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to wonder if period dramas have ruined real men for me?

(85 Posts)
olivebee Mon 17-Mar-14 22:25:38

I grew up on a diet of period dramas. Pride and Prejudice, Wives and Daughters, North and South, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Tenant of Wildfell Hall - the works. I loved them, watched them over and over again. Read all the books until the pages fell out. I fell in love with the morally courageous, dynamic, flawed men who leapt off their pages.

I have just come back from a date with a bloke who told me repeatedly and at length about being chased by a grizzly bear whilst on holiday.

He then informed me that his cat wakes him in the morning by licking his nipples.

Clearly, he isn't the one. I get that real men cannot live up to literature. I am not looking for perfection, but I would like someone who is just a teensy weensy bit like John Thornton. AIBU?

pluCaChange Mon 17-Mar-14 22:35:49

Madame Bovary, c'est toi!

Financeprincess Mon 17-Mar-14 22:56:45

You need to work out where to find outwardly gruff men to whom you take an instant dislike, and whom you subsequently discover to be wonderful individuals hiding behind a mask of pride/bravado etc., so that you can fall in love with them and be won over by your persistent suitor.

There are a few mills where you could volunteer to do good works and reject the suit of the proud, bluff mill owner around our way (North & South), and I think that the modern equivalent of Bath and Brighton (Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility, etc) is probably the season (Henley regatta, royal Ascot etc), but I fear that those events will be full of drunken arses and won't allow you to showcase your gowns and your skills at the pianoforte.

MadsMikkelsensCheekbones Mon 17-Mar-14 23:00:42

John Thornton is the man of my dreams...

drnoitall Mon 17-Mar-14 23:01:05

You need a gamekeeper !

Metheven Mon 17-Mar-14 23:03:02

YANBU. Unfortunately, real life is not like a period drama. Real life was probably never like a period drama. I often think how boring their lives were, especially the women. The lower classes would obviously have to work, but the upper classes, what on earth did they do? Play music, embroider things and visit other bored women!

Elizabeth Bennet probably never had to pick up Mr. Darcy's discarded socks off the floor, did she? Can you imagine Emma nagging Mr. Knightly to take the bins out? Captain Wentworth, you left the milk out of the fridge again.

Having said that, yes, I want my own Mr. Darcy, Frederick Wentworth, John Thornton or Mr. Knightley. I would quite like my own Professor Snape as well, but that is a whole other thread (grin)

What if they've read the same books and want a woman like that? You'll be confined to a life of corsets and mundane pursuits.

cashmiriana Mon 17-Mar-14 23:14:39

My very wise mother once pointed out to me that there are only half a dozen men in literature who would make half decent husbands in real life.

John Thornton has anger issues, and can you imagine Hannah Thornton as your MIL? That would be an interesting AIBU.

Darcy is a supercilious prig.

Mr Knightley is nice enough (at least he expects Emma to behave like a decent human being and not a spoilt princess) and his is the best proposal in fiction (bar Peter Wimsey's final one to Harriet Vane) but there's the question mark over his having fallen for her rather younger than is probably healthy.

Colonel Brandon - all that angst. Brooding is not a quality.

Wise mother also pointed out that I wouldn't have been Margaret Hale or Emma Woodhouse. I would have been the laundry maid scrubbing Elizabeth Bennet's petticoats clean.

(Actually, in reality, I would have been dead of any one of half a dozen of childhood ailments.)

That's the reality. It made me feel a bit better and stopped me pining. DH doesn't have much in common with any of those heroes, but nor does he have unrealistic expectations of me.

Although I do still long for the day when Kester Woodseaves comes to my Shropshire village.

Financeprincess Mon 17-Mar-14 23:17:40

He only likes girls with hare lips.

fridayfreedom Mon 17-Mar-14 23:20:44

John Thornton....swoons! I love a rugged Northerner...

cashmiriana Mon 17-Mar-14 23:21:26

He sees inner beauty! (That's what I am banking on.)

Metheven Mon 17-Mar-14 23:21:59

Peter Wimsey, oh yes.

cashmiriana your mother was indeed a wise woman. However, that doesn't stop me daydreaming while doing boring old housework about being whisked away and having my corsets undone!

Burren Mon 17-Mar-14 23:34:21

Being devil's advocate, Mr Knightley is bossy and terribly elder-brotherly, Edward Ferrars is wet, Colonel Brandon wears granddaddy-ish flannel waistcoats, Willoughby is a toerag who marries for money, Gilbert Markham is just awful, and would you really go for a man with an insanely possessive mother and who saw you talking to your brother and immediately assumed he was your illicit lover?

Even Wentworth, whom I always rather like, has a devastating line in 'Gosh, you look so hag-like at the age of 27 I didn't recognise you' put-downs. And Darcy is just a sullen posh youth with no sense of humour, and a nice pile.

Note how much sexing up of all these characters is deemed necessary in TV and film adaptations to make them palatable...

greenbananas Mon 17-Mar-14 23:58:37

Think I like Gilbert Markham best out of the ones you have mentioned. He seems fairly human, sometimes gets the wrong end of the stick, bit jealous, but also able to defy society's prejudices about women, able to defend the woman he loves to his slightly worried mother and sister. Also, he is not fabulously and unbelievably rich, so we know the heroine is marrying him for who he is rather than his wealth.

Peter Wimsey is more of a wish fulfilment than anything a man could possibly be.

squoosh Tue 18-Mar-14 00:47:34

John Thornton was an angry middle aged man, a not particularly nice employer, who lived with his horrible Mum in a grim and smoggy industrial town.

Whadda catch.

squoosh Tue 18-Mar-14 00:50:07

I'll have Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey, he seems like un-brooding fun......................once I've hired some heavies to get his father out of the picture.

Defnotsupergirl Tue 18-Mar-14 01:34:27

I have a Knightly...........

Well as near as a modern Knightly as you can get..........

Elsiequadrille Tue 18-Mar-14 01:46:28

I agree with cashmiriana's mother. Very few would probably make decent husbands.

Knightly constantly chastising me and telling me 'That was badly done, Elsie' would really irritate.

Yes to Mr Thornton's probable anger issues. Though his mother would be more off putting.

I'm not convinced about Mr Darcy. I think he could/would revert quite easily to his old behaviour and habits. And he really was rather dull.

onelittlepiglet Tue 18-Mar-14 01:54:58

Kester Woodseaves - yes please! Definitely the one I wanted most when I was young. Still do really.... Don't tell dh!

I did fancy Darcy but in reality he was probably terribly dull and with a few ishoos I feel.

squoosh Tue 18-Mar-14 02:01:49

Mr Bingley would be good prospect. Not overly burdened with brains but good natured and fun, which would go a long way towards easing those endless evenings spent sitting with his awful sisters in the drawing room.

GrendelsMum Tue 18-Mar-14 08:25:13

Got to be Henry Tilney, surely. The only man in literature apart from Mr Bennet who ever makes jokes.

We would have a great time together, avoiding his father, planting up the new shrubbery, taking the dogs for walks, doing a bit of vicar-ing and occasionally going to Bath for a night out.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 08:33:47

the bloody worst would be Edmund Bertram. what a fucking bore he was and he would be constantly whinging about how wonderful Mary Crawford was until she had been spoilt by her debauched life.

give me Henry Crawford any day. Fannie must have been mad and god she was a bloody bore too.

Abra1d Tue 18-Mar-14 08:34:37

My husband is, in fact, a little like a hero from a C19th novel. He is quiet, kind, and morally courageous. You wouldn't notice him in a party as he is not loud and flash. It is why I fell for him.

But he does hang the washing out in a weird way. As I remind him.

Preciousbane Tue 18-Mar-14 08:37:21

Kester Woodseaves is my dream man, funnily enough looking at my user name.

I don't think I would have even reached the heady heights of being allowed to scrub Elizabeth Bennet's petticoats. I think peeling spuds and blacking the kitchen grate like Ruby in Upstairs Downstairs would have been my lot in life.

WandaDoff Tue 18-Mar-14 08:38:26

Oh well, nobodys perfect Abra1d wink

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