McDermid reappraises Northanger Abbey

McDermid reappraises Northanger Abbey

The Bookseller can exclusively reveal (below) the jacket for Val McDermid's reimagining of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, the next instalment in HarperCollins' Austen Project.

McDermid's contemporary reworking of Jane Austen's novel, published next spring, is the second in HarperFiction's series of new takes on Austen's six complete works.

The original book follows a young Catherine Morland, who goes to stay with General Tilney and his children at Northanger Abbey, where she imagines some gruesome things.

McDermid's version opens with heroine Catherine at the Edinburgh Book Festival before the action moves to a gothic mansion in the Scottish borders.

HarperFiction commissioned Jon Gray, the designer behind Joanna Trollope's Sense & Sensibility, to create the jacket. "The book is a re-telling of the Austen classic and we wanted a cover that said just that. You have the classic silhouette of the house along with some contemporary new additions—the security camera, the satellite dish.

"As with Sense & Sensibility, the plan is also to republish Austen's original novel alongside with the same jacket minus those new elements, to show the continuity between the two."

HarperFiction editorial director Louisa Joyner told The Bookseller: "Our stated aim is to create a series where each novel is a publishing event in its own right, and Val McDermid firmly establishes these partnerships as a literary force to be reckoned with."

The next novel in the Austen Project will be Curtis Sittenfeld's reworking of Pride and Prejudice, which will be published in 2014.