Happy Birthday, Jane Austen! On December 16, Jane Austen, every book club's favorite female author, would have been 236, had she been alive. She is the author of six celebrated novels, in addition to a handful of short works, letters and poems. Ms. Austen's work has been noted as much for its wit and keen observations on life as for its unforgettable characters and the impossible romantic situations they find themselves in the middle of. Austen's novels are like the Three's Company of the Regency Era.
Writing as a woman in the 1800s was not an easy task, especially when your novels focused on women and their social status in the world. Austen published most of her works anonymously and received little in the way of literary reviews. She died, sadly, at the young age of 47.
In the past few years, Jane Austen's popularity has skyrocketed. Multiple adaptations of her work have been made into films, BBC specials and some have even been updated into contemporary times; 1995's Clueless was based on the Austen novel Emma. Recently, her novels have even been transformed into fantasy/horror works such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which expands upon the original story.
What we found very sad about Ms. Austen's life is that she was never married (It's rumored she had a longtime love, but never been validated). Here is this woman who has imagined some of our culture's favorite romances, and she may have died without one of her own.
So our hats go off to you, Ms. Austen, for making every woman out there wish that she had her own Mr. Darcy and for setting the standards for romantic encounters incredibly high for all men.
For Jane Austen's birthday, here are Art Attack's hottest Austen dudes.
7. Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility)Here is some S&S video fan fiction for you
Maybe Edward Ferrars wasn't the most attractive of men, described in the book as being "not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing." He was, however, the kind of guy who stuck to his word, even if it meant marrying someone he didn't love at all.
6. Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey)
We would have no problem ending up with Henry Tilney. Mr. Tilney is a smart, well-read, slightly sarcastic man with a boatload of money. What we like most about him is that he is the sort of fellow who can fall in love with a girl's mistakes and naïveté, and that makes us think we would have a chance with him. 5. Mr. Bingley (Pride and Prejudice
Bingley is your typical everyman. He is a nice guy, good-ooking, life of the party, "danced every dance" and an overall easygoing type of dude. What we like best about Bingley was his complete devotion to Mr. Darcy, despite Darcy being a douche bag. Bingley is the type of boyfriend that you are not embarrassed to introduce to your friends, and when you take him home to your folks, he doesn't make you feel stupid that your mom drinks too much wine. He just tries to keep up.
4. Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park)
Edmund Bertram is the only member of the Bertram family that treats the poor and destitute Fanny Price with any consideration or respect. Unlike the rest of his nasty clan, he is a kind and gentle soul. He is like a brother to Fanny, which almost makes their happy ending slightly disgusting, but it was the 19th Century and that stuff was okay back then.
3. Mr. Knightley (Emma)
Who wouldn't want their own Mr. Knightley? He is an older, well-established man and a good companion and confidant. He is that platonic best friend/relationship that you have had for years, that every once in a while after a few too many you start to think to yourself, "He's awesome, why don't we date?" InEmma
, that wondering turns into a full-blown marriage. Not only does Knightley love Emma despite all of her scheming and conniving ways, he has the balls to tell her. And he also feeds her our favorite line, "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more." Sold! 2. Captain Wentworth (Persuasion
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First things first: Wentworth is a navy officer and hero in the Napoleonic Wars, so there's that. But what is so captivating about Wentworth is his steadfastness and determination. As a young man, he had the utmost confidence that he would be rich, and then BAM he is. He is also a guy who doesn't play games and this is a very rare quality in a man that we have yet to find.
1. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
Oh Mr. Darcy, you dark, brooding, sexy bastard. Why do women love Darcy so much? Is it because we want to be let into his complex and jaded world? Is it the challenge? Or do we all maintain some bizarre female, self-deprecating behavior and, as we learned from the book, believe in the notion that "we" are the only ones out there that can get this guy to open up and learn the true meaning of love? The answer to all of those questions is yes and that is why Mr. Darcy is the hottest of all Jane Austen's men.