I am excited about this week's nerdtastic Bright Maidens topic: literary crushes. It's too hard for me to choose just one, so here's a craft project that mentions almost all my favorites. Do check out graphic designer Sarah Fritzler's post about how to make DIY literary quote mugs on the cheap. She quotes heroes of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Little Women, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables and Casablanca.
Messers Darcy and Knightly are totally swoonworthy, but let's not forget Jane Austen's other romantic heroes, like the ever-so-steadfast Captain Wentworth:
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. ... I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?" Persuasion, Ch. 11And then there's Henry Tilney, the totally underrated hero of Northanger Abbey. He's the king of witty banter.
“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again."If he were around today, he'd be into blogging. (Emphasis mine.)
"Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? ... How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal? ...Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.”And he likes to read.
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”I've mentioned before how fictional falling in love pales in comparison to the real thing, but that doesn't mind I don't find pleasure in a good novel. It doesn't have to be Jane Austen either.
|John Waterhouse's 1888 painting of the Lady of Shalott. |
Via Wikimedia commons.
Then one of the girls got us all hooked on Christian romance novels. Robin Jones Gunn's Glenbrooke series is about 8 different women who live in or pass through a small town in Oregon. One by one they confront problems in their lives, strengthen their relationships with Jesus, and find handsome husbands in the process. What's really fun about the series is how previous heroines show up in later stories. You get to see how their happily-ever-afters pan out. We all debated which love story was the best. Was it the girl running from her past rescued by the handsome firefighter in Book 1? Or the flight attendant in Book 5 who reunited with an old flame in Germany?
My favorite was always Book 3, Echoes, where Lauren strikes up email correspondence with an anonymous fellow Christian. They bond over poetry and Irish Breakfast tea, but she chickens out when they arrange a meeting in person.Don't worry, (SPOILER) they run into each other in Hawaii later.
I don't know what drew me to the story; maybe it was the nerdtastic literary element. Maybe my historian brain liked the primary source documentary record of their courtship. Either way, I probably wouldn't have believed it if you told my 18-year old self that six years later I would fall into a long-distance romance that began online. Putting man's best dreams to shame indeed.