Although Northanger Abbey was published (along with Persuasion) post-humously, it was actually her first completed novel. She originally sold it in 1803 to a publisher for 10£. The publisher, for unknown reasons, decided not to publish it and sold the rights back to Jane’s brother for the purchased amount of 10£. He must not have been a very smart man because at the time she had already published four novels successfully. I like what she says about this in the novel’s proceeding advertisement:
“That any bookseller should think it worth-while to purchase what he did not think it worth-while to publish seems extraordinary.”
Another note I’d like to make is that in my search for interesting discussion questions, I’ve discovered that Northanger Abbey is a parody on the gothic novel. Having never read a gothic novel, I had no idea what this meant. After some quick googling, I discovered that this is a literary genre that involves elements of horror and romance. Most resources credit Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto as being the first gothic novel.