Most people openly admit to having crushes on actors, singers, rockstars etc but few people ever talk about the characters from books that they’ve fallen in love with. I’m not sure if this is because I am the only person in the world ever to fall in love with a character from a book or if it’s because it’s vaguely embarrassing to admit that you have a crush on a make-believe man (or woman). So I thought I’d find out. By sharing my literary crushes. If you have any, do share, because at least then I’ll know I’m not completely mad!
First and foremost there is Mr Darcy. I loved Mr Darcy before he jumped into a lake and flashed his muscles through his clinging white shirt. I even named my third child Darcy so you can see that this crush is possibly a little extreme, but I thought that Darcy was better than Fitzwilliam, which is really Mr Darcy’s first name.
Next up is Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre – I fell in love with him as an impressionable 13 year old and thought his dark, mysterious and brooding ways were the epitome of true romantic love. Now that I have three children and little time for romance I think that marrying a blind man with a mad wife is probably about as far from romance as one could get.
The mysterious Alex from Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin is also on the list. A bit rough around the edges sure, but with an imagination like his and the stories he tells there’d be no chance of ever getting bored.
What about tragic Robbie from Atonement? I wonder if half of his charm is that his experience of love was so fleeting. I’m writing about this very thing in my second book Bodies – is it easier to remain in love with someone who has been tragically taken away because you don’t have to experience the daily-ness of coupled life, which sometimes removes a little of the romantic gloss?
And forget Romeo, I had a soft spot for Mercutio. Romeo just seemed too much of a wimp, mooning around after Juliet all the time. At least Mercutio had wit – too bad it didn’t save him from tragedy too.
In my twenties I went through a phase of being obssessed with the historical novels of Dorothy Dunnett and had a huge crush on her main character, Lymond. He was the most articulate and well-read rebel I’ve ever encountered. And isn’t it so much easier to fall in love with an imagainary rebel because then you can glory in the passion behind the rebellion without ever having to suffer the consequences. I suspect that the kind of rebellion described in her books would be decidedly more bloody and less romantic should it ever take place in real life.
Anyway, I know I’ve forgotten lots of fabulous literary loves. Please share …