Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jane Austen's Heroes

There's nothing new or original in posting about Jane Austen's heroes, I suppose. But it's something I've never done before. And it's something that I think belongs here.

The way I see it, the most important factor of a good book may very well be its characters. One of my favorite things about Jane Austen’s writings is her characters. They are well-developed, intriguing, and believable. If the storyline itself is lacking (which some people consider a few or all of Jane Austen’s novels to be: I, of course, do not agree with them, to put it lightly), the characters can save it. I’m not convinced that deficient characters could be saved by a good storyline, however.

One could easily say that the hero and heroine (or male and female main characters, if you prefer) are the most important characters in a book. In stories of a romantic nature, not even the best heroine can make up for a disappointing hero.

In the eyes of many fans, Jane Austen is acclaimed for creating excellent heroes. What about them is so compelling? For one thing, they often seem like real people, and it draws us to them.

Though each of them probably deserve a post all to themselves (and I actually did write one--er, two--for Mr. Knightley, and someday I'm going to do a post for Mr. Darcy... because he needs one, sadly enough), I thought it would be interesting to divide the Jane Austen heroes up into categories. So here’s a little review of all seven heroes, divided into four different groups.

The romantics
“a person who is romantic, as in being idealistic, amorous, or soulful”

Rupert Penry-Jones as Wentworth
Captain Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion
    Persuasion, Jane Austen’s last completed novel, is often reckoned to be her most romantic. It is the story of Anne Elliot, a young woman who gets a second chance at love. At age nineteen, she meets Frederick Wentworth and they fall “rapidly and deeply in love.” She consents to an engagement, but because he is 'beneath' her family and without a solid future, Anne is persuaded to break the engagement. Captain Wentworth leaves, but eight years later they are thrown together once again.
    For those eight years they have both remained faithful to one another, although he actually believes himself indifferent for a time. The awkwardness of the situation and the coldness on Captain Wentworth’s side create a situation where they meet again and again but rarely speak to each other.
Ciaran Hinds as
Captain Wentworth
    The most decidedly romantic part in the novel (perhaps all of Jane Austen’s novels) is where Capt. Wentworth renews his proposal to Anne; unable to speak, he pours out his heart in a letter.
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. 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. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.”
   His constancy and that letter says it all. Captain Wentworth is definitely one of the romantics.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy
   Ah, Mr. Darcy. Something I’ve noticed about this hero is that you either “get it” or you don’t…some understand Mr. Darcy, some think they do, some do not…others simply don’t want to.
   All in all though, Mr. Darcy is the best-loved Jane Austen hero of all, as well as Pride and Prejudice being the most popular novel.
   Most of us know the story in Pride and Prejudice; Mr. Darcy slights Elizabeth’s looks…Elizabeth doesn’t like him…he notices Elizabeth more and starts to like her, soon feeling in danger of liking her too much because her class is lower. Elizabeth learns about something Mr. Darcy supposedly did and dislikes him more. Meanwhile Mr. Darcy falls in love against his inclination, and at the height of Elizabeth’s dislike, he proposes. He does so very untactfully, however, insulting her family while he's at it. She refuses him, of course; but it wasn’t an “of course” to him: he was expecting her to accept him.
   And then, as we know, it all comes around beautifully. The pride and prejudice on both sides are removed, and the reader arrives at the anxiously awaited happy understanding between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.
Matthew MacFadyen as Mr. Darcy
   Pride and Prejudice may be Jane Austen’s most eventful novel. Something is always happening, and it has everything; there are scandals and secrets…heartbreaks, comedy, romance.
   There is Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.
   For me, one of the best things about Mr. Darcy is his ever-constant and unchangeable (except to increase) love for Elizabeth. That alone makes one root for him, but after the first proposal, one grows to love him right along with Elizabeth. 
We learn about his protectiveness and love for his younger sister, his kindness towards his servants, his non-resentful and affectionate manners towards Elizabeth when he sees her again, and his amiable and un-prejudiced actions to her aunt and uncle. His defending Elizabeth to the snide Miss Bingley, his gentlemanly concern for Elizabeth when she receives shocking news, and then his true heroism in doing anything, going anywhere, spending whatever necessary, to save his Lizzy from disgrace.
   Mr. Darcy’s sincerity in admitting he was wrong – realizing and generously confessing that Elizabeth was right in her accusations about him; how she changed him, or rather brought out the best in him.
   Everything for Elizabeth. It’s what makes Mr. Darcy romantic.

“Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! … You shewed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.” --Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth

Colonel Brandon, Sense and Sensibility

Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon 
A man who falls in love with such a romantic as Marianne Dashwood, must be a romantic himself.
    Colonel Brandon is not the dashing sort of romantic like Captain Wentworth and Mr. Darcy, but I consider him romantic indeed and quite belonging to this category.
    Though Marianne considers him quite the opposite of romantic at first – he is at the advanced age of 35 compared to her 17, and incapable of loving or inspiring love. (It is quite an age difference; but it’s interesting to think that he’s only 4 years older than Capt. Wentworth, and actually younger than Mr. Knightley.)
    Marainne is rather blinded at first to what he really is; melancholic with deep emotions; a kind and loyal heart.
    Both of the major adaptations of Sense and Sensibility try to increase Col. Brandon’s drama in the story by having him go out to look for Marianne in the rain, and carrying her, faint and ill, back into the house. Though Marianne did become deathly ill in the book, it did not happen quite in that way; I don’t really think it’s something he wouldn’t have done, though.
David Morrissey as Brandon
    The makers of the 2008 mini-series had rather a liking for drawing things out of the novel which were barely hinted at, and one of them was the duel between Col. Brandon and Willoughby. “[W]e met by appointment,” Col. Brandon says in the book, “he to defend, I to punish his conduct. We returned unwounded, and the meeting, therefore, never got abroad.”
    Everybody assumes this to be a duel although the word is never mentioned – I personally have a hard time believing it was with swords and everything as presented in the mini-series, but in any case, Col. Brandon performed some gallant deed in defending the honor of his ward as well as his beloved Marianne.
    His love is so constant, self-sacrificing, and passionate, that I think he can scarcely be called less than romantic.

The nice guys
-Enjoyable and agreeable: pleasant
-Courteous and polite: considerate
-Of good character and reputation: respectable

Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility
Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars
   I think poor Edward is a dreadfully mistaken character – helped along by Hugh Grant’s portrayal in the 1995 version, I would say. Also there just isn’t a whole lot about him in the book. I don’t think anyone would argue, though, that he’s a nice guy. He’s kind and considerate. Though gentle, he is determined and sticks to his duty even if it pains him.
    Edward comes from a family who are anything but nice. His sister Fanny Dashwood (married to the heroine’s half-brother) is sly and scheming, cold and cruel, proud and pert; his mother is stuck-up, snobbish and extremely self-centered; his brother is rather artificial and similar to the rest except without equal wits.
   Edward's manners are quiet and cautious, but he is not shy and backward like some would have him. And by the way, he has a nice sense of humor – just the right amount of teasing – so he’s certainly not boring, to my thinking. The book doesn’t really have enough of him, which is a pity; I think we see his conversation much too little. The movie-makers probably have a lot of room to move in because of this; and personally I like the 2008 portrayal best (although I do not dislike 1995's Edward, either).

Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park
Nicholas Farrell as Edmund
   I don’t really have much to say for Edmund, because for one thing I don’t know as much about him as the rest, and because I always get annoyed with him for going for Mary Crawford first. He’s a very nice fellow though; considerate and gentleman-like. Not the best judge of character, but he is nice. Sticks up for people, too.
   I like Fanny Price a lot; and one can hardly be so fond of a heroine without liking the hero to some extent!
   I need to read the book again before I can really form my opinion of Edmund.

The amusing
“Pleasantly entertaining or diverting”

Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey
JJ Feild as Henry Tilney
   Henry really belongs in a category all his own. His main attribute, I think, is that he is funny.
   He’s witty and likes to tease, but well-meaning all the while, and he knows when to be serious.
   One of the main reasons I like Mr. Tilney is for his openness – his honesty, and willingness to admit gladly things which other gentlemen would be embarrassed about – such as reading novels and knowing about muslins. Here’s one of my favorite conversations in the book, between the heroine, Catherine, and Henry:
   “But you never read novels, I dare say?”
   “Why not?”
   “Because they are not clever enough for you—gentlemen read better books.”
   “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe’s works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again;—I remember finishing it in two days—my hair standing on end the whole time.”
   Henry’s romance with Catherine Morland is quite sweet, and I think they make such a cute couple! (Forgive me for using the words ‘sweet’ and ‘cute’, but I couldn’t help it.)
   I won’t say Mr. Tilney is ‘nice’ (even though he is), because he would never approve and tease me dreadfully for my word usage, like he did to Catherine only a few paragraphs after the excerpt above, which I shall include part of here:
“[T]his is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk, and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed!—It does for everything. Originally perhaps it was applied only to express neatness, propriety, delicacy, or refinement;—people were nice in their dress, in their sentiments, or their choice. But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word."
   As I said earlier, he does know when to be serious. He also has strong morals, defending what is good and censuring what is wrong.
   In conclusion, I think that The Amusing Henry Tilney is a perfect hero for Jane Austen’s satire novel.

The knightly
“Characteristic of a knight; noble, courageous, and generous”

Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley
George Knightley, Emma
   While some may place Mr. Knightley in the ‘nice’ category, it is my personal opinion that he belongs in a separate category from the rest. Though he is not a romantic, I think her certainly can be romantic, and his and Emma’s love story is one of my favorites.
   He is the only Jane Austen hero whom the heroine had known all her life; their age difference of sixteen years seems rather tedious, but if it ever bothered me, I have quite gotten over it by now; in their case, at least.
   Mr. Knightley earns much admiration and respect for his considerate and gentlemanly qualities. I quite agree with what Emma says on this subject: 
Jeremy Northam as Knightley
“You might not see one in a hundred, with gentleman so plainly written as in Mr Knightley.” and “I know no man more likely than Mr Knightley to do the sort of thing—to do anything really good-natured, useful, considerate, or benevolent.”
   He, along with most or all of the heroes, is very upright in character.
   Mr. Knightley can also be quite witty and amusing, and during my reading of Emma last month for school, I was surprised but pleased when one of his quotes reminded me of something Elizabeth Bennet would say.
   I don’t know what else to say about Mr. Knightley without making him the object of this post, especially since I've already written a two-part post about him, which you can view here.

Well, from reading the above, you might think Mr. Knightley is my favorite hero of them all…which a while ago I could have said is not true, but I'm not so sure anymore. One of my two favorites, however, is definitely Mr. Darcy; he's just Mr. Darcy, you know? Well, maybe you don't, but I do. In any case, he and Mr. Knightley still tend to compete with each other in my head, and I do not know how it will end. 

What about you? Who is your favorite? Are there any Jane Austen heroes with whom you are not yet acquainted, but wish to be? 


Charity U said...

Delightful! Darcy and Knightley tie for me too. :)

Alyssa C. said...

Mr. Darcy was my favorite. And then I met Captain Wentworth...and it was love at first read. :D

Miss Dashwood said...

You have a slight typo here, my dear. In the caption to the Darcy pic, you said "Colin Firth AS Mr. Darcy" when I am quite sure you really meant to say "Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy." Tootuz really, nobody can compare. Nobody. Ever.

(Kidding about the typo. But honestly... he IS Mr. Darcy. Just sayin'.)

Now to actually comment on the post, haha. :P

AACK! You included a picture from Fake P&P! Let me feel your forehead, dearling-- you are obviously delirious with fever. "Don't worry, Diana, I'll nurse you back to health--- DIANA. You don't suppose it could be the smallpox, do you?" :D

Oh, and I have to say that P&P may indeed be JA's most eventful novel. It may also be the best one. Cough, cough. :D

I love your defense of Mr. Darcy. GO DARCY! You're right, he's just so--- wonderful!

Haha, it's funny to think of the Colonel being younger than Mr. Knightley... I guess I'm just so used to 40-something Alan Rickman in the role that I forget how young he's really supposed to be. Heehee. :D But yes, yes, yes, I SO agree with you. "His love is so constant, self-sacrificing, and passionate, that I think he can scarcely be called less than romantic." You've hit the nail on the head, Rosie!

The nice guys, huh? This is such a nice day, and a nice walk, and you are two very nice young gentlemen... heh, heh, heh. I'll stop. I'll stop.

I really, really like Hugh Grant's portrayal of Edward (and I certainly don't subscribe to the belief that he's "too handsome", haha) but now I'm really curious to see Dan Stevens' version too.

I have to say, I have very little opinion regarding Edmund. He's just so BORING. And his name--Sparkler, be quiet! Soary. Can't resist that. :D It's funny, though, that I have so little sympathy for Edmund in pursuing Mary Crawford, and yet I'd defend Roger Hamley with my last breath (okay, maybe not my last breath, but I'm being melodramatic here, 'kay?). Just call me Miss Inconsistency. :P I think the real question is whether the guy is likable and appealing--Roger is, Edmund isn't. The end.


I love Henry Tilney. Pardon me while I gush for a little while. :P As you know, I compare Rodney to Henry Tilney quite often, and how can I help loving the prototype for my own creation? :D Yes! His openness! I really can't imagine Henry being embarrassed about anything. And just think what a good father he'd make--not that the other guys wouldn't, but I just imagine Henry and Catherine as having a whole gaggle of kids who adore their daddy with great adoration. As well they should. :D

HAHAHAHAHAHA, "the knightly". This MMG. Out loud. So I guess it really MMLOL. :P There is really nothing to be said about my Mr. Knightley that hasna already been said, so I shall just say, "Mr. Darcy Who?" and giggle delightedly as you sputter indignantly.

Really, though, I do love Mr. Darcy. I do, I do. I just love Sir Percy equally. (Stop fainting.) And I love Mr. Knightley more than both of them put togethah. So there. "I cannot make speeches, Emma... if I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."

Sigh. "Some girls are waiting for their Prince Charming... some girls are waiting for their Mr. Darcy... but *I* am waiting for my Mr. Knightley." I think I'm going to make a button. :D

OH YES! Subscribe button is back! Google, I take back all I ever said against you. :D

Abilaine said...

Love the part about Mr Darcy! And I agree with Miss Dashwood, with a most indescribable"YES, YES YES" that Colin Firth is Mr Darcy. Sorry, I just love his character!
I'm reading Persuasion and love Captain Wentworth's part as well.
OH, Mr Knightley!!! *swoon* Love him, too! His is such a gentleman and I usually cry at the part in the JN's (Jeremy Northam's) Emma :) when he said,"Badly done, Emma!"
Edward and Col. Brandon are lovely :), too!


Abilaine said...

Had something else to say. LOL!
Though I sounded like I loved Mr Knightley (which I do) :D I think it is a AHHHHHHH-like tie between him and Mr Darcy. Mr Darcy! Please tell me I am not the only one who swoons when he said, "Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth"
*faints dead away* OK, I'll stop! I really don't know who i am waiting for. Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley... Oh this is too hard to do!!! The End of the crazy fan-girl outbursts.

Maria Elisabeth said...

My favorite is definately Mr. Knightley. I honestly think you should have put him not just in his own 'knightly' class but also in the romantics class and the nice guy class and the amusing class. I suppose I am rather biased, but Mr. Darcy just cannot compare. Sorry, but with Mr. Knightley...

Melody said...

Ooh! How delightful! All these comments! *sighs happily*

Charity: Heehee, I'm not sure I'll ever decide... ;-)

Alyssa: Thanks for commenting! I'm glad to find a Wentworth fan!

Hahahaha, I definitely think Colin Firth is the best Mr. Darcy. Without. Question. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. ;D Now, if this post was all about Mr. Darcy, I would have had a little section called "Why Colin Firth Is the Best"... heh heh.
Oooh! I know! I love that 'Badly Done' scene. I have to say it is my favorite one, out of all the movies. It seems to be the most touching in that one, like the book was. Everything considered though, my favorite is the 2009 version, hands-down. Jonny Lee Miller is my favorite Mr. Knightley portrayal, definitely.
I adore the 'dearest, loveliest Elizabeth' quote. Once I read a re-telling of P&P that left that quote out, and I Was Not Pleased. haha
And I love crazy fan-girl outbursts, just so you know. Especially if I agree with them. ;-)

Maria Elisabeth,
Heh heh, actually, I did think he belonged in pretty much all the categories... but then, that's why I gave him his own. Because he deserves to have his own special class. :D
Well, I suppose it is possible to understand Mr. Knightley better than Mr. Darcy... but then, when one things that Sir Percy beats them all, well.
*Clears throat loudly*
Sorry. I must tease sometimes. ;-)
I have to admit, that sometimes I feel a strong pull away from Mr. Darcy and towards the Mr.-Knightley-is-the-best circle... but then I feel sorry for poor Mr. Darcy and can't leave him behind. Hehehe.

Oh, the strange things Jane Austen does to me....

Melody said...

Miss Inconsistency,
You know how I adore your long comments. :D
Hehe, this is true. No one's performance can compare to Colin Firth's. At least, that's what I assume. Past and present, but who knows about the future...
I don't know if I would go QUITE as far to say that Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy. When he's playing Mr. Darcy, of course... yes. He is. :) He's almost perfect.
Almost. But no actor can ever BE a character Jane Austen creates. They can come very close though!

At first I thought I really did have a typo. Because if I did, you would tell me. (Right? Right? I hope so... 'cause that's what Tweens are supposed to do...)

Hahahaha, your thing about me having a fever MMLOL. I somehow knew you would be shocked that I included that picture. I would be shocked if I were you, too. I came very close to replacing it with another one of CF. :D Maybe I still will... should I? ;)

P&P IS the best one. That's what *I* think.

It's amusing how you can talk like that about Mr. Darcy, and then go and say Sir Percy is better... :P

That's good to know. I like to hit nails on their heads.
RosIe?? Noooo. :P

Haha, yeah, I knew I couldn't put HT in that category when I had just said 'nice'... he wouldn't appreciate it, I think.

Well... my opinion of Edmund isn't QUITE as low as yours. (At this point you are probably thinking "Oh great, here comes one of Melody's infamous 'Jane Austen Character Defenses'...) I'm just saying, Edmund IS nice. AND in my very 'umble opinion which I am rather proud of (kidding, kidding...) Edmund actually has a better excuse than Roger. IN. GENERAL. Because Fanny was his cousin. And he moved in with his family when she was 10. That obviously encourages a brother-sister relationship. Caaan't quite say the same thing for Roger.
However, the fact that it was Mary Crawford rather changes everything. (Then, Cynthia was a fella-attracter too, but that's beside the point I guess.)
Edmund had a good heart. I can't say he's not likable. What he needs, is a good movie portrayal.
"I think the man who could quarrel with Fanny is beyond the reach of any sermons."
Hahahahaha. ;D
I especially can't help liking him, when compared to the rest of his family.

Didn't I figure out that Rodney was like Henry Tilney before you ever mentioned it? I can't remember... but I think I did. :D
Henry Tilney is Swellissimus. I'll have to do a post for him someday, too. Whenever I re-read NA. :) Speaking of which, did you evuh finish that?

But "Mr. Darcy Who?" doesn't make any sense, because you'd already used his last name. You'd have to say "Fitzwilliam Who?" :P
(Instead of sputtering indignantly I simply snigger and then get all technical on you. I like to do that.)

I like Sir Percy well enough... but he's just the fake kind of hero. (I'm just getting you back, sistuh. :P) JA's gentlemen are real.
And besides, Mr. Darcy is very careful in allowing HIS resentments to be created.
So there. XD
Ahhh, you love Mr. Knightley more than both of them put together?? I didn't know you were quite THAT enthusiastic. :D Well, that comforts me, Jane. Even if it is mean to Mr. Darcy. I'll just ignore the fact. :)

I'd take Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley. Or Henry. Provided, of course, that we loved each other. ;)

Well, I will forgive Google, but not take everything back. ;) But I am excessively glad it's back. Life wasn't as easy without the subscribe button. hehe.

Maria Elisabeth said...

I am very teasable and will just pop up to say that in terms of kindness, goodness, gentlemanliness, and niceness (hehe, I can say it because Henry Tilney isn't around) Sir Percy is far superior to Mr. Darcy. And I haven't even mentioned all round likeability yet... which leaves Mr. Darcy so far away you can't see him.

I do take a fiendish pleasure in teasing you, but I am serious. Deadly serious.

And you might like the guy-who-ought-to-be-liked a bit more if you read El Dorado. Something tells me that your Tween, who calls herself Miss Inconsistency, just reviewed it.

And I used to be in the don’t-you-ever-dare-to-think-that-Mr.-Darcy-isn’t-the-best-hero-ever, but I have learned the error of my ways. Which means I have gotten tired of defending him, especially when there’s precious little in him that can be called a good quality.

Don’t worry, I was joking that time. Mr. Darcy is nice enough (not too nice, mind you) and has good qualities, but he cannot be compared with Sir Percy or Mr. Knightley.

As to comparing Sir Percy and Mr. Knightley to each other, you have just put me in a dreadful tizzy.

Maria Elisabeth said...

Query: did I just very easily compare two heroes and then say they couldn't be compared? I think I did. And I seem to have argued that Mr. Darcy is less likeable than Sir Percy because he is less likeable. Talk about a circle argument. :P

Hayden said...

Oh, I did love this post! Mr. Knightley is simply wonderful...I love him to pieces. Really, I do. Of course, Mr. Darcy and Henry are great as well....Henry makes me laugh. Often. :)
And I love that quote, Miss Dashwood!

"Some girls are waiting for their Prince Charming... some girls are waiting for their Mr. Darcy... but *I* am waiting for my Mr. Knightley."

...I've been saying that for years now. Though maybe not that exact wording :)

Miss Dashwood said...

There. Is that bettuh? :D

You have now incurred Anne-girl's wrath, sistuh. "I like Sir Percy well enough... but he's just the fake kind of hero." Ooooh, oooh, oooh. Epic showdown begins... I'm getting me some popcorn tootuz this is going to be good.

Anyways. Fitzwilliam Who does sound bettuh. :P

And, puh-leese, don't ever think that I'm thinking "oh, great" about your Infamous Character Defenses. Tootuz I love your character defenses. Just as long as you listen to mine in return. Heehee. Okay, you can defend Edmund and I'll defend Roger. "You gave your opinion and I gave mine... but it was mine that prevailed. And you do not want to admit it."

Okay, so maybe mine didn't prevail, but I do love that quote. :P And of course Edmund's nice compared to the rest of his family. But one might also say that Chauvelin is nice compared to Robespierre. :P
Oops. Did I just compare Edmund to Chauvelin? I think it might come across that way....

DISCLAIMER. Edmund is a nice guy. He is not a villain. He is not Chauvelin. He's just not my favorite. And he's boring. The end.

Ugh, I am SO indecisive when it comes to heroes. I really am. I think maybe I should just say that I have my Four Favorites (Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Sir Percy and Gilbert---how could I have forgotten him earlier??? oh the shame!!) and leave it at that. And maybe I just shouldn't try to put them in order of Which Ones I Like Best. Tootuz it is too difficult and I always end up "offending" somebody. (And I use the word "offending" lightly, haha.)

See, if I say that I like Sir Percy best, then you will eat me alive. (Well, I might be exaggerating a tad.) And if I say that I like either of the Jane Austen guys (or heaven forbid, Gilbert) then Anne-girl and Alexandra will descend upon me tooth and claw. Sigh. Nobody knows what I suffer.

So I shall just take refuge in my Philippa-Gordon-ness and say that I Cannot Decide. "I was born a see-saw, Aunty, and nothing can keep me from teetering." (Haha, on a side note: they gave that line to Sylvia whats-her-name in Song of the Night on RTA, and that title always makes me think of "Music of the Night", which I do not like, and now I'm REALLY going off on a rabbit trail.)

This comment shoulda been an e-mail.

Oh well, too late now. I'll just wrap it up by saying I love all those heroes in different ways for different reasons and I honestly can't pick a favorite. And now, like Gilbert in Anne of Avonlea (the BOOK), I have attempted to please everybody and succeeded in pleasing nobody...

Such is my lot in life. *long-suffering sigh*

Melody said...

Oh dear. What have I done to myself? *faints under all the pressure*

Maria Elisabeth! You sad girl. How can you say such things about poor Mr. Darcy! *Siiggghhh* Well, there's no use trying to reason with crazy Sir Percy fans. ;D
But you see, I'm not sure I've ever been in the "don't-you-ever-dare-to-think-that-Mr.-Darcy-isn't-the-best-hero-ever" group... I do however think that Jane Austen's heroes are the best literary heroes. ;D
Anyways, so maybe I'll never get tired of defending Mr. Darcy because I've never been a completely crazy fan about him.
That doesn't really seem to make sense... but maybe it does, somewhere.

See, right when I start to believe that perhaps I like Mr. Knightley better, people start to say things about Mr. Darcy that make me think he can't afford to be deserted by me. So I stand by him. ;)

Anyways. I DO like Sir Percy. Really, I do! And I know that the more I know about him, the more I will like him, most likely. And I do intend to know more about him. I guess I'm just a teensy bit obstinate when it comes to this, because I love JA's heroes the most, the fact that Sir Percy seems to be at war with them makes me not like him as much as perhaps I should.

Don't hate me, peoples. Please. I'm just attempting to be candid. :P

Did you just say 'Tween'?? I had to do a double-take on that one. The only other person who's said that is... well, my Tween. :P
Huh? What review of El Dorado? I don't see it.
I was going to ask her if she'd read that yet... She's somehow failed to mention it to me. hehe.

P.S. It's too bad Sir Percy doesn't have a sister... or I'd have a new suggestion for your blog name. Heh heh heh.

Heehee, I don't really mind people liking Mr. Knightley more than the others. :D And I usually agree with everything they say, haha...
Thanks for the comment! :D

My Mouse,
Well, see, I like "Rose" very well but "Rosie" or "Rosy", I don't really like.

Oh no! *shudders* Well, I beg leave for Anne-girl to be reminded that when I said that, it was in a comment To You. (Guess it should have been an email. :P) Therefore, I was rather teasing you... not meaning for other TSP fans to see it and wage a war with me.
Oh horrible, hooorriiibbllle!
Save me from the Pimpernel fans, somebody!!!
Furthermore, this post didn't mention Sir Percy one time. It wasn't supposed to have anything to do with him. I didn't bring him up. Well, I guess I did to Maria Elisabeth... but I just wanted to tease her. I wasn't trying to be serious.

I should stop teasing people. It gets me in trouble. hahaha.

Anyhow. All right, I take it back. Sir Percy is the realistic sort of fake hero.
KIDDING!!! JOKING!! Don't kill me
I'm not very good at this, am I...
Okay, I didn't mean "fake". I was just being silly. But apparently you're the only one, Mousie, who understands my nonsensicalness. :P Am I surprised? Not really.

None of this is meant to criticize poor Percy. No, no. He has his place. He's just in a different place in my mind than the Jane Austen heroes are, is all.

That, what you said, is apparently my lot right now as well... humbug. So I guess I do know what you suffer. Slightly.

Hahaha... hmmm... so you tell me you like Mr. Knightley best, but you tell Alexandra you like Sir Percy best?
(I'm teasing again... maybe. XD)
And you're right. I wouldn't eat you alive.

I would simply try to avoid speaking to you. And fail miserably.

Abilaine said...

Poor, POOR Mr Darcy!!! It is a rotten shame that he can't defend himself so I will do it for him. He is not bad!!! DO YOU HEAR!!! He's just... misunderstood. You just have to love him! Don't you?
All of the comments above mine are full of non-jane-austen Hero characters. I am not saying that I hate Sir Percy or Gilbert or Captain Wentworth (though he is not my favorite) :) just trying to point out that a hero dose not have to be all Mr-nice-guyish.
Mr Darcy... I had better stop about him.
I am suffering!!! Really, I am!

Melody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melody said...

Ah, poor Abilaine! But thank you very much for your comment, because it made me happy. ;-) Yay for Mr. Darcy fans! Have the rest of them all gone into hiding? Because I know they are out there.
One of these days I will do a Defending Mr. Darcy post (if Miss Dashwood would excuse the plagiarism, heh), and it will be a comfort to know that you will stand behind me, dear. Heehee.

(This comment is replacing the last one because I typed the wrong word. :P)

Abilaine said...

I am not crazy about Mr Darcy... All right!!!
And Oh... Melody I was going to ask Miss Dashwood if I could do such a mean thing as copy her wonderful posts!
Miss Dashwood, I would like you to know that I honor your courage in posting "Defending Gilbert Blyth" (I do not know if I was correct in my spelling of his name) It made me really almost let my crazy... Crazy love for Mr Darcy go!!!!!!!!
Listen up all you who like Mr Darcy... I am ashamed of you all hiding!
And Melody... You don't have to let this comment on your blog for fear of offending ???? Some Sir Percy fans. LoL!

Maria Elisabeth said...

I don't know why I called her Tween. I guess I got that from you... and your Tween. :P

And the review of El Dorado? I forgot... he has such a different place in your mind that you can't bear to read The Day Dream. I pity you. (said in a very nonsensical joking voice, of course.) Here's the link:

Hehe. It is a pity Sir Percy is an only child. Miss X Blakeney does sound quite nice. :P

Melody said...

Heehee, well try not to take it too seriously. ;-) It's all in fun. And besides--isn't it amazing that there is this large group of people who like literary heroes in general? I mean, a lot of girls would be like "Who's Mr. Knightley??" Or if they recognized the name Mr. Darcy, they wouldn't think of Mr. Darcy, they'd think of Matthew MacFadyen. ;-)

And besides, I think Maria Elisabeth only meant to tease me in return. ;) And besides, she likes to have friendly debates, so I have heard. heehee.

Maria Elisabeth,
Do you even know where the "Tween" thing came from? I Want To Know!

HAHAHAHA Oh dear. I'm a bit thick sometimes aren't I... duh, Melody! *facepalm*
And don't get me wrong, because it's not as if I never visit The Day Dream. Because I do. In fact somewhere in my head I've been planning to follow once I'm done reading a book or two. :) Somehow I like reading things about things I already know about more than things I don't know about yet. Odd, I know. But true.

Jessica said...

I love the pin that says " is a 19th century gentleman too much to ask for?". Haha

I must put in my two cents regarding Sir Percy. He is humerous, but really cannot be compared with the "real" heros of JA. ;-)I agree with you there, my dear Melody.

Rachel Danielle said...

Haha, I am so ecstatically delighted to have found your blog my dear!

Alexandra said...

Came back to read this after the huge debate...and giggling at the comments, knowing now What Was to Come...

No comment on the post. Except that as AUSTEN HEROES go (and not heroes in general :-P), Knightley is coolest. Leaves Darcy in the dust. Sorry, Colin, I love you and everything, but yeah.

Note the emphasis on AUSTEN HEROES. And I will stop because we've all ready hashed this out on Maria's blog. :-D

Melody said...

Oh, I know, I love that one too. Maybe I should get THAT with my Christmas money at Cafe Press. (Because I STILL haven't gotten anything.) I'm thinking about getting a t-shirt that says "I Randomly Quote Jane Austen," though, because it's so true... :P
Heehee, thank you for your two cents. I accept them most gratefully. ;-)

Rachel Danielle,
Likewise! =) I'm happy to have you following.

Haha... Quite So. (About what was to come. :P)
But my dear, have you read Pride and Prejudice? Because whatever the upper-commenters might say, Colin Firth is not actually Mr. Darcy. He did the best portrayal, but you can't really "know him" until you've read about the Real Him in the book. :D
Just sayin'. :P

Not that Mr. Knightley isn't the coolest. Because he very well may be.
I CAN'T DECIDE. :P I need to reread P&P, I really do...

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

My very dear girl, I must apologize for being very neglectful of this delightfully delicious post! I've been meaning to comment on for a while now.

First of all, I love all the photos you used in this post and especially the sayings! (several of them look like FB Flair, hehe!)

You have raised some great points here! I love what you said about "not even the best heroine can make up for a disappointing hero", this is quite true!

Oooh! Categories! I love it! :)

The Romantics - Captain Wentworth definitely fits into this category. He is very romantic minded and very passionate in his nature, quick to love and holds fast to his friendships and attachments through thick and thin. His letter is also the most romantic way or proposing!
I’m so glad that Colonel Brandon made it into ‘The Romantics’! He is definitely as romantically minded as Marianne and in that way he is her equal, though he’s grown cautious with age. Just think how quickly he started admiring Marianne, almost as quickly as she admired Willoughby! I love what Marianne says in S&S ‘08 towards the end about Colonel Brandon staying true to his first love, “he is the true romantic I think.” And she was right! :)

Mr. Darcy...I personally wouldn’t put him in ‘The Romantics’ just because he doesn’t seem to form attachments easily or be quite as passionate as the others. There’s no denying the fervency or strength of his love for Elizabeth. But I’m probably am one of those who don’t quite “get it” with Mr. Darcy, maybe I’m one of those who “think they do” and I might be bordering on being one of those who “simply don’t want to”. :( I mean I respect and like Mr. Darcy and admire his actions and his final words to Elizabeth in the second proposal, he’s just not my favorite. I admire a more open and friendly personality perhaps (in guys anyway).

Okay, I shall be back because my comment is way too long! hehe :)

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Now the other half of my comments. I should edit myself but I don't really have time. :P

The Nice Guys - Edward and Edmund definitely fit in this category! The ‘nice’ description fits them perfectly: pleasant, considerate and respectable. I’d also say they fit the word ‘Earnest’ (which is one of my favorite words for a guy!), meaning that they are thoughtful, studious, humble. Also neither of them pretend to be something they're not, they are honest and honorable. They are both more introverted, quiet thinkers rather than extroverted men of action.
I love Edward’s sense of humor! :)

I’m sorry not to see more about Edmund here. You definitely need to re-read Mansfield Park. He always acts out of the highest sense of morality, and always does what is right. He’s quite straight laces, thoughtful, studious (studying serious literature & histories), he also seems to have a mathematical brain (remember his calculating the furlongs for Miss Crawford). When he meets Mary Crawford she is very sweet (almost artificially so), speaks her mind and has interesting ideas that spark an admiration for her in Edmund. All the time he thinks he’s getting to know the real Mary she is hiding her true nature a bit, he thinks he knows her and he admires her that’s why he’s so serious in considering marriage. But Fanny is always his best friend, she is his “one weakness”, he’s very protective of her and shows no end of kindness to her. But knowing her so well she’s like that girl next door, the one he’s known all his life and so he doesn’t think of marrying her until he finally wakes up and realizes that she is the perfect match for him. But I’m sure you know all of this. I’ve grown to think very highly of Edmund, and of Fanny, and am a bit of an advocate for their sadly neglected story. :)

Yes, ‘nice’ isn’t quite the word for our Mr. Tilney! He’d tease you no end if you ever tried to use that word on him! hehe :)
He’s not very romantic either, if anything he’s almost the opposite because he doesn’t seem to form attachments quickly or be very passionate about much. But he is constant in his friendship and love, Eleanor is certainly a great object of his affection but she’s probably also a “victim” of his sharpest wit. He seems to especially tease the people he loves! :)
You described him perfectly my dear! Mr. Tilney is just the best!

It’s perfect that you put Mr. Knightley in his own category! “Kightly” is a perfect word for him! He is probably the best, most wonderful of Jane Austen’s heroes! Even though I love Henry Tilney best, Mr. Knightley is such a close second! :)

This was a lovely post dear Melody!

I shall have to read the other comments you got later.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Knightly is one of my favorites as well as colonel Brandon!

Anonymous said...

Just gonna leave this short li'l comment here:

Knightley. Is. Perfect. ♥

Edward is kinda adorable.

Darcy isn't so bad either.

But Knightley is flawless.

Anonymous said...

*And I should probably add Cap'n Wentworth. Dunno how I forgot him. "You pierce my soul," just--well, it pierces my soul.

1. Kightley ♥
2. Wentworth vs. Ferrars
3. Darcy

Would you rather hear the story...

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