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Stuck in the Regency Era

The first Classic Literature novel I read was back in grade 9, and it is also my favorite Classic - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Since then I have been absolutely engrossed in all media surrounding the popularly known "Regency Era" which roughly dates the latter half of the 18th and the former half of the 19th Century.

Maybe it's the flowy gowns over layers of petticoats, the crisp tailored coats, or the visual representation of a subtle petrichor associated weather, the imaginary world of the Classics along with the TV show and film adaptations capture my attention like no other. Wanting to be teleported to live in a tiny little cottage with a stream nearby seems to be the wishful thinking I sometimes allow myself. However, it is important to be mindful in such viewership of the past.


Perhaps my love for such an era would be endless if not for realizing and reading up on the struggles of the powerful women who brought these books to life. To write under a pseudonym in a time when no one wanted to read anything written by a female author, to hide themselves from the world so that they could offer a whole new world, and to fight against the patriarchal holds that held them back was no small feat. Reading media from the past and about the past needs to be taken seriously and with some insight because that is the only way to be respectful to those who struggled before us. With this, the idea of "Academia" as either an aesthetic or as an actual interest coming with reading is also very elitist and almost has some barriers to entry which again stem from patriarchal expectations of being fully qualified to enjoy a certain hobby.

An idealistic perception of history is very dangerous because it is extremely dismissive of the horrible institutions that held such patriarchal structures in place. It assumes that everything was light and free with tea parties in the parlors, walks in the gardens, and peeks outside carriages. Of course, this is also to include just how white such stories are and so it is even more important to take them with a grain of salt because at the same time that these works were being written and published, people of color all around the world were fighting against colonial powers in their own ways.


To conclude, my love for such works remains the same with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, with Mr. Knightley and Emma, and with the fierce Jo March and lovely Laurie amongst many others, but I have learnt over the years that this love is not unconditional. Respectful inclusions of people of color alongside these characters are indeed fodder for the imagination to be turned into reality, one that runs wild with love for all.







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15 Comments


History can only be properly understood when viewed from different angles and perspective. There is a lot of truth to the assertion that history is just a story told by the victor. Those in power ultimately decide the version of events that the mass public is indoctrinated with. You are absolutely right in saying that other points of view need to be considered and one must pursue this task actively or risk falling into a trap that has been carefully laid

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Classics are my favorite as well. I have watched Sense and Sensibility and Bridgerton. I could not read Pride and prejudice and sadly I totally forgot it. Now I have added it to my book list. Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention and for such an amazing review.

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Thank you! I'm so glad, and I hope we can continue sharing media like this! And you're most welcome!

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loved it Taneer !

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Thank you so much Ali!

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safa.imran11
safa.imran11
Jul 04, 2021

What's sad is that I somehow still have to read AND watch Pride and Prejudice! It's the one classic I somehow entirely missed. But reading such detailed analysis of yours has inspired me to do so.

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I'm sure you'll thoroughly enjoy it. Do let me know how you like it!

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Sara Arif
Sara Arif
Jul 04, 2021

It's astonishing how similar your interests are to mine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I love classics and I would recommend you Sense and Sensibility if you haven't watched it yet. I wish they made more of such beautiful films and wrote such books. So toxic but who doesn't want a Mr. Darcy in their life. Very well written!

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Thank you so much! And yes that's so true how our interests align! I have indeed watched Sense and Sensibility and it is also one of my favorites. I'm glad you liked it!

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