Pride and Protocol

Original Draft from August 18, 2016. Part of a series to publish unfinished musings in a raw state.

Maria and I have been on a Jane Austen marathon this summer. Since may we have gone through Emma, Sense and Sensibility, two renditions of Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion.

This early 1800’s form the backdrop for these books, an era which is well known for long dresses and even longer winded manners. Of course, Maria and I enjoy contrasting these mannerisms with our own casual habits, and we enjoy watching snippets like this from our family’s favorite band of actors, Studio C.

Of course, Jane Austen was a critic of her time, not a proponent! This was also the same time period also was the home to the child labor, crime, pickpocketing Charles Dickens wrote of in novels like Oliver Twist. Americans may have reason to be proud for throwing off English fascination with manners.

However, I have noticed something interesting, in a favorite word on the street. Awkward. “That was awkward.” “I am so awkward.” “It was a very awkward meeting.”

Contrast that with the recent surge in interest in Downton Abbey and Jane Austen’s works. Just comic relief for the day? Or an indulgence of an unfulfilled desire for stronger roles and rules in day to day life?

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