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Northanger Abbey was very nearly consigned to undeserved oblivion. Written in 1798, when Jane Austen was just 22 years old, it was the first of her novels to be bought - in 1803 by Mr Bull, a publisher from Bath. The publisher then promptly forgot all about the manuscript, and it... was not until 1818, after her death, that Austen's novel saw the light of day, when it became an instant success. The book has been viewed variously as an 'anti-romance', a coming-of-age story, a novel of manners, and a biting satire on the then extremely popular gothic novel. Whatever its classification, Northanger Abbey remains one of the best and most accessible of all Jane Austen's work.
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