How many times have you found yourself so head-over-heels in love that you wanted to spend all your time with just one person? It’s a beautiful and, for all the crazy number of people in this world, a rare thing. Something precious. Something to be nurtured, often in secret, because the idea of ridicule is so embarrassing, so painful? But you wouldn’t trade that feeling for the world . . .
How many times has that one person been fictional?
Okay, I’m going to share a list of my Literary Crushes in totally random order. Do please note two things, however:
1. I am talking about crushes! Not a character you simply like to read about/find yourself picking up more books on that character, etc. I mean a full-fledged (and usually, but not always, secret) crush!
2. All of these were before I was married. My Rohan is aware of (most of) these fellows and does, in fact, feel prepared to deal with the residual feelings (because some loves never truly die).
Okay, on to the noble company.
My very first literary crush happened when I was 14 years old. One bored evening a picked a certain thick volume off my parents’ bookshelf, purely on a whim. And was introduced to the dark, twisted, fascinating world of 221B Baker St. and this fine gentleman.
He was dangerous. He was polished. He was tortured. He was brilliant. He was musical, analytical, lethal, and sardonic. I mean . . . what’s not to love?
So I crushed pretty badly for quite a while there, read every single short story or novel Conan Doyle ever wrote on the man and even dared attempt a few spin-offs by other authors (notably, this series).
Thus I first learned what a literary crush means.
Following that, and not too very long after, I picked up The Lord of the Rings. I was familiar with the story because my father had read it aloud to me and my brothers back when I was about 9 years old, during our move from England back to the states. So I knew I loved it already. But I did not expect to fall so very hard and fast for the main character: Frodo Baggins.
Well, when you’re 14, there’s not accounting for taste.
But seriously, I just adored this brave fellow who was willing to risk so much and risk it so beautifully for the sake of others. And, unlike Sam, he didn’t have a possible love-interest waiting for him back home, which made him all the more tragically appealing to me! So I crushed really bad and found myself totally swept up in his adventures.
(Another note: I did not fall in love with the movie incarnation of this character. I mean, Elijah Wood was very wide-eyed-sweet and all that . . . but he just did not compare to my own imagined Frodo. And he never will.)
So that crush on Frodo lasted a good long while. Until about midway through The Two Towers. Because you see . . . that’s when I met Faramir. (Again, not the movie version. I am sticking strictly to literary crushes, not cinematic ones).
If Frodo was a crush, Faramir was a passion. Mixed with a crush.
Okay, moving on.
After that, at various times my literary crushes included:
Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle
Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities (you knew there’d be a bad-boy in there somewhere)
Eugenides from The Queen’s Thief series
Mac from Eight Cousins (O! I crushed hard on him! In fact, that may have been an earlier crush than Sherlock Holmes . . .)
Dr. Neil McNeill from Christy (book, not TV series. Didn’t particularly care for the TV series)
Cyrano de Bergerac from the play. (And no, his romantic French prose didn’t hurt a thing! “Non, merci! Non, merci! Mais. . .chanter, rêver, rire, passer, être seul, être libre . . .”)
Wow. What a strange romantic history I have had all in my head. Some of these I have to ask myself . . . where the heck did that come from? But, hey. True love knows no bounds.
I once really crushed on a historical figure, Major John Pitcairn, who died tragically at the Battle of Bunker Hill. I fell for him while studying Lexington, then turned the page to Bunker Hill and . . . Sniffle! Sob!
My brother very practically pointed out that he would have been long dead by the time I was born anyway. Thanks! ‘Cause that helps! (sniffle)
Anyway, those are mine. I’m sure I’ve forgotten several, but that’s a goodly number of them anyway! Who were some of yours?