I have been married to Mr Curtain Raiser (aka the Italian Stallion) for more than two decades. What he doesn’t know is that sometimes he has had competition in the form of fictional characters. I’m sure we have all been there – fallen in “love” with a character we have found in a novel or a movie and feeling bereft and heartbroken when the book or film ends.
Here is my list of the 5 fiction characters I would wed (in no particular order):
- Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – you’ve got to love a man who outwardly is cold and aloof and vastly superior but is a marshmallow inside. I have a soft spot for proud men who after scratching the surface reveal a great deal of humanity. Having status and money and a nice piece of real estate in Pemberly doesn’t hurt either and neither does looking good in breeches or smouldering whilst soaking wet in a lake. My quintessential Mr Darcy has to be Colin Firth in the BBC production.
- Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle in Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh – Wulfric is a highly respected wealthy duke with the ability of silencing a room with a look or two softly whispered words, his presence is that commanding. He is one of 6 children and the oldest and has been raised in appropriate isolated ducal fashion. A man who puts duty and propriety above all, he is totally befuddled by Christine Derrick, a commoner with an enchanting and defiant spirit. Deep inside Wulfric is still that lonely child raised to carry out duty and keep the family wealth and blood lines going. His awkwardness in social situations, loyalty to his family and the war within between duty and love make him strong, yet vulnerable – a heady combination.
- William Darcy (played by Martin Henderson) in Bride and Prejudice – hmmm, there seems to be a pattern emerging here, now that I write these down, however I assure you the similarities with entry no. 1 are surface only. Take one American from a dysfunctional, wealthy family and drop him into the colour and spectacle of India, with Amritsar and Goa as backdrops, add cheesy Bollywood song and dance routines and a former Indian Miss World, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and you have the makings of a classic. This William Darcy is so lovable not only because of his eyes (how good are they?), but because he is absolutely lost trying to navigate Indian custom and tradition and he doesn’t stand a chance against the female character’s mother. Also you have to admire the will power of any man who can wait to kiss his bride until after the wedding.
- Leopold (played by Hugh Jackman) in Kate and Leopold – there’s just one word to say here and that’s “gentleman”. Leopold takes his 1870 gentlemanly ways and manners and transports them to modern-day New York to romance Kate, played by Meg Ryan. What makes Leopold so great is that he knows how to woo a lady, 1870’s style – with a slow burn. His 1870’s speech and sense of style just makes you long for a quieter, gentler time, when marriages were made to last. And well, the character is played by Hugh Jackman – enough said.
- Edward Lewis (played by Richard Geer) in Pretty Woman – a man with a killer wardrobe who takes over companies and makes gazillions but has to pay for a call girl for companionship – what’s not to love? No walking barefoot on the grass or driving his own car for this man, he has to be shown how to get a life and kudos for him, he listens! A man who can get rid of his long-standing, sleazy lawyer because the lawyer has maligned the woman he has known for a mere four days is pure class. Add a fear of heights, a fear of committment and a proposal after an aha moment and you are on your way. And with dialogue like this, throw away the pre-nup:
she: “you’re late”
he: “you’re stunning”
she: “you’re forgiven”.
I have always wondered what happened to these characters after the last page or frame of film. Several follow ups to Pride and Prejudice are in my reading pile and I’m sure I will get around to them eventually.
As for Mr Italian Stallion, his position is safe – there have been no lake-swimming dukes commuting by elephant who have overcome their fear of heights to climb up the fire stairs to propose to me…. yet.
Who is on your list?