|The Broke and Bookish|
I didn't think I could come up with a list of ten personal literary "crushes". But I've been playing around with this list all week and here's what I came up with (in no particular order) and I found even more than ten:
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen): I think that every girl dreams of someone like Mr. Darcy, at least some time in her life. He is handsome, reserved, honorable, and rich.
Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion by Jane Austen): When he first meets Anne Elliott he has no money or pedigree, making him an unsuitable match for a gentleman's daughter. When he returns seven years later he has made something of himself and though he appears to feel the opposite at first, his heart still belongs to Anne.
John Ridd (Lorna Doone by Richard Blackmore): When I was in 6th grade my mother loaned me her copy of Lorna Doone which had belonged to her mother. I read this antique book over and over again and was completely taken with the clandestine lovers, John and Lorna. When I attempted to reread the book as an adult I was shocked that I understood a word of it as a young girl. Nevertheless, their love affair made a deep impression on me and I always dreamed of having a young man scale a waterfall to find and save me from my captors.
Karl Shoemaker (Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes): This marvelous book was just published last year so you might be wondering what a grown woman is doing by having a crush on a literary high school boy? Well, I'll tell you. Karl lives in the 1970s when I was in high school. He is just about the best friend anyone could ever have. He is hard-working, kind, thoughtful, and just about ready to fall to pieces. He stands up for the little guy and literally saves a friend's life. I wish I'd had a boyfriend just like Karl.
Marius Pontmercy (Les Miserables by Victor Hugo): The kind and devoted gentleman who falls in love with Cosette, is kind to his friend Eponine, fights on the correct side of the revolution, and he is a devoted and faithful friend. He's just about the perfect guy.
Theodore "Laurie" Laurence (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott): the next-door neighbor and friend to all the March girls, but especially Jo. I loved his friendships with the girls and his kindnesses to the family. I always wanted Laurie and Jo to become a couple but understood that they weren't an ideal match. It didn't keep me from having a crush on him, though.
Prince Caspain (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis): Caspain is the brave prince who fights for the rights of all Narnians and wins the devotion of his people and wins my heart along the way.
Mr. George Knightley (Emma by Jane Austen): the kind and practical friend and almost-brother to Emma who remains devoted to her even though she continues to bumble around with her match-making efforts. When he confessed his love to Emma I was swept right up, too.
Denys Finch Hatton (Out of Africa: a Memoir by Isak Dinesen, nom de plume for Baroness Karen von Blexin-Finecke): is it possible to have a crush on a literary character who was actually a real person? Well, I had a crush on Denys after the movie Out of Africa came out because he was such an adventurous soul who dearly loved Africa, was devoted to Karen, and died a tragic death.
Tristran Thorn (Stardust by Neil Gaiman): from Gaiman's magical fairy tale, Tristran falls in love with a star who has fallen to earth and morphs from a bumbling idiot into a handsome, swash-buckling hero. This is one case where I actually like the movie better than the book, but both are good.
Sergeant Joe Harmon (A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute): Jean Paget meets Sgt. Joe Harmon when they are both Japanese prisoners-of-war in Malaya during WWII. Joe becomes her hero when he steals a chicken so that the prisoners can have something to eat. For this act of heroism he is flogged and, Jean thinks, killed. She learns many years later that he is still alive and she goes to search for him in the Australian outback. I still have a crush on Joe and reread the book with some regularity.
Henry Crawford (Mansfield Park by Jane Austen): Henry Crawford is one of Austen's cads. He sets out to win the heart of Fanny Price but she never truly trusts him. She is right, of course, as Crawford ends up dishonoring the whole family by his affiar with Fanny's cousin. If I were Fanny, however, I would have swooned by Henry's attention. He was fun-loving and high-spirited. Crawford's spot on this list is my nod to all literary "bad boys."
Who are some of your literary crushes? What do you think of my choices?