generosity, saying that although four hundred pounds a year is hardly enough... (full context)