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Henry Tilney

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"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
—Henry Tilney to Catherine Morland[1]

Henry Tilney is a main character in Northanger Abbey. He is married to Catherine Morland Tilney.

Character traitsEdit

A well-read clergyman in his mid-20s, the younger son of the wealthy Tilney family. He is Catherine's romantic interest throughout Northanger Abbey , and during the course of the plot he comes to return her feelings.

He is sarcastic, intuitive, fairly handsome and clever, given to witticisms and light flirtations (which Catherine is not always able to understand or reciprocate in kind), but he also has a sympathetic nature (he is a good brother to Eleanor), which leads him to take a liking to Catherine's naïve straightforward sincerity.

Unlike his father, Henry doesn't believe that money is all that is needed in life. However, Henry generally doesn't go against his father, until Catherine is thrown, unceremoniously, from Northanger Abbey, and Henry goes to Fullerton to make sure Catherine arrived safely, to apologise for his father's behavior and to propose to Catherine, who accepts.

Henry is unwilling to get involved in his elder brother, Captain Frederick Tilney's, affair with Isabella Thorpe, who at that point is engaged to Catherine's elder brother, James Moreland. Instead, Henry tries to draw Catherine's attention away from the flirting Isabella, as he believes that nothing is going on. However when Catherine's letter from her brother upsets her and she requests that "if your brother (Captain Tilney) should be coming here, you will give me notice of it, that I may go away", Henry immediately guessed that it involved Isabella Thorpe.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Northanger Abbey, Chapter 14

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