I love bonnet drama. The books and the films. I won’t be cliché by writing about Colin Firth and his infamous swim as Mr. Darcy, but it was spectacular.
I’ve just finished Wuthering Heights. Not my first time… In fact, I’ve had a deep crush on Heathcliff for a long time. My younger self often compared the objects of my affections to Cliff. ‘Oh look at him over there eating by himself… how Heathcliffish” Any sign of social disengagement, moodiness, or loner tendencies would get my heart palpitating.
All because Jane, Emily and Charlotte taught me that these were signs of a deeply romantic character who was just wounded and in need of a soul mate.
Accordingly; difficult, anti-social and quirky hot became my favourite combo.
Thinking about it now, with, shall we say, a more mature view of love, I realize that the men in these stories should be really unappealing. They are dinks. Think about when Jane Eyre and Rochester first meet. His horse spooks and even though Jane is very helpful, he is a total heel about it, stopping short of blaming her. Everyone knows horses are dangerous and unpredictable creatures. Jesus.
In fact, these types have a whole category. Byronic Heros. On Wikopedia’s list of their characteristics: Arrogant. Cynical. Emotionally conflicted, bipolar or moody. Jaded. World-weary. Self-destructive.
The Norton Anthology contends that Satan in Paradise Lost was the first of these types (pre-category obviously). I noted my attraction to this version of Satan here on this blog. This is deep-seeded, I’m telling you.
Two more traits: Distaste for social institutions and norm. Having a troubled past or suffering from an unnamed crime.
Yup, sounds familiar. It might be too late, but I’m going to try for a new type.