noun: the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration
I was sad when Downtown Abbey ended last spring. So in my attempt to do a bit of relaxing the last few weeks, I have been watching some other British period pieces. Remember in “Fifty Shades of Grey The Movie” when Christian asks Ana, “You said you’re an English major. Tell me, was it Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, or Thomas Hardy who first made you fall in love with literature?” Well, quite by accident I watched movies based on each of their novels. I loved “Far From the Maddening Crowd” based on Hardy’s novel, much like Anastasia.
Netflix also provides a number of series based on the history of England. Ok it’s historical fiction, but I am pausing here and there to wikipedia historical events. Who knew what “the consumption” was?Or that Queen Elizabeth I was daughter to King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn? So, I am learning history along the binges. (That is my story, and I am sticking to it!)
Life was hard in the 15, 16, 1800s. Many died young. It was nearly impossible to advance in the social order. Most people lived and died as simple peasants. But what draws me to this genre are the heroines. Their quiet strength and faith in themselves. Their simple beauty and dedication to music, sewing, poetry…creating. The simplicity of everyday life. Everything around them is seemingly black or white, good or evil, love or hate, right or wrong, romantic.
Family was central to life and words held so much meaning, giving delight and arousing admiration. The word “charm” itself can be a noun, verb, or an adjective. It can mean a variety of things, and yet it isn’t popular in today’s language. Perhaps people aren’t all that interested in being charming anymore. Well, I’m a bit obsessed…I want to be charming. It is a tall order. But wanting a tenderness of heart and striving for a bit of charm, I kind of like that about myself.
“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” Jane Austen