Most of us who read Jane Austen are always seeking new titles to read, and ways to answer the 200-year old question of “what to read when you have finished all of Jane Austen.” Other than the almost mandatory requirement to RE-READ Austen whenever possible, it is a “truth universally acknowledged” that an Austen reader will be soon in want of another book! I have seen many such lists and though always subjective to the list-maker, they are a great start. But what about Austen’s own reading? A number of articles have been written on this, as much is known from her letters, but as our JASNA-Vermont Chapter recently had a meeting and discussion on Northanger Abbey, and we know that NA was Austen’s tribute to the novel and reading, I would like to provide a list of books she actually cites throughout NA….it is an illuminating compilation and should keep us all busy for the next year at least! [ please note that there is no particular order to this list…. and if I have left anything out, please let me know!]
The Northanger Canon [ i.e. the “Horrid” Novels as referenced by Isabella Thorpe in Chapter 6 of NA]; also see the article describing each book in more detail at The University of Virginia’s Gothic Books Collection.
- THE MYSTERIES OF UDOLPHO. by Ann Ward Radcliffe. London, 1794.
- THE CASTLE OF WOLFENBACH. by Mrs. Eliza Parsons. London, 1793.
- CLERMONT: A TALE. by Regina Maria Roche. London, 1798.
- THE MYSTERIOUS WARNING. by Mrs. Eliza Parsons. London, 1796.
- THE NECROMANCER; OR THE TALE OF THE BLACK FOREST, FOUNDED ON FACTS. Translated from the German of Lawrence Flammenberg by Peter Teuthold. London, 1794.
- THE MIDNIGHT BELL, A GERMAN STORY. by Francis Lathom. London, 1798.
- THE ORPHAN OF THE RHINE: A ROMANCE. by Mrs. Eleanor Sleath. London, 1798.
- THE HORRID MYSTERIES, A STORY FROM THE GERMAN OF THE MARQUIS OF GROSSE. by P. Will. London, 1796.
- THE ITALIAN. by Ann Ward Radcliffe. London, 1797.
Other titles cited in Northanger Abbey:
- Burney, Fanny. CECELIA, OR MEMOIRS OF AN HEIRESS (1782)
- ____________. CAMILLA, OR A PICTURE OF YOUTH (1796)
- Edgeworth, Maria. BELINDA (1801)
- Fielding, Henry. TOM JONES (1749)
- Richardson, Samuel. SIR CHARLES GRANDISON (1753-4)
- _________________. #97 THE RAMBLER (quoted)
- Lewis, Matthew Gregory. THE MONK (1796)
- Johnson, Samuel. JOHNSON’S DICTIONARY (1755)
- Blair, Hugh. LECTURES OF RHETORIC (1783)
- Hume, David. HISTORY OF ENGLAND (1754-62)
- Robertson, William. HISTORY OF SCOTLAND (1759)
- “The Mirror”, an essay by John Homespun, March 6, 1779.
- Cowper, William [noted in the Biographical Notice by Henry Austen as JA’s favorite poetic moralist]
- Gilpin, William. Three essays on the Picturesque: Beauty, Travel, Sketching Landscape (1792)
- Gay, John. FABLES: “The Hare and Many Friends” (1727)
- Pope, Alexander. “Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady” (1717)
- Gray, Thomas. [his ELEGY is misquoted]
- Shakespeare, William. [misquoted OTHELLO, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, TWELFTH NIGHT ]
- Thompson… “The Seasons” [misquoting “The Spring” ]
- Milton, John. [ mentioned ]
- Moss, Rev. Thomas. “The Beggars Petition” from POEMS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS (1769)
- Prior, Matthew. [there is an undocumented reference to Prior in the “Literary Allusions” listing noted below for NA; Prior’s HENRY AND EMMA (1709) is alluded to in Persuasion]
- THE SPECTATOR
- Sterne, Laurence. A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
1. “Literary Allusions in Jane Austen’s Writings” at The Republic of Pemberley (mostly compiled from Chapman’s indexes)
2. Ehrenpreis, Anne Henry. “Introduction to Northanger Abbey“ [ Penguin, 1972 ]. An excellent introduction to the novel, with notes on all the books cited by Austen, with a nice discussion of the “horrid” novels as well as references to other works cited in the novel.
3. Chapman, R.W. Indexes to Northanger Abbey and Persuasion [ volume 5 of his edition ]