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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to Schola: Mmm! Recalcitrant characters? Brings to mind Pirandello and Six Characters in Search of an Author, doesn't it? Or Milton, maybe, and all his trouble with Satan's free will? However, were I Beverley or Kleypas, I'd certainly scotch that in the bud.

to maggieb: I agree. The HEA is not meant to accord with reality. It is, in fact, the most fantastic of the inescapable elements in romance fiction. It's halcyon happiness which, per some authors, not even death can infringe upon. It might even be argued that it's exactly the apparent impossibility that the HEA will be "ever after" that makes it an HEA.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I truly believe there is no way that Lucy in On the Way to the Wedding would ever be faithful. She is portrayed as utterly spineless and willing to f_ck and forget Gregory over a real non-problem. It's one of the few romances where, when I heard how many kids she had, I wondered who else had sired some of them. There's no happily ever after with someone who can't stand up for herself when it counts.
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1549

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The strength of Nicholas and Eleanor's marriage comes up frequently in subsequent "Rogue" books. Maybe she's still trying to convince you? Laughing
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Maysa



Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think that the way we view an HEA today is probably about 200% different than how our great, great, great grandparents did. Jo Beverley is, IMO, excellent at planting her characters in historical soil and making them bloom accordingly without applying modern mores and behaviour.


Hmm, I sort of agree with this, and sort of don't. On the one hand, a happy ever after ending 200 years ago (in the West at least) would include things like the heroine never working again and just being domestic (something which I don't particularly find attractive), but on the other hand, a HEA would still probably include two people who respected each other (depending on the author). I always believe that Emma & Mr. Knightley and Anne Elliot & Capt. Wentworth will be happy because those couples enjoy spending time with each other and share mutual respect. I think that kind of relationship is necessary for a HEA, regardless of the time period.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
The strength of Nicholas and Eleanor's marriage comes up frequently in subsequent "Rogue" books. Maybe she's still trying to convince you? Laughing


I am convinced of the strength of a loyal friendship and deep mutual affection . . . Laughing

Ah, well, given the times and given what the marriage was at the beginning and could have been had they not tried to make it work . . . Yes, I guess it slips into HEA territory by the skin of its teeth. (But I'm still not sure about Nicholas ever wandering again . . .)
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MarianneM



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 374
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading through this thread, I think that many of you are forgetting that romantic love within marriage is a fairly recent concept, probably invented and intensified by cheerful, optimistic Americans, who think that all happiness, all ecstasy should be permanent within a relationship.

As far as historical times are concerned, marriages in most Western countries were, first and foremost, dynastic business arrangements, to which each party brought something the other party wanted. Generally, the men wanted to marry well and have an heir and a spare and maybe more to continue the blood line. The women wanted to marry men with wealth who would keep them comfortable, allow them nice allowances and pretty houses in return for bearing their children and seeing to it that home life stayed on an even keel. Sure, at the beginning there was supposed to be some pleasant "slap and tickle" for a month [the honeymoon] or even a few more. But the rose-colored glasses soon got clouded. And that was all right as long as each party lived up to his/her promises.

This sounds cynical -- but it's realistic. Romantic love may have been conceived of in Eleanor of Acquitane's time. But it was never conceived of as happening in marriage. That's an American invention, I think.

There were individual marriages in various countries which did involve real and lasting love. But they were the exception, not the rule.

As an aside, I'm 80 years old and probably the oldest living witness on this discussion board as to how things were in America of the 1930s and 1940s. Mistresses were not as common as some poster above implied that they were. Certainly, there have always been mistresses hanging around on the outskirts of society, but the number of faithful husbands in 1940 was probably greater than the number there are today. Since my first husband died two years after our marriage, I had both the time and the curiosity to observe closely the changes in our society between 1940 and 2008. Believe me, the changes were huge. If you're interested, ask me and I'll tell you.

MarianneM
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I honestly don't see how anyone can like the Beverley, still. Sure, it's different, but it's different by being homophobic and unloving and unromantic. I don't like those kinds of difference. ::shrug:: Clearly yet another book for which I am not the audience.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarianneM wrote:
As an aside, I'm 80 years old and probably the oldest living witness on this discussion board as to how things were in America of the 1930s and 1940s. Mistresses were not as common as some poster above implied that they were. Certainly, there have always been mistresses hanging around on the outskirts of society, but the number of faithful husbands in 1940 was probably greater than the number there are today. Since my first husband died two years after our marriage, I had both the time and the curiosity to observe closely the changes in our society between 1940 and 2008. Believe me, the changes were huge. If you're interested, ask me and I'll tell you.

MarianneM


Oh, I'm not from America, if that clears things up! Very Happy
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1662

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Romantic Love Reply with quote

MarianneM wrote:
Reading through this thread, I think that many of you are forgetting that romantic love within marriage is a fairly recent concept, probably invented and intensified by cheerful, optimistic Americans, who think that all happiness, all ecstasy should be permanent within a relationship.
MarianneM


I'm not sure I quite agree. The concept of romantic love within marriage has existed for a long time. Romeo and Juliette certainly wanted such a relationship, or else Juliette would have been content with a marriage to Paris. What I think is different now is not what people want or hope for, but what they expect. In the West people no longer marry solely for diplomatic purposes or to get access to good bottom land for farming, but to get emotional fulfillment as well, and if that emotional fulfillment isn't forthcoming, they feel justified in ending the marriage. In the past, as Juliette's parents show, Love wasn't a reason for marriage but a nice bonus if it occurred -- and if it didn't, that was just the way of the world and one dealt with it.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an aside, I'm 80 years old and probably the oldest living witness on this discussion board as to how things were in America of the 1930s and 1940s. Mistresses were not as common as some poster above implied that they were. Certainly, there have always been mistresses hanging around on the outskirts of society, but the number of faithful husbands in 1940 was probably greater than the number there are today. Since my first husband died two years after our marriage, I had both the time and the curiosity to observe closely the changes in our society between 1940 and 2008. Believe me, the changes were huge. If you're interested, ask me and I'll tell you.

MarianneM[/quote]


Hmmmm, I don't know, but I think it all depends on the persons involved. My parents are both in their 90's (they met and married at 40) and my father's sister was older by 3 years. At 22 she married a man and they moved to Paris. He was supposedly very good looking and would "turn heads" when he walked in a room. He eventually cheated on her and she divorced him only to marry the love of her life 10 years later. She did tell my father that she loved the man she was marrying, but she would always love Jack (her first husband). So..in her case, a mistress did exist, sadly.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarianneM wrote:

There were individual marriages in various countries which did involve real and lasting love. But they were the exception, not the rule.

As an aside, I'm 80 years old and probably the oldest living witness on this discussion board as to how things were in America of the 1930s and 1940s. Mistresses were not as common as some poster above implied that they were. Certainly, there have always been mistresses hanging around on the outskirts of society, but the number of faithful husbands in 1940 was probably greater than the number there are today. Since my first husband died two years after our marriage, I had both the time and the curiosity to observe closely the changes in our society between 1940 and 2008. Believe me, the changes were huge. If you're interested, ask me and I'll tell you.

MarianneM


I agree with Marianne on this -- if only because the overwhelming majority of men couldn't afford to have mistresses (1930s was the Depression). This is using the really classical definition of a "mistress" as supported by the man, whom she repays be being sexually available, rather than simply having an affair.
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 667
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mariannem and I are on the same wave-length again. I find her observations very well thought out and sensible. I love romantic historical fiction but have real trouble when matters are beyone the parameters of what I know to be historically valid.

Mariannem said: This sounds cynical -- but it's realistic. Romantic love may have been conceived of in Eleanor of Acquitane's time. But it was never conceived of as happening in marriage. That's an American invention, I think.

I think her comment is probably something I agree with. It's to do with that great old manifest destiny sense of entitlement, of optimism, of single-mindedness that imbues much American thought. Certainly American women were allowed many more freedoms in the 19th century than Europen (and Asian - e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Indian, etc) were allowed. Women in Wyoming were allowed the vote about 75 years before British women, as one example. My own (very ordinary American) grandparents were divorced in about 1928 - something unheard of in Britain except for the very, very wealthy with deep pockets and very high connections.

For anyone who really would like a better understanding of the social realities of relationships in, particularly, Britain, again I recommend The Family Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 (Penguin History) by Lawrence Stone (Paperback - 29 Nov 1990) which is the best single volume I know of on the subject.

And, to Mariannem again, please keep posting - I always enjoy reading your POV. You are my mother's age and I always love hearing her perspective on life and love.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question for Schola: What instances in Beverley's The Arranged Marriage lead you to the conclusion that Nicholas will eventually stray? Just curious!
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the past the scandal (let alone, the difficulty of obtaining) a divorce, meant that a mistress/girl friend did not threaten the stability of the family as much as now, but I can't imagine any spouse who cares--let alone, loves--the partner is not terribly hurt at infidelity.

MarianneM wrote, "I had both the time and the curiosity to observe closely the changes in our society between 1940 and 2008. Believe me, the changes were huge. If you're interested, ask me and I'll tell you. "

So, I'm asking. I'm curious about your comparisons.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynda X wrote:
...but I can't imagine any spouse who cares--let alone, loves--the partner is not terribly hurt at infidelity.

My same thoughts. If a person truly loves their partner, infidelity has to be such a betrayal. Perhaps where love is not one of the primary factors in a marriage, it may bother them less. On the other hand, who knows? Everyone reacts differently when confronted with such a challenge.
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