Northanger Abbey was one of Jane Austen's earliest manuscripts; Persuasion was her last. Published together in a single volume after her death, the two books differ widely. Northanger Abbey is a spirited, Gothic parody, while Persuasion has increasingly been seen as a new direction for the Austen canon. The two texts have been widely analysed and debated since publication, and continue to be so today.
In this Readers' Guide, Enit Karafili Steiner:
delineates a clear trajectory through the books' many interpretations over two centuries, mapping these out thematically and chronologically
contextualises and brings into dialogue influential approaches such as psychoanalytical criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, New Historicism, and feminism
discusses film adaptations of the novels and their relation to literary criticism