General Tilney, Basic Character Information

General Tilney is the villain of Northanger Abbey and the father of the hero, Henry Tilney.

Basic Information:

Given Name: Unknown, but possibly Frederick due to Jane Austen’s common naming conventions with regards to oldest sons.

Age: Old enough to have three children in their twenties.

Primary Residence: Northanger Abbey in Gloucestershire.

Spouse: Mrs. Tilney, now deceased. According to his son Henry, the General sincerely mourned his wife.
Children: Frederick, an army captain and the heir to Northanger Abbey; Henry, a clergyman and the hero of Northanger Abbey; and, Eleanor who lives with him until her marriage.

Personality Characteristics: General Tilney is a stern and difficult man who is frequently impatient and stubborn. He shows some care for his children, but lets his concerns over monetary and social gain dominate. His obsession with wealth leads him to be uncomfortably ingratiating towards Catherine when he believes her to be an heiress and to insist that she is thrown out of his house without an escort when he is told that her family is poor. He is also willing to believe both stories with very little actual proof. His younger two children appear much more comfortable when he is not present.

What to call him:

General Tilney – Pretty much everyone. There may be some old friends who call him “Tilney” or some nickname, but we do not know of them.

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