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  • About Northanger Abbey: To mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, this multicast, all-star dramatisation of the author’s light-hearted gothic satire is one of her earliest works of fiction – completed in 1803, though left unpublished until 1817. This new production marries the author’s wit, charm and dry humour with tour de force performances from some of the UK’s leading actors. Produced by Audible’s Grammy-award winning Audible Studios.

    Northanger Abbey: An Audible Original Drama

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
    • Narrated By Emma Thompson, Douglas Booth, Eleanor Tomlinson, and others
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (77)

    A coming-of-age tale for the young and naïve 17-year-old Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey takes a decidedly comical look at themes of class, family, love and literature. Revelling in the sensationalist - and extremely popular - Gothic fiction of her day, the story follows Catherine out of Bath to the lofty manor of the Tilneys, where her overactive imagination gets to work constructing an absurd and melodramatic explanation for the death of Mrs Tilney, which threatens to jeopardise her newly forged friendships.

    stef says: "Love Jabe Austin"
Emma Thompson (Academy Award winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense & Sensibility) plays Jane Austen. As the narrator of the story, her voice guides listeners through Catherine’s induction to the intricacies of high society, as her eyes are opened to first loves, friendships and flawed characters. Directly addressing the audience, Austen’s witty asides and social criticism add a decidedly satirical twist to the tale. Her narration also gives us an insight into Austen’s thoughts at the time, particularly as a large portion of her letters were burned, at her own request, after she died.

Lily Cole (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Snow White And The Huntsman, St. Trinian’s) plays Isabella Thorpe, a manipulative and self-serving young woman on a quest to obtain a well-off husband in an era when marriage was the accepted way for young women of a certain class to become ‘established’ with a household of their own. She arrives in Bath alone, befriends Catherine, and immediately makes plans to set up a connection between the two families.

Douglas Booth (Noah, Great Expectations, The Riot Club) plays John Thorpe, an arrogant and blustering young man who appears distasteful to the likes of Catherine. He is a terrible conversationalist and insufferable bore, something of a latter-day Jeremy Clarkson who talks of nothing but horses and carriages. As well as being Isabella's brother, he is also the book’s chief trouble-maker, making Catherine's life difficult and lighting up the narrative with his relentless aggression, dishonesty and outright rudeness.

Jeremy Irvine (Warhorse, The Railway Man, Now Is Good) plays Henry Tilney, a well-read 26-year-old clergyman, the younger son of the wealthy Tilney family. He is Catherine's romantic interest throughout the novel, and during the course of the plot he comes to return her feelings. He is sarcastic, intuitive, fairly handsome and clever, given to witticisms and light flirtations (which Catherine is not always able to understand or reciprocate), but he also has a sympathetic nature (he is a good brother to Eleanor), which leads him to take a liking to Catherine's naïve and straightforward sincerity.

Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, The Illusionist, Alice In Wonderland) plays Eleanor Tilney, Henry's sister. She plays only a minor role in the events in Bath, but takes on a growing importance in Northanger Abbey. A convenient chaperon for Catherine and Henry's times together, she is an obedient daughter, warm friend and sweet sister, but this masks a profound loneliness as she deals with the relentless tyranny of her father.

Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2) plays Catherine Morland, a 17-year-old girl who loves reading Gothic novels. Something of a tomboy in her childhood, Catherine lacks experience and sees her life as if she was a heroine in a Gothic novel. She sees the best in people, and to begin with always seems ignorant of other people's malign intentions. But she is also good-natured and frank, making insightful comments on the inconsistencies and insincerities of those around her as she grows, throughout the novel, into a genuine heroine.

Exclusive interview

  • About Audible Sessions: Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy- winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson chats to Audible's Robin Morgan about her part in an exclusive dramatisation of Northanger Abbey.

    Emma Thompson: Audible Sessions: FREE Exclusive interview

    • ORIGINAL (23 mins)
    • By Robin Morgan
    • Narrated By Emma Thompson
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy- winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson chats to Audible's Robin Morgan about her part in an exclusive dramatisation of Northanger Abbey.

    says: "Very interesting"

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    Narrated by: Michael Kitchen
    4.00 (41 ratings)
    Two on a Tower is Hardy's ninth novel and contains perhaps his most complete use of the theme of love across the class and age divide, to beautifully depict Hardy's reverence for science and astronomy. The unhappily married Lady Constantine breaks all the rules of social etiquette when she falls in love with young Swithin St. Cleeve, an astronomer and her social inferior. Despite their differences that society deems unacceptable, together, from an astronomical observatory, the lovers 'sweep the heavens'.
  • An Old Man's Love
    Written by: Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by: Tony Britton
    3.80 (24 ratings)
    William Whittlestaff, an aging bachelor, becomes a guardian to the much younger Mary Lawrie. Having lost the woman he loved to a richer rival many years ago, he now finds himself falling in love with Mary despite knowing that her love belongs to another man, John Gordon. John left three years previously in search of his fortune in order to make himself worthy of Mary. Not knowing if she will ever see him again, Mary accepts Whittlestaff's proposal only for her true love to return.
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  • The Gentleman in the Parlour
    Written by: W. Somerset Maugham
    Narrated by: Philip Bird
    4.20 (10 ratings)
    Somerset Maugham's success as a writer enabled him to indulge his adventurous love of travel, and he recorded the sights and sounds of his wide-ranging journeys with a unique urbane, wry style. The Gentleman in the Parlour is an account of the author's trip through what was then Burma and Siam, ending in Haiphong, Vietnam. Whether by river to Mandalay, on horse through the mountains and forests of the Shan States to Bangkok, or onwards by sea, Maugham's vivid descriptions bring a lost world to life.
  • The Secret Agent
    Written by: Joseph Conrad
    Narrated by: David Threlfall
    3.80 (22 ratings)
    Exclusively from Audible. The Secret Agent is based on an actual attempt made in 1894 to blow up the Greenwich Observatory. A labyrinth of greed, corruption, and betrayal, it is the most darkly humorous of all Conrad's tales. It follows a European secret agent, Adolf Verloc, 'a London shop owner' with anarchist leanings who becomes reluctantly involved in a plot to blow up the Greenwich Observatory. Full of great characters, melodramatic irony and psychological intrigue the tale is far from simple....