Sunday, April 17, 2016

Learning from Jane Austin and Charles Dickens

My senior year of high school, I was introduced to two books that are still on my top ten all time list: Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Now that I'm writing romance novels myself, I think about these two old favorites. Pride and Prejudice is a prototype of how opposites attract. And though both Elizabeth and Darcy form almost immediate dislike of one another, there is still an undertow of attraction as each undertakes a journey discovering how wrong their initial impressions of one another are over time. How wonderful that a man would actually fall head over heels from a woman who points out all his own foibles, especially a man so aloof with pride. Then there is poor Sydney Carton who cannot even tell the married woman with whom he is in love how much he adores her. Cynic though he is, he sacrifices his own life to free her husband saying, "Tis a far, far better thing I do today than any I have ever done before." If that plot is not a candidate for what in London is known as "The weekly weepy" what is? I vividly remember the tears streaming down my 17 year old cheeks.

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