By 1800 circulating libraries had done much to promote the Gothic novel, which was very widely read but often dismissed as ‘trash’.
Northanger Abbey: AS & A2
"Northanger Abbey" embodies Samuel Johnson’s ideal ‘not only to show mankind, but ... teach the means of avoiding the snares which are laid by Treachery for Innocence’.
Jane Austen’s health began to degenerate in 1817 and she died on 18 July that year; her brother later oversaw the posthumous publication of "Northanger Abbey".
Austen is often criticised because her writing ignores contemporaneous historical events; "Northanger Abbey" was written in the year of the French Revolution in 1789.
Present-day literary critics interested in ‘narratology’ (narrative strategies employed by writers in their texts) view "Northanger Abbey" as a highly self-conscious literary narrative.