Northanger Abbey Novel to Film

From the film directed by Jon Jones

Novel | Screenplay


Excerpted from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Volume I, Chapter 3.

"I see what you think of me," said [Tilney] gravely — "I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow."

"My journal!"[replied Catherine]

"Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings — plain black shoes — appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense."

"Indeed I shall say no such thing."

"Shall I tell you what you ought to say?"

"If you please."

"I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him — seems a most extraordinary genius — hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say."


They danced again; and, when the assembly closed, parted, on the lady's side at least, with a strong inclination for continuing the acquaintance. Whether she thought of him so much, while she drank her warm wine and water, and prepared herself for bed, as to dream of him when there, cannot be ascertained; but I hope it was no more than in a slight slumber, or a morning doze at most, for if it be true...that no young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman's love is declared, it must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.


From the screenplay by Andrew Davies

INTERIOR. BALLROOM. NIGHT. The dance comes to an end, and let's say it was the last dance. People are moving off the dance floor.

HENRY: So what will you write in your journal tonight? "Friday, went to the Lower Rooms, wore my sprigged muslin dress with blue trimmings and look very pretty though I say so myself — dance with one man and was stared at by another much more handsome..."

CATHERINE (laughing, but flattered): Indeed I shall say no such thing!

HENRY: Then what will you say?

She's not sure what she'll say — certainly nothing she'd be able to tell him now.

CATHERINE: Perhaps I don't keep a journal at all


Catherine is in bed writing in her journal. We don't need to see what she is writing, but it's about Henry, and then she snaps the journal shut and blows out the candle and settles down.


A shattering clap of thunder — lightning illuminates the lowering walls of the Abbey, as Catherine clinging for dear life to Henry Tilney gallops away pursued by a man in a mask. Another flash of lightning illuminates John Thorpe as the attacker, who smiles devilishly and draws his sword. The men fight, Catherine swoons.

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