Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

A college friend of James Morland and brother to Isabella Thorpe, John Thorpe is an unscrupulous, rude braggart. He is a boring conversationalist who is only interested in horses, carriages, money and drinking, and lies whenever he thinks it will impress others or force them to give way to his will. He wishes to marry Catherine because he believes her to be wealthy, but he is so rude and self-centered that, although he sees himself as courting Catherine, she completely fails to understand his true intentions.

John Thorpe Quotes in Northanger Abbey

The Northanger Abbey quotes below are all either spoken by John Thorpe or refer to John 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Northanger Abbey published in 2003.
Volume 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

These manners did not please Catherine; but he was James's friend and Isabella's brother; and her judgment was further bought off by Isabella's assuring her, when they withdrew to see the new hat, that John thought her the most charming girl in the world, and by John's engaging her before they parted to dance with him that evening. Had she been older or vainer, such attacks might have done little; but, where youth and diffidence are united, it requires uncommon steadiness of reason to resist the attraction of being called the most charming girl in the world, and of being so very early engaged as a partner; and the consequence was, that, when the two Morlands, after sitting an hour with the Thorpes, set off to walk together to Mr. Allen's, and James, as the door was closed on them, said, “Well, Catherine, how do you like my friend Thorpe?” instead of answering, as she probably would have done, had there been no friendship and no flattery in the case, “I do not like him at all;” she directly replied, “I like him very much; he seems very agreeable.”

Related Characters: Catherine Morland, Isabella Thorpe, John Thorpe, James Morland, Mr. Allen
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

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Volume 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

She could not help being vexed at the non-appearance of Mr. Thorpe, for she not only longed to be dancing, but was likewise aware that, as the real dignity of her situation could not be known, she was sharing with the scores of other young ladies still sitting down all the discredit of wanting a partner. To be disgraced in the eye of the world, to wear the appearance of infamy while her heart is all purity, her actions all innocence, and the misconduct of another the true source of her debasement, is one of those circumstances which peculiarly belong to the heroine's life, and her fortitude under it what particularly dignifies her character. Catherine had fortitude too; she suffered, but no murmur passed her lips.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Catherine Morland, John Thorpe
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

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Volume 1, Chapter 9 Quotes

Catherine listened with astonishment; she knew not how to reconcile two such very different accounts of the same thing; for she had not been brought up to understand the propensities of a rattle, nor to know to how many idle assertions and impudent falsehoods the excess of vanity will lead. Her own family were plain matter-of-fact people, who seldom aimed at wit of any kind; her father, at the utmost, being contented with a pun, and her mother with a proverb; they were not in the habit therefore of telling lies to increase their importance, or of asserting at one moment what they would contradict the next.

Related Characters: Catherine Morland, John Thorpe
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Volume 1, Chapter 10 Quotes

“You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with any one else.”

Related Characters: Henry Tilney (Mr. Tilney) (speaker), Catherine Morland, John Thorpe
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Volume 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

“A little harmless flirtation or so will occur, and one is often drawn on to give more encouragement than one wishes to stand by. But you may be assured that I am the last person in the world to judge you severely. All those things should be allowed for in youth and high spirits. What one means one day, you know, one may not mean the next. Circumstances change, opinions alter.”
“But my opinion of your brother never did alter; it was always the same. You are describing what never happened.”
“My dearest Catherine,” continued the other without at all listening to her, “I would not for all the world be the means of hurrying you into an engagement before you knew what you were about. I do not think any thing would justify me in wishing you to sacrifice all your happiness merely to oblige my brother, because he is my brother, and who perhaps after all, you know, might be just as happy without you, for people seldom know what they would be at, young men especially, they are so amazingly changeable and inconstant.”

Related Characters: Catherine Morland (speaker), Isabella Thorpe (speaker), John Thorpe, James Morland, Frederick Tilney (Captain Tilney)
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Volume 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

The General, accustomed on every ordinary occasion to give the law in his family, prepared for no reluctance but of feeling, no opposing desire that should dare to clothe itself in words, could ill brook the opposition of his son, steady as the sanction of reason and the dictate of conscience could make it. But, in such a cause, his anger, though it must shock, could not intimidate Henry, who was sustained in his purpose by a conviction of its justice. He felt himself bound as much in honour as in affection to Miss Morland, and believing that heart to be his own which he had been directed to gain, no unworthy retraction of a tacit consent, no reversing decree of unjustifiable anger, could shake his fidelity, or influence the resolutions it prompted.

Related Characters: Catherine Morland, John Thorpe, Henry Tilney (Mr. Tilney), General Tilney
Page Number: 230-231
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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John Thorpe Character Timeline in Northanger Abbey

The timeline below shows where the character John 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
...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 one... (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 looks... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 7
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
John Thorpe, Isabella’s brother, approaches the other three. He is stout and not very tall, and... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
The gentlemen then decide that they will escort the two ladies back to the Thorpes’ lodgings. Isabella pays such complete attention to James that she only looks at the two... (full context)
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
After a while Catherine asks John if he has ever read the novel Udolpho. He says that he never reads novels,... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
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They arrive at the Thorpes’ lodgings and John Thorpe rudely greets his two other sisters, saying they look ugly. He... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 8
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
That night at the ball, the Thorpes and Allens meet. James wants to dance with Isabella, but Isabella declares that she will... (full context)
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 partner.... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...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 very... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Finally, John Thorpe appears. He does not apologize for keeping Catherine waiting and talks about his friend... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
John has walked away and Catherine hopes Mr. Tilney will ask her to dance again, so... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
John Thorpe approaches Catherine and says he supposes they ought to dance again. Catherine says she... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 9
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...the morning reading her book and responding to Mrs. Allen’s idle remarks about clothing. Suddenly, John Thorpe arrives and tells Catherine to hurry and get ready to go on a drive... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...has so much to talk to Catherine about, but for now Catherine must hurry into John’s carriage so that they can be off. Catherine overhears Isabella tell James how much she... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
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In the carriage, John says his horse is very wild, which frightens Catherine, who is then happily surprised to... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
John then asks Catherine if “old Allen is as rich as a Jew” and if he... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Thorpe talks on and on about his carriage. Catherine lacks knowledge of the subject, but she... (full context)
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...Catherine decides the drive was no substitute for failing to see the Tilneys, and that John Thorpe is “quite disagreeable.” (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 10
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Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
At the ball, Catherine tries to avoid John Thorpe, whom she fears will ask her to dance again, making it impossible for her... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
Once John is gone, Mr. Tilney says he nearly got quite angry at John for interrupting them... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 11
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...and Catherine is wondering whether the Tilneys will still come for their walk, when Isabella, John, and James arrive in two carriages. Catherine declares that she cannot go on a ride... (full context)
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
John objects that she should come anyway, and then Isabella comes in to encourage her. Isabella... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
John then says that he saw the Tilneys driving in a carriage out of town, so... (full context)
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...feels hurt that the Tilneys gave up so easily on taking a walk with her. John sees a girl look at Catherine as they ride by and asks Catherine who it... (full context)
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Catherine is still angry, however, and does not to talk with John during their drive. She feels she would much rather not have disappointed the Tilneys no... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...the Tilneys called for her, and when they were told she had left with the Thorpes, asked if she had left a note. Catherine is filled with regret. That evening Isabella... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 12
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
During their talk, Catherine notices John Thorpe and General Tilney speaking. Afterwards, when John Thorpe approaches her, she asks him how... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 13
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...a compromise, saying that they can all go in two days, but they say that John may want to go to town that day. Isabella says that she cannot go if... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
John, who had walked off for a few minutes, returns. He reports that he just spoke... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...explanation of what had happened. Miss Tilney says that she had been surprised by Mr. Thorpe canceling the walk they had only just agreed to take. General Tilney is angry at... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...feels a bit guilty towards her brother and friends. She tells Mr. Allen about the Thorpes’ plan, to see what he thinks of it, and he says that he is glad... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 14
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...is. Later in the day, Catherine runs into Isabella’s sister Anne. Anne tells Catherine that John drove her sister Maria and Isabella and James drove together. Anne says she would hate... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 15
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...asks Catherine to come to her lodgings as quickly as possible. When Catherine arrives, Maria Thorpe tells her about the enjoyable day she had with John, Isabella, and James, rushing around... (full context)
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...rest of 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... (full context)
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John gets ready to set off for London, but first finds Catherine alone in the parlor.... (full context)
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John then comments that he and Catherine think about most things similarly, and she responds that... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 1
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...was civil to her and tried very hard to make her happy. Isabella says that John respects General Tilney and that she trusts John’s judgment. Isabella says she does not want... (full context)
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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)
Volume 2, Chapter 3
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...Catherine cannot guess. Isabella says that Catherine need not pretend she does not know that John is in love with her. Catherine is astonished, and Isabella chastises her for this pretended... (full context)
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Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
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Catherine says that Isabella knows that John is not the man whom she has feelings for, but says that they will still... (full context)
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For her own part, Catherine does not feel flattered, but rather feels amazed that John would have thought “it worth his while to fancy himself in love with her.” She... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 5
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...how much more pleasant it is to be a passenger in his carriage than in John Thorpe’s. (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 15
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...before, the General had seen Henry and Catherine speaking at the theater and had asked John Thorpe about Catherine’s wealth and connections. At that time, Thorpe thought that his sister would... (full context)
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The General later ran into John Thorpe again in London. Thorpe was by that time angry at Catherine’s refusal of him... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 16
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...Henry’s marriage to Catherine. It also helps that Catherine is not nearly as poor as John Thorpe described her to be in his second encounter with the General. Upon marriage, Catherine... (full context)