Northanger Abbey is the story of a young woman, Catherine Morland, who is invited to Bath with family friends, the Allens, for the waters at Bath will help Mr. Allen's gout. Catherine (called "Cathy" by her many younger siblings) has been quite sheltered all her life, escaping only by reading Gothic novels, and so is delighted to go to Bath. Mrs. Allen introduces Catherine to the Thorpe family, including an older girl, Isabella, who befriends Catherine. The girls have bonded over their love of similar novels, when their brothers arrive. James (Catherine's brother) falls in love with Isabella, a hardened flirt. Likewise, John (Isabella's brother and James's friend) goes after Catherine, who does not like John half so much as John likes himself. Catherine is in love herself, however, with a quirky young minister, Henry Tilney, whom she met at a dance. Catherine befriends Henry's sister, Eleanor, and goes on many outing with the two siblings, after their brother, Frederick, comes to Bath. Isabella, having learned that James (to whom she is now engaged) is poor, begins to flirt with Frederick Tilney. Eleanor invites Catherine to stay with her at the Tilney's home, Northanger Abbey; Catherine accepts with pleasure, though she imagines that the Abbey will be rather like on the gloomy castles in her books. Catherine is, at first, welcomed by General Tilney (Henry's father), who has been bragged to by John Thorpe that Catherine (whom John thinks is in love with him) is an heiress. When he realizes that Catherine is not rich, however, he sends her packing. Back at home, Catherine is unhappy, missing Henry and disillusioned about her precious Gothic novels. Henry appears and proposes, however, and the story ends happily.