Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Not Romance

I know this has been bothering you for a long time. It probably haunts you at night and most certainly infests your daydreams. At first it wasn't too bad. You only occasionally woke up in a cold sweat screaming "Austen... romance?" Then it got worse. Every time you blinked your eyes the image of Pride and Prejudice came closer... and closer.
That is why I write this blog post, that is why you are here. To alleviate all of your deeply set worries once and for all. Jane Austen's novels are NOT, and NEVER will be romance novels.
Granted, there is romance in the novels and they are kind of a running theme in each of her books but they aren't the only theme. At this point I'd also like to say that I don't mind a little romance.  However, when it comes to Jane Austen I believe that there is a lot more than a romantic theme running through her books or else they wouldn't be what they are.  What I first think of are the witty lines and overall great writing.  Everything about how Austen writes is amazing (almost inconceivable)! With her words she paints such incredible characters that you will come to love, hate, or there are sometimes those characters that you really aren't sure about your feelings toward them (Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Jennings, Miss Bates and Lady Bertram come to mind).  I guess that sentence kind of transcended into my next thought about the great characters in Austen's novels. Some of my favorite literary characters come from Austen's novels: Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Knightley, Henry Tilney, Anne Elliot, Fanny Price, Colonel Brandon, Mr. Darcy and then moving on to secondary characters that I also love: Mr. Bennett (despite his failings), Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Eleanor Tilney, Anne Taylor and even though I don't like him he will forever crack me up- Mr. Collins. When it comes to Austen there is also the morals that she brings into every story. Her heroes and heroines are not perfect and spotless; they struggled with the same things you and I do. They have flaws they must work on: prejudiceness, micro-managing, naiveness, ect. Her "good" minor characters all interesting in that while there some of them that just aren't your favorite you still somewhat like them because of their uniqueness.  Here again I am thinking of Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Jennings, Miss Bates and Lady Bertram.  It seems that Austen crafted each of her character with such precision. I think she must have had a lot of fun creating some of them (Mr. Collins).
I was talking to my mother about this and she made a great point that if Jane Austen's novels were just romance novels, they wouldn't have lasted this long and been remade into movies over and over and over again. There is a lot more to them than romance.

Did you catch my three movie/TV show references/quotes I made? Comment below and let me know!

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.


  1. I caught two but I'm not sure about the third....

  2. I completely agree! And your mother is so right. I'd like to add that the romance that are in her novels wouldn't resound so completely with so many people if that was as far as it went.. the witty dialog, the deeper issues, the wonderful characters - this is why Austen is so incredibly popular all these years later. Good insights!


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