Northanger Abbey | Study Guide

Jane Austen

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Chapter 3

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 3 from Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey.

Northanger Abbey | Chapter 3 | Summary



Catherine Morland meets Henry Tilney, a clergyman who is both handsome and witty. The exchange between them includes Henry's fear he won't be interesting when she writes of him in her journal. He offers her suggestions on what she should write. He also patiently engages Mrs. Allen in a conversation about the qualities, uses, and washing of muslin. Catherine dances with Henry, and he informs her he will tease her when next he sees her.


The novel has intentionally identified Catherine Morland as the heroine, going so far as to overtly name her so. The lack of a hero in her home area was pointed out, and the trip to Bath is noted as a way to correct this. So it is no surprise the hero in question should appear in Bath. Henry Tilney possesses all of the ideal traits. He is handsome, slightly older than Catherine but not too old, and he is financially secure. Henry is also clever and interested in Catherine. In sum, Jane Austen creates the ideal love interest.

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