Tag Archives: period romances

A “Bright Star” In the Big Black Sky Of Period Romances?

I know that as the proud owner of a pair of ovaries, I am supposed to bow down and worship romance movies … especially those of the Victorian variety. The heroines in crinolines, the men in coattails, the accents and ornate interiors—all of these are supposed to trigger in me some nostalgia for what love is supposed to be. And yet, I hate period romances. Seriously, they utterly and thoroughly depress me. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t hate them the way I do rom-coms. I just find them to be dangerous, like keeping too much ice cream in the freezer. I’m not susceptible to romantic comedies because I know they are just a bunch of fanciful BS. But during “Little Women,” I imagine that I am Josephine March, a struggling female writer inspired by love, family, and transcendentalism. In “Sense and Sensibility,” I am Marianne Dashwood falling insensibly for the dapper Mr. Willoughby. And, of course, I am Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice,” resisting but eventually succumbing to Mr. Darcy’s charm. These female characters are witty, willful, and romantic—fighting against upbringing and convention to follow their hearts. And for some reason, putting the stamp of the historical past on their stories makes me put aside my skepticism about the naive idea that love conquers all. After each sickeningly perfect happy ending, I am left feeling ill with gooey sentimentality. Keep reading »

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