so, in the traditional marriage plot in 19th century novels, there are three proposals for marriage:
- a bad proposal by a bad suitor,
- a bad proposal by a good suitor, and
- a good proposal by a good suitor, which is awkward but satisfying and ends in a supposed wedded bliss.
i have decided that i much prefer the bad suitor. he’s dangerous. he’s witty. he’s mysterious. and he’s often much more attractive in my mind’s eye, being described with words like “rough” and “ruddy.” not to be confused with rough and ready, although they’re probably that, too.
i mean, sure, they may lie to you. they may have guiltlessly knocked up and abandoned the 15-year-old sister of an old oxford pal. they may snip a lock of your hair and then heartlessly send it back to you after you discover that they’ve been engaged for years to another woman. they may even harbor nastiness, arrogance, and explosive violence in their black, black, bad-suitor hearts. but no one can gallop through the heath like a bad-ass suitor on a black stallion. no good suitor wearing white breeches and politely visiting for afternoon tea in his mild-mannered two-horse gig could make a girl swoon quite like your bad suitor.
so here’s to the bad suitors of the literary world. they can fill my dance card any time.
three bad suitors who make my hot list:
1. john willoughby from sense and sensibility. hooooooot.
2. heathcliff from wuthering heights. he may not have a conscience, but he’s certainly better than tapioca-pudding edgar linton.
3. rawdon crawley from vanity fair. thackeray gave him some scary mustachios, but in the movie he’s tasty.