Shapely new cast —

I like the color, but hate the confinement of it. I’m feeling quite sorry for myself, but ok, enough of that.

I do have a nearly overpowering urge to thwack things with it, though. I bet it would hurt, but it would make a nice crack.

Still reading Georgette Heyer. Maybe it’s like a cast metaphor, now — what can be done within the confines of everything — the genre, the rules for people at the time — for everyone, but obviously especially for women. And of course it’s 1819, but also 1970.

I finished Regency Buck last night. It’s an interesting one. Ok, the hero is bad, because before he knows the heroine at all, he grabs her and puts her in his carriage and kisses her, ignoring her protests. Then, of course, it turns out he’s her guardian. (Right, it’s a romance novel.) So, of course that is very bad, and it is in complete contrast with his behaviour as her guardian, where he is, again, high-handed, but very appropriate, socially — takes care of her interests, does nothing untoward, knows what the right things to do are. He understands and enforces socials norms, while also allowing a little bit of play — he lets her buy a high-perch phaeton (some kind of dangerous carriage) and buys her horses. The horse thing is always important — of course, she is great with horses — riding and driving, and we see that she’s not some dumb girl, but a spirited individual. She is a much better driver than her brother, for instance, and yet we see how limited her world is when she causes scandal by driving some kind of carriage to Brighton — racing (and beating) her brother — or she would, if she weren’t stopped by the guardian, who saves her from making a spectacle of herself. (Which is so awful! Haw awful that she’s not allowed to be good at what she’s good at!)

There’s such a contrast between what her brother can do — anything, really — he needs to make mistakes in order to learn — and how circumscribed her life is. There’s just an interesting play going on between propriety and transgression, and they are satisfyingly resolved when the hero marries the heroine. I guess. Well, I guess it’s a sort of socially sanctioned transgression.

But it’s also growing up, right? That you learn to make compromises and keep your temper and accept that ladies don’t get to drive in races, although, of course, men do. I think that’s why it’s pleasing that the hero is also transgressive — they’re both misfits (as well as fitting in very well, because of course they are Important People, who to some extent have license.)

I guess.

All right. I will ponder further.


5 thoughts on “new

  1. When Walker broke his arm playing soccer, they didn’t let him play with the cast on unless we wrapped it in layers of bubble wrap, because evidently some little boys did use it to thwack people with!
    I think you have it more right that the hero and heroine are both transgressive–that’s why they are such a good match.
    My mother certainly didn’t raise me–as a teenager in the 1970’s–to make compromises and keep my temper! Some days I still feel all temper, the way I did when I was young and it came out in a tantrum.

    • Yes, that makes sense — they are both transgressive and that’s why we feel it’s a good match. Interesting.
      Also, this one was written in 1935 —
      But you don’t feel like you had to make compromises to grow up? Growing up is definitely about more power over your own life, but I feel like there were compromises involved. Trying to think back to all those books we read when we were 15 — certainly they were about loss and compromise.

      • I don’t know. I feel less like I made compromises than that I knuckled under to my parents’ authority while I had to and got out of their household as soon as I could. With my own kids, I know they feel a bit of that, but I also hope they are learning to compromise instead of just knuckle under.

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