Monday, January 5, 2009

Leading Men of Literature

So Mental_Floss recently featured "7 of Literature's Most Desirable Leading Men," and the following characters are listed:

1) Mr. Darcy (from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) 2) Gilbert Blythe (from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery)
3) Almanzo Wilder (from Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
4) Mr. Rochester (from Jany Eyre by Charlotte Bronte) 5) Edmond Dantes (from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas)
6) George Emerson (from A Room with a View by E.M. Forster)
7) Enjolras (from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo)

While I don't disagree with the list, I haven't read The Count of Monte Cristo or A Room With A View, so I'd have to say neither of those characters would be on my own personal list of Leading Men. My own list would consist of the following:

1) Alexander "Mac" Campbell (from Rose in Bloom by Louisa MayAlcott)
I know, he's totally Rose's cousin, but something about the glasses-wearing, poetry-reading academic warmed my pre-adolescent heart. Plus, I always thought it was so romantic how he gave Rose statues of Cupid and Psyche. (How sad is it that I still remember that much detail?)

2) Captain Frederick Wentworth (from Persuasion by Jane Austen)

Mental Floss can keep Darcy--while he's all well and good (especially when he sticks it to his aunt at the end), Captain Wentworth has always been my personal favorite of the Austen heroes.

3) Gilbert Blythe (from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Margaret

What girl didn't love Gilbert? I think anyone who read the Anne of Green Gables series identified so closely with Anne that it would have been impossible not to feel at least a passing affection for Blythe.

4) Diggory Venn (from The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy)

I believe it's already been established that I love this man. If he weren't a figment of a Victorian author's imagination, I'd totally hunt him down and make him marry me.

5) Almanzo Wilder (from Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

My only complaint is the fact that Almanzo began "courting" Laura when he was in
his twenties and she was fifteen. I don't remember if that bothered me the first time I read the series, but what the hell did I know? I was eight, and it bothers me now.

6) Mr. Rochester (from Jany Eyre by Charlotte Bronte)

I hemmed and hawed about Mr. Rochester, because he wouldn't be on Lindsay-with-an-A's list right now, but when I was fourteen I was all about this gothic romance. So mysterious... sigh. Now, however, I think it's creepy that he keeps his wife locked up in the attic and then she dies "mysteriously" in a fire and he's the only one around to see it. Can you say suspicious?

7) Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)

I know that most people automatically picture Robert Redford when they think of this character, but the movie never really did anything for me, while the book was excellent and I really loved the character of Gatsby. (Out of the "leading men" on this list, he's probably the most interesting and complicated, but I'm not sure that "leading men" need complexity as much as they need nice abs... just kidding.)

Check out the comments on the Mental Floss article, though. Some of the commenters' suggestions were definitely turning me off. Howard Roark from The Fountainhead? When every love scene read like a rape and he thought all people and emotions were superfluous? Blech. And Heathcliff? Edward Cullen? Pathetic.


Homero said...

Shoot me, Jay Gatsby? Eww.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Well, if that's how you feel about it, you don't have to have literary fantasies about him. Leave him to those of us who can appreciate him...

Chatty Cathy said...

You forgot to include Eric from "Viking Passions."

Anonymous said...

I hated Gatsby.

Homero said...

Busy at work? Some of us like to distract ourselves from actually doing that, you know!

Daniele said...

Ok, I definitely agree that the first 4 must be on the list (I loved Mac too *nostalgic grin*), but my number one has to be Percival Blakeney from "The Scarlet Pimpernel." Also, as a teenager I may have been a little in love with Maxim de Winter from "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier. And to make 7, Cyrano de Bergerac from the play bearing his name by Edmond Rostand.

Anonymous said...

19 days?

Tsk. tsk. tsk.


Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Yes, they are actually making me do WORK at work now. The nerve!

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