Heroes Out Of Time

A girl I went to University with told me she loved to read regency romances because the men in those books were ‘allowed’ to be assholes – it was time-appropriate, she said, to be devilishly handsome and be rather roguish, to rip their ladies’ bodices off their heaving bosom and generally be totally sexist… I could go on but I think you get the point.

I’ve been thinking lately about my ideal types of heroes and heroines and how these different types of characters appeal to different readers. For example, I desperately love heroes and heroines out of their own time. Men who come from olden times and make their way to the modern day where they are full of charm, manner, and politeness, an ability to create charming small talk and even dance!


1899 Dr. Alexander Hartdegen played by Guy Pearce, from The Time Machine (2002)


1876, Leopold Alexis Elijah Walker Thomas Gareth Mountbatten, Duke of Albany, as played by Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold (2001)

Contrary to popular opinion, this post was not just  an opportunity to oogle pictures of hot guys looking dapper.

I also love modern-day heroines thrown back into regency dramas, or at least girls with modern-day sensibilities. There are so many of these girls written into older books – women who share the same desire to be equal to a man and not just his plaything or an heir factory. Women who are scolded for being ‘outspoken’. Women who manage, by their scathing words alone, to bring a man to tears or his knees.


Modern-day Amanda Price and 1813 Jane Bennet in Lost in Austen (2008)


Mia Wasikowska as 1847 Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre (2011)

So to sum up: I like men from older times because they are gentlemanly, and modern women because of their kick-assness.


5 thoughts on “Heroes Out Of Time

  1. Caitlin says:

    awesome post! totally agree with everything you’ve said! and I love Kate and Leopold! and Lost in Austen (as previously mentioned :)).


  2. Archer says:

    I can see the appeal of this idea. It really is quite amazing to watch the dynamics of characters out of their own time.


  3. Kathy says:

    When I started reading this post I wondered if the girl was me, because I love reading regency romances (Georgette Heyer’s books, to be specific), but I really can’t see myself giving those reasons for liking them!


    • Lissa says:

      No, it’s not you, my love. Although it is someone we did English Honours with. Can you remember? I’ll tag her on Facebook. It wouldn’t let me before.


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