Northanger Abbey

Adaptations

Northanger Abbey has rarely been produced, despite its wonderfully satiric appeal. It has not yet had a theatrical release nor a mini series treatment, but it has inspired a couple of modern takes, including Ruby in Paradise and a web series, as well as an episode of the PBS children’s show Wishbone and two television movies produced 20 years apart.

Left column, from top: Katharine Schlesinger (Catherine Morland) and Peter Firth (Henry Tilney) in the 1987 version; Bentley Mitchum (Ricky Chambers) and Ashley Judd (Ruby Lee Gissing) in Ruby in Paradise; Felicity Jones (Catherine Morland) and Hugh O’Conor (James Morland) in the 2007 adaptation; Catherine Walker (Eleanor Tilney) and JJ Feild (Henry Tilney) in the 2007 version; Amy Acker (Catherine Morland) and Wishbone (voiced by Larry Brantley) in Wishbone: “Pup Fiction”

Middle column, from top: Liam Cunningham as General Tilney in the 2007 version; Felicity Jones (Catherine) and JJ Feild (Henry Tilney) in the 2007 adaptation; Carey Mulligan (Isabella Thorpe) and Felicity Jones (Catherine) in the 2007 adaptation; Jonathan Coy (John Thorpe) and Cassie Stuart (Isabella Thorpe) in the 1987 version; Peter Firth as Henry Tilney in the 1987 adaptation; Katharine Schlesinger lets her imagination run wild as Catherine in the 1987 version

Right column, from top: Felicity Jones in the 2007 adaptation; JJ Feild as Henry Tilney, 2007; Cassie Stuart (Isabella Thorpe) and Katharine Schlesinger (Catherine) in the 1987 version; Carey Mulligan (Isabella Thorpe) and Felicity Jones (Catherine) in the 2007 adaptation; William Beck (John Thorpe), Felicity Jones (Catherine Morland), Carey Mulligan (Isabella Thorpe) and Hugh O’Conor (James Morland) in the 2007 version

Traditional Adaptations

Northanger Abbey (2007)

This 84-minute TV movie scripted by Andrew Davies amps up Catherine Morland’s gothic imaginings with dramatic dream sequences and also takes a few liberties with other additional scenes not in the novel.

Director: Jon Jones
Screenplay: Andrew Davies

Lead cast:
Felicity Jones (Catherine Morland)
JJ Feild (Henry Tilney)
Carey Mulligan (Isabella Thorpe)
Hugh O’Conor (James Morland)
William Beck (John Thorpe)
Liam Cunningham (General Tilney)
Catherine Walker (Eleanor Tilney)
Mark Dymond (Capt. Frederick Tilney)
Sylvestra Le Touzel (Mrs. Allen)
Desmond Barrit (Mr. Allen)
Bernadette McKenna (Mrs. Thorpe)
Julia Dearden (Mrs. Morland)
Gerry O’Brien (Mr. Morland)

Northanger Abbey 2007 IMDB page

Northanger Abbey (1987)

This 88-minute version misses much of Austen’s satire but includes location filming in Bath.

BBC and A&E
Director: Giles Foster
Screenplay: Maggie Wadey

Lead cast:
Katharine Schlesinger (Catherine Morland)
Peter Firth (Henry Tilney)
Cassie Stuart (Isabella Thorpe)
Philip Bird (James Morland)
Jonathan Coy (John Thorpe)
Robert Hardy (General Tilney)
Ingrid Lacey (Eleanor Tilney)
Greg Hicks (Frederick Tilney)
Googie Withers (Mrs. Allen)
Geoffrey Chater (Mr. Allen)
Elvi Hale (Mrs. Thorpe)
Helen Fraser (Mrs. Morland)
David Rolfe (Mr. Morland)

Northanger Abbey 1987 IMDB page

Film Locations

Northanger Abbey

Lismore Castle

Lismore Castle in County Waterford, Ireland, served as Northanger Abbey in the 2007 TV movie.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex portrayed Northanger Abbey in the 1987 TV movie.

Fullerton Church and Rectory

Ardbraccan House

Higginsbrook in County Meath portrayed Fullerton church and rectory in the 2007 TV movie.

Corsham Court

Corsham Court served as Fullerton church and rectory in the 1987 TV movie.

Beechan Cliff Walk

Dublin Castle

The courtyard at Dublin Castle helped set the scene for the Beechan Cliff walk in the 2007 TV movie.

Bowood House

The falls at Bowood House, Wiltshire, served as backdrop for the Beechan Cliff walk in the 1987 TV movie.

Bath Lodgings

King's Inn

The King’s Inn, Henrietta Street, Dublin, stood in for the Allens’ lodgings in Bath in the 2007 TV movie.

Number One, Royal Crescent

In the 1987 TV movie, Number One, Royal Crescent, Bath, served as the Allens’ lodgings in Bath.

Bath Assembly Rooms

Assembly Rooms

The 1987 TV movie used the Bath Assembly Rooms and Pump Room as key settings.
Check out our Pinterest collection of film location boards!

Modern/Loose Adaptations

Ruby in Paradise (1993)

Loosely based on Northanger Abbey, Ruby in Paradise tracks the story of a young woman seeking a fresh start and a chance to establish her own identity in a Florida resort town.

Director: Victor Nuñez
Screenplay: Victor Nuñez

Lead cast:
Ashley Judd (Ruby Lee Gissing)
Todd Field (Mike McCaslin)
Bentley Mitchum (Ricky Chambers)
Allison Dean (Rochelle Bridges)
Dorothy Lyman (Mildred Chambers)
Betsy Douds (Debrah Ann)
Felicia Hernández (Persefina)
Divya Satia (Indian Singer)
Bobby Barnes (Wanda)

Ruby in Paradise IMDB page

The Cate Morland Chronicles (2016)

This 40-episode multimedia recounting of Northanger Abbey tells the story of a fan-culture-obsessed recent journalism graduate who lands a job at an entertainment publication in Los Angeles.

Created by: Ellen Lloyd
Producers: Amanda Taylor and Chelsey Saatkamp
Directors: Amanda Taylor and Kailee Brown
Writer: Ellen Lloyd

Lead cast:
Madeline Thatcher (Cate Morland)
Dele Opeifa (Henry Tilney)
Erika Ovuoba (Eleanor Monk)
Amanda Taylor (Isabella Thorpe)
Frankie Madril (John Thorpe)
Rob Zimmerman (James Morland)
Charla Cochran (Leslie Allen)

Cate Morland Chronicles official site
Cate Morland Chronicles on YouTube

Wishbone: “Pup Fiction” (1998)

A Jack Russell Terrier imagines himself as the lead character in a different story from classic literature in each episode of the PBS series. He portrayed Henry Tilney in this episode.

Lead cast:
Larry Brantley (voice of Wishbone)
Amy Acker (Catherine Morland)
Sarah Ann Murphy (Isabella Thorpe)
Jonathan Brent (John Thorpe)
Dee Hennigan (Eleanor Tilney)
Wes Aderhold (George Wickham)
Sharon Bunn (Mrs. Allen)
Robert Graham (General Tilney)

Wishbone “Pup Fiction” IMDB page