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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Virtual Romance

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My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company. Anne Eliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion

I have to confess that I’ve become a little bit addicted to period drama’s lately. I’m sure this has to do with the pathetic lack of romance in my own life at present.

If memory serves, I do like actual personal one on one kind of romance and I do miss it sometimes. But I also have to admit that if I were confronted with the opportunity for an actual romance right now, I’d, first of all be just super surprised, but I also think I’d be pretty reluctant, reticent and frankly suspicious. That’s kind of sad to admit, but on this day - at this time in my life I think I have to say it’s the truth. I’m just not sure I’d be up for it unless the good Lord himself came down and gave me a sign.

Thus in lieu of the opportunity or serious desire for actual romance, I guess I’m opting for virtual romance – and virtual 19th century romance at that.

Now of course I’ve gone through pretty much every version of every Jane Austen novel committed to film. And then there are the novels of the Bronte Sisters (Toby Stephens in Jane Eyre - oh my heart!). And I recently discovered a wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries based on a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell called North & South. It’s not the U.S. Civil War miniseries from the 80’s. The BBC North & South is about a man from the Industrial North of England and a woman from the agrarian South. The lead is a British actor named Richard Armitage who I think I’d just like to follow around for a while just to hear him speak.

Playing the armchair psychologist for a bit, my feeling is that I gravitate towards these movies right now because they provide me with the companionship of ideal people in controlled gracious circumstances. The characters behave in ways I dream people ought to – including myself. These stories are made out of beautiful art that itself is pleasing and gratifying and, unlike real life, I don’t have to worry about how things are going to turn out because I already know that, after a little bit of trouble, thing will come out alright in the end. I hope to be braver, more open and more optimistic about actual romance in the future (although I'd still be super surprised). But for now when I watch Edward Ferrars propose to Elinor Dashwood or Anne Eliot reconcile with Captain Wentworth - for a little while I am not so lonely.

And seriously ladies – check out Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North & South – oh my heart!


YogaSavy said...

I hear you. If romances like those existed in real life I would not be sitting in front of my lap top all day!

Sue said...

I love those period romances as well.


Richard & Natalie said...

I too, love the period romances. "Persuasion" is my all time favorite Jane Austen story. I will definitely have to check out "North & South". I have seen them, but always thought they were the other set. Thanks for a great post and setting me straight.

Lori said...

Love Jane Austen and those Bronte sisters--thanks for the recommendations.

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