so you like pride and prejudice


Jane Austen is another underuser of Jemma Redgrave’s talent. Watching Love & Friendship on Netflix. I mean it’s alright but I’m 10 mins from the end and it’s low on the Redgrave. That aside, Jane Austen always makes me so glad to be alive in this century. No corsets, enforced social marriages and we’ve got the  internet.

Writing about: complicated relationships

You know maybe I should have just said relationships since they all turn complicated sooner or later. Anyway this overgrown note to myself has three main types of complicated. Hopefully (if you are a writer) you’ll find this useful :)

Lets start with family:

This should be easy, they are a characters first bonds, they share blood, history, characteristics, personality. Raised together, played together, …

In many cases this bond should be strong enough to stand the test of time, but then life happens and lets say it as it is life isn’t always fair.

A good example of this are Thor and Loki (from the Marvel Universe, based on  the Norse gods of the same name). They are raised as brothers and their bond is strong well into adulthood. Their differences only help them it would seem, but that all changes when Loki finds out he is adopted. Well more rescued from being adandoned on a frozen rock. He also discovers he is not an Asgardian but a Jotun. It is then that he starts to dislike Thor’s ease and the fact that he is the heir while Loki himself is an outcast. He lets that fester and when he attacks Thor the older one of the duo does not know where this dislike comes from (he was not told of Loki’s discovery). This is the beginning of one of the best known love-hate relationships between brothers in modern fictional history.

Now on to friendship:

I don’t know who said friends are the family we chose ourselves, it is a lovely sentiment, but wildly optimistic.

At first when you find a good match between characters that is the perfect opportunity to have them bond, but if you want to keep it interesting you have to introduce conflict or you will soon have tooth rotting sugary fluff.

A good example of a complicated friendship is that of Emma and Harriet Smith (Emma by Jane Austen). Emma, who is a bit lost after her governess gets married, meets a girl her age from a poorer background. Now this story is set in the early 19th century so you can’t just be friends with everyone, add to that that there is little choice in a small village. So Harriet is uncomplicated and fun, yet less quickwitted and educated then Emma. This means Emma is in a way at an advantage and she seeks to make Harriets life better by finding her a good husband (a genuine concern if you wanted security in the early 19th century). She however goes a little overboard and soon Harriet is so confused she sets her sights on the man Emma loves and you guessed it things just got difficult. On the one hand Emma can’t blame her, since Harriet does not know how she feels, but on the other it just becomes painfully clear how unequal they are and always have been.

And lastly, romance:

Now much has already been writing about this one, but it is such rewarding topic.

The fact is that when romance and marriage is involved and something goes wrong the feeling of betrayal is much keener which makes for interesting scenes/plotlines.

A good example is the relationship of Cosimo de Medici and Contessina de Bardi in Medici: masters of Florence. They are a real couple and by renaissance Italian standards their marriage was a roaring success. In their 49 years together he only strayed once, which is extremely rare given that he and Contessina’s marriage was an arranged one. He never strayed again and she had influence beyond what could be expected at the time. Which shows that he loved her.

This of course would not have added anything to the story and so they gave Cosimo a failed love affair before he first met his future wife. He wasn’t over it and it clouded his marriage for the coming 20 years. Yet he and his wife are a perfect match and so they have found another as to work to strengthen their family, their bank and the city of Florence. He oddly enough is the last one to notice. Yet from day one there seems to be this pull that brings them together (as seen from the gifs below) and proves they would have been well if he hadn’t had his heart broken first.

This last one is from a TV series, but there is still the element of storytelling present. Which is why I picked this example.


Regency dress & strip down 😉 It’s pretty historically accurate (thank you, #patternsoffashion ) but since it doesn’t fit quite as nicely as I had hoped, I’ll probably put it up for sale. Anyone need a ballgown? 😘 #regency #regencystays #19thcentury #janeausten #prideandprejudice #taffeta #fichu #historicalcostume #historicalfashion #sewing #handmade #historicalunderwear

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The Oxford Man’s Proposal

(In honor of the ever lovely Jane Austen)

It had taken merely the overthrowing of a modest hesitation.

I provided him with my answer thoughtlessly, Yes.

There had been no embrace, an amiable nod a small smile.

My sister offered only quiet sympathies amidst congratulations.

Though none of my brothers, except my dear Henry

Offered any sort of protest against the union.

All night I have remained upright in bed, in contemplation.

Dear Cassie lays soundly near me, I observe her quiet sobs.

How nearly I’d lost her to typhoid only to be parted by this.

But I will never receive a more reasonable and sound offer.

Especially not from one so highly educated, however unattractive.

I have already lost my chance at a love beyond partnership.

I tasted it, like sweet honey and gripped it tightly in my hands.

The dark corruption of politics quietly ripped it from me.

Now I awake this hunger only to satisfy it with a business venture.

Why have I so offended my own feelings with such a proposal?

Henry insists no man shall ever be my equal, nor a true ally,

Unless they were willing to submit to the eternal love of a writer.

The women I have written into existence scold me in my mind.

I have promised them only the deepest most compelling of loves

Can induce me to marry and nothing less.

How could I accept this man?  But I already have.

What an upset it would be should I go back on my word.

But compared to the betraying of my very character,

It seems far less a sin and much less a tragedy.

I will go to him and tell him I have changed my mind.

I must refuse him, loneliness will surely be a happier fate.

- Kylie @bleeding-typewriters


Today, I show my Lizzie Bennet Diaries collection 💙