Is it the pompous, macho-like – yet incredibly noble and kind, Mr. Darcy?
Or is it the secretive, dauntless, muslin-expert, Henry Tilney?
Perhaps it’s the moralising lecturer, Mr. Knightley – with his unfailing gentleness and understanding for women?
Could it be the slightly confused – yet unquestionably affectionate Edmund Bertram?
Oh wait! It must be the romantic, passionate, long-distance lover – Captain Frederick Wentworth!
But did we really miss out on the adorably shy, quirky gentleman – Edward Ferrars – the one who’s intentions are truly good, but he is just too shy to express them at first ….?
Dear reader. I know it’s tempting to say the classic line: “Are you kidding me? It’s Mr. Darcy of course!”
Or perhaps you think you already know what my choice is, since you’ve read the name of my blog?
I’m sorry to say, but no. It’s not Mr. Knightley, and it’s not Mr. Darcy either. In fact, none of the mentioned above is a true Jane Austen hero for me. Belive it or not. We actually missed out on one crucial male character in her books; Someone really important. Someone who actually changes someone else’s life by helping them out of a devastating heartbreak. Yes, I’m talking about you – Colonel Brandon – from “Sense and Sensibility”.
After doing a bunch of research, asking myself the same question again and again: Who would make the best husband out of all these dashing young gentleman – I ended up in a place I never thought I’d be – Is it possible that Colonel Brandon is the most underrated Jane Austen character of all time?
Ok. Let’s dig deep into the development of this man. Step by step. (I’m sure I will succeed in persuading you!)
- Meets Marianne. Falls head over heals immediately.
- Tries to befriend her in the most gentlemanly way possible.
- Appears as rather dull and wearisome in the beginning, making Marianne completely disinterested (judging by her blossoming youth and her wish to walk on the wild-side for a little bit before settling – this doesn’t come off as too surprising for either Colonel or the reader. After all, the age-gap isn’t precisely small).
- Colonel decides to take a step back when it comes to courting her – however (attraction set aside) he continues appreciating Marianne’s music and interest for poetry.
- Marianne is swept off her feet by a young, extrovert bachelor called Willoughby. He is everything Colonel is not. Charming, flirtatious and good with the ladies. While Marianne and her new man engage in a small romance – no one is able to foresee Willoughby’s cruel intentions – EXCPEPT FOR Colonel. Since Colonel’s past has Willoughby in it – he knows a little something more about him than anyone else. STILL he respects Marianne’s choice, because he loves her and he wants her to be happy. Uhmm – HELLO? MAJOR GENTLEMAN ALLERT or what?
- As expected – Willoughby leaves Marianne to marry a woman with better prospects.
- Marianne falls into a depression.
- Marianne falls dangerously ill.
- When Colonel hears of her poor condition, he is soon to be by her side.
- When Marianne is close to recovery, he keeps her company everyday; reading poetry out loud, making sure she stays outside to get some sun … just … HOW CAN A MAN BE THIS PERFECT?
- Oh and last but not least – Marianne understands how wrong she’s been and ends up marrying the one and only Jane Austen hero, Colonel Brandon. And of course, they live happily ever after, because how can you not be happy with a man who loves you unconditionally, helps your family out whenever it’s needed and takes care of you whenever you’re sick?
So – do you see my point now?
Colonel stayed with Marianne through thick and thin, in sickness and in health – even before they got married and promised each other exactly these things! If you ask me, he’s the safest choice when it comes to matrimony. Therefor, a TRUE Jane Austen hero.
Do you agree with my choice, or did you think I would have someone else in mind?
Either way, I would like to hear your opinion on the matter! Comment down below or give me a message, and I’ll keep it up with more of these articles:)
Aftur S. Nerdrum