"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes


"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Introducing: The Heroes

I realize that my readers may not be familiar with all of the wonderful men I have chosen to be worthy of voting in the Much-Loved British Period Drama Heroes (in film) Poll. Allow me to remedy that with some introductions.

First, please meet Edward Ferrars, of the 2008 Sense & Sensibility adaptation. An excellent man for Elinor--smart, caring, sincere, considerate. A little hasty in his younger days, but very repentant now. A most wonderful-looking Edward I must say.

Next, well, does he need an introduction? If you are a steady reader, you must know my Man among Men. Dearest Henry Tilney, of the 2007 Northanger Abbey rendition. My funny, teasing, sarcastic, gentleman. Lover of dancing and fun. Still a level head on his shoulder. A forgiving person. A great half-smile. Wonderful sense of humor. Chose religion for his career. He's perfect!

Then there is Tom LeFroy. I have plenty of issues with Becoming Jane, but it had its enjoyable parts. I was a bit annoyed and upset with some of the film's adapting of Tom, but I could not help somehow connecting with him at the end. Even if only for about 20 minutes, something of him still found its way into my heart. And he's not bad looking either (though I liked his looks much better in Penelope--except that isn't a British drama).


Next meet Captain Wentworth of the 2007 version of Persuasion. As my Austen professor once said, he went and now he's worth. And WHOA good looking in the bargain! I could certainly forgive this man any stupidity on his part and going for the silly girl only because he was still hurt after 8 years.


Oh, my amazing William Wilberforce. Amazing Grace is one of my favorite movies ever. And the person it's about, well, he in real life that I have read a bit about is a hero. And Ioan, as always, did an excellent job portraying him. How could you not love someone with such faith, conviction, cause, justice, belief, truth, honesty, kindness, and much more?


Oh, sweet Norman Warne. I love Miss Potter. It is based on the true love story of Beatrix and Norman. He is humble. Tender. Sweetly awkward. I just love him.


Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre of 2006. Need I say more?

The 2005 Pride & Prejudice Mr. Darcy. Though not given as much as he could have worked with, and forced to say some ridiculous un-Austen lines, he still played some parts of Mr. Darcy that spoke closer to me and my tastes than others have done.

Dick Dewy from the great Under the Greenwood Tree. Honest and true. Faithful. Loyal. I'm sure there's more to the scout creed that fits this simple man. Didn't hurt that they made him good looking, too.


John Thornton of North & South is one that takes the entire movie to get to know. This movie is a much more intellectual one for me, and I do enjoy watching this relationship in its varying stages. Much to love about this man, but the last scene--the Train Scene--does me in as it does so many other fans.


Daniel Deronda from the film of the same name just barely made it onto my list. Not that he's not that great, just not all that impressive to me. What I love of him is his love for Miss Lapidoth.

Roger Hamlet from Wives & Daughters has had many an entry mention him. I don't feel I need to extol more about him right now. I'm sure there will be much in future, as will be with some of these other heroes.


Horatio Hornblower as only Ioan can play him. I love him in the first 6 episodes. The last 2, well, I still love him. But not where it concerns his wife.

My John! I don't mind having a picture of him with Bella, for he wouldn't be My John without she who is the focus of his heart. Plus, look at that smile. Oh, yes. I definitely love the mutual friend from Our Mutual Friend.

Angel Clare. Good heavens. If a name like that doesn't stick with you, his very attractive face will! There is little to love from the depressing Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but Angel is the beautiful man who is blinded my typical man-ness and has to learn his lesson. Unfortunately, at great detriment of his own love. It's so tragic one would think it a difficult thing to love him. But with his looks, well, the shallow part of me takes over.

1996 Emma's Mr. Knightley. Enough said.

Toby Stephens makes an entrance again as Gilbert Markham from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Sad parts to this story, yes, but WOW what a man! Completely (and I'll add hopelessly!) devoted to said tenant. Every woman needs such a man to love her as much.


And then there is our Colonel Brandon from the 1995 Sense & Sensibility. The deepest voice ever around. He of disappointed hopes who certainly does not love wisely, but very well. Marianne never deserved him. Few women do when the men are exceptional. That's why we live to deserve them!

This is my favorite part of the 1995 Pride & Prejudice Mr. Darcy: The Look. Every fan knows the scene. It speaks volumes. He does this non-verbal communication well in the movie, which is rather important considering it's, well, Mr. Darcy.

The 1995 Persuasion Captain Wentworth is as good as he is because of the great Anne Elliott. Without his lost heart to her, I don't think I'd be able to like him so much. Probably because I've seen the actor play too many villains. But he did well with this hero.
Will Ladislaw of Middlemarch. He loves from afar, with injustice done toward him without deserving it. No one does, of course. But his only fault was chastely loving a woman who did deserve it when her selfish, jealous, stingy, stupid husband did not even see that a gem was married to him. There was only unhappiness at his death because Dorothea--the very loving and tender--was hurt by so much. I think what most attracts me to Will, aside from his devotion to Dorothea, is his mysteriousness.
Well, there you have them. Wonderful British Period Drama heroes. I hope you enjoyed meeting, or re-meeting, them. They do make the heart happy. Mine, at least!

8 comments:

Sara Lyn said...

Two comments. First of all, now I'm dying to see "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall." I read the book and enjoyed it very much and to know Toby Stephens plays Gilbert suits me well. I can believe he would do the role justice. Where can I find that?!

Comment number two. I've never been able to take the Darcy "Look" seriously, especially since some time during college. I was with a male friend at his parent's house and his little sister and her friends were watching P&P. It was nearing that scene, so they insisted he stay and watch the "best part of the movie." When Darcy "looked" at Elizabeth, my friend "looked" at me. "What in tarnation are they talking about?" (Or something to that effect.) :) Yes, I'm sorry, but though I very much enjoy P&P, and even that version, I just cannot understand the mad love women seem to hold for CF as Mr. Darcy. Maybe it's that Darcy is one of my lesser favorite Austen heroes. Although I loved the series concerning him by Patricia Aidan.

Heidi said...

Yes, yes, I know that part is silly. But it isn't just his look that makes it THE Look. It's that she is looking back and there is that total understanding between them. Trust, understanding, acceptance. All conveyed in one look. I've had looks like that, too, and I like them. I'm not sure what other girls are thinking of it, but....

Yes, Mr. Darcy isn't my favorite Austen hero either. I mean, lots of good things, but overall. nah. Nothing beats my Henry. And Wentworth is better, too. In my opinion.

I think girls like him so much because this P&P was the first real, well-done British drama. And so many relate to P&P more than Austen's other books. And he epitomizes what most girls have felt--unrequited love--and then what they wish--that he returns it! The first two Darcys on film weren't all that great. Thus CF caught their fancy.

I'm still waiting for the best Darcy out there. But I'm fine with my Henry, John, and Roger. :-)

And Toby did a wonderful job. I got a copy from the library when I first saw it. But it's a watch instantly on Netflix, so I can watch it there, too.

Meredith said...

1. I always thought that Will Ladislaw had crazy eyes. But he was a nice fella, anyway.

2. I don't care how pretty Angel is, he's a big fat meanie! I despise him!

3. I love Mr. Thornton, mostly for the scene when he finds out that it was Margaret's brother. Sigh. He's so happy!

Heidi said...

Responses to Meredith
1.) I had to include Rufus Sewell for my roommie CK, 'cause she loves him in Amazing Grace. He's just not my guy in that one. He fit it more in Middlemarch, so I went for him there. I think it was the curls.

2.) As for Angel, I told you I was shallow!

3.) That is a good scene. But I'm still all about the train scene. I need to find a less favorite of others' scene to make more my own. Guess that means I have to watch it again. Oh the difficulty.

~Mary said...

LOVE your hero's! WOW! I can't resist a British man in costume!
I was born in the wrong time period.

Have you seen The Young Victoria? A new costume drama about Queen Victoria. IT IS AMAZINGLY GOOD!!!

Have you seen the new BBC Little Dorrit? It is SOO good. It's got Mr. Darcy in it!

Heidi said...

I've heard of "The Young Victoria," but I don't think it has reached the states, yet. Another that I'm waiting to reach the states is "The Secret of Moonacre" with Ioan Gruffudd! Woohoo! I read the book in January or so and I've just been waiting ever since.

And I'm actually in the middle of "Little Dorrit" right now! Getting episodes 9-12 tonight and I can't wait to see them!

Danforth said...

I'm marrying Roger Hamley.

Just sayin'.

Heidi said...

He's totally yours! As long as I can have Henry.