Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

The identity of the Narrator is unknown, and the narration usually occurs in the third-person. The narrator has special access to Catherine’s thoughts and feelings, but also sometimes gives a brief sense of what the other characters are thinking and feeling. The narrator also occasionally intrudes into the narrative to provide a broader perspective on an issue raised by the story, like the importance of dress or the plight of novelists who are looked down upon. In these moments, the narrator resembles an essayist, seeking to put forward a thesis and provide supporting arguments.

Narrator Quotes in Northanger Abbey

The Northanger Abbey quotes below are all either spoken by Narrator or refer to Narrator. 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 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother; her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Catherine Morland
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Volume 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

When the hour of departure drew near, the maternal anxiety of Mrs. Morland will be naturally supposed to be most severe. A thousand alarming presentiments of evil to her beloved Catherine from this terrific separation must oppress her heart with sadness, and drown her in tears for the last day or two of their being together; and advice of the most important and applicable nature must of course flow from her wise lips in their parting conference in her closet. Cautions against the violence of such noblemen and baronets as delight in forcing young ladies away to some remote farm-house, must, at such a moment, relieve the fulness of her heart. Who would not think so? But Mrs. Morland knew so little of lords and baronets, that she entertained no notion of their general mischievousness, and was wholly unsuspicious of danger to her daughter from their machinations.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Catherine Morland, Mrs. Morland
Page Number: 19
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 10 Quotes

It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biassed by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull or the jackonet. Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter.—But not one of these grave reflections troubled the tranquillity of Catherine.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Catherine Morland
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 71-72
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 14 Quotes

But Catherine did not know her own advantages—did not know that a good-looking girl, with an affectionate heart and a very ignorant mind, cannot fail of attracting a clever young man, unless circumstances are particularly untoward. In the present instance, she confessed and lamented her want of knowledge; declared that she would give any thing in the world to be able to draw; and a lecture on the picturesque immediately followed, in which his instructions were so clear that she soon began to see beauty in every thing admired by him, and her attention was so earnest, that he became perfectly satisfied of her having a great deal of natural taste.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Catherine Morland, Henry Tilney (Mr. Tilney)
Page Number: 106-107
Explanation and Analysis:

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Volume 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

She was assured of his affection; and that heart in return was solicited, which, perhaps, they pretty equally knew was already entirely his own; for, though Henry was now sincerely attached to her, though he felt and delighted in all the excellencies of her character and truly loved her society, I must confess that his affection originated in nothing better than gratitude, or, in other words, that a persuasion of her partiality for him had been the only cause of giving her a serious thought. It is a new circumstance in romance, I acknowledge, and dreadfully derogatory of an heroine's dignity; but if it be as new in common life, the credit of a wild imagination will at least be all my own.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Catherine Morland, Henry Tilney (Mr. Tilney)
Page Number: 227
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.

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Narrator Character Timeline in Northanger Abbey

The timeline below shows where the character Narrator appears in Northanger Abbey. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 1, Chapter 1
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
...perfectly understandable, because she knows no one of her own age and rank. But, the Narrator observes, Catherine is destined to become a heroine, and a heroine must meet a hero.... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 2
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...As the crowd thins out, Catherine can be seen by young men, and, as the Narrator remarks, it is time for a heroine to be noticed. No one is stunned by... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 3
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...might be inappropriate for a lady to fall in love before a gentleman does, the Narrator says it “cannot be ascertained” whether Catherine dreamt about Mr. Tilney even before he had... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 5
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Although many novelists do not portray their heroines as novel-readers, the Narrator explains, this is unjust. Writers of novels should stick together, since they are so often... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 8
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
...partner. This kind of trial often occurs in the life of a heroine, observes the Narrator. After ten minutes, Catherine sees Mr. Tilney across the room, but he does not see... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 10
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
...home very happy and begins to plan what she will wear the next night. The Narrator states that this consideration is very frivolous, as Catherine had once been told by a... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 14
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...ashamed not to be able to follow their conversation. She should not be ashamed, the Narrator adds, because there is nothing so charming in a young, good-looking woman to a clever... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 1
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Sincerity and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...hears him mocking Henry for wanting to dance. From this it can be predicted, the Narrator interjects, that Henry Tilney will not have a rival for Catherine’s affections in his brother,... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 14
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
...manners, and ability to pay well. Most heroines return from journeys in grand style, the Narrator says, with many servants and an elegant carriage, which prompt authors to describe them in... (full context)
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Experience and Innocence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...in the morning. It never occurs to her parents to wonder about Catherine’s heart—and, the Narrator notes, this is quite unusual in the parents of a seventeen-year-old just returning from her... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 15
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...and will marry him. They both know the answer to this question very well. The Narrator explains that it was Catherine’s partiality for Henry that attracted him to her in the... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 16
Novels and the Heroine Theme Icon
Wealth and Respectability Theme Icon
Loyalty and Love Theme Icon
...book can see from the very few remaining pages that it will soon end, the Narrator remarks, and so they cannot share Henry and Catherine’s anxiety. But how could the General... (full context)