As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. Anyone who knows me knows my love for Literary Inspired Webseries (LIWs). My most recent obsession is with The Cate Morland Chronicles, an adaptation of Austen’s Northanger Abbey.
If you’re not familiar with Austen’s works (or if you’re only familiar with her big name books), Northanger Abbey follows Catherine Morland who was not born to be a heroine. She believes that novels are a realistic depiction of life, which wouldn’t be a problem except she reads Gothic novels, which were the trashy novels of the Regency period – think of them as the 50 Shades of Grey of their time. They were terrifying and sensationalist for the sake of being terrifying and sensationalist, and Austen, being the witty woman she was, decided to write a parody of Gothic romance novels, and thus Northanger Abbey was born.
In The Cate Morland Chronicles, Cate is a recent journalism grad who is obsessed with all things fandom, particularly The Mysteries of Udolpho, a short-lived TV series that now has a cult following. After she gets a job at an LA-based entertainment magazine, she comes into contact with Henry Tilney, the star of The Mysteries of Udolpho, and all the fun begins!
What appeals to me about this webseries? Cate is exactly how I imagined Catherine would be when reading the book. She’s equal parts charming and winsome, there’s a little bit of naivete and innocence about her, but most importantly – she’s a rabid fangirl of all things fandom. She’s relatable and sweet, a little dorky but a lot of fun to watch. Of all of Austen’s heroines, Catherine was the most likely to have her own vlog (with Miss Emma Woodhouse coming in a close second because of course everyone would want to watch her give advice about everything under the sun).
If you’re involved in the LIW fandom, you’ll probably know that another Northanger Abbey adaptation finished airing a few months ago – Northbound. I loved that adaptation dearly, although it wasn’t what I expected from a webseries inspired by a parody of Gothic lit. This Catherine was relatable and quirky, but the tone of Northbound was very different to The Cate Morland Chronicles.
It’s very sweet and very watchable, and I encourage you all to watch it if you have a couple of hours to kill!
If you’d like to jump down the Austen Inspired Webseries rabbit hole, here’s some to try:
The OG: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
Emma Approved, an adaptation of Emma (full disclosure: I am incredibly critical of this webseries as an adaptation, something that probably stems from me loving the novel so much. However, it is very popular amongst the LIW fandom and is still the best webseries adaptation of Emma I have found, so…)
From Mansfield With Love, an adaptation of Mansfield Park:
I am yet to find webseries adaptations of Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion that I can stick with, but when I do – you guys will be the first to know!