Saturday, January 19, 2008
Waiting for Prince Charming
As I read Elizabeth Gaskell's poignant and personal biography of Charlotte Bronte, I came to a letter written by Charlotte that I found both amusing and curious. She was writing to a friend concerning one of the male characters in her book, The Professor:
"I had a letter the other day, announcing that a lady of some note, who had always determined that whenever she married, her husband should be the counterpart of 'Mr. Knightley' in Miss Austen's Emma, had now changed her mind, and vowed that she would either find the duplicate of Professor Emanuel, or remain for ever single!"
I find it interesting that even a hundred and fifty years ago, young ladies were hoping to find husbands who reminded them of their favorite Jane Austen heroes. Somehow it seems a singularly modern thing to do, but I suppose that it is just another proof that human nature does not change. Now I am curious to read The Professor, to find out just what kind of man was able to usurp Mr. Knightley!