I swear in the first 100 pages of this book, nothing actually happens. I can summarise the first 100 pages like this:
Catherine: likeable, if really, really naive and innocent. “A woman in love with one man cannot flirt with another” (140), sorry to disappoint you Catherine but…
Her brother: nothing much going on there.
Isabella: seems nice enough (OR IS SHE?) and truly loves Catherine’s characterless brother (OR DOES SHE??).
Her brother: I want to punch him in his stupid face.
Henry: dreamy, sarcastic love-boat (OR IS HE?).
His sister: nope, nothing much here either.
And X fancies Y but Y fancies Z while X’s sister fancies Y’s brother. But this takes 100 pages! And I still don’t know what happens in a pump-room.
(pg. 5) Catherine is fond of “base ball”? I never even knew they had it back then. I mean, what did they put on their hotdogs?
(pg. 140) And I think many people would take issues with the statement that “No man is offended by another man’s admiration [i.e. flirting] of the woman he loves”. I think you’ll find they usually are.
I’m having trouble connecting Shaun of the Dead to this book though. Is it just that outside influences (gothic novels) are dictating Catherine’s actions without her thinking? If so (and that claim seems a bit dubious), I though Shaun of the Dead was more about satirising modern consumer day-in-day-out-everything-stays-the-same culture. I guess Northanger Abbey’s characters do seem to be doing a lot of pump-rooming and not a lot else, but what else was there to do back then? You couldn’t exactly go hand gliding or quad biking, your options were quite limited.
Great film though. Anyone who hasn’t seen the films in the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ (as it’s grown to be called) really should, they’re three of the funniest films I know.