24 April, 2008

A modern Mr. Wisley, sans the dough

My wife and I watched Becoming Jane this evening. It's a highly dramatized description of Jane Austen's life. My wife's a fan of her novels—it's on account of her that I know what little I know of Austen and her works*—and she enjoyed the film.

One of the characters is "Mr. Wisley". On the surface he is rather conventional, slow to speak, and clumsy when he does speak. Or dance.

Watching him agonize through an early conversation with Jane, my wife laughed, "That is you!" She made this observation only moments after Jane's father said of Mr. Wisley—and I quote—"He's a booby."

Had I a quicker wit, I would offer a worthy rejoinder. Unfortunately, she seems to be correct. I am a lot like Mr. Wisley, only shorter, poorer, and not so blonde.

Boy does that explain a lot.

*After they forced me to read Wuthering Heights in high school, I was for a long time completely disinclined to read any classic novels that smacked of romance. This ruled out more or less all the female authors of that period, especially those whose last name was Brontë. Thankfully George Elliot was likewise disinclined when she wrote Silas Marner, as was Mary Shelley when she wrote Frankenstein, or I would have zero experience of women authors in classical literature.

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