Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers is something I started a while back for fans of Jane Austen who after reading all her book are looking for something else to read.
There are Jane Austen’s works and numerous variations, but while those adapts are fun, sometimes you don’t always want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but something different. But what can you read instead?
That’s why I started this series. I will be reviewing books that have the things we love about the Austen novels, but are not another retelling.
Miss Abbott and the Doctor by Maripaz Villar
I started reading this comic in October of 2020 and always planned on writing a post on it but just never got around to it (that tends to happen a lot, unfortunately). Well no time better than the present, right?
The WEBTOON Miss Abbot and the Doctor is a lined only (not filled in) WEBTOON that is set in a pseudo-Victorian Era. The comic actually begins in the middle as the author/cartoonist originally only planned a few episodes on Deviant Art before fleshing it out and moving over to WEBTOON. But don’t worry, any questions regarding the back stories or what lead them to that point in the story, are all filled in as the main characters get closer and talk more about their past and what lead them here.
The story follows the adventures of Miss Cati Abbott and Dr. Andreas Marino. Cati’s parents went off to the Amazon in search of a society that spurned the influence of technology. They, and most of their group, ended up passing away with Cati being taken in and raised by a tribe there.
One day, widow and anthropologist, Kira Aquila-Salazar, was on an expedition to find and learn more about the Shuar people, but ended up falling ill. Cati found her, helped her, and the two become very good friends. Kira becomes Cati’s mentor and brings her home with her to learn more about their society.
Dr. Andreas Marino was raised in the city and after he finished his studies and was beginning to practice medicine, his grandfather decided to retire and asked him to take over his practice. Dr. Marino moves to the small town and clashes with several characters, mostly Miss Abbott, as he has strict ideas about behavior, character, and how a gentleman and lady should be.
At first he only had one friend, Sebastian Nero, who is his opposite as he has a very open nature and immediately makes friends with anyone he meets.
At first Dr. Marino and Miss Abbott do not get along as they have such contrasting personalities, but over time both balance each other as Cati opens up Dr. Marino to more adventure and less constraint and Dr. Marino helps Cati reign in her imagination and be a bit more levelheaded.
So why do I recommend this for Jane Austen fans? First of all, Cati reminds me a lot of a mix of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, and Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey. Cati is smart, witty, and send off a great barb, strong, athletic and knows how to take care of herself and others. She is also a bit naive, can be judgmental, and has an overactive imagination that does tend to cause her to either get carried away or try and do something without thinking it through.
She learns from both her mentor Kira, friend Rebecca, and eventual love interest Dr. Marino; to not get rid of the things that make her special but to temper her imagination and to think things through more.
Dr. Marino reminds me of Mr. Darcy with a mix of Gilbert Blythe. When he first comes to the town he has some preconceived notions about the townspeople, having grown up in the city, and isn’t as warm or open to people as he could be.
Over time those walls are broken down, primarily with his relationship with Miss Abbott as she points out his faults, he tries to correct them, and he learns to let go and go along with some of her fun and eccentric ideas.
I believe that the author loves Jane Austen too, particularly after reading this little scene.
When I first read this series, almost all were free episodes until after the wedding (above image). However, now only the first 18 episodes are free with the rest being a daily pass; one free a day unless you would like to pay three coins an episode. It can be a little hard trying to wait every day to read the next episode, but if you are willing to wait it out I don’t think you will be disappointed.
You can read the series by going to the WEBTOON app or going to the WEBTOON website.
For more Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, go to Ella Enchanted
For more comics, go to Emma Manga