If you want to destroy my sweater…

A very happy (slightly early) book birthday to Unraveling by the marvelous Elizabeth Norris. Liz is fantastic and her YA debut is already earning raves all over the place. (Cannot wait to pick it up!)

You can read the first 90 pages of Unraveling here and enter to WIN one of two finished copies here.

One of the scenes in the book that has people talking is a debate between MCs Janelle and Ben over an overwrought marriage proposal from A Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. (Full disclosure: I haven’t read A Mutual Friend. It’s not that I don’t like Charlie, but the man did get paid by the word.)

But do you know what first popped into my head when Sarah Goldberg  posed the question, “What’s your favorite declaration of love?”

I’d like to tell you it was Darcy’s second proposal to Elizabeth Bennett from the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

It’s not only romantic, but beautiful in its humility, and more importantly, it is earned. (Aside #1: Colin Firth will always be Darcy to me. Sexually charged diffidence is clearly his superpower.)

But no. The first thing I thought of was… George McFly. From Back to the Future. I couldn’t find a full clip of the scene so this will have to do:

Is it romantic? No, but it makes me laugh, and his earnestness just kills me. Plus, George goes from creeper zero to bully-punching hero in such delightful fashion over the course of the film. (Aside#2: I kind of have a thing for Crispin Glover. I met him once. He was wearing a shiny blue suit and had a boa constrictor around his shoulders. No lie.)

So now that I’ve confessed, how about telling me your favorite declaration of love (twu wuv)?



Filed under The Violet Hour

7 responses to “If you want to destroy my sweater…

  1. JJ

    Er, not to be an obnoxious Janeite, but I don’t believe Darcy ever says that to Elizabeth. His first proposal can sort of be considered romantic, “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you”–if he had stopped there. The second proposal is only described in the book, never given, only that he expressed himself as a man “violently in love” is wont to do.

    I only remember this because when I read the book for the first time as a kid, I did not pick up the fact that Darcy had proposed again. In fact, when Jane says in the next chapter, “Engaged–to Mr Darcy!”, that was essentially my reaction as well.

    • JJ

      Although, SPOT ON for you description of Colin Firth’s appeal: Sexually charged diffidence. Perfect. I tried to explain to a friend once that his appeal lay in the fact that beneath his stuffy English exterior, you get the sense that he’s a very naughty boy. But you have described it much more succinctly!

      Oh, my favourite declaration of love actually comes from the end to Anne of the Island, when they are in Hester Gray’s garden. “I have a dream,” [Gilbert] said slowly. “I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends—and YOU!”

      GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. It still sets up a storm of butterflies in my stomach every time. EVERY. TIME. (And I’ve only read it a million times since I was 9.)

    • Good gravy. I have conflated all. Updated to reflect the fact that I’m an idjit. And I did come across some interesting writing on the fact that Austen’s heroes are rarely allowed to express themselves on the page. It’s the deceivers who get the speeches and romantic declarations.

  2. For the record, JJ is referring to the fact that “You have bewitched me body and soul” only appears in the 2005 adaptation of P&P. (Not in the 1995 version or in the text.)

  3. I made a pact with my friend that I’ll watch the 1995 version of P&P if she would watch the 2005 one! We have not actually gone through with it yet, unfortunately. I’ve heard nothing but good and swoony things about Colin Firth’s portrayal. Especially from Bridget Jones, ha. Obviously, Love Actually is a top contender for favourite.

  4. I love Colin Firth!!! I never would have thought of that George McFly scene, but it’s perfect. The look on her friend’s face is so classic. Yay nerds.

  5. Kelly Fox

    I would have chosen the 2005 adaptation. I loved that one, maybe it has just a little bit of today in it and I do love “you have bewitched me body and soul and I love I love I love you” That is my favorite movie and version of the novel. Although,I do like this version too. I have that one too!

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