I watched the new Masterpiece Theatre Northanger Abbey this past week and really enjoyed it. It was SO much better than the 1980's version. I bought the 1980's version thinking - it's Austen, I will like it. A lot of strumming guiters and 80's hair later, I realized that I was wrong. This version of the classic novel was more true to the novel and was a funny, light-hearted farce on gothic romances. I liked it!
Northanger Abbey is different than most Austen as it is a light hearted comic farce of the gothic romance novels that Jane Austen was so fond of. Catherine Morland is a 17-year old girl that loves to read gothic romance novels. She comes from a rather large family and is very excited when her neighbors, the Allens, decide to take her with them on a trip to Bath. While there, she meets Isabella Thorpe, a young lady who knows her brother James. Catherine also meets Henry Tilney, a funny and charming young man. She becomes friends with Henry's sister Eleanor and finds herself being pursued by Isabella's brother John Thorpe. Henry and Eleanor's father General Tilney invities Catherine to Northanger Abbey to visit. Catherine is sure it will be full of gothic romance just like her novels, but soon learns that she may let her fantasies carry her to far.
I thought this was a great adaptation and I highly recommend it!