Friday, March 1, 2013

The ABCs of Bookish Romance

*I'm totally stealing Gina's title. :)

This post is brought to you by an epic e-mail discussion between with my friends Gina and Rachel, prompted by the discovery of this list: "111 Male Characters Of British Literature, In Order of Bangability."

Besides that article's tacky title, some of the inclusions on that list are positively SHUDDER-inducing, like Casaubon from Middlemarch or Uriah Heep from David Copperfield. I mean, REALLY?

So of course we had to put together our own list, a mix of classic and contemporary heroes that some, or all, of us adore. (I elected to sort this list alphabetically...I've definitely got my idea of a top ten, but I can't bear to try my hand at ranking these guys.)
  • Allan Woodcourt, Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Andrew Stuart, Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout
  • Arthur Clennham, Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  • Athos, The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • Bard the Bowman, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Barney Snaith, The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
  • Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • Captain Peter Blood, Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
  • Captain Wentworth, Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Colonel Brandon, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Colonel Cassius McLinn, The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
  • Corlath, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
  • Edmond Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Edward Rochester, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Enjolras, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Eugene Wrayburn, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  • Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • George Knightley, Emma by Jane Austen
  • Gilbert Blythe, the Anne series by L. M. Montgomer
  • Grantaire, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw
  • Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Herbert Pocket, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Inspector Morse, the Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter
  • James Bond, the James Bond series by Ian Fleming
  • Jean Valjean, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • John Carter, John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • John Jarndyce, Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • John Murphy, The Zion Covenant Series by Brock & Bodie Thoene
  • John Watson, the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Lord Peter Wimsey, the Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Marcus Valerian, A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
  • Martin Rilke, The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock
  • Melrose Plant, the Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes
  • Mike Cardinal, Spring Fever by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Mortimer Lightwood, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  • Neil MacNeill, Christy by Catherine Marshall
  • Nicholas Brisbane, Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn
  • Paul Emanuel, Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  • Scaramouche, Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
  • Sherlock Holmes, the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Sir Percy Blakeney, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  • Stephen Maturin, the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brien
  • Strider/Aragorn, Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Sydney Carton, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Tommy Traddles, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Now, what's a list like this without some PICTURES?? :) Goodness knows I love "casting" books as I read them. Some of these are expected -- included for pure eye candy purposes -- but other, new choices have been arrived at following LOADS of careful thought and deliberation on the part of yours truly. I'd love to discuss, so chime in with your comments! :) (Also, my friends are CLEARLY more classic-lit minded than myself, aren't they? *wink*)

Michael Fassbender as Colonel Cassius McLinn

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter

David Tennant as Martin Rilke

Errol Flynn as Captain Peter Blood

Ben Whishaw as John Murphy

Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman

Stewart Granger as Scaramouche

Daniel Craig as James Bond - obviously

James Purefoy as Marcus Valerian

Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin

Toby Stephens as Nicholas Brisbane

Anthony Andrews as Sir Percy Blakeney

Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy

Viggo Mortensen as Strider

Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse

Mads Mikkelsen as Edward Rochester

I was doing my level best not to have any actors play dual roles in the photo section of this post (i.e., Mads playing Rochester instead of Fassbender or Stephens...wouldn't he be an amazing Rochester?! Hollywood, please make that happen someday...), as well as trying to see some actors in new lights. But when someone owns a role -- like Flynn as Peter Blood -- sometimes there is just no getting around that fact. :) I'd love to discuss your ideas for these roles or others I left un-cast from this list! Also, if there is a favorite hero not included, please feel free to add his name in the comments. (Also, and this is VERY important...if anyone has a link to a decent picture of James Purefoy in a toga vs. Roman military attire, let me know. Marcus Valerian was NOT a legionnaire.) :)


Anne Mateer said...

Great list!!!

Unknown said...

@Anne - Thank you! We had a lot of fun putting it together. :)

Jess said...

Having discovered that list a couple years ago, I would like to point out that it is not a list of the 111 MOST bangable guys in Brit lit. It's a list of 111 guys from Brit lit who are then sorted into order of bangability. It's like marry-f***-kill or MASH - it's no fun if there aren't options that make you go "ewwww!" :)

Unknown said...

@Jess - HA! Very true. ;)

Rachel said...

oh john murphy! you and gina and i did a really awesome job and i would like to thank all of us for providing the world with this essential service

Unknown said...

@Rachel - It IS John Murphy, isn't it? I'm still kinda in shock over how perfect that casting choice has turned out to be, IMO. ;)

And as to that last part, PREACH. :)

Laura Frantz said...

LOL, Ruth and list lovers:) I am BEYOND HONORED to find Cass on this list with MF!! He is the quintessential McLinn. Amen and amen:)

Unknown said...

@Laura - Glad you approve. :) Cassius is near and dear to my heart as you know. :)

Heidenkind said...

Dost mine eyes deceive me??? Is Hathaway not on that list? And what about Rufus Sewell in, idk, anything???

Gina said...

Um, excuse me -- stole my title? You can't steal what you came up with in the first place! :-) Nice pictures!

(Here's a link to my list post, though it doesn't have any nice pictures: )

Gina said...

(And I wish you'd told me you didn't want them ranked before I spent all those ages and ages ranking them! LOL!)

Gina said...

Also, I think I need to go watch "The Scarlet Pimpernel" again. And then the "Nero Wolfe Mysteries" again. ;-)

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I just rewatched Our Mutual Friend for the gazillionth time last week and kept thinking to myself Mortimer needs some love. I know it's a happy ending but it makes me sad when he's reclining in the grass watching everyone be all happy and he's alone. :( I absolutely adore this list and agree with you on all that i have read or seen. BTW thanks for a little Fassie and Whishaw love. I need them in my life. ;-)

Renee C.

Gina said...

Hurray, a fellow member of the "Mortimer needs love" club! :-) (I even have an LJ icon that says that!)

Unknown said...

@Tasha - Oh Hathaway would TOTALLY be on this list, if he was in the Morse books. #1 honorable mention? Also, we need to figure out who we can "cast" Laurence Fox as... :)

@Gina - Eeeppp! Sorry about the ranking thing...I kept going back and forth and back and! Also, I totally need to rewatch TSP and Nero Wolfe...they are long overdue. :)

@Renee - Whoop! Isn't Mortimer a doll in that show? And never fear, I will always stand ready to give Fassbender and Whishaw the love and recognition they deserve. :)