I've got a special treat for you today; Melissa has managed to snag an interview with some of your favorite swoon-worthies. Grab your folding fans, gals, and prepare to sigh...
Interview with the Austen Heroes
There is a place in Great Britain hidden among prying eyes where all the great literary male and female figures go to relax. This place is called the “Literary Gentleman’s and Ladies Club”. Here you’ll find all sorts of literary males and ladies from all genres conversing and having a grand time. This is a place of enjoyment and escapement. For the men it’s a haunt to escape prying eyes, wives, and fan girls. To the ladies a club to gossip, complain, and escape from the men.
Today dear readers yours truly has gained entrance into this grand establishment. I cannot tell you how I gained entrance just know that it involved some questionable content that the owners of the establishment and subsequent patrons wish to keep hidden. I was taken from my home, blindfolded, and I believe dumped in a trunk (I think I might have hit a nerve), and taken to the club’s secret location. After being pushed roughly through some type of foliage, by whom I believe are pirates, I finally stumble through a doorway. The blindfold is taken off and the sight is amazing. I’m standing in a tall entranceway with multiple doors leading to various rooms. In the middle is a large curving staircase that appears to disappear out into thin air in the ceiling. The foyer appears to have had a bunch of decorations from eras and genre’s, thrown together, shaken, and then dumped into what I’m seeing now. The floor is a black and white checkered pattern topped with a rug from the Indies. The walls are a mixture of brick, log, and stone so that it appears that once one material ran out another was used. On them a variety of candles in gothic holdings, oil lamps, and gas lamps. Finally, on the ceiling two giant chandlers drop down looking straight out of the early twentieth century. A butler stands ready to my left and inquires whom I’m there to meet. I tell him my first interview is with the heroes of the Jane Austen novels. The butler quickly explains to me that the first two floors are the “Literary Gentleman’s” area. The next two the ladies. The fourth floor is for both sexes. The last is the servant quarters and holding cells for crazy fans who manage to find the place. The butler leads me through a white gilded door on the right that looks to been stolen from a regency home. Inside it is what I believe a gentleman’s club would look like. There are large windows to my front; curtained to prevent me from finding out where I am. Two Billiard tables occupy opposite sides of the room. A variety of blue covered chairs and tables litters the floor. The room is crowded with men of all dress. The butler leads to me a table at the far right where a variety of men sit waiting for me. Now don’t ask how I know these men are the ones I’m to be interviewing. It’s my little secret. I approach the table and thus the interview officially begins.
Myself: Hello gentleman. I’m your interviewer Melissa. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
C. Brandon: So you’re the young lady who’s blackmailing the club into getting an interview.
Myself: I don’t see it as blackmail. It’s more of an incentive to get access into an exclusive club.
Knightly: You know. You look rather familiar. Have we met before?
Myself: …..No….No… Never met…. Mr. Knightly. I’m not even sure who is speaking right now. Perhaps you gentlemen would do me the honor of introducing yourself to me.
Knightly: If we have never met how do you know who I am?
Myself: Readers intuition. It was just a guess, but you seem like the George Knightly I read in yours and Emma’s story.
Knightly glares at me.
Myself: Honestly. Just a guess.
Ferrars: Well I’ll do the honor of introducing everyone. I am Edward Ferrars. The man you just spoke to was indeed Mr. George Knightly. The gentleman in the navel hat is Captain Frederick Wentworth. The man in the red military uniform is Colonel Brandon. The strapping young man in the green is Henry Tilney. The man in the fawn color jacket and scowl is Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. And finally Edmund Bertram.
Myself: Tis a pleasure to meet you all. May I start off by asking if this particular room is a favorite of yours or did you merely choose it to represent the era’s your stories take place in.
Knightly: I don’t know about the rest of the gentleman, but I choose it because not many scripts come here.
Myself: Pardon. Scripts?
C. Brandon: Those characters that come from movie scripts or film to book adaptations.
Myself: Ok….. You do realize that you all have been characterized in film.
Knightly: Yes, but our stories were written down first. People read us before they actually saw us. The scripts only came about because they were written for a movie. They’re annoying and quite frankly I prefer not be to around them.
Ferrars: Not all of them are bad. Captain Jack is quite the hoot. I have him and Blackbeard teaching me some new fencing moves that I plan to teach Margret later on.
C. Brandon: Some of them are, but others are insufferable. Commander Taggart from that adaption of Galaxy Quest makes me want to beat my head against the wall.
Myself: Ok, I believe I need to start a topic here before we start having a character flame party. Not that wouldn’t be interesting, but it really isn’t the point of this interview.
Darcy: What is the point of this interview anyway?
Myself: To give readers a chance to learn more about you and for you to get out of my head.
Darcy: To get us out of your head…..
Myself: Yes my head. Don’t ask don’t tell.
Myself: I first have some questions for you regarding your stories. First to Mr. Darcy why is it that you have trouble speaking to people you aren’t acquainted with.
Darcy: I believe I am what you call in this day and age an introvert.
Ferrars: Really? You introverted I would have never had guess. I thought you just like to stand quietly in the corner because you were admiring the scenery.
Darcy: *glares at Ferrars*As I was saying……I also find it hard to converse with people that I don’t know quite well out of the fact I don’t know quite what to say. I’m not a great people person by nature and I need to have a feel of the person before I can get comfortable enough to start conversing with them. Once I am comfortable with a person I find it much easier to talk.
Myself: I can see that quite clearly from the book. Now what is it about Lizzie that attracted you to her?
Darcy: Her brains and wit. When she started talking I felt an immediate connection. I really liked that fact that I didn’t have to dumb down my words for her. She understood and I could talk as equals.
Mself: I can see how brains are far more attractive than stupidity. Speaking of stupidity how did you deal with the young Miss. Bingley all those months?
Darcy: Selective hearing and a large bottle of aspirin.
Myself: I can fathom many bottles of aspirin.
Darcy: Let’s just say I was asked many times if I felt like I had bad breath from taking so many mints.
Myself: Because aspirin look like mints. Clever. I now have a question for Mr. Bertrum.
Bertrum: Really? Here I thought I was just around so you could have the full set.
Myself: Course not. You’re here because you’re an Austen hero. Now do you feel that the fact that you’re a vicar and fanny is a virtuous person was written to reflect the coming overly moral attitude that was about to sweep Jane’s society? Also did you just choose Fanny because of Miss. Crawford’s comments?
Bertrum: It’s possible. You have to remember that my novel took place in a different era that the current one. The church reigned supreme and people were greatly concerned with morals. The importance of self discipline, early hardships, and piety were of large concern. So while many of you may find my story boring the people of my day and age found it to be quite virtuous and charming. As to your other question I have no comment.
Myself: Well that’s no fun. A question or two for Mr. Knightly now. Now Mr. Knightly it has been complained that you took way too long to confess your love to Emma. Do you feel that is so?
Knightly: No I don’t. It actually took me awhile to realize it. Sometimes when you’re in a comfortable relationship you fail to see that you may have bigger feelings for said person. This was the way it was for my feelings regarding Emma. It embarrassing enough Frank Churchill’s attentions to Emma made me realize that I did love her. I then decided to wait to see how Emma’s whole relationship with Frank turned out. If Frank did love Emma and she loved him back I would have gladly kept my feelings to myself for the sake of her own happiness.
Myself: How sweet! Is there a reason you had originally decided not to marry?
Knightly: I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to settle on anything, but love. Till Emma I had never really loved woman.
Myself: Finally some people are disgusted that you said you’ve loved Emma since she was 13. How do you care to respond to that?
Knightly: I was joking at that. I really didn’t mean it in that way. Dear goodness I don’t practice pedophilia. I meant that I’ve loved her for a very long time.
Myself: Thanks so much for answering the questions. Now to Mr. Ferrars. Mr. Ferrars you’re described as an amiable young man, but also sometimes called a wuss. Care to respond.
Ferrars: I’m called a wuss really? I guess there were points in my story where I could fit the description. Needless to say I don’t always have the necessary backbone, but I like to think I do when it matters.
Myself: I can agree with that statement. You’re like Neville from the Harry Potter series.
Ferrars: I don’t know who that is, but I take it as a compliment. Thank You.
Myself: You’re welcome. Now you mentioned why you wanted to become a vicar in the book and I want to ask whether you had any role model in your choice of profession.
Ferrars: In a bit of a way. Growing up the the vicar in my village was a man by the name of Bartholomew Smythe. He was always very cheery and had a nice thing to say about everyone. I asked him once what was the key to his happiness and he told me a quiet life. And fishing down by the creek on Mondays. I’ve always admired him and wished to be as happy and cheerful as he was.
Myself: How cute. What a nice story. Keeping in the same story let’s move onto Colonial Brandon. Now are you retired Colonial?
C. Brandon: In a way. In case of an emergency I may be called upon to serve my country again.
Myself: So you’re sort of in the reserves?
C. Brandon: Not in the way you Americans think of it. I sold my commission when I left the military, but in a case of a major war and, if I so choose it, I may re-enter the military.
Myself: Some say you and Marianne belong together because you’re both each other’s second choice. Do you feel this is correct?
C. Brandon: No I don’t. I cannot speak for Marianne, but I love her just as much I loved my first love. There is no comparison and no second bests in my book.
Myself: That’s the way things should be. Now to move onto Mr. Tilney. I have two questions to ask you. The first is did you really marry Catherine because there was no-one better around? And the second what do you think of the 1987 remake of your book?
Mr. Tilney: The first is that no. I did not marry Catherine because there was no-one better around. I don’t see how people can perceive that. I lived not far from Bath where there was an abundance of eligible young women. I could have easily married one of them if I had so chosen. Now I have to admit Catherine isn’t always the easiest person to get along with. Her flights of fancy can get a bit irritating sometimes, but I fell in love with her person. Not because she sometimes has disillusions about things.
To answer your second question I thought the adaptation was horrible. The movie did not accurately show who I am. It instead made me into this egocentric know it all that looked down upon everyone. Absolutely horrible I tell you.
Myself: I feel the same about the adaptation. It really did make you out to be a class A a-hole.
Tilney: I’m not sure how to take that.
Myself: I’m only being honest. Now last but not the least in importance Captain Wentworth. Captain, I don’t believe you know how popular you are. Many women positively swoon over you; especially your letter to Anne. Can to tell me about it?
C. Wentworth: First off I’d like to thank you for the compliment. It’s nice to know that Darcy is not the only Austen man capable of drawing women’s favor. As to the letter it was really a spur of the moment thing. I find it much easier to write things down than to speak them. I may be as Mr. Darcy is an introvert. As Anne was speaking my feelings kept coming forth and I therefore decided to write them down so they may be known to Anne. I also decided to write a letter rather than speak my feelings to Anne since I believe that a letter offers a greater deal of privacy. I wanted Anne to truly be-able to give myself an honest answer without any chance of being persuaded otherwise. Now I knew when I wrote the letter that she was not the same girl I had originally fell in love with. She was much wiser and mature. In a way I loved her more now than I might have those years earlier on. It can also be said that perhaps the years apart was a great blessing upon our relationship because it made us both realize our mistakes and grow into ourselves.
Myself: Wow… I’m speechless. You certainly are a master of words Captain.
C. Wentworth: Thank you greatly.
Myself: You’re welcome and thank you gentleman for answering those questions. I now want to know what you think of the expanded universe that has recently exploded that revolves around your tales. There has been stories revolving around your lives after your original story ended, your take on things, and adding a paranormal element to your lives.
Knightly: Well I know for one that I’d like to say that none of the “expanded universe” is true. I for one never authorized a “diary” written from my point of view. I also remember reading “Emma in Love: Jane Austen's Emma Continued by Emma Tennant” and I started a drinking game out of it. Every time I bowed or Emma cried I took a drink. I was quite drunk by the middle of the book. Emma was not too happy to find me in that state and threw the book in the fire before I could finish it.
Ferrars: Speaking of diaries, how many dairies have you supposedly written now Darcy.
Darcy: Oh.. I’ve lost count. I find it easier to just ignore it and the paparazzi. Lizzie and I had to hire some Ents to pretend to be trees and guard Pemberley. The expanded universe just loves to hound my family.
Myself: So what do you think about the whole paranormal aspect your lives have taken? Your stories have been breached by mummies, werewolves, vampires.. Mr. Darcy you seem to be of particular fame in these accounts. You’ve been a vampire, a demon, and a zombie killer.
Darcy: You know I’ve never gotten the whole “Zombie” thing. I mean there is no point in my story where someone dies or visits a graveyard. I would think it would be more appropriate to have “Wuthering Heights and Zombies”. Heathcliff would be fanatical. He’s loved to have Catherine back even as a zombie.
Tilney: True. The man is rather strange; digging up the grave of his dead lover just to stare at her. You should have heard Catherine when she heard the story. She went bonkers. Kept following the man around the place trying to see if Catherine really didn’t from illness but because he killed her and later felt guilty because of it. She’s just gobbling up these paranormal aspects of our stories.
Darcy: Tell me about it. She asked Lizzie the other day whether there was a reason I didn’t like garlic.
Tilney: She can be quite a handful let me tell you. It makes me wonder what started it all. For nearly 200 years our stories have been untarnished and now this. What is with this current obsession with the paranormal?
Myself: Blame it on a Mormon housewife who wrote down a wet dream and thought it was literature. The paranormal aspect of things became huge after the book was published.
C. Brandon: At least my story hasn’t been paranormaled yet.
Myself : Um… yes it has. Sense and Sensibility and sea monsters. You’re part-squid mutant.
C. Brandon: What?.....
Myself: I’m not joking.
C. Brandon: I’m going to go throw myself off a lighthouse,
Myself: Will it be the one that Elinor and Ferrars tend?
Ferras: I tend a lighthouse?
Myself: Yep and your completely human.
Ferras: Great. No mutant babies for Elinor and myself.
Brandon: Shall we get out of this subject before I kill some authors.
Myself: Certainly. Let’s talk fan girls.
A collective quiver is shot through the group. Some gentleman starts to look around as if to see if anyone was around.
Myself: I take it by your reaction that you all have quite a few.
Wentworth: Ug, the fan girls. Do you know how many letters I get in the post every week from them? Hundreds. I quite admire Anne for dealing with it. Thought she wasn’t too happy to hear about this one incident.
Myself: Oh do tell.
Wentworth: Well one day when I got back to my cabin upon my ship I found my door open. I went in and found my supposed new “cabin boy” was quite obviously female. She was on my bed wearing only a captain’s hat, high heels, and nothing else. I locked her in there and had the crew make haste to the nearest port to drop her off as quickly as possible.
Knightly: Really? How fascinating. You’ve never talked about this before Wentworth.
Wentworth: It was rather disturbing. I prefer not to dwell on it.
Knightly: Well something similar happened to me. There was this one girl one time who showed up at my private magistrate chamber wearing a Princess Leia bikini and begging me to let her work for my office or home. I had to have the stable hands drag her out.
Myself: Oh really…. That must have been quite a sight….. Mixed fandoms. It happens. Leia bikini outfit is popular for seduction I hear.
Knightly: You don’t say…. Are you sure we’ve never met before.
Myself: Positive. Has any of you other fine gentleman had crazy experiences?
C. Brandon: I’ve had women sent me letters and lingerie, but never had a crazy incident. Course there is a possibility that Marianne could have stopped the girl before getting to me. Once when I was walking though the fields when a woman came up to me and told me that she thought I was always the best potions master Hogwarts have ever had. Still can’t figure that one out.
Darcy: At least you gents have had isolated incidents. I can’t go anywhere without getting mugged by fan girls. Another reason for the Ents. I’ve had everything done to me; naked women in rooms, letters, lingerie, drawling of myself and the girl. I’ve had women constantly dump water on me to get me wet. There is one thing I can never get why I’m asked though.
Myself: Really what is that?
Darcy: “Let me see your Sparkles”
Wentworth: I get that a lot too.
Myself: Girls ask to see your sparkles?
All Heroes: Yes
Darcy: Like we’re some bloody pixie or something.
C. Brandon: The last time I saw a sparkling man was in a… *clears throat*… establishment. Needless to say these men were not there for the ladies. No straight man sparkles.
Bertram: Yes, Yes. You all live such bloody hard lives. Poor you.
Myself: Oh my I forget you where here Mr. Bertram
Bertram: Course you did. No-one ever remembers me. My story is always quoted as the least favorite or forgotten all together. No fan girls throwing themselves up my alley. Instead I’m stuck at home with a wife with the personality of a stick.
Ferrars: Personality of a stick?
Bertram: She has no personality dammit! I thought she was everything when she lived with my family, but as soon as we left the house I realized she only appeared sane compared to the rest of my household.
C. Brandon: Isn’t there a popular series out right now with a girl with no personality.
Knightly: I believe so. We only see the eldest patron of the family around her. Mutters to himself about what an idiot he was for changing someone and should have let them die from the fever. The star of the series is always out removing engines from the cars of his wife so she can’t visit anyone. The other lead can be scene stalking the “Literary Children’s Club”. Has some obsession with young children.
Wentworth: I believe the term “Be afraid of the big bad wolf came from him”. Certainly didn’t come from Wolfe. The guy cross dresses and plays poker with the three pigs.
Myself: As amusing as this subject is we’re getting off topic. Now Bertram, I’m really am sorry you feel that way. It can’t be helped that you feel in love with a virtuous stick, but the fact remains that you did. And you story is rather boring.
Bertram: *answers sarcastically* Thanks a lot.
Myself: The truth hurts. Perhaps if you had married Mary after all your story would be better liked. Now all of your stories have been in circulation for nary a hundred years has the fan girls gotten better or worse.
Wentworth: Worse. At the beginning there was certain decorum among the young women. It was simply not done to throw oneself at a person.
C. Brandon: Agreed. Oh there was always letters of admiration. I believe we all used to get stitchery, chocolates, and favors such as those in the early days. Ever since the 1950’s the fan girls have gotten more aggressive and crazy.
Knightly: I blame that Elvis fellow; never met a man who had such a high opinion of himself.
Myself: Really? I could name quite a few men who stand upon a self made peddle stool.
Knightly: Oh I’m sure there are. It’s just Elvis is the one who started the craze in my opinion. He seemed to encourage the mass pandemonium of fan girls.
Myself: Does anyone disagree?
Ferras: I blame the Beatles.
Wentworth: Gene Rodenberry and the whole star trek fandom.
C. Brandon: Whatever the hell the Harry Potter fandom is that seems to be so popular. You know they opened an amusement park to it. You should hear the characters gloat. I’m surprised their heads can fit through the doors with how big they’ve gotten.
Myself: Oh I know…… about the amusement park. I’m just dying to go.
Bertram: That can be arranged.
Myself: Myself going to the park?
Bertram: No you dying.
Myself: Shut up and go pout in the corner.
C. Brandon: As I was saying it has its own world. Why don’t we have a Jane Austen world? Our stories have been around much longer. Simply unfair.
Myself: You have a Jane Austen house and multiple societies.
C. Brandon: Not the same.
Myself: No offense, but I think it might be a bit boring.
Tilney: Are you calling our stories boring?
Myself: Oh no. Just that there isn’t much in them to make a complete theme park. Hate to tell you but Harriet’s attack by the gypsies or Marianne’s long walks in the rain don’t exactly sound like appealing attractions.
Darcy: I think this interview is done.
Darcy: You’ve insulted our stories and now you must leave.
Myself: I did no such thing. I merely suggested that your stories wouldn’t make for interesting theme park attractions.
Knightly: Oh because we wouldn’t have Hippogriff roller coasters or a giant Hogwarts Castle replica.
Myself: I hope not since it would be odd since none of those things occur in your stories.
At that comment I’m grabbed by Mr. Knightly and C. Brandon and unceremoniously dumped outside of the room. I feel a shoe hit my head and I believe its Mr. Bertram’s. I wonder if I could say its Mr. Darcy’s and sell it on ebay. Oh well. Off to my next interview.