Eleanor Tilney is a character in Northanger Abbey. She is a member of the wealthy Tilney family. She married a viscount, whose name and full title is unknown to readers, by the end of the book.[2] Her marriage to someone wealthier made it so General Tilney would be more welcoming about a marriage between Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland.


Stay in BathEdit

Miss Tilney joined her brother Henry in Bath, where she met Catherine Morland and the Thorpe family. When Catherine first saw her on Henry's arm, she immediately jumped to the conclusion that she was his sister, refusing to acknowledge that he might be lost to her forever by being already married.[3]

She was introduced to Catherine by Mrs. Hughes, her companion at the time. Catherine wanted so much to be liked by Eleanor because of her relationship to Henry Tilney that she said whatever came to mind, providing hindrance for real intimacy at first. She was amused when Catherine Morland asked her about Miss Smith and whether she or Mr. Tilney thought her pretty. When they finished their conversation, Miss Tilney had more of an idea about Catherine's feelings for her brother, while Catherine knew not one whit that she had revealed them to the other young lady.[4]

Character traitsEdit

Miss Tilney is described as being fashionable and pleasing-looking. She has a good figure, a pretty face, and was elegant. She is very lonely a lot of the time while living at Northanger, although Henry does try and make time to see her quite a bit.[5] Ever since her mother's passing, she has felt very isolated whenever she is at home with only her father. This prompts her to invite Catherine to Northanger after becoming friends with the other young lady.



Main article: Mrs. Tilney

Eleanor feels the absence of her mother quite poignantly, and it makes her sad and lonesome. She is even more distraught as she knows she did not appreciate her mother's presence in her life when she was younger, and she believes they would have been very close if her mother was still alive.[5]


Main article: Catherine Morland

Eleanor becomes friends with Catherine Morland while staying in Bath. Their friendship is more real than the one between Catherine and Isabella Thorpe, although Catherine does not realize it until later. Eleanor invites Catherine to Northanger with her father's staunch approval. While at Northanger, Eleanor discloses her past relationship with her mother to Catherine, and they become even closer.

When Catherine thought that Isabella was likely to marry Frederick Tilney, Catherine exclaims that Eleanor would enjoy having such a guileless, friendly, unassuming sister-in-law. Eleanor smiles and tells her brother that she would enjoy having such a person as a relative, while clearly meaning Catherine instead of Isabella.

Eleanor allies herself with Catherine when General Tilney turns Catherine out of Northanger. Eleanor gets Catherine to promise to write, as she truly values the other girl's friendship. After Eleanor marries a viscount, she convinces her father to bless Henry's decision to marry Catherine Morland.[2]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. In Vol. 2, chapter 17, Eleanor says she was 13 when her mother died; in the next chapter, she says her mother died 9 years ago. So she is 22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Northanger Abbey, Chapter 31
  3. Northanger Abbey, Chapter 8
  4. Chapter 10
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chapter 22
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