Metafictional Causal Setting
In metafictional causal settings, the author of a text makes explicitely clear that he or she is the force driving the fictional world of the narrative. In an act called metalepsis, the author effectively intrudes upon the sequence of events of a narrative and indicates his or her purposeful alteration of its circumstances.
That the causal setting of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is partly of the metafictional is evidenced at the novel's conclusion. Here, Austen shares the rather surprising information that Eleanor Tilney has married a man seemingly unknown to her audience. In a moment of metalepsis, however, Austen negates the validity of this assumption by retroactively assigning this man a role in her narrative, thereby making clear the fact that it is she who has ultimate control over her fictional universe: "Concerning the one in question therefore I have only to add—(aware that the rules of composition forbid the introduction of a character not connected with my fable)—that this was the very gentleman whose negligent servant left behind him that collection of washing-bills, resulting from a long visit at Northanger, by which my heroine was involved in one of her most alarming adventures" (173).