Thursday, October 31, 2019


The Doyenne of Austenesque fiction, Diana Birchall, tours the blogosphere October 28 through November 15 to share her latest release, The Bride of Northanger. Thirty popular bloggers specializing in historical and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed continuation of Jane Austen’s Gothic parody, Northanger Abbey.  

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen was Austen’s humorous response to the Gothic novels of her day.  In that novel she introduces one of the best Austen heroes, Henry Tilney, who not only has a great sense of humor, but is an honorable man.  The heroine Catherine Moreland, learns to put aside her Gothic fears and learns that you can’t always judge people by your first impression. 

Bride of Northanger picks up right where Northanger Abbey left off.  Catherine and Henry marry and begin life at Henry’s parsonage.  Before their marriage, Henry tells Catherine of a curse on the Tilney family that dooms the wife of the eldest Tilney son.  Catherine feels some angst, but as she is the wife of the second son, she does not overly worry. General Tilney does not approve of their marriage and manages to ignore Catherine whenever he can.  The curse slowly seems to envelope the Tilney family and control their actions.  Will Henry and Catherine get their happily ever after, or will they become a part of the Tilney curse?

I enjoyed this novel and was sad when it ended.  Author Diana Birchall truly captures the essence of all of the characters from Jane Austen’s original novel.  They acted just as I would imagine they would.  It was a perfect sequel.  Bride of Northanger was more Gothic in tone than the original novel, which was a perfect read for this time of year.  The humor of the original was also apparent in this novel.  I loved seeing Henry and Catherine’s marriage, it was a sweet, nice marriage that worked well for both of them. 

Favorite Quotes:
“If Catherine Morland was not born to be a heroine, she ended by becoming something very like one.”

“And it is wonderful that you have turned out a woman not only of strength, but of positively exemplary steadiness of mind!  I used to think you rather a creature of imagination, but in truth the qualities of sense and sensibility are most admirably blent in your character.”

“No, thought I must say that there are some things between heaven and earth, that cannot quite be explained.”

Overall, Bride of Northanger by Diana Birchall is a perfect sequel to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen that captures the essence of the original characters and introduces them to a new Gothic adventure.
Book Source:  I received a review copy for being a part of this tour.  Thank-you Austenprose for putting this tour together!


October 28    My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)
October 28    Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
October 28    vvb32 Reads (Spotlight)                               
October 29    A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide of Life (Guest Blog)
October 29    From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
October 30     Drunk Austen (Interview)
October 30     Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
October 31     Jane Austen’s World (Review)
November 01  So Little Time… (Interview)
November 01  Laura's Reviews (Review)
November 04  English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)
November 04  Confessions of a Book Addict (Spotlight)
November 05  More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
November 05  Vesper’s Place (Review)
November 06  Jane Austen in Vermont (Interview)
November 06  Diary of an Eccentric (Interview)    
November 07  All Things Austen (Spotlight)
November 07  A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
November 07  Let Them Read Books (Excerpt)  
November 08  Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
November 08  vvb32 Reads (Review)
November 11  My Jane Austen Book Club (Review)
November 11  Reading the Past (Spotlight)
November 12  Jane Austen’s World (Interview)
November 12  The Calico Critic (Excerpt)
November 13  The Book Rat (Review)
November 13  Austenesque Reviews (Review)
November 14  Fangs, Wands, & Fairy Dust (Review)
November 14  The Fiction Addiction (Review)
November 15  My Love for Jane Austen (Spotlight)
November 15  Scuffed Slippers and Wormy Books (Review)                  


  • Title: The Bride of Northanger: A Jane Austen Variation
  • Author: Diana Birchall
  • Tour Dates: October 28 – November 15, 2019
  • Genre: Austenesque, Historical Fiction, Gothic Mystery
  • Publisher: White Soup Press (September 19, 2019)
  • Length: 230 pages
  • Trade paperback ISBN: 978-0981654300
  • eBook ASIN: B07Y2HGSMX
  • Author’s website:



A happier heroine than Catherine Morland does not exist in England, for she is about to marry her beloved, the handsome, witty Henry Tilney. The night before the wedding, Henry reluctantly tells Catherine and her horrified parents a secret he has dreaded to share - that there is a terrible curse on his family and their home, Northanger Abbey. Henry is a clergyman, educated and rational, and after her year’s engagement Catherine is no longer the silly young girl who delighted in reading “horrid novels”; she has improved in both reading and rationality. This sensible young couple cannot believe curses are real...until a murder at the Abbey triggers events as horrid and Gothic as Jane Austen ever parodied - events that shake the young Tilneys’ certainties, but never their love for each other...


“Diana Birchall once again proves herself the worthiest of Austenesque fiction writers, with keen powers of observation, discernment, judgment, fire, genius, and wit on every page.” — Devoney Looser, author of The Making of Jane Austen

“No one captures Jane Austen's vibrant style, sense of humor, intelligence, and voice better than Diana Birchall. I flew through this charming novel, which makes a delightfully spooky and most welcome sequel to Northanger Abbey.” — Syrie James, author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

“One of the most enjoyable returns to Austen to be found. Not to be missed.” — Susan Franzblau, author and film director


Diana Birchall worked for many years at Warner Bros studios as a story analyst, reading novels to see if they would make movies. Reading manuscripts went side by side with a restorative and sanity-preserving life in Jane Austen studies and resulted in her writing Austenesque fiction both as homage and attempted investigation of the secrets of Jane Austen's style. She is the author of In Defense of Mrs. Elton, Mrs. Elton in America, Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma, and the new The Bride of Northanger. She has written hundreds of Austenesque short stories and plays, as well as a biography of her novelist grandmother, and has lectured on her books and staged play readings at places as diverse as Hollywood, Brooklyn, Montreal, Chawton House Library, Alaska, and Yale. Visit Diana at her Austen Variations author page, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.