Becoming Something, but not quite Jane

Joweddch
Jo here. I swapped a day with Edith, so it’s been almost a whole month.

Becoming Jane.
Becjane

I hope some of you have seen this movie by now. Overall, I liked a lot about it, but I have some quibbles and one really messed up the movie. (There is a book, Becoming Jane, which I haven’t read yet. It escaped my radar until now.)

First, what didn’t bother me – that Jane fell crazily in love with Tom Lefroy. I’ve taken this for granted since I first learned enough about Jane Austen to discover it. Reading some of the commentaries around the web has given me a greater understanding of why some people are just never going to “get” romance.

First we have the ones, almost entirely women, who imply that Jane having fallen crazily in love at 20 with anyone would somehow lessen her as an iconic female author. This is like saying that her having all four limbs in working order lessens her. Young people fall in love. That’s what biology and biochemistry designed them for. (I think this is a very creepy picture — talk about child bride and groom! — but you get the idea.)Cherubwedd

If she’d never done so, I’d really wonder about her. (In fact, I’d be certain it was in the letters Cassandra – damn her – burned after Jane’s death.)

Then we have the people, mostly men, who point to the few bits of Jane’s writings on the subject that still survive and say the flippant or ironic tone means it wasn’t anything important. What universe do they live in? First, we have those burned letters, presumably including some that Jane had treasured. Then we have Jane herself. Some people gush out every emotion without any guards at all; others protect themselves with a bit of a joke and a flippant tone. This doesn’t really matter to me, so if it doesn’t happen, I won’t be hurt, and especially I won’t be an object of pity. To me, that’s Jane Austen. It’s also Lizzie Bennet. I do believe that Pride and Prejudice was Jane’s cathartic version of her unhappiness, but this time ending in triumph.

What do you think about that? Would you rather Jane had been above such things?

If we accept that Jane wasn’t a gusher and was clever enough to try to protect herself, what we have is powerful, IMO.

On January 9th, 1796, Jane writes to Cassandra for her birthday. She opens with, “In the first place I hope you will live twenty-three years longer. Mr. Tom Lefroy’s birthday was yesterday, so that you are very near of an age.” It is a powerful characteristic of people in love that they see everything in the context of the beloved.
(Read Why We Love, by Dr. Helen Fisher.)

Dance
A little later, she says, “You scold me so much in the nice long letter which I have this moment received from you, that I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved. Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together. I can expose myself however, only once more, because he leaves the country soon after next Friday, on which day we are to have a dance at Ashe after all. He is a very gentlemanlike, good-looking, pleasant young man, I assure you. But as to our having ever met, except at the three last balls, I cannot say much; for he is so excessively laughed at about me at Ashe, that he is ashamed of coming to Steventon, and ran away when we called on Mrs. Lefroy a few days ago.

Here we see that she’s already said things about Tom and been scolded by Cassandra. They are gossiped about, They probably have been meeting in between the three balls.

A little later in the same letter, she can’t resist mentioning him again. “I wish Charles had been at Manydown, because he would have given you some description of my friend, and I think you must be impatient to hear something about him.

Then a little later, “After I had written the above, we received a visit from Mr. Tom Lefroy and his cousin George. The latter is really very well-behaved now; and as for the other, he has but one fault, which time will, I trust, entirely remove — it is that his morning coat is a great deal too light. He is a very great admirer of Tom Jones, and therefore wears the same coloured clothes, I imagine, which he did when he was wounded.
Scan_2a_miniature_of_tom_lefroy

This letter is the core of the evidence about Tom Lefroy and I have to wonder if it simply escaped Cassandra’s notice as she got rid of anything she thought might lessen her sister’s repulation.

On the 16th Jane writes, “Our party to Ashe to-morrow night will consist of Edward Cooper, James (for a ball is nothing without him), Buller, who is now staying with us, and I. I look forward with great impatience to it, as I rather expect to receive an offer from my friend in the course of the evening. I shall refuse him, however, unless he promises to give away his white coat.

That sounds flippant, yes, but to me it’s wearing her heart on her sleeve. Whatever’s been going on, she really feels it’s going to happen. Later in the letter, she writes, “Tell Mary that I make over Mr. Heartley and all his estate to her for her sole use and benefit in future, and not only him, but all my other admirers into the bargain wherever she can find them, even the kiss which C. Powlett wanted to give me, as I mean to confine myself in future to Mr. Tom Lefroy, for whom I don’t care sixpence. Assure her also, as a last and indubitable proof of Warren’s indifference to me, that he actually drew that gentleman’s picture for me, and delivered it to me without a sigh.” (Where did that picture go? Did Jane treasure it all her life, or was she wise enough to destroy it?)

But then Jane puts a postscript. “Friday. — At length the day is come on which I am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, and when you receive this it will be over. My tears flow as I write at the melancholy idea.

To me, it’s strange that she added that to a letter so full of revealing hopes. It could be evidence that it was all just idle flirtation. After all, she could have destroyed the former and rewritten the innocuous parts. However, as it’s clear that Jane did write some revealing things to her sister, I think she needed to get the letter off and simply wrote the truth because to leave the letter as is would have opened her to more problems.

Tom, of course, had no money of his own and was expected to marry someone who brought money. It seems his family, alarmed by the situation, got him out of Jane’s orbit. All kinds of drama might hide behind what we know, but it’s probable that they did have a practical farewell conversation and then put a brave face on things.

There’s no evidence, by the way, that Tom was wild. Again, I wonder why that was thought necessary. But then, I never “got” the wet shirt scene in the TV Pride and Prejudice. Getting beaten up by a pugilist is even less sexy, IMO. Article about Tom Lefroy.

So there we have what to me are the fragments of a delirious romance that came to nothing because of social practicalities and above all, money. Money, of course, becomes the main theme of Jane Austen’s work. I wrote an article about in in the book(Read Flirting With Pride and Prejudice.) It’s key to Pride and Prejudice and it’s important that in that novel, Jane sweeps away the problem by making Mr. Darcy rich. The modern, unrealistic tendency would be to have Lizzie fall in love with a penniless man like Tom Lefroy, for their families to try to part them for their own good, but for them to believe in love and marry anyway.

Jane was a realist and knew that would be disastrous. Jane’s life was affected by her father’s lack of money, and not just in not being able to marry Tom. She is thrilled when she begins to earn some money from her writing, clearly seeing it as security and an opening door to a richer life.

Evidence was everywhere of the miseries of povrty, and she writes something about love in a cottage not being at all romantic. Love without money was scrimping and saving in damp, draughty, unhealthy places where young children died, and the survivors would have no help in getting on in life. At best it was depending on the kindness of others. Making one’s own way without money or patronage was extremely difficult and took a long time. Tom Fowles, Cassandra’s fiancé, went to the West Indies to get enough money for them to marry on and died of disease there.

(You can see I don’t have much liking for historical romances that send a couple out into the world without adequate money or the obvious means of getting it. Wealth doesn’t solve everything, but it does avoid some basic hardships. What about you? Can you push aside period realities to believe that it’ll all work out anyway?)

So, to the movie.
Official movie site This site is a bit slow because it’s high tech.

Another, simpler site.

I liked the period feel of it, including the mish-mash of costumes. The turn of the century was a time of transition from Georgian to Regency, and generations tend to dress differently in any era. However, having Jane be the only one consistently in the high-waisted Regency style was one of those irritating visual markers Hollywood is fond on. (Like the heroine wearing the odd, modern hats in The Knight’s Tale.)

Blending Pride and Prejudice with Jane’s life was clever, but I was uneasy with what it did to Mr. and Mrs. Austen, especially the latter. Jane’s mother came from an aristocratic family, was clever, witty, and well-read, and a combination of sickly and a hypochondriac. I think the difference was sufficiently far from the truth to distort the story.

It irritated me that Tom Lefroy was shown introducing Jane to Tom Jones when her family was very well read and that was a book they did read together. She was made less educated and more naïve than she was, to what purpose?

Jacportr
And that brings me to the big problem, the one that spoiled the movie for me. The wrong actress. Jane Austen was not beautiful. This is a touched up for clarity version of the original sketch by Cassandra. She’s not only ordinary in appearance, her folded arms and expression suggest a no-nonsense woman of strong opinions. Folded arms were not ladylike, which is why they were altered for the more common image.
Annamm_2

By using a beautiful actress, they destroyed the real, powerful story. Jane wasn’t what Regency speak calls an “antidote” – a female whose looks repel. She is sometimes described as pretty, and she had fine eyes – like Lizzie. But she was ordinary in appearance. She was clever, lively, and vivacious, and when young loved balls, clothes, and any excitement that came her way. People who met her were attracted to her for herself, not for beauty.Anna Maxwell Martin, who played Cassandra, would have been a much better choice. What do you think?

The true story is that delicious classic of romantic fiction – one that’s played out in real life all the time – of the woman of ordinary appearance who captures the heart of the handsome, dashing young man because of who she is, not what she looks like. Wouldn’t that have been a transcendently better story to tell? Especially as it’s the true one.Llfront

(Next April, two of my trad Regencies will be reissued in trade paperback format, and obviously we’re hoping to sneak them up on unwary Jane Austen fans.*G*)

Comments? Did you like the movie? Would you have liked anything done differently?

Do you like the “ordinary woman gets the dishy guy” story? If so, what are some of your favourites?

Jo 🙂

145 thoughts on “Becoming Something, but not quite Jane”

  1. “First we have the ones, almost entirely women, who imply that Jane having fallen crazily in love at 20 with anyone would somehow lessen her as an iconic female author.”
    In answer to the question “Would you rather Jane had been above such things?” I’d answer that being “above” falling in love would
    (a) be entirely outwith my own personal experience, so I don’t know what it would be like for a person not to have experienced it. Nor do I think that 20 is too young for someone to experience “real” love, which is what some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere seem to imply. By the time I was 20 I’d met and fallen in love with the man I was going to marry (and am still married to). It’s not too young for the experience to have a long-lasting, deeply felt effect.
    (b) while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that having been in love is a pre-requisite for being a great author, it is true that a lot of great literature is about love, and falling in love gives one a much better understanding of a lot of literature. For example, when we studied Romeo and Juliet at high school, I’d been in love so the feelings described made sense to me (even if I wouldn’t have chosen to behave as Romeo and Juliet did). Someone else in the same class told me later that he hadn’t really appreciated the play because at that point he had never been in love.
    Possibly an author could write about being in love without having been in love themselves with either a real or a fictional person, but I think it would be tricky to do.
    I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.

    Reply
  2. “First we have the ones, almost entirely women, who imply that Jane having fallen crazily in love at 20 with anyone would somehow lessen her as an iconic female author.”
    In answer to the question “Would you rather Jane had been above such things?” I’d answer that being “above” falling in love would
    (a) be entirely outwith my own personal experience, so I don’t know what it would be like for a person not to have experienced it. Nor do I think that 20 is too young for someone to experience “real” love, which is what some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere seem to imply. By the time I was 20 I’d met and fallen in love with the man I was going to marry (and am still married to). It’s not too young for the experience to have a long-lasting, deeply felt effect.
    (b) while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that having been in love is a pre-requisite for being a great author, it is true that a lot of great literature is about love, and falling in love gives one a much better understanding of a lot of literature. For example, when we studied Romeo and Juliet at high school, I’d been in love so the feelings described made sense to me (even if I wouldn’t have chosen to behave as Romeo and Juliet did). Someone else in the same class told me later that he hadn’t really appreciated the play because at that point he had never been in love.
    Possibly an author could write about being in love without having been in love themselves with either a real or a fictional person, but I think it would be tricky to do.
    I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.

    Reply
  3. “First we have the ones, almost entirely women, who imply that Jane having fallen crazily in love at 20 with anyone would somehow lessen her as an iconic female author.”
    In answer to the question “Would you rather Jane had been above such things?” I’d answer that being “above” falling in love would
    (a) be entirely outwith my own personal experience, so I don’t know what it would be like for a person not to have experienced it. Nor do I think that 20 is too young for someone to experience “real” love, which is what some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere seem to imply. By the time I was 20 I’d met and fallen in love with the man I was going to marry (and am still married to). It’s not too young for the experience to have a long-lasting, deeply felt effect.
    (b) while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that having been in love is a pre-requisite for being a great author, it is true that a lot of great literature is about love, and falling in love gives one a much better understanding of a lot of literature. For example, when we studied Romeo and Juliet at high school, I’d been in love so the feelings described made sense to me (even if I wouldn’t have chosen to behave as Romeo and Juliet did). Someone else in the same class told me later that he hadn’t really appreciated the play because at that point he had never been in love.
    Possibly an author could write about being in love without having been in love themselves with either a real or a fictional person, but I think it would be tricky to do.
    I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.

    Reply
  4. “First we have the ones, almost entirely women, who imply that Jane having fallen crazily in love at 20 with anyone would somehow lessen her as an iconic female author.”
    In answer to the question “Would you rather Jane had been above such things?” I’d answer that being “above” falling in love would
    (a) be entirely outwith my own personal experience, so I don’t know what it would be like for a person not to have experienced it. Nor do I think that 20 is too young for someone to experience “real” love, which is what some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere seem to imply. By the time I was 20 I’d met and fallen in love with the man I was going to marry (and am still married to). It’s not too young for the experience to have a long-lasting, deeply felt effect.
    (b) while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that having been in love is a pre-requisite for being a great author, it is true that a lot of great literature is about love, and falling in love gives one a much better understanding of a lot of literature. For example, when we studied Romeo and Juliet at high school, I’d been in love so the feelings described made sense to me (even if I wouldn’t have chosen to behave as Romeo and Juliet did). Someone else in the same class told me later that he hadn’t really appreciated the play because at that point he had never been in love.
    Possibly an author could write about being in love without having been in love themselves with either a real or a fictional person, but I think it would be tricky to do.
    I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.

    Reply
  5. “First we have the ones, almost entirely women, who imply that Jane having fallen crazily in love at 20 with anyone would somehow lessen her as an iconic female author.”
    In answer to the question “Would you rather Jane had been above such things?” I’d answer that being “above” falling in love would
    (a) be entirely outwith my own personal experience, so I don’t know what it would be like for a person not to have experienced it. Nor do I think that 20 is too young for someone to experience “real” love, which is what some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere seem to imply. By the time I was 20 I’d met and fallen in love with the man I was going to marry (and am still married to). It’s not too young for the experience to have a long-lasting, deeply felt effect.
    (b) while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that having been in love is a pre-requisite for being a great author, it is true that a lot of great literature is about love, and falling in love gives one a much better understanding of a lot of literature. For example, when we studied Romeo and Juliet at high school, I’d been in love so the feelings described made sense to me (even if I wouldn’t have chosen to behave as Romeo and Juliet did). Someone else in the same class told me later that he hadn’t really appreciated the play because at that point he had never been in love.
    Possibly an author could write about being in love without having been in love themselves with either a real or a fictional person, but I think it would be tricky to do.
    I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.

    Reply
  6. “I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.”
    More than a little, Laura. Great comments.
    Jo

    Reply
  7. “I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.”
    More than a little, Laura. Great comments.
    Jo

    Reply
  8. “I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.”
    More than a little, Laura. Great comments.
    Jo

    Reply
  9. “I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.”
    More than a little, Laura. Great comments.
    Jo

    Reply
  10. “I’ve also seen some people comment that it’s interesting that Austen wrote so well about love when she hadn’t been married herself. That seems a little illogical, since obviously you don’t need to be married to fall in love.”
    More than a little, Laura. Great comments.
    Jo

    Reply
  11. My biggest problem was the idea that she would have agreed to run away with him. As you said, Jane was very practical. Since she was very good friends with Tom Lefroy’s aunt, she would have known that it was imperative for him to marry money. I found the scene where she reads the letter she took from his pocket to be a bit silly. And I agree about the costumes. Only Jane and her sister were wearing regency dress. And I hated the epilogue as well.

    Reply
  12. My biggest problem was the idea that she would have agreed to run away with him. As you said, Jane was very practical. Since she was very good friends with Tom Lefroy’s aunt, she would have known that it was imperative for him to marry money. I found the scene where she reads the letter she took from his pocket to be a bit silly. And I agree about the costumes. Only Jane and her sister were wearing regency dress. And I hated the epilogue as well.

    Reply
  13. My biggest problem was the idea that she would have agreed to run away with him. As you said, Jane was very practical. Since she was very good friends with Tom Lefroy’s aunt, she would have known that it was imperative for him to marry money. I found the scene where she reads the letter she took from his pocket to be a bit silly. And I agree about the costumes. Only Jane and her sister were wearing regency dress. And I hated the epilogue as well.

    Reply
  14. My biggest problem was the idea that she would have agreed to run away with him. As you said, Jane was very practical. Since she was very good friends with Tom Lefroy’s aunt, she would have known that it was imperative for him to marry money. I found the scene where she reads the letter she took from his pocket to be a bit silly. And I agree about the costumes. Only Jane and her sister were wearing regency dress. And I hated the epilogue as well.

    Reply
  15. My biggest problem was the idea that she would have agreed to run away with him. As you said, Jane was very practical. Since she was very good friends with Tom Lefroy’s aunt, she would have known that it was imperative for him to marry money. I found the scene where she reads the letter she took from his pocket to be a bit silly. And I agree about the costumes. Only Jane and her sister were wearing regency dress. And I hated the epilogue as well.

    Reply
  16. You bring out some very interesting comments and observations. I’m doing the reverse of what you did…I am reading Becoming Jane first…and will be seeing the movie in several weeks from now.
    About what Jane looked like…we can only assume from what we know that she was not a beauty, and I do agree that the movie should have relected that. There can be beauty in a person’s countenance without that person being a classic beauty. If Jane was a real, classic beauty (and we really will never know) I don’t think she would have produced the beautiful and thoughtful work she did. I think she was tormented by the love she lost…haunted by it. Evidently something went quite wrong and who else could she share it with but Cassandra? Whether her tears were from a true broken heart or a flirtation that was put to an end, it must have been painful for her.
    The author of the book becoming Jane has been called an expert on her. I don’t think anyone really can be, but I can tell you his narration of the facts and the unfolding of her life (in the book) is simply fascinating. Is he an expert? He writes with confidence and I tend to want to believe much of what he says. Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.
    It is a shame that Cassandra got rid of her letters…but, in some way, perhaps that is why we are so curious about her. If we knew the truth, would we really understand her better? Would we appreciate her work more? If you read between the lines of her work, she was consumed with the security that she didn’t have and felt should be hers…and consumed by marriage itself. My gut feeling is that she wanted to be married very badly. We know she was proposed to…but..as in the books she wrote… their was a certain way in which she expected that love and marriage to happen, and it did not happen to her. Maybe that is a curse for her…maybe it is a blessing for us.

    Reply
  17. You bring out some very interesting comments and observations. I’m doing the reverse of what you did…I am reading Becoming Jane first…and will be seeing the movie in several weeks from now.
    About what Jane looked like…we can only assume from what we know that she was not a beauty, and I do agree that the movie should have relected that. There can be beauty in a person’s countenance without that person being a classic beauty. If Jane was a real, classic beauty (and we really will never know) I don’t think she would have produced the beautiful and thoughtful work she did. I think she was tormented by the love she lost…haunted by it. Evidently something went quite wrong and who else could she share it with but Cassandra? Whether her tears were from a true broken heart or a flirtation that was put to an end, it must have been painful for her.
    The author of the book becoming Jane has been called an expert on her. I don’t think anyone really can be, but I can tell you his narration of the facts and the unfolding of her life (in the book) is simply fascinating. Is he an expert? He writes with confidence and I tend to want to believe much of what he says. Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.
    It is a shame that Cassandra got rid of her letters…but, in some way, perhaps that is why we are so curious about her. If we knew the truth, would we really understand her better? Would we appreciate her work more? If you read between the lines of her work, she was consumed with the security that she didn’t have and felt should be hers…and consumed by marriage itself. My gut feeling is that she wanted to be married very badly. We know she was proposed to…but..as in the books she wrote… their was a certain way in which she expected that love and marriage to happen, and it did not happen to her. Maybe that is a curse for her…maybe it is a blessing for us.

    Reply
  18. You bring out some very interesting comments and observations. I’m doing the reverse of what you did…I am reading Becoming Jane first…and will be seeing the movie in several weeks from now.
    About what Jane looked like…we can only assume from what we know that she was not a beauty, and I do agree that the movie should have relected that. There can be beauty in a person’s countenance without that person being a classic beauty. If Jane was a real, classic beauty (and we really will never know) I don’t think she would have produced the beautiful and thoughtful work she did. I think she was tormented by the love she lost…haunted by it. Evidently something went quite wrong and who else could she share it with but Cassandra? Whether her tears were from a true broken heart or a flirtation that was put to an end, it must have been painful for her.
    The author of the book becoming Jane has been called an expert on her. I don’t think anyone really can be, but I can tell you his narration of the facts and the unfolding of her life (in the book) is simply fascinating. Is he an expert? He writes with confidence and I tend to want to believe much of what he says. Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.
    It is a shame that Cassandra got rid of her letters…but, in some way, perhaps that is why we are so curious about her. If we knew the truth, would we really understand her better? Would we appreciate her work more? If you read between the lines of her work, she was consumed with the security that she didn’t have and felt should be hers…and consumed by marriage itself. My gut feeling is that she wanted to be married very badly. We know she was proposed to…but..as in the books she wrote… their was a certain way in which she expected that love and marriage to happen, and it did not happen to her. Maybe that is a curse for her…maybe it is a blessing for us.

    Reply
  19. You bring out some very interesting comments and observations. I’m doing the reverse of what you did…I am reading Becoming Jane first…and will be seeing the movie in several weeks from now.
    About what Jane looked like…we can only assume from what we know that she was not a beauty, and I do agree that the movie should have relected that. There can be beauty in a person’s countenance without that person being a classic beauty. If Jane was a real, classic beauty (and we really will never know) I don’t think she would have produced the beautiful and thoughtful work she did. I think she was tormented by the love she lost…haunted by it. Evidently something went quite wrong and who else could she share it with but Cassandra? Whether her tears were from a true broken heart or a flirtation that was put to an end, it must have been painful for her.
    The author of the book becoming Jane has been called an expert on her. I don’t think anyone really can be, but I can tell you his narration of the facts and the unfolding of her life (in the book) is simply fascinating. Is he an expert? He writes with confidence and I tend to want to believe much of what he says. Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.
    It is a shame that Cassandra got rid of her letters…but, in some way, perhaps that is why we are so curious about her. If we knew the truth, would we really understand her better? Would we appreciate her work more? If you read between the lines of her work, she was consumed with the security that she didn’t have and felt should be hers…and consumed by marriage itself. My gut feeling is that she wanted to be married very badly. We know she was proposed to…but..as in the books she wrote… their was a certain way in which she expected that love and marriage to happen, and it did not happen to her. Maybe that is a curse for her…maybe it is a blessing for us.

    Reply
  20. You bring out some very interesting comments and observations. I’m doing the reverse of what you did…I am reading Becoming Jane first…and will be seeing the movie in several weeks from now.
    About what Jane looked like…we can only assume from what we know that she was not a beauty, and I do agree that the movie should have relected that. There can be beauty in a person’s countenance without that person being a classic beauty. If Jane was a real, classic beauty (and we really will never know) I don’t think she would have produced the beautiful and thoughtful work she did. I think she was tormented by the love she lost…haunted by it. Evidently something went quite wrong and who else could she share it with but Cassandra? Whether her tears were from a true broken heart or a flirtation that was put to an end, it must have been painful for her.
    The author of the book becoming Jane has been called an expert on her. I don’t think anyone really can be, but I can tell you his narration of the facts and the unfolding of her life (in the book) is simply fascinating. Is he an expert? He writes with confidence and I tend to want to believe much of what he says. Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.
    It is a shame that Cassandra got rid of her letters…but, in some way, perhaps that is why we are so curious about her. If we knew the truth, would we really understand her better? Would we appreciate her work more? If you read between the lines of her work, she was consumed with the security that she didn’t have and felt should be hers…and consumed by marriage itself. My gut feeling is that she wanted to be married very badly. We know she was proposed to…but..as in the books she wrote… their was a certain way in which she expected that love and marriage to happen, and it did not happen to her. Maybe that is a curse for her…maybe it is a blessing for us.

    Reply
  21. Being an ordinary-enough-looking woman myself, I’ve always loved the romances where someone of that ilk gets the dishy guy… through I realize there’s an inherent contradiction in wanting him not to care that she’s on the plain-ish side while triumphing in his love because of HIS looks. I have come to believe that the plain girls have a distinct advantage, as they will never have to wonder whether they’re just arm candy or not. I’ve known more than one beautiful girl who was truly fed up with being responded to merely on the basis of her appearance. I’d like to see a romance novel wherein BOTH the parties were a bit less than stunningly gorgeous!
    As far as Jane being realistic about the need for money, it rather looks as if in The Watsons she was going to plump for marriage between two relatively poor people; perhaps as she became ill her ideas underwent a change?

    Reply
  22. Being an ordinary-enough-looking woman myself, I’ve always loved the romances where someone of that ilk gets the dishy guy… through I realize there’s an inherent contradiction in wanting him not to care that she’s on the plain-ish side while triumphing in his love because of HIS looks. I have come to believe that the plain girls have a distinct advantage, as they will never have to wonder whether they’re just arm candy or not. I’ve known more than one beautiful girl who was truly fed up with being responded to merely on the basis of her appearance. I’d like to see a romance novel wherein BOTH the parties were a bit less than stunningly gorgeous!
    As far as Jane being realistic about the need for money, it rather looks as if in The Watsons she was going to plump for marriage between two relatively poor people; perhaps as she became ill her ideas underwent a change?

    Reply
  23. Being an ordinary-enough-looking woman myself, I’ve always loved the romances where someone of that ilk gets the dishy guy… through I realize there’s an inherent contradiction in wanting him not to care that she’s on the plain-ish side while triumphing in his love because of HIS looks. I have come to believe that the plain girls have a distinct advantage, as they will never have to wonder whether they’re just arm candy or not. I’ve known more than one beautiful girl who was truly fed up with being responded to merely on the basis of her appearance. I’d like to see a romance novel wherein BOTH the parties were a bit less than stunningly gorgeous!
    As far as Jane being realistic about the need for money, it rather looks as if in The Watsons she was going to plump for marriage between two relatively poor people; perhaps as she became ill her ideas underwent a change?

    Reply
  24. Being an ordinary-enough-looking woman myself, I’ve always loved the romances where someone of that ilk gets the dishy guy… through I realize there’s an inherent contradiction in wanting him not to care that she’s on the plain-ish side while triumphing in his love because of HIS looks. I have come to believe that the plain girls have a distinct advantage, as they will never have to wonder whether they’re just arm candy or not. I’ve known more than one beautiful girl who was truly fed up with being responded to merely on the basis of her appearance. I’d like to see a romance novel wherein BOTH the parties were a bit less than stunningly gorgeous!
    As far as Jane being realistic about the need for money, it rather looks as if in The Watsons she was going to plump for marriage between two relatively poor people; perhaps as she became ill her ideas underwent a change?

    Reply
  25. Being an ordinary-enough-looking woman myself, I’ve always loved the romances where someone of that ilk gets the dishy guy… through I realize there’s an inherent contradiction in wanting him not to care that she’s on the plain-ish side while triumphing in his love because of HIS looks. I have come to believe that the plain girls have a distinct advantage, as they will never have to wonder whether they’re just arm candy or not. I’ve known more than one beautiful girl who was truly fed up with being responded to merely on the basis of her appearance. I’d like to see a romance novel wherein BOTH the parties were a bit less than stunningly gorgeous!
    As far as Jane being realistic about the need for money, it rather looks as if in The Watsons she was going to plump for marriage between two relatively poor people; perhaps as she became ill her ideas underwent a change?

    Reply
  26. “Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.”
    That’s exactly what I read into her body language, Susan. Perhaps even resentful of the time when she could have been writing.
    It seems a strange quirk to me that Jane didn’t like to write with others around — unless they were always asking, “What’s happening now?” That would drive any writer scatty. LOL! A sketch of Jane writing would have been easy enough to do and interesting. Strange, too, that she didn’t sit reading, to herself or others, long enough to sketch.
    There is the one of the back of her, with her looking out at scenery. I think we can assume she was a very active person generally, and never sat still long enough for Cassandra to capture her.
    So many mysteries. Yes, that is part of the reason we’re fascinated by her.
    Jo

    Reply
  27. “Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.”
    That’s exactly what I read into her body language, Susan. Perhaps even resentful of the time when she could have been writing.
    It seems a strange quirk to me that Jane didn’t like to write with others around — unless they were always asking, “What’s happening now?” That would drive any writer scatty. LOL! A sketch of Jane writing would have been easy enough to do and interesting. Strange, too, that she didn’t sit reading, to herself or others, long enough to sketch.
    There is the one of the back of her, with her looking out at scenery. I think we can assume she was a very active person generally, and never sat still long enough for Cassandra to capture her.
    So many mysteries. Yes, that is part of the reason we’re fascinated by her.
    Jo

    Reply
  28. “Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.”
    That’s exactly what I read into her body language, Susan. Perhaps even resentful of the time when she could have been writing.
    It seems a strange quirk to me that Jane didn’t like to write with others around — unless they were always asking, “What’s happening now?” That would drive any writer scatty. LOL! A sketch of Jane writing would have been easy enough to do and interesting. Strange, too, that she didn’t sit reading, to herself or others, long enough to sketch.
    There is the one of the back of her, with her looking out at scenery. I think we can assume she was a very active person generally, and never sat still long enough for Cassandra to capture her.
    So many mysteries. Yes, that is part of the reason we’re fascinated by her.
    Jo

    Reply
  29. “Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.”
    That’s exactly what I read into her body language, Susan. Perhaps even resentful of the time when she could have been writing.
    It seems a strange quirk to me that Jane didn’t like to write with others around — unless they were always asking, “What’s happening now?” That would drive any writer scatty. LOL! A sketch of Jane writing would have been easy enough to do and interesting. Strange, too, that she didn’t sit reading, to herself or others, long enough to sketch.
    There is the one of the back of her, with her looking out at scenery. I think we can assume she was a very active person generally, and never sat still long enough for Cassandra to capture her.
    So many mysteries. Yes, that is part of the reason we’re fascinated by her.
    Jo

    Reply
  30. “Concerning the picture of her, with her arms folded…his opinion is that she abhored getting her picture drawn and did it only to appease Cassandra that one time…hence the arms folded protectively around her…she was a bit angry or put off as Cassandra sketched her–she didn’t like it. Is that true? Perhaps.”
    That’s exactly what I read into her body language, Susan. Perhaps even resentful of the time when she could have been writing.
    It seems a strange quirk to me that Jane didn’t like to write with others around — unless they were always asking, “What’s happening now?” That would drive any writer scatty. LOL! A sketch of Jane writing would have been easy enough to do and interesting. Strange, too, that she didn’t sit reading, to herself or others, long enough to sketch.
    There is the one of the back of her, with her looking out at scenery. I think we can assume she was a very active person generally, and never sat still long enough for Cassandra to capture her.
    So many mysteries. Yes, that is part of the reason we’re fascinated by her.
    Jo

    Reply
  31. I saw this movie yesterday afternoon so it is fresh in my mind. I’m not very good going from words on a page to visual images, so I love costume dramas where I can actually see the settings and costumes and coaches that appear in so many of my favorite books. OTOH, I’m not particularly bothered by Anne Hathaway’s beauty, as that’s just standard operating procedure for mainstream Hollywood (although my husband still snorts when he thinks of “Enigma”, an otherwise good movie which posits Kate Winslet as plain and dowdy). If they’d cast a more sultry or contemporary-looking actress, however, it wouldn’t have worked — Scarlett Johansson as Jane Austen would have been more than I could bear.
    The epilogue was the one thing in the movie that I thought was unnecessary, other than it was interesting to know that Lefroy had named his eldest daughter Jane. My sister pointed out that the last shot, of Jane folding her hands over her book, is quite telling in that she covers her left hand so that you (and Tom) can’t see that she isn’t wearing a wedding ring. I found that little bit of vanity poignant and true.
    The idea that Austen is somehow more or better if she’d never actually been in love is piffle. She’s such a knowing cartographer of both society and the human heart that whether her characters spring entirely from imagination or in part from Real Life people and experience does nothing to diminish them. Heavens, most of us have parents and siblings and have loved (whether lost or not), yet very few of us come close to Austen’s ability to make these come alive on the page.

    Reply
  32. I saw this movie yesterday afternoon so it is fresh in my mind. I’m not very good going from words on a page to visual images, so I love costume dramas where I can actually see the settings and costumes and coaches that appear in so many of my favorite books. OTOH, I’m not particularly bothered by Anne Hathaway’s beauty, as that’s just standard operating procedure for mainstream Hollywood (although my husband still snorts when he thinks of “Enigma”, an otherwise good movie which posits Kate Winslet as plain and dowdy). If they’d cast a more sultry or contemporary-looking actress, however, it wouldn’t have worked — Scarlett Johansson as Jane Austen would have been more than I could bear.
    The epilogue was the one thing in the movie that I thought was unnecessary, other than it was interesting to know that Lefroy had named his eldest daughter Jane. My sister pointed out that the last shot, of Jane folding her hands over her book, is quite telling in that she covers her left hand so that you (and Tom) can’t see that she isn’t wearing a wedding ring. I found that little bit of vanity poignant and true.
    The idea that Austen is somehow more or better if she’d never actually been in love is piffle. She’s such a knowing cartographer of both society and the human heart that whether her characters spring entirely from imagination or in part from Real Life people and experience does nothing to diminish them. Heavens, most of us have parents and siblings and have loved (whether lost or not), yet very few of us come close to Austen’s ability to make these come alive on the page.

    Reply
  33. I saw this movie yesterday afternoon so it is fresh in my mind. I’m not very good going from words on a page to visual images, so I love costume dramas where I can actually see the settings and costumes and coaches that appear in so many of my favorite books. OTOH, I’m not particularly bothered by Anne Hathaway’s beauty, as that’s just standard operating procedure for mainstream Hollywood (although my husband still snorts when he thinks of “Enigma”, an otherwise good movie which posits Kate Winslet as plain and dowdy). If they’d cast a more sultry or contemporary-looking actress, however, it wouldn’t have worked — Scarlett Johansson as Jane Austen would have been more than I could bear.
    The epilogue was the one thing in the movie that I thought was unnecessary, other than it was interesting to know that Lefroy had named his eldest daughter Jane. My sister pointed out that the last shot, of Jane folding her hands over her book, is quite telling in that she covers her left hand so that you (and Tom) can’t see that she isn’t wearing a wedding ring. I found that little bit of vanity poignant and true.
    The idea that Austen is somehow more or better if she’d never actually been in love is piffle. She’s such a knowing cartographer of both society and the human heart that whether her characters spring entirely from imagination or in part from Real Life people and experience does nothing to diminish them. Heavens, most of us have parents and siblings and have loved (whether lost or not), yet very few of us come close to Austen’s ability to make these come alive on the page.

    Reply
  34. I saw this movie yesterday afternoon so it is fresh in my mind. I’m not very good going from words on a page to visual images, so I love costume dramas where I can actually see the settings and costumes and coaches that appear in so many of my favorite books. OTOH, I’m not particularly bothered by Anne Hathaway’s beauty, as that’s just standard operating procedure for mainstream Hollywood (although my husband still snorts when he thinks of “Enigma”, an otherwise good movie which posits Kate Winslet as plain and dowdy). If they’d cast a more sultry or contemporary-looking actress, however, it wouldn’t have worked — Scarlett Johansson as Jane Austen would have been more than I could bear.
    The epilogue was the one thing in the movie that I thought was unnecessary, other than it was interesting to know that Lefroy had named his eldest daughter Jane. My sister pointed out that the last shot, of Jane folding her hands over her book, is quite telling in that she covers her left hand so that you (and Tom) can’t see that she isn’t wearing a wedding ring. I found that little bit of vanity poignant and true.
    The idea that Austen is somehow more or better if she’d never actually been in love is piffle. She’s such a knowing cartographer of both society and the human heart that whether her characters spring entirely from imagination or in part from Real Life people and experience does nothing to diminish them. Heavens, most of us have parents and siblings and have loved (whether lost or not), yet very few of us come close to Austen’s ability to make these come alive on the page.

    Reply
  35. I saw this movie yesterday afternoon so it is fresh in my mind. I’m not very good going from words on a page to visual images, so I love costume dramas where I can actually see the settings and costumes and coaches that appear in so many of my favorite books. OTOH, I’m not particularly bothered by Anne Hathaway’s beauty, as that’s just standard operating procedure for mainstream Hollywood (although my husband still snorts when he thinks of “Enigma”, an otherwise good movie which posits Kate Winslet as plain and dowdy). If they’d cast a more sultry or contemporary-looking actress, however, it wouldn’t have worked — Scarlett Johansson as Jane Austen would have been more than I could bear.
    The epilogue was the one thing in the movie that I thought was unnecessary, other than it was interesting to know that Lefroy had named his eldest daughter Jane. My sister pointed out that the last shot, of Jane folding her hands over her book, is quite telling in that she covers her left hand so that you (and Tom) can’t see that she isn’t wearing a wedding ring. I found that little bit of vanity poignant and true.
    The idea that Austen is somehow more or better if she’d never actually been in love is piffle. She’s such a knowing cartographer of both society and the human heart that whether her characters spring entirely from imagination or in part from Real Life people and experience does nothing to diminish them. Heavens, most of us have parents and siblings and have loved (whether lost or not), yet very few of us come close to Austen’s ability to make these come alive on the page.

    Reply
  36. I adore stories where the hero is drop dead gorgeous and he falls for a Plain Jane. It shows a depth of character in the hero that goes beyond physical attraction, and if he’s in love with her mind, that’s just so cool! While physical attraction is desirable, I find intelligence sexy, too!
    I know I’ve read dozens of books with a plain heroine and a handsome hero (and vice versa), but the only one that comes readily to mind is DANCING WITH CLARA by Mary Balogh. Oh, brain flash! Another one is LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Wench Loretta. Ah, and FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale. There. I’m exhausted. My brain needs a rest.
    I find it interesting that despite how little we know of the real Jane Austen, people are still fascinated by her 200 years later. I wonder how many books have been written about her? I think she would laugh–and then be a little horrified–at how intensely her private life has been scrutinized.
    Jo, what a great cover for LOVERS AND LADIES! Very classy.

    Reply
  37. I adore stories where the hero is drop dead gorgeous and he falls for a Plain Jane. It shows a depth of character in the hero that goes beyond physical attraction, and if he’s in love with her mind, that’s just so cool! While physical attraction is desirable, I find intelligence sexy, too!
    I know I’ve read dozens of books with a plain heroine and a handsome hero (and vice versa), but the only one that comes readily to mind is DANCING WITH CLARA by Mary Balogh. Oh, brain flash! Another one is LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Wench Loretta. Ah, and FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale. There. I’m exhausted. My brain needs a rest.
    I find it interesting that despite how little we know of the real Jane Austen, people are still fascinated by her 200 years later. I wonder how many books have been written about her? I think she would laugh–and then be a little horrified–at how intensely her private life has been scrutinized.
    Jo, what a great cover for LOVERS AND LADIES! Very classy.

    Reply
  38. I adore stories where the hero is drop dead gorgeous and he falls for a Plain Jane. It shows a depth of character in the hero that goes beyond physical attraction, and if he’s in love with her mind, that’s just so cool! While physical attraction is desirable, I find intelligence sexy, too!
    I know I’ve read dozens of books with a plain heroine and a handsome hero (and vice versa), but the only one that comes readily to mind is DANCING WITH CLARA by Mary Balogh. Oh, brain flash! Another one is LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Wench Loretta. Ah, and FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale. There. I’m exhausted. My brain needs a rest.
    I find it interesting that despite how little we know of the real Jane Austen, people are still fascinated by her 200 years later. I wonder how many books have been written about her? I think she would laugh–and then be a little horrified–at how intensely her private life has been scrutinized.
    Jo, what a great cover for LOVERS AND LADIES! Very classy.

    Reply
  39. I adore stories where the hero is drop dead gorgeous and he falls for a Plain Jane. It shows a depth of character in the hero that goes beyond physical attraction, and if he’s in love with her mind, that’s just so cool! While physical attraction is desirable, I find intelligence sexy, too!
    I know I’ve read dozens of books with a plain heroine and a handsome hero (and vice versa), but the only one that comes readily to mind is DANCING WITH CLARA by Mary Balogh. Oh, brain flash! Another one is LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Wench Loretta. Ah, and FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale. There. I’m exhausted. My brain needs a rest.
    I find it interesting that despite how little we know of the real Jane Austen, people are still fascinated by her 200 years later. I wonder how many books have been written about her? I think she would laugh–and then be a little horrified–at how intensely her private life has been scrutinized.
    Jo, what a great cover for LOVERS AND LADIES! Very classy.

    Reply
  40. I adore stories where the hero is drop dead gorgeous and he falls for a Plain Jane. It shows a depth of character in the hero that goes beyond physical attraction, and if he’s in love with her mind, that’s just so cool! While physical attraction is desirable, I find intelligence sexy, too!
    I know I’ve read dozens of books with a plain heroine and a handsome hero (and vice versa), but the only one that comes readily to mind is DANCING WITH CLARA by Mary Balogh. Oh, brain flash! Another one is LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Wench Loretta. Ah, and FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale. There. I’m exhausted. My brain needs a rest.
    I find it interesting that despite how little we know of the real Jane Austen, people are still fascinated by her 200 years later. I wonder how many books have been written about her? I think she would laugh–and then be a little horrified–at how intensely her private life has been scrutinized.
    Jo, what a great cover for LOVERS AND LADIES! Very classy.

    Reply
  41. Sherrie does the ‘Plain Jane’ expression just a play on words or does it actually come from the fact that Jane A. WAS a plain woman?
    As Elaine mentionned above, I too am not what you could term beautiful… Although I have nice enough features!
    I met and married a wonderful man (whom I think is beautiful). His beauty comes from the care and kindness he shows all around him.
    But when I first started bringing him around my family, one of my sisters said something that really offended me. She alluded that my attraction to him must surely stem from physical need as she didn’t think he was all that good looking! Of all the nasty comments… It’s a wonder I still talk to her fifteen years later!

    Reply
  42. Sherrie does the ‘Plain Jane’ expression just a play on words or does it actually come from the fact that Jane A. WAS a plain woman?
    As Elaine mentionned above, I too am not what you could term beautiful… Although I have nice enough features!
    I met and married a wonderful man (whom I think is beautiful). His beauty comes from the care and kindness he shows all around him.
    But when I first started bringing him around my family, one of my sisters said something that really offended me. She alluded that my attraction to him must surely stem from physical need as she didn’t think he was all that good looking! Of all the nasty comments… It’s a wonder I still talk to her fifteen years later!

    Reply
  43. Sherrie does the ‘Plain Jane’ expression just a play on words or does it actually come from the fact that Jane A. WAS a plain woman?
    As Elaine mentionned above, I too am not what you could term beautiful… Although I have nice enough features!
    I met and married a wonderful man (whom I think is beautiful). His beauty comes from the care and kindness he shows all around him.
    But when I first started bringing him around my family, one of my sisters said something that really offended me. She alluded that my attraction to him must surely stem from physical need as she didn’t think he was all that good looking! Of all the nasty comments… It’s a wonder I still talk to her fifteen years later!

    Reply
  44. Sherrie does the ‘Plain Jane’ expression just a play on words or does it actually come from the fact that Jane A. WAS a plain woman?
    As Elaine mentionned above, I too am not what you could term beautiful… Although I have nice enough features!
    I met and married a wonderful man (whom I think is beautiful). His beauty comes from the care and kindness he shows all around him.
    But when I first started bringing him around my family, one of my sisters said something that really offended me. She alluded that my attraction to him must surely stem from physical need as she didn’t think he was all that good looking! Of all the nasty comments… It’s a wonder I still talk to her fifteen years later!

    Reply
  45. Sherrie does the ‘Plain Jane’ expression just a play on words or does it actually come from the fact that Jane A. WAS a plain woman?
    As Elaine mentionned above, I too am not what you could term beautiful… Although I have nice enough features!
    I met and married a wonderful man (whom I think is beautiful). His beauty comes from the care and kindness he shows all around him.
    But when I first started bringing him around my family, one of my sisters said something that really offended me. She alluded that my attraction to him must surely stem from physical need as she didn’t think he was all that good looking! Of all the nasty comments… It’s a wonder I still talk to her fifteen years later!

    Reply
  46. What a strange comment, Jaclyne!Is she often jealous of you.*G*
    Yes, I thought the elopement out of character and contrived, but I can see why they wanted some action there. A discussion and sad parting wouldn’t have worked as well, I don’t think.
    But even in the movie Jane knew the situation, and as you say, Susan,in reality, Mrs. Lefroy would certainly have told her, so it all didn’t hang together no matter which way we look at it.
    And really, it doesn’t reflect well on him that he was willing to send his family to the workhouse for love.
    This is why I generally like my characters to have solid finances. At least that’s one detail out of the way.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  47. What a strange comment, Jaclyne!Is she often jealous of you.*G*
    Yes, I thought the elopement out of character and contrived, but I can see why they wanted some action there. A discussion and sad parting wouldn’t have worked as well, I don’t think.
    But even in the movie Jane knew the situation, and as you say, Susan,in reality, Mrs. Lefroy would certainly have told her, so it all didn’t hang together no matter which way we look at it.
    And really, it doesn’t reflect well on him that he was willing to send his family to the workhouse for love.
    This is why I generally like my characters to have solid finances. At least that’s one detail out of the way.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  48. What a strange comment, Jaclyne!Is she often jealous of you.*G*
    Yes, I thought the elopement out of character and contrived, but I can see why they wanted some action there. A discussion and sad parting wouldn’t have worked as well, I don’t think.
    But even in the movie Jane knew the situation, and as you say, Susan,in reality, Mrs. Lefroy would certainly have told her, so it all didn’t hang together no matter which way we look at it.
    And really, it doesn’t reflect well on him that he was willing to send his family to the workhouse for love.
    This is why I generally like my characters to have solid finances. At least that’s one detail out of the way.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  49. What a strange comment, Jaclyne!Is she often jealous of you.*G*
    Yes, I thought the elopement out of character and contrived, but I can see why they wanted some action there. A discussion and sad parting wouldn’t have worked as well, I don’t think.
    But even in the movie Jane knew the situation, and as you say, Susan,in reality, Mrs. Lefroy would certainly have told her, so it all didn’t hang together no matter which way we look at it.
    And really, it doesn’t reflect well on him that he was willing to send his family to the workhouse for love.
    This is why I generally like my characters to have solid finances. At least that’s one detail out of the way.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  50. What a strange comment, Jaclyne!Is she often jealous of you.*G*
    Yes, I thought the elopement out of character and contrived, but I can see why they wanted some action there. A discussion and sad parting wouldn’t have worked as well, I don’t think.
    But even in the movie Jane knew the situation, and as you say, Susan,in reality, Mrs. Lefroy would certainly have told her, so it all didn’t hang together no matter which way we look at it.
    And really, it doesn’t reflect well on him that he was willing to send his family to the workhouse for love.
    This is why I generally like my characters to have solid finances. At least that’s one detail out of the way.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  51. Jo, one of my all time favorite – dishy guy, ordinary gal – stories, is your “Forbidden Magic”. Minerva (heroine)thinks Sax (hero) is insane – and while he may find her a little plain, he finds her embroidered underwear delightful! Its just a clue that we are none of us all that we appear to be on the surface!

    Reply
  52. Jo, one of my all time favorite – dishy guy, ordinary gal – stories, is your “Forbidden Magic”. Minerva (heroine)thinks Sax (hero) is insane – and while he may find her a little plain, he finds her embroidered underwear delightful! Its just a clue that we are none of us all that we appear to be on the surface!

    Reply
  53. Jo, one of my all time favorite – dishy guy, ordinary gal – stories, is your “Forbidden Magic”. Minerva (heroine)thinks Sax (hero) is insane – and while he may find her a little plain, he finds her embroidered underwear delightful! Its just a clue that we are none of us all that we appear to be on the surface!

    Reply
  54. Jo, one of my all time favorite – dishy guy, ordinary gal – stories, is your “Forbidden Magic”. Minerva (heroine)thinks Sax (hero) is insane – and while he may find her a little plain, he finds her embroidered underwear delightful! Its just a clue that we are none of us all that we appear to be on the surface!

    Reply
  55. Jo, one of my all time favorite – dishy guy, ordinary gal – stories, is your “Forbidden Magic”. Minerva (heroine)thinks Sax (hero) is insane – and while he may find her a little plain, he finds her embroidered underwear delightful! Its just a clue that we are none of us all that we appear to be on the surface!

    Reply
  56. I’m with the comments most of the way. However, Cassandra was not an artist and the rendering by her sister was probably inaccurate. There is a (disputed) painting of Jane sold this year by a descendant that may be of her as a young woman. The young woman depicted is pretty.
    I think it is less important that Ann Hathaway is our present day idea of beautiful than that she was able to play the part with charm and some chemistry.
    I thought the possible elopement was
    understandable in light of the Lefoy character depicted. On the verge of a dutiful wedding to an heiress,wanting to escape to the life and woman he wants. A good depiction of the anguish of doing the right thing (for family) when it means sacrificing something important. James McAvoy breaking his heart for all of us to see.
    The epilogue is fine for me. Having had a first love that didn’t work out for similar reasons, I still think about him and hope he’s doing well. Corny but it happens in real life too.
    Lastly, it’s a STORY for entertainment. It’s nice to see nobody went all “Janite” in these comments but took the movie on its own terms.
    Janet

    Reply
  57. I’m with the comments most of the way. However, Cassandra was not an artist and the rendering by her sister was probably inaccurate. There is a (disputed) painting of Jane sold this year by a descendant that may be of her as a young woman. The young woman depicted is pretty.
    I think it is less important that Ann Hathaway is our present day idea of beautiful than that she was able to play the part with charm and some chemistry.
    I thought the possible elopement was
    understandable in light of the Lefoy character depicted. On the verge of a dutiful wedding to an heiress,wanting to escape to the life and woman he wants. A good depiction of the anguish of doing the right thing (for family) when it means sacrificing something important. James McAvoy breaking his heart for all of us to see.
    The epilogue is fine for me. Having had a first love that didn’t work out for similar reasons, I still think about him and hope he’s doing well. Corny but it happens in real life too.
    Lastly, it’s a STORY for entertainment. It’s nice to see nobody went all “Janite” in these comments but took the movie on its own terms.
    Janet

    Reply
  58. I’m with the comments most of the way. However, Cassandra was not an artist and the rendering by her sister was probably inaccurate. There is a (disputed) painting of Jane sold this year by a descendant that may be of her as a young woman. The young woman depicted is pretty.
    I think it is less important that Ann Hathaway is our present day idea of beautiful than that she was able to play the part with charm and some chemistry.
    I thought the possible elopement was
    understandable in light of the Lefoy character depicted. On the verge of a dutiful wedding to an heiress,wanting to escape to the life and woman he wants. A good depiction of the anguish of doing the right thing (for family) when it means sacrificing something important. James McAvoy breaking his heart for all of us to see.
    The epilogue is fine for me. Having had a first love that didn’t work out for similar reasons, I still think about him and hope he’s doing well. Corny but it happens in real life too.
    Lastly, it’s a STORY for entertainment. It’s nice to see nobody went all “Janite” in these comments but took the movie on its own terms.
    Janet

    Reply
  59. I’m with the comments most of the way. However, Cassandra was not an artist and the rendering by her sister was probably inaccurate. There is a (disputed) painting of Jane sold this year by a descendant that may be of her as a young woman. The young woman depicted is pretty.
    I think it is less important that Ann Hathaway is our present day idea of beautiful than that she was able to play the part with charm and some chemistry.
    I thought the possible elopement was
    understandable in light of the Lefoy character depicted. On the verge of a dutiful wedding to an heiress,wanting to escape to the life and woman he wants. A good depiction of the anguish of doing the right thing (for family) when it means sacrificing something important. James McAvoy breaking his heart for all of us to see.
    The epilogue is fine for me. Having had a first love that didn’t work out for similar reasons, I still think about him and hope he’s doing well. Corny but it happens in real life too.
    Lastly, it’s a STORY for entertainment. It’s nice to see nobody went all “Janite” in these comments but took the movie on its own terms.
    Janet

    Reply
  60. I’m with the comments most of the way. However, Cassandra was not an artist and the rendering by her sister was probably inaccurate. There is a (disputed) painting of Jane sold this year by a descendant that may be of her as a young woman. The young woman depicted is pretty.
    I think it is less important that Ann Hathaway is our present day idea of beautiful than that she was able to play the part with charm and some chemistry.
    I thought the possible elopement was
    understandable in light of the Lefoy character depicted. On the verge of a dutiful wedding to an heiress,wanting to escape to the life and woman he wants. A good depiction of the anguish of doing the right thing (for family) when it means sacrificing something important. James McAvoy breaking his heart for all of us to see.
    The epilogue is fine for me. Having had a first love that didn’t work out for similar reasons, I still think about him and hope he’s doing well. Corny but it happens in real life too.
    Lastly, it’s a STORY for entertainment. It’s nice to see nobody went all “Janite” in these comments but took the movie on its own terms.
    Janet

    Reply
  61. Janet, FWIW, I’ve never believed that young Jane portrait if only because it seems so unlike her family to do such a thing.
    As for Cassandra not being an artist, are there any other drawings by her? Surely there must be, but when I think about it, I’ve never seen any other than the back view of Jane.
    To me there’s a look one gets in a portrait by a bad artist, and it’s not there. It may not be exact, and heaven knows photographs can show huge varieties depending on what aspect of a person they catch, but I feel pretty confident that Jane looked more like Anna Maxwell Martin than like Anne Hathaway, which means she could be very pretty in the right mood. I’d like to see more simply pretty in the right mood women in romantic leading roles because ordinary women do have grand romances.
    Julie, thanks for mentioning Forbidden Magic. Yes, that’s an ordinary woman and a gorgeous guy. Emily and the Dark Angel is, too. Whenever I have a heroine who’s really beautiful it’s a problem for her. As with the one I’m writing now.
    And yes, I’m shallow, because I don’t think I’ve ever written a plain man.I don’t mind them in other people’s books, but in my own, they’re all gorgeous is my eyes.
    Jo

    Reply
  62. Janet, FWIW, I’ve never believed that young Jane portrait if only because it seems so unlike her family to do such a thing.
    As for Cassandra not being an artist, are there any other drawings by her? Surely there must be, but when I think about it, I’ve never seen any other than the back view of Jane.
    To me there’s a look one gets in a portrait by a bad artist, and it’s not there. It may not be exact, and heaven knows photographs can show huge varieties depending on what aspect of a person they catch, but I feel pretty confident that Jane looked more like Anna Maxwell Martin than like Anne Hathaway, which means she could be very pretty in the right mood. I’d like to see more simply pretty in the right mood women in romantic leading roles because ordinary women do have grand romances.
    Julie, thanks for mentioning Forbidden Magic. Yes, that’s an ordinary woman and a gorgeous guy. Emily and the Dark Angel is, too. Whenever I have a heroine who’s really beautiful it’s a problem for her. As with the one I’m writing now.
    And yes, I’m shallow, because I don’t think I’ve ever written a plain man.I don’t mind them in other people’s books, but in my own, they’re all gorgeous is my eyes.
    Jo

    Reply
  63. Janet, FWIW, I’ve never believed that young Jane portrait if only because it seems so unlike her family to do such a thing.
    As for Cassandra not being an artist, are there any other drawings by her? Surely there must be, but when I think about it, I’ve never seen any other than the back view of Jane.
    To me there’s a look one gets in a portrait by a bad artist, and it’s not there. It may not be exact, and heaven knows photographs can show huge varieties depending on what aspect of a person they catch, but I feel pretty confident that Jane looked more like Anna Maxwell Martin than like Anne Hathaway, which means she could be very pretty in the right mood. I’d like to see more simply pretty in the right mood women in romantic leading roles because ordinary women do have grand romances.
    Julie, thanks for mentioning Forbidden Magic. Yes, that’s an ordinary woman and a gorgeous guy. Emily and the Dark Angel is, too. Whenever I have a heroine who’s really beautiful it’s a problem for her. As with the one I’m writing now.
    And yes, I’m shallow, because I don’t think I’ve ever written a plain man.I don’t mind them in other people’s books, but in my own, they’re all gorgeous is my eyes.
    Jo

    Reply
  64. Janet, FWIW, I’ve never believed that young Jane portrait if only because it seems so unlike her family to do such a thing.
    As for Cassandra not being an artist, are there any other drawings by her? Surely there must be, but when I think about it, I’ve never seen any other than the back view of Jane.
    To me there’s a look one gets in a portrait by a bad artist, and it’s not there. It may not be exact, and heaven knows photographs can show huge varieties depending on what aspect of a person they catch, but I feel pretty confident that Jane looked more like Anna Maxwell Martin than like Anne Hathaway, which means she could be very pretty in the right mood. I’d like to see more simply pretty in the right mood women in romantic leading roles because ordinary women do have grand romances.
    Julie, thanks for mentioning Forbidden Magic. Yes, that’s an ordinary woman and a gorgeous guy. Emily and the Dark Angel is, too. Whenever I have a heroine who’s really beautiful it’s a problem for her. As with the one I’m writing now.
    And yes, I’m shallow, because I don’t think I’ve ever written a plain man.I don’t mind them in other people’s books, but in my own, they’re all gorgeous is my eyes.
    Jo

    Reply
  65. Janet, FWIW, I’ve never believed that young Jane portrait if only because it seems so unlike her family to do such a thing.
    As for Cassandra not being an artist, are there any other drawings by her? Surely there must be, but when I think about it, I’ve never seen any other than the back view of Jane.
    To me there’s a look one gets in a portrait by a bad artist, and it’s not there. It may not be exact, and heaven knows photographs can show huge varieties depending on what aspect of a person they catch, but I feel pretty confident that Jane looked more like Anna Maxwell Martin than like Anne Hathaway, which means she could be very pretty in the right mood. I’d like to see more simply pretty in the right mood women in romantic leading roles because ordinary women do have grand romances.
    Julie, thanks for mentioning Forbidden Magic. Yes, that’s an ordinary woman and a gorgeous guy. Emily and the Dark Angel is, too. Whenever I have a heroine who’s really beautiful it’s a problem for her. As with the one I’m writing now.
    And yes, I’m shallow, because I don’t think I’ve ever written a plain man.I don’t mind them in other people’s books, but in my own, they’re all gorgeous is my eyes.
    Jo

    Reply
  66. I enjoyed the movie as a story riff, with Austen’s real-life encounter with LeFroy as the inspiration, nothing more. I also find James McAvoy charismatic and talented, which helped a lot. I believe he’s 5’7″, so rare kudos to Hollywood on that score.
    But Ann Hathaway was just WRONG. She did a fine acting job, but she’s just too big and healthy and full of great white teeth to pull off a character based on Austen.
    If she wasn’t a bit too old, I would have cast Helena Bonham-Carter.
    My eleven year old daughter disliked the movie. She wanted a happy ending! A future reader of romance, to be sure. 🙂

    Reply
  67. I enjoyed the movie as a story riff, with Austen’s real-life encounter with LeFroy as the inspiration, nothing more. I also find James McAvoy charismatic and talented, which helped a lot. I believe he’s 5’7″, so rare kudos to Hollywood on that score.
    But Ann Hathaway was just WRONG. She did a fine acting job, but she’s just too big and healthy and full of great white teeth to pull off a character based on Austen.
    If she wasn’t a bit too old, I would have cast Helena Bonham-Carter.
    My eleven year old daughter disliked the movie. She wanted a happy ending! A future reader of romance, to be sure. 🙂

    Reply
  68. I enjoyed the movie as a story riff, with Austen’s real-life encounter with LeFroy as the inspiration, nothing more. I also find James McAvoy charismatic and talented, which helped a lot. I believe he’s 5’7″, so rare kudos to Hollywood on that score.
    But Ann Hathaway was just WRONG. She did a fine acting job, but she’s just too big and healthy and full of great white teeth to pull off a character based on Austen.
    If she wasn’t a bit too old, I would have cast Helena Bonham-Carter.
    My eleven year old daughter disliked the movie. She wanted a happy ending! A future reader of romance, to be sure. 🙂

    Reply
  69. I enjoyed the movie as a story riff, with Austen’s real-life encounter with LeFroy as the inspiration, nothing more. I also find James McAvoy charismatic and talented, which helped a lot. I believe he’s 5’7″, so rare kudos to Hollywood on that score.
    But Ann Hathaway was just WRONG. She did a fine acting job, but she’s just too big and healthy and full of great white teeth to pull off a character based on Austen.
    If she wasn’t a bit too old, I would have cast Helena Bonham-Carter.
    My eleven year old daughter disliked the movie. She wanted a happy ending! A future reader of romance, to be sure. 🙂

    Reply
  70. I enjoyed the movie as a story riff, with Austen’s real-life encounter with LeFroy as the inspiration, nothing more. I also find James McAvoy charismatic and talented, which helped a lot. I believe he’s 5’7″, so rare kudos to Hollywood on that score.
    But Ann Hathaway was just WRONG. She did a fine acting job, but she’s just too big and healthy and full of great white teeth to pull off a character based on Austen.
    If she wasn’t a bit too old, I would have cast Helena Bonham-Carter.
    My eleven year old daughter disliked the movie. She wanted a happy ending! A future reader of romance, to be sure. 🙂

    Reply
  71. Jo, what a wonderful, thoughtful post. I love the “plain girl, dishy hero” books–like so many of Heyer’s, e.g SYLVESTER, DEVIL’s CUB, and CIVIL CONTRACT. And then there’s BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, in which (at least on film) our ordinary-looking Bridget gets to sleep with both Hugh Grant AND Colin Firth!
    Beauty, and the perception thereof, is complicated, and so culturally determined. Our 21st century eyes don’t think Susan/Miranda’s Bad Barbara was all that gorgeous, and yet she was considered beautiful in her time. I honestly think a real Regency person would find our depictions of regency beauty on film to be very perplexing (Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma comes to mind, and Keira Knightley of P&P). All these women–Paltrow, Knightley, and Hathaway–are so thin as to be skeletal, and that’s a very limited and 20/21st century idea of beauty.
    So many of us women struggle with self-image that the “plain woman, dishy guy” plot strikes a powerful chord. However, I tend to think of it on a somewhat wider thematic canvas–that whole idea of the beloved being able to see below the surface (whether that surface is beautiful OR plain) and love us for who we really are.

    Reply
  72. Jo, what a wonderful, thoughtful post. I love the “plain girl, dishy hero” books–like so many of Heyer’s, e.g SYLVESTER, DEVIL’s CUB, and CIVIL CONTRACT. And then there’s BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, in which (at least on film) our ordinary-looking Bridget gets to sleep with both Hugh Grant AND Colin Firth!
    Beauty, and the perception thereof, is complicated, and so culturally determined. Our 21st century eyes don’t think Susan/Miranda’s Bad Barbara was all that gorgeous, and yet she was considered beautiful in her time. I honestly think a real Regency person would find our depictions of regency beauty on film to be very perplexing (Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma comes to mind, and Keira Knightley of P&P). All these women–Paltrow, Knightley, and Hathaway–are so thin as to be skeletal, and that’s a very limited and 20/21st century idea of beauty.
    So many of us women struggle with self-image that the “plain woman, dishy guy” plot strikes a powerful chord. However, I tend to think of it on a somewhat wider thematic canvas–that whole idea of the beloved being able to see below the surface (whether that surface is beautiful OR plain) and love us for who we really are.

    Reply
  73. Jo, what a wonderful, thoughtful post. I love the “plain girl, dishy hero” books–like so many of Heyer’s, e.g SYLVESTER, DEVIL’s CUB, and CIVIL CONTRACT. And then there’s BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, in which (at least on film) our ordinary-looking Bridget gets to sleep with both Hugh Grant AND Colin Firth!
    Beauty, and the perception thereof, is complicated, and so culturally determined. Our 21st century eyes don’t think Susan/Miranda’s Bad Barbara was all that gorgeous, and yet she was considered beautiful in her time. I honestly think a real Regency person would find our depictions of regency beauty on film to be very perplexing (Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma comes to mind, and Keira Knightley of P&P). All these women–Paltrow, Knightley, and Hathaway–are so thin as to be skeletal, and that’s a very limited and 20/21st century idea of beauty.
    So many of us women struggle with self-image that the “plain woman, dishy guy” plot strikes a powerful chord. However, I tend to think of it on a somewhat wider thematic canvas–that whole idea of the beloved being able to see below the surface (whether that surface is beautiful OR plain) and love us for who we really are.

    Reply
  74. Jo, what a wonderful, thoughtful post. I love the “plain girl, dishy hero” books–like so many of Heyer’s, e.g SYLVESTER, DEVIL’s CUB, and CIVIL CONTRACT. And then there’s BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, in which (at least on film) our ordinary-looking Bridget gets to sleep with both Hugh Grant AND Colin Firth!
    Beauty, and the perception thereof, is complicated, and so culturally determined. Our 21st century eyes don’t think Susan/Miranda’s Bad Barbara was all that gorgeous, and yet she was considered beautiful in her time. I honestly think a real Regency person would find our depictions of regency beauty on film to be very perplexing (Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma comes to mind, and Keira Knightley of P&P). All these women–Paltrow, Knightley, and Hathaway–are so thin as to be skeletal, and that’s a very limited and 20/21st century idea of beauty.
    So many of us women struggle with self-image that the “plain woman, dishy guy” plot strikes a powerful chord. However, I tend to think of it on a somewhat wider thematic canvas–that whole idea of the beloved being able to see below the surface (whether that surface is beautiful OR plain) and love us for who we really are.

    Reply
  75. Jo, what a wonderful, thoughtful post. I love the “plain girl, dishy hero” books–like so many of Heyer’s, e.g SYLVESTER, DEVIL’s CUB, and CIVIL CONTRACT. And then there’s BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, in which (at least on film) our ordinary-looking Bridget gets to sleep with both Hugh Grant AND Colin Firth!
    Beauty, and the perception thereof, is complicated, and so culturally determined. Our 21st century eyes don’t think Susan/Miranda’s Bad Barbara was all that gorgeous, and yet she was considered beautiful in her time. I honestly think a real Regency person would find our depictions of regency beauty on film to be very perplexing (Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma comes to mind, and Keira Knightley of P&P). All these women–Paltrow, Knightley, and Hathaway–are so thin as to be skeletal, and that’s a very limited and 20/21st century idea of beauty.
    So many of us women struggle with self-image that the “plain woman, dishy guy” plot strikes a powerful chord. However, I tend to think of it on a somewhat wider thematic canvas–that whole idea of the beloved being able to see below the surface (whether that surface is beautiful OR plain) and love us for who we really are.

    Reply
  76. I hate it when that happens, Ingrid.Sometimes going back finds it.
    So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?
    Jo

    Reply
  77. I hate it when that happens, Ingrid.Sometimes going back finds it.
    So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?
    Jo

    Reply
  78. I hate it when that happens, Ingrid.Sometimes going back finds it.
    So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?
    Jo

    Reply
  79. I hate it when that happens, Ingrid.Sometimes going back finds it.
    So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?
    Jo

    Reply
  80. I hate it when that happens, Ingrid.Sometimes going back finds it.
    So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?
    Jo

    Reply
  81. ***So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?***
    I haven’t seen the movie so I only have general answers. I usually prefer that they have money, but I wouldn’t mind a without money ending if they were able to support themselves in some way.
    It depends on what you mean by “sacrifice all for love.” Personal sacrifices for love are fine, but sacrificing others for personal happiness isn’t. From the plot description, it sounds like Tom would’ve been abandoning his family to poverty. I lose respect for heroes who shirk their responsibilities so it would depend on whether or not I felt they were his responsibility.

    Reply
  82. ***So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?***
    I haven’t seen the movie so I only have general answers. I usually prefer that they have money, but I wouldn’t mind a without money ending if they were able to support themselves in some way.
    It depends on what you mean by “sacrifice all for love.” Personal sacrifices for love are fine, but sacrificing others for personal happiness isn’t. From the plot description, it sounds like Tom would’ve been abandoning his family to poverty. I lose respect for heroes who shirk their responsibilities so it would depend on whether or not I felt they were his responsibility.

    Reply
  83. ***So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?***
    I haven’t seen the movie so I only have general answers. I usually prefer that they have money, but I wouldn’t mind a without money ending if they were able to support themselves in some way.
    It depends on what you mean by “sacrifice all for love.” Personal sacrifices for love are fine, but sacrificing others for personal happiness isn’t. From the plot description, it sounds like Tom would’ve been abandoning his family to poverty. I lose respect for heroes who shirk their responsibilities so it would depend on whether or not I felt they were his responsibility.

    Reply
  84. ***So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?***
    I haven’t seen the movie so I only have general answers. I usually prefer that they have money, but I wouldn’t mind a without money ending if they were able to support themselves in some way.
    It depends on what you mean by “sacrifice all for love.” Personal sacrifices for love are fine, but sacrificing others for personal happiness isn’t. From the plot description, it sounds like Tom would’ve been abandoning his family to poverty. I lose respect for heroes who shirk their responsibilities so it would depend on whether or not I felt they were his responsibility.

    Reply
  85. ***So, what about the without-money ending? Would anyone have liked Jane and Tom to sacrifice all for love and run off together?
    Do you like books that end up like that?***
    I haven’t seen the movie so I only have general answers. I usually prefer that they have money, but I wouldn’t mind a without money ending if they were able to support themselves in some way.
    It depends on what you mean by “sacrifice all for love.” Personal sacrifices for love are fine, but sacrificing others for personal happiness isn’t. From the plot description, it sounds like Tom would’ve been abandoning his family to poverty. I lose respect for heroes who shirk their responsibilities so it would depend on whether or not I felt they were his responsibility.

    Reply
  86. Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list. Jess is gorgeous! A femme fatale. Dain practically trips over his tongue the first time he sees her. I think you must have been confusing L of S with some other story.

    Reply
  87. Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list. Jess is gorgeous! A femme fatale. Dain practically trips over his tongue the first time he sees her. I think you must have been confusing L of S with some other story.

    Reply
  88. Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list. Jess is gorgeous! A femme fatale. Dain practically trips over his tongue the first time he sees her. I think you must have been confusing L of S with some other story.

    Reply
  89. Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list. Jess is gorgeous! A femme fatale. Dain practically trips over his tongue the first time he sees her. I think you must have been confusing L of S with some other story.

    Reply
  90. Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list. Jess is gorgeous! A femme fatale. Dain practically trips over his tongue the first time he sees her. I think you must have been confusing L of S with some other story.

    Reply
  91. And actually, in Lord of Scoundrels Dain is the appearance-challenged one. It’s more of a beauty and the beast story.
    Though I adore LOS, that’s not a dynamic that particularly interests me, and I don’t think I’ve ever written one. I’m not sure why. I certainly approve of beautiful women falling in love with unhandsome men, just as I like it the other way, but as a theme, it doesn’t draw me and thrill me.
    What do you think is the underlying draw for a woman in a beauty and the beast storyline?
    Jo

    Reply
  92. And actually, in Lord of Scoundrels Dain is the appearance-challenged one. It’s more of a beauty and the beast story.
    Though I adore LOS, that’s not a dynamic that particularly interests me, and I don’t think I’ve ever written one. I’m not sure why. I certainly approve of beautiful women falling in love with unhandsome men, just as I like it the other way, but as a theme, it doesn’t draw me and thrill me.
    What do you think is the underlying draw for a woman in a beauty and the beast storyline?
    Jo

    Reply
  93. And actually, in Lord of Scoundrels Dain is the appearance-challenged one. It’s more of a beauty and the beast story.
    Though I adore LOS, that’s not a dynamic that particularly interests me, and I don’t think I’ve ever written one. I’m not sure why. I certainly approve of beautiful women falling in love with unhandsome men, just as I like it the other way, but as a theme, it doesn’t draw me and thrill me.
    What do you think is the underlying draw for a woman in a beauty and the beast storyline?
    Jo

    Reply
  94. And actually, in Lord of Scoundrels Dain is the appearance-challenged one. It’s more of a beauty and the beast story.
    Though I adore LOS, that’s not a dynamic that particularly interests me, and I don’t think I’ve ever written one. I’m not sure why. I certainly approve of beautiful women falling in love with unhandsome men, just as I like it the other way, but as a theme, it doesn’t draw me and thrill me.
    What do you think is the underlying draw for a woman in a beauty and the beast storyline?
    Jo

    Reply
  95. And actually, in Lord of Scoundrels Dain is the appearance-challenged one. It’s more of a beauty and the beast story.
    Though I adore LOS, that’s not a dynamic that particularly interests me, and I don’t think I’ve ever written one. I’m not sure why. I certainly approve of beautiful women falling in love with unhandsome men, just as I like it the other way, but as a theme, it doesn’t draw me and thrill me.
    What do you think is the underlying draw for a woman in a beauty and the beast storyline?
    Jo

    Reply
  96. I didn’t think Dain was ugly. He thought he was, because he’d been told he was by people with different aesthetic standards, but I’m sure in Italy he and his great Usignuolo nose would have been much appreciated.
    It reminded me of Charles II (it’s mentioned that he’d slept in one of the beds in Dain’s house).
    There’s a picture of Charles II here http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/stuart_3.htm and admittedly it’s not the most reliable of sources, but it says there that:
    “Charles’ appearance was anything but English, with his sensuous curling mouth, swarthy complexion, black hair and dark eyes, he much resembled his Italian maternal grandmother, Marie de Medici’s side of the family. During his escape after the Battle of Worcester, he was referred to as ‘a tall, black man’ in the parliamentary wanted posters. One of the nick-names he acquired was ‘the black boy’. His height, at six feet two, probably inherited from his Danish paternal grandmother, Anne of Denmark, also set him apart from his contemporaries in a time when the average Englishman was far smaller than today.”
    I imagine that’s the sort of problem Dain had. He just didn’t look English.

    Reply
  97. I didn’t think Dain was ugly. He thought he was, because he’d been told he was by people with different aesthetic standards, but I’m sure in Italy he and his great Usignuolo nose would have been much appreciated.
    It reminded me of Charles II (it’s mentioned that he’d slept in one of the beds in Dain’s house).
    There’s a picture of Charles II here http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/stuart_3.htm and admittedly it’s not the most reliable of sources, but it says there that:
    “Charles’ appearance was anything but English, with his sensuous curling mouth, swarthy complexion, black hair and dark eyes, he much resembled his Italian maternal grandmother, Marie de Medici’s side of the family. During his escape after the Battle of Worcester, he was referred to as ‘a tall, black man’ in the parliamentary wanted posters. One of the nick-names he acquired was ‘the black boy’. His height, at six feet two, probably inherited from his Danish paternal grandmother, Anne of Denmark, also set him apart from his contemporaries in a time when the average Englishman was far smaller than today.”
    I imagine that’s the sort of problem Dain had. He just didn’t look English.

    Reply
  98. I didn’t think Dain was ugly. He thought he was, because he’d been told he was by people with different aesthetic standards, but I’m sure in Italy he and his great Usignuolo nose would have been much appreciated.
    It reminded me of Charles II (it’s mentioned that he’d slept in one of the beds in Dain’s house).
    There’s a picture of Charles II here http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/stuart_3.htm and admittedly it’s not the most reliable of sources, but it says there that:
    “Charles’ appearance was anything but English, with his sensuous curling mouth, swarthy complexion, black hair and dark eyes, he much resembled his Italian maternal grandmother, Marie de Medici’s side of the family. During his escape after the Battle of Worcester, he was referred to as ‘a tall, black man’ in the parliamentary wanted posters. One of the nick-names he acquired was ‘the black boy’. His height, at six feet two, probably inherited from his Danish paternal grandmother, Anne of Denmark, also set him apart from his contemporaries in a time when the average Englishman was far smaller than today.”
    I imagine that’s the sort of problem Dain had. He just didn’t look English.

    Reply
  99. I didn’t think Dain was ugly. He thought he was, because he’d been told he was by people with different aesthetic standards, but I’m sure in Italy he and his great Usignuolo nose would have been much appreciated.
    It reminded me of Charles II (it’s mentioned that he’d slept in one of the beds in Dain’s house).
    There’s a picture of Charles II here http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/stuart_3.htm and admittedly it’s not the most reliable of sources, but it says there that:
    “Charles’ appearance was anything but English, with his sensuous curling mouth, swarthy complexion, black hair and dark eyes, he much resembled his Italian maternal grandmother, Marie de Medici’s side of the family. During his escape after the Battle of Worcester, he was referred to as ‘a tall, black man’ in the parliamentary wanted posters. One of the nick-names he acquired was ‘the black boy’. His height, at six feet two, probably inherited from his Danish paternal grandmother, Anne of Denmark, also set him apart from his contemporaries in a time when the average Englishman was far smaller than today.”
    I imagine that’s the sort of problem Dain had. He just didn’t look English.

    Reply
  100. I didn’t think Dain was ugly. He thought he was, because he’d been told he was by people with different aesthetic standards, but I’m sure in Italy he and his great Usignuolo nose would have been much appreciated.
    It reminded me of Charles II (it’s mentioned that he’d slept in one of the beds in Dain’s house).
    There’s a picture of Charles II here http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/stuart_3.htm and admittedly it’s not the most reliable of sources, but it says there that:
    “Charles’ appearance was anything but English, with his sensuous curling mouth, swarthy complexion, black hair and dark eyes, he much resembled his Italian maternal grandmother, Marie de Medici’s side of the family. During his escape after the Battle of Worcester, he was referred to as ‘a tall, black man’ in the parliamentary wanted posters. One of the nick-names he acquired was ‘the black boy’. His height, at six feet two, probably inherited from his Danish paternal grandmother, Anne of Denmark, also set him apart from his contemporaries in a time when the average Englishman was far smaller than today.”
    I imagine that’s the sort of problem Dain had. He just didn’t look English.

    Reply
  101. But Laura, most plain, or even supposedly ugly heroines are of the same order — they have a wide mouth or long nose or square chin, things that are of little importance really.
    Horse-face Hattie in Pam Morsi’s wonderful COURTING MISS HATTIE is an exception, as is my Lady Deirdre in DEIRDRE AND DON JUAN. (One of the two novels in LOVERS AND LADIES, so the woman on the front is lovely Amy from THE FORTUNE HUNTER.)
    Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.
    IMO, as always.
    Anyone else have an opinion? Or remember any other truly ugly heroines?
    Jo

    Reply
  102. But Laura, most plain, or even supposedly ugly heroines are of the same order — they have a wide mouth or long nose or square chin, things that are of little importance really.
    Horse-face Hattie in Pam Morsi’s wonderful COURTING MISS HATTIE is an exception, as is my Lady Deirdre in DEIRDRE AND DON JUAN. (One of the two novels in LOVERS AND LADIES, so the woman on the front is lovely Amy from THE FORTUNE HUNTER.)
    Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.
    IMO, as always.
    Anyone else have an opinion? Or remember any other truly ugly heroines?
    Jo

    Reply
  103. But Laura, most plain, or even supposedly ugly heroines are of the same order — they have a wide mouth or long nose or square chin, things that are of little importance really.
    Horse-face Hattie in Pam Morsi’s wonderful COURTING MISS HATTIE is an exception, as is my Lady Deirdre in DEIRDRE AND DON JUAN. (One of the two novels in LOVERS AND LADIES, so the woman on the front is lovely Amy from THE FORTUNE HUNTER.)
    Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.
    IMO, as always.
    Anyone else have an opinion? Or remember any other truly ugly heroines?
    Jo

    Reply
  104. But Laura, most plain, or even supposedly ugly heroines are of the same order — they have a wide mouth or long nose or square chin, things that are of little importance really.
    Horse-face Hattie in Pam Morsi’s wonderful COURTING MISS HATTIE is an exception, as is my Lady Deirdre in DEIRDRE AND DON JUAN. (One of the two novels in LOVERS AND LADIES, so the woman on the front is lovely Amy from THE FORTUNE HUNTER.)
    Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.
    IMO, as always.
    Anyone else have an opinion? Or remember any other truly ugly heroines?
    Jo

    Reply
  105. But Laura, most plain, or even supposedly ugly heroines are of the same order — they have a wide mouth or long nose or square chin, things that are of little importance really.
    Horse-face Hattie in Pam Morsi’s wonderful COURTING MISS HATTIE is an exception, as is my Lady Deirdre in DEIRDRE AND DON JUAN. (One of the two novels in LOVERS AND LADIES, so the woman on the front is lovely Amy from THE FORTUNE HUNTER.)
    Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.
    IMO, as always.
    Anyone else have an opinion? Or remember any other truly ugly heroines?
    Jo

    Reply
  106. “Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list.”
    LOL! Quarrel away, Elaine. You and Jo are right, Jess is the beauty, and Dain is the beast. I have no excuse for that mistake, as I just finished reading LORD OF SCOUNDRELS for the 2nd time last week.
    I love beauty and the beast stories just as much as the Plain Jane/gorgeous hero ones. And Jaclyne, “plain Jane” is just a term for a plain looking girl. It’s been around since about 1915 or so.
    Julie, FORBIDDEN MAGIC is one of my favorite Jo Beverleys. The heroine was adorable, and I loved the fact that when the hero got mad he indulged his servants by throwing things–a performance his servants greatly enjoyed.

    Reply
  107. “Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list.”
    LOL! Quarrel away, Elaine. You and Jo are right, Jess is the beauty, and Dain is the beast. I have no excuse for that mistake, as I just finished reading LORD OF SCOUNDRELS for the 2nd time last week.
    I love beauty and the beast stories just as much as the Plain Jane/gorgeous hero ones. And Jaclyne, “plain Jane” is just a term for a plain looking girl. It’s been around since about 1915 or so.
    Julie, FORBIDDEN MAGIC is one of my favorite Jo Beverleys. The heroine was adorable, and I loved the fact that when the hero got mad he indulged his servants by throwing things–a performance his servants greatly enjoyed.

    Reply
  108. “Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list.”
    LOL! Quarrel away, Elaine. You and Jo are right, Jess is the beauty, and Dain is the beast. I have no excuse for that mistake, as I just finished reading LORD OF SCOUNDRELS for the 2nd time last week.
    I love beauty and the beast stories just as much as the Plain Jane/gorgeous hero ones. And Jaclyne, “plain Jane” is just a term for a plain looking girl. It’s been around since about 1915 or so.
    Julie, FORBIDDEN MAGIC is one of my favorite Jo Beverleys. The heroine was adorable, and I loved the fact that when the hero got mad he indulged his servants by throwing things–a performance his servants greatly enjoyed.

    Reply
  109. “Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list.”
    LOL! Quarrel away, Elaine. You and Jo are right, Jess is the beauty, and Dain is the beast. I have no excuse for that mistake, as I just finished reading LORD OF SCOUNDRELS for the 2nd time last week.
    I love beauty and the beast stories just as much as the Plain Jane/gorgeous hero ones. And Jaclyne, “plain Jane” is just a term for a plain looking girl. It’s been around since about 1915 or so.
    Julie, FORBIDDEN MAGIC is one of my favorite Jo Beverleys. The heroine was adorable, and I loved the fact that when the hero got mad he indulged his servants by throwing things–a performance his servants greatly enjoyed.

    Reply
  110. “Sherrie: Interested in your list of plain heroine/dishy hero romances, but I have to quarrel with the inclusion of Lord of Scoundrels in that list.”
    LOL! Quarrel away, Elaine. You and Jo are right, Jess is the beauty, and Dain is the beast. I have no excuse for that mistake, as I just finished reading LORD OF SCOUNDRELS for the 2nd time last week.
    I love beauty and the beast stories just as much as the Plain Jane/gorgeous hero ones. And Jaclyne, “plain Jane” is just a term for a plain looking girl. It’s been around since about 1915 or so.
    Julie, FORBIDDEN MAGIC is one of my favorite Jo Beverleys. The heroine was adorable, and I loved the fact that when the hero got mad he indulged his servants by throwing things–a performance his servants greatly enjoyed.

    Reply
  111. “Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.”
    Well, no, but Adonis was Greek, and the classical Greek standard of beauty was different, and certainly wouldn’t have included an Usignuolo nose.
    “As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.”
    Ah, but that’s where the different aesthetic values come in, I think. I do think Charles II was handsome. And I think Brad Pitt, for example, is quite repulsive and ugly. (I do feel a bit bad saying that about a living person, but I doubt he’d be upset by it, since my opinion is hardly important.)

    Reply
  112. “Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.”
    Well, no, but Adonis was Greek, and the classical Greek standard of beauty was different, and certainly wouldn’t have included an Usignuolo nose.
    “As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.”
    Ah, but that’s where the different aesthetic values come in, I think. I do think Charles II was handsome. And I think Brad Pitt, for example, is quite repulsive and ugly. (I do feel a bit bad saying that about a living person, but I doubt he’d be upset by it, since my opinion is hardly important.)

    Reply
  113. “Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.”
    Well, no, but Adonis was Greek, and the classical Greek standard of beauty was different, and certainly wouldn’t have included an Usignuolo nose.
    “As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.”
    Ah, but that’s where the different aesthetic values come in, I think. I do think Charles II was handsome. And I think Brad Pitt, for example, is quite repulsive and ugly. (I do feel a bit bad saying that about a living person, but I doubt he’d be upset by it, since my opinion is hardly important.)

    Reply
  114. “Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.”
    Well, no, but Adonis was Greek, and the classical Greek standard of beauty was different, and certainly wouldn’t have included an Usignuolo nose.
    “As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.”
    Ah, but that’s where the different aesthetic values come in, I think. I do think Charles II was handsome. And I think Brad Pitt, for example, is quite repulsive and ugly. (I do feel a bit bad saying that about a living person, but I doubt he’d be upset by it, since my opinion is hardly important.)

    Reply
  115. “Dain might be striking, sexy, and all sorts of good things, but I don’t see anyone describing him as an Adonis.”
    Well, no, but Adonis was Greek, and the classical Greek standard of beauty was different, and certainly wouldn’t have included an Usignuolo nose.
    “As for Charles II, again he clearly was sexy, charming, and unforgetable. But handsome/beautiful, no, never.”
    Ah, but that’s where the different aesthetic values come in, I think. I do think Charles II was handsome. And I think Brad Pitt, for example, is quite repulsive and ugly. (I do feel a bit bad saying that about a living person, but I doubt he’d be upset by it, since my opinion is hardly important.)

    Reply
  116. Truly ugly heroines? Maybe no, but Anne Gracie’s heroine in “The Perfect Rake” was described by everyone as being plain. only Gideon (the Hero) thought she was gorgeous. I loved the book for that alone.

    Reply
  117. Truly ugly heroines? Maybe no, but Anne Gracie’s heroine in “The Perfect Rake” was described by everyone as being plain. only Gideon (the Hero) thought she was gorgeous. I loved the book for that alone.

    Reply
  118. Truly ugly heroines? Maybe no, but Anne Gracie’s heroine in “The Perfect Rake” was described by everyone as being plain. only Gideon (the Hero) thought she was gorgeous. I loved the book for that alone.

    Reply
  119. Truly ugly heroines? Maybe no, but Anne Gracie’s heroine in “The Perfect Rake” was described by everyone as being plain. only Gideon (the Hero) thought she was gorgeous. I loved the book for that alone.

    Reply
  120. Truly ugly heroines? Maybe no, but Anne Gracie’s heroine in “The Perfect Rake” was described by everyone as being plain. only Gideon (the Hero) thought she was gorgeous. I loved the book for that alone.

    Reply
  121. Piper, absolutely on a lover seeing beauty in the beloved. That’s part of love, for sure, but I don’t think even the most besotted lover would think the beauty has to be universal. It’s a personal emotional reaction.
    Laura, I think we’re talking about different things. There have been a number of studies showing that beauty in the objective sense isn’t in the eye of the beholder but has certain universal constants that are markers of health and fertility.
    Good skin, for example, and symmetry. Lack of symmetry is a marker for genetic damage (though it can develop due to other factors) and is subconsciously seen as such.
    You’re right about noses, though. They do come into and out of fashion. Roman noses — the straight down from the forehead sort — were admired at one point, aquiline ones in another.
    When I was young a lot of heroes had aquiline noses, which I accepted as sexy and handsome until I realized it meant curved like an eagle’s beak!
    I’ll have to read LOS again — no hardship — but I seem to remember that Dain’s lack of what would generally be considered good looks in Regency England (which is the context, after all) was more than just his nose.
    Yes, Meg and Sax were fun in Forbidden Magic, Sherrie.If anyone hasn’t read it, I think it’s still available.
    http://members.shaw.ca/jobev/reghist.html#FORMAG
    Jo

    Reply
  122. Piper, absolutely on a lover seeing beauty in the beloved. That’s part of love, for sure, but I don’t think even the most besotted lover would think the beauty has to be universal. It’s a personal emotional reaction.
    Laura, I think we’re talking about different things. There have been a number of studies showing that beauty in the objective sense isn’t in the eye of the beholder but has certain universal constants that are markers of health and fertility.
    Good skin, for example, and symmetry. Lack of symmetry is a marker for genetic damage (though it can develop due to other factors) and is subconsciously seen as such.
    You’re right about noses, though. They do come into and out of fashion. Roman noses — the straight down from the forehead sort — were admired at one point, aquiline ones in another.
    When I was young a lot of heroes had aquiline noses, which I accepted as sexy and handsome until I realized it meant curved like an eagle’s beak!
    I’ll have to read LOS again — no hardship — but I seem to remember that Dain’s lack of what would generally be considered good looks in Regency England (which is the context, after all) was more than just his nose.
    Yes, Meg and Sax were fun in Forbidden Magic, Sherrie.If anyone hasn’t read it, I think it’s still available.
    http://members.shaw.ca/jobev/reghist.html#FORMAG
    Jo

    Reply
  123. Piper, absolutely on a lover seeing beauty in the beloved. That’s part of love, for sure, but I don’t think even the most besotted lover would think the beauty has to be universal. It’s a personal emotional reaction.
    Laura, I think we’re talking about different things. There have been a number of studies showing that beauty in the objective sense isn’t in the eye of the beholder but has certain universal constants that are markers of health and fertility.
    Good skin, for example, and symmetry. Lack of symmetry is a marker for genetic damage (though it can develop due to other factors) and is subconsciously seen as such.
    You’re right about noses, though. They do come into and out of fashion. Roman noses — the straight down from the forehead sort — were admired at one point, aquiline ones in another.
    When I was young a lot of heroes had aquiline noses, which I accepted as sexy and handsome until I realized it meant curved like an eagle’s beak!
    I’ll have to read LOS again — no hardship — but I seem to remember that Dain’s lack of what would generally be considered good looks in Regency England (which is the context, after all) was more than just his nose.
    Yes, Meg and Sax were fun in Forbidden Magic, Sherrie.If anyone hasn’t read it, I think it’s still available.
    http://members.shaw.ca/jobev/reghist.html#FORMAG
    Jo

    Reply
  124. Piper, absolutely on a lover seeing beauty in the beloved. That’s part of love, for sure, but I don’t think even the most besotted lover would think the beauty has to be universal. It’s a personal emotional reaction.
    Laura, I think we’re talking about different things. There have been a number of studies showing that beauty in the objective sense isn’t in the eye of the beholder but has certain universal constants that are markers of health and fertility.
    Good skin, for example, and symmetry. Lack of symmetry is a marker for genetic damage (though it can develop due to other factors) and is subconsciously seen as such.
    You’re right about noses, though. They do come into and out of fashion. Roman noses — the straight down from the forehead sort — were admired at one point, aquiline ones in another.
    When I was young a lot of heroes had aquiline noses, which I accepted as sexy and handsome until I realized it meant curved like an eagle’s beak!
    I’ll have to read LOS again — no hardship — but I seem to remember that Dain’s lack of what would generally be considered good looks in Regency England (which is the context, after all) was more than just his nose.
    Yes, Meg and Sax were fun in Forbidden Magic, Sherrie.If anyone hasn’t read it, I think it’s still available.
    http://members.shaw.ca/jobev/reghist.html#FORMAG
    Jo

    Reply
  125. Piper, absolutely on a lover seeing beauty in the beloved. That’s part of love, for sure, but I don’t think even the most besotted lover would think the beauty has to be universal. It’s a personal emotional reaction.
    Laura, I think we’re talking about different things. There have been a number of studies showing that beauty in the objective sense isn’t in the eye of the beholder but has certain universal constants that are markers of health and fertility.
    Good skin, for example, and symmetry. Lack of symmetry is a marker for genetic damage (though it can develop due to other factors) and is subconsciously seen as such.
    You’re right about noses, though. They do come into and out of fashion. Roman noses — the straight down from the forehead sort — were admired at one point, aquiline ones in another.
    When I was young a lot of heroes had aquiline noses, which I accepted as sexy and handsome until I realized it meant curved like an eagle’s beak!
    I’ll have to read LOS again — no hardship — but I seem to remember that Dain’s lack of what would generally be considered good looks in Regency England (which is the context, after all) was more than just his nose.
    Yes, Meg and Sax were fun in Forbidden Magic, Sherrie.If anyone hasn’t read it, I think it’s still available.
    http://members.shaw.ca/jobev/reghist.html#FORMAG
    Jo

    Reply
  126. I also thought Dain’s ‘ugliness’ to be more perception – being too tall, too swarthy, too Italian for English tastes.
    I enjoy Beauty and the Beast stories both ways – when the woman is plain I can identify with her (I’m not plain but I’m no beauty), and when the man is a ‘beast’, it often conjures up an image of extreme masculinity – rough features and unusual strength – at least for me. I do think that in some ways, men have it easier – the ideal for male beauty is much more varied (as we’ve mentioned Greek vs. Regency English vs. Italian) than for female beauty, at least right now. Compare Brad Pitt, Patrick Stewart, Clive Owen, Orlando Bloom, and Tyson Beckford – all men seen as handsome, and all very different.
    As to Jane, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the idea of her having loved and lost definitely doesn’t make her less of an author for me. A wide range of emotional experience can only help an author evoke those feelings in their work, IMO.

    Reply
  127. I also thought Dain’s ‘ugliness’ to be more perception – being too tall, too swarthy, too Italian for English tastes.
    I enjoy Beauty and the Beast stories both ways – when the woman is plain I can identify with her (I’m not plain but I’m no beauty), and when the man is a ‘beast’, it often conjures up an image of extreme masculinity – rough features and unusual strength – at least for me. I do think that in some ways, men have it easier – the ideal for male beauty is much more varied (as we’ve mentioned Greek vs. Regency English vs. Italian) than for female beauty, at least right now. Compare Brad Pitt, Patrick Stewart, Clive Owen, Orlando Bloom, and Tyson Beckford – all men seen as handsome, and all very different.
    As to Jane, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the idea of her having loved and lost definitely doesn’t make her less of an author for me. A wide range of emotional experience can only help an author evoke those feelings in their work, IMO.

    Reply
  128. I also thought Dain’s ‘ugliness’ to be more perception – being too tall, too swarthy, too Italian for English tastes.
    I enjoy Beauty and the Beast stories both ways – when the woman is plain I can identify with her (I’m not plain but I’m no beauty), and when the man is a ‘beast’, it often conjures up an image of extreme masculinity – rough features and unusual strength – at least for me. I do think that in some ways, men have it easier – the ideal for male beauty is much more varied (as we’ve mentioned Greek vs. Regency English vs. Italian) than for female beauty, at least right now. Compare Brad Pitt, Patrick Stewart, Clive Owen, Orlando Bloom, and Tyson Beckford – all men seen as handsome, and all very different.
    As to Jane, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the idea of her having loved and lost definitely doesn’t make her less of an author for me. A wide range of emotional experience can only help an author evoke those feelings in their work, IMO.

    Reply
  129. I also thought Dain’s ‘ugliness’ to be more perception – being too tall, too swarthy, too Italian for English tastes.
    I enjoy Beauty and the Beast stories both ways – when the woman is plain I can identify with her (I’m not plain but I’m no beauty), and when the man is a ‘beast’, it often conjures up an image of extreme masculinity – rough features and unusual strength – at least for me. I do think that in some ways, men have it easier – the ideal for male beauty is much more varied (as we’ve mentioned Greek vs. Regency English vs. Italian) than for female beauty, at least right now. Compare Brad Pitt, Patrick Stewart, Clive Owen, Orlando Bloom, and Tyson Beckford – all men seen as handsome, and all very different.
    As to Jane, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the idea of her having loved and lost definitely doesn’t make her less of an author for me. A wide range of emotional experience can only help an author evoke those feelings in their work, IMO.

    Reply
  130. I also thought Dain’s ‘ugliness’ to be more perception – being too tall, too swarthy, too Italian for English tastes.
    I enjoy Beauty and the Beast stories both ways – when the woman is plain I can identify with her (I’m not plain but I’m no beauty), and when the man is a ‘beast’, it often conjures up an image of extreme masculinity – rough features and unusual strength – at least for me. I do think that in some ways, men have it easier – the ideal for male beauty is much more varied (as we’ve mentioned Greek vs. Regency English vs. Italian) than for female beauty, at least right now. Compare Brad Pitt, Patrick Stewart, Clive Owen, Orlando Bloom, and Tyson Beckford – all men seen as handsome, and all very different.
    As to Jane, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the idea of her having loved and lost definitely doesn’t make her less of an author for me. A wide range of emotional experience can only help an author evoke those feelings in their work, IMO.

    Reply
  131. Interesting, your suggestion about replacing Anne Hathaway with Anna Maxwell Martin. Hadn’t thought about that, and wished Cassandra’s role in the film could have been larger. Now that you mention it, I would have loved to have seen Maxwell Martin in the role of Jane.

    Reply
  132. Interesting, your suggestion about replacing Anne Hathaway with Anna Maxwell Martin. Hadn’t thought about that, and wished Cassandra’s role in the film could have been larger. Now that you mention it, I would have loved to have seen Maxwell Martin in the role of Jane.

    Reply
  133. Interesting, your suggestion about replacing Anne Hathaway with Anna Maxwell Martin. Hadn’t thought about that, and wished Cassandra’s role in the film could have been larger. Now that you mention it, I would have loved to have seen Maxwell Martin in the role of Jane.

    Reply
  134. Interesting, your suggestion about replacing Anne Hathaway with Anna Maxwell Martin. Hadn’t thought about that, and wished Cassandra’s role in the film could have been larger. Now that you mention it, I would have loved to have seen Maxwell Martin in the role of Jane.

    Reply
  135. Interesting, your suggestion about replacing Anne Hathaway with Anna Maxwell Martin. Hadn’t thought about that, and wished Cassandra’s role in the film could have been larger. Now that you mention it, I would have loved to have seen Maxwell Martin in the role of Jane.

    Reply
  136. I think the movie had Jane read the letter so that the audience (who unlike us readers, might not understand the realities of those days) would understand their decision not to marry. Jane would look selfish otherwise. “Oh, she doesn’t want to marry a guy without money! What kind of girl is she?!”
    It’s the same reasoning behind the decision to make the Dashwoods so RICH in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. By showing the girls and their mother living in this magnificent manor, it shows how far they “fell”. I mean, most people nowadays don’t see a woman living in a pretty stone cottage with “only” a few servants as being poor.
    (I read Emma Thompson’s book about the making of the movie, and it was stated that a young man asked her or Lindsey Doran, “Why can’t those chicks get jobs?” Don’t underestimate how hard it is for people to imagine the past.)

    Reply
  137. I think the movie had Jane read the letter so that the audience (who unlike us readers, might not understand the realities of those days) would understand their decision not to marry. Jane would look selfish otherwise. “Oh, she doesn’t want to marry a guy without money! What kind of girl is she?!”
    It’s the same reasoning behind the decision to make the Dashwoods so RICH in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. By showing the girls and their mother living in this magnificent manor, it shows how far they “fell”. I mean, most people nowadays don’t see a woman living in a pretty stone cottage with “only” a few servants as being poor.
    (I read Emma Thompson’s book about the making of the movie, and it was stated that a young man asked her or Lindsey Doran, “Why can’t those chicks get jobs?” Don’t underestimate how hard it is for people to imagine the past.)

    Reply
  138. I think the movie had Jane read the letter so that the audience (who unlike us readers, might not understand the realities of those days) would understand their decision not to marry. Jane would look selfish otherwise. “Oh, she doesn’t want to marry a guy without money! What kind of girl is she?!”
    It’s the same reasoning behind the decision to make the Dashwoods so RICH in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. By showing the girls and their mother living in this magnificent manor, it shows how far they “fell”. I mean, most people nowadays don’t see a woman living in a pretty stone cottage with “only” a few servants as being poor.
    (I read Emma Thompson’s book about the making of the movie, and it was stated that a young man asked her or Lindsey Doran, “Why can’t those chicks get jobs?” Don’t underestimate how hard it is for people to imagine the past.)

    Reply
  139. I think the movie had Jane read the letter so that the audience (who unlike us readers, might not understand the realities of those days) would understand their decision not to marry. Jane would look selfish otherwise. “Oh, she doesn’t want to marry a guy without money! What kind of girl is she?!”
    It’s the same reasoning behind the decision to make the Dashwoods so RICH in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. By showing the girls and their mother living in this magnificent manor, it shows how far they “fell”. I mean, most people nowadays don’t see a woman living in a pretty stone cottage with “only” a few servants as being poor.
    (I read Emma Thompson’s book about the making of the movie, and it was stated that a young man asked her or Lindsey Doran, “Why can’t those chicks get jobs?” Don’t underestimate how hard it is for people to imagine the past.)

    Reply
  140. I think the movie had Jane read the letter so that the audience (who unlike us readers, might not understand the realities of those days) would understand their decision not to marry. Jane would look selfish otherwise. “Oh, she doesn’t want to marry a guy without money! What kind of girl is she?!”
    It’s the same reasoning behind the decision to make the Dashwoods so RICH in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. By showing the girls and their mother living in this magnificent manor, it shows how far they “fell”. I mean, most people nowadays don’t see a woman living in a pretty stone cottage with “only” a few servants as being poor.
    (I read Emma Thompson’s book about the making of the movie, and it was stated that a young man asked her or Lindsey Doran, “Why can’t those chicks get jobs?” Don’t underestimate how hard it is for people to imagine the past.)

    Reply

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