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A Northanger Abbey Double Feature: The Castle of Wolfenbach & The Necromancer

A Northanger Abbey Double Feature: The Castle of Wolfenbach & The Necromancer


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For fans of Jane Austen—A Northanger Abbey Double Feature!

In Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, the main character, Catherine, receives a reading list of gothic novels. Once thought to be fabricated by Austen, these novels were rediscovered in the 1920s and are now referred to as the “Northanger Horrid Novels.” Two of the Northanger Horrid Novels, The Castle of Wolfenbach and The Necromancer, are presented here as a Northanger Double Feature.

With hidden identities, damsels in distress, creepy castles, and villainous Counts, The Castle of Wolfenbach (1793) is a showcase for the gothic genre. The story follows the beautiful Matilda as she escapes unwanted advances, braves the haunted castle, and attempts to find safety, and maybe even love, all while being pursued by her murderous uncle. The Castle of Wolfenbach is Eliza Parsons’s most famous novel and an important foundational work in the gothic genre.

The Necromancer (1794) is by far the strangest of the Northanger Horrid Novels. The story begins with two friends, Herman and Hellfried, passing a stormy night by exchanging supernatural stories. The weirdness continues to unfold through a series of letters. The work is an example of the gothic genre’s use of framing narratives surrounding first person accounts from multiple characters. The Necromancer takes this trope to staggering heights by nesting multiple narratives inside each other. The resulting stories are a bizarre collection of violence and supernatural shenanigans centered around the mysterious Valkert, who is rumored to have returned from the dead.

Both of these stories are amazing examples of early gothic works and can be enjoyed as such for fans of the genre or read as a companion to Austen’s Northanger Abbey.

Student editor: Ann Marie Hormeku

Foreword author: Dr. Sandie Byrne 

Translator: Peter Will 

A Northanger Double-Feature was released on June 28, 2022.
eBook ISBN:  978-1-68057-363-3
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-68057-362-6
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68057-364-0
448 pages
Authors: Eliza Parsons and Lawrence Flammenberg
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