I read many wonderful books growing up - the Little House series, the Chronicles of Narnia, others by Madeleine L'Engle, and so forth. Yet somehow two books (or groups of books) escaped my attention until later in life: Anne of Green Gables and the novels of Jane Austen. I plan to ensure that my own daughter does not suffer such a fate of missing out on these.
My college roommate introduced me to Anne, and - although I still haven't actually read the books - after watching all of the movies with her, our true purpose in being at Auburn was clear: to find our Gilberts. She met hers early on and recognized him as The One almost right away. They married while students at Auburn and now have three beautiful daughters.
Although I also met my husband at Auburn, it took much longer for me to recognize him as being The One. That's because he's not Gilbert. He's Mr. Darcy.
I finally began reading Jane Austen about 6 years ago and was instantly hooked. Although my favorite remains Persuasion, I cannot help but return to Pride and Prejudice on a regular basis. If you are a woman who has not read these books, please rectify that right away. Until then, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Darcy and my wonderful husband.
Mr. Darcy is dark and brooding.
My Mr. Darcy is not exactly a ray of sunshine. I've been known to call him Eyore and tease him about the dark cloud that seems to follow him around. He says that he loved the weather when we lived in Seattle because it "suited his sunny disposition."
Mr. Darcy is chronically misunderstood.
Just like Elizabeth Bennett's Darcy, mine tends to be uncomfortable in social situations, and this is often misunderstood as him being aloof or full of pride. However, in both cases, they wished they were more comfortable interacting with people. Although generally respected, neither is very well understood.
Elizabeth initially dislikes Mr. Darcy a great deal.
While I can't say that I disliked my Darcy initially - we became friends pretty easily - I did think he was dreadfully dull. At the time, I had recently had my heart broken by someone who was determined to see the world, always in search of the next adventure, and I was determined to find another like him - more like Wickham. In comparison, my Darcy seemed far too limited in his aspirations and dreams. (Comparing the twists and turns our lives have taken to what I know of that particular heart breaker - the irony of my feelings is astounding.)
Mr. Darcy was quietly generous to Elizabeth's family, behind the scenes.
I began to see what a generous and giving heart my Darcy possessed. He never hesitated to help someone in need, even if he did not understand the request - giving money to a then-troubled sister, traveling hours to deliver a TV to my mother, and many other examples. He had, and still has, a deep desire to give to others.
Elizabeth finally realizes how wrong she has been about him.
Not unlike Elizabeth, for me it took a stark comparison of seeing someone I thought I wanted in a new light of reality to see my Darcy for who he truly is. He was not aloof, arrogant, and dull. He was just shy, but with an inner confidence and drive to succeed.
Sadly, I could not embed this last scene from the American version (controversial among purists, though it is), so you'll have to click this link.
Happy Publication Day, Miss Austen!
Note: All links taken from YouTube.
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