Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mr. Darcy, Kissing, and Love Letters

I've been busy writing blog posts for austenauthors.net, and today, I'd like to share excerpts from three of my most popular blog posts with you. There's a link at the end of each excerpt, so you can read the rest of the post if you wish.
So Darcy Thinks He Can Dance
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man who refuses to dance must lack a suitable partner. This could have indeed been the case with Mr. Darcy. Ever since he started toddling on his little legs, his parents had schooled him in dance techniques. By the time he was ten, he could jig as exuberantly as Michael Flatley and execute a turn as gracefully as Baryshnikov. During his travels, he took pains to learn the style of dance unique to each region—he learned the waltz in Vienna, the flamenco in Spain, the ballet in Italy. To these basic techniques, he added personal touches. Before anyone had ever heard of jazz hands, Darcy had developed his own form of this technique. His acquaintances might have called him a man before his time—the John Travolta of the Regency Era—if only he had danced in public.
The truth was, though, that he longed to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, or any other fine lady if he could simply get up his courage. What, then, caused his hesitation? Why did he hide his talent? Read more here.
Kissing in Jane Austen's Books
This month, I undertook a serious study of kissing in Jane Austen’s books. Though I’ve read all her books multiple times, I was surprised at what I discovered. The kisses aren’t at all the same as in the movies.  For example, I might ask, “Who gets to kiss Elizabeth Bennet at the end of Pride and Prejudice?” Most people would respond, “Mister Darcy.” Only a few would give the correct answer: “Captain Wickham.” After he marries Lydia and comes to visit the Bennet house, Elizabeth allows Wickham to kiss her hand (Yuck!) Mister Darcy receives no such privilege.
Here’s another question: Who gets to kiss Elinor’s hand in Sense and Sensibility? You might be surprised—as I was—to learn that it is Colonel Brandon. He kisses Elinor’s hand in gratitude after she listens to the story of his past love.
I’m not kidding! It’s almost like Jane Austen was playing Spin-the-Bottle with her characters. Read more here.
How to Write a Love Letter Like Captain Wentworth 
Most of you probably have a favorite Jane Austen novel. What about a favorite page? Mine is page 223 of Persuasion, otherwise known as Captain Wentworth’s love letter.
If you’ve never read Persuasion, stop right now and get a copy. If you have, go ahead and sigh with me as I quote:  “I can no longer listen in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.”
Wouldn’t you love to receive a letter like that? Or better yet, write a letter like that for someone you love? Everybody loves a love letter. It’s the perfect recession-proof Valentine’s gift. It’s also a great way to rekindle a relationship that’s gone a little flat. Read Captain Wentworth's tips here.