Attention, bluestockings: Raise your hand if you’ve ever fallen in love with a fictional character. Really? Us too. It’s not hard to do when you’re privy to the deepest thoughts and feelings of another human being’s soul…at least, as they’re printed on the pages of a book! But imagine a world in which your favorite literary characters hadn’t had much luck meeting a good man or woman with whom to share their lives. In this day and age, how would they go about finding a soulmate?
By online dating, of course.
And because writing that perfect profile is the only thing more difficult than taking the perfect selfie, we Bas Bleu editors have taken it upon ourselves to pen digital personal ads for a few of our favorite literary characters.
Arthur “Boo” Radley, To Kill a Mockingbird
I’m a solitude-loving introvert who is happiest whiling away the hours in the comfort of my own home or stargazing during a midnight stroll through the deserted streets of my hometown. I’m great at keeping secrets and work hard to stay out the affairs of others. However, I’ve been known to step in if I sense trouble brewing. Those seeking a nimble conversationalist may be disappointed; instead, my love languages are small acts of kindness and gifts, which you’ll find hidden in a knothole of the oak tree.
Estella Havisham, Great Expectations
Young widow, bored with the usual London dandies, in search of a new challenge to sink my teeth into. I’m not looking for deep emotional attachment, so spare me your sentimental rubbish. I am an orphan, so no need to worry about tiresome in-laws, though my guardian (“Miss H”) has had a significant influence on my life. I am not easily shocked, nor am I easily amused. I do have a taste for the finer things, so only well-heeled gents need apply.
Edward Rochester, Jane Eyre
Landed gentleman seeks companion for himself and mother figure for his young ward. After years of traveling the world, I’ve lost my taste for exotic, temperamental beauties and now prefer to be surprised by steel-spined bluestockings with hidden layers of intellect and emotion. I have something of a reputation among my set for throwing fabulous country parties, complete with shooting, unusual entertainment (I keep a gypsy fortune-teller on retainer), and only the best libations for post-dinner partying. Some say my estate, Thornfield Hall, is haunted, but I assure you: Those sounds coming from the attic are only the wind. I’m also fond of wild gallops on the moor and brooding.
Inveterate truth-seeker who has made helping others my life work seeks Guy Friday with boundless energy, a nose for trouble, and a willingness to play second fiddle to my career. I bypassed college in favor of the school of life, building my high-school hobby into a full-time gig that has taken me all over the world and into some of the darkest corners of middle America. I’m fearless and constantly on the go, so if you’re hunting for a homebody, keep walking. Guys with shady pasts need not apply; if you think you can hide it from me, you’re dead wrong. In the interest of full disclosure (honesty is very important to me), I’m rebounding from a bad breakup with my boyfriend of more than forty years. My friends say this online dating thing is the best way to meet single men, but I am suspicious and need to investigate for myself.
Hamlet, The Tragedy of Hamlet
Intrigued by existential brooding and men with haunted pasts? Longing to be driven mad with passion? Then I will be the dark prince of your heart! My life and career are pretty complicated, so I demand a lot of unconditional support, even when my behavior seems erratic. If all goes my way, however, I’ll be in a position to treat you like a real queen. No posers, please: If you can’t be true to yourself, how can you be true to me?
Emily Grierson, “A Rose for Emily”
I am a thirtysomething Southern belle who, upon the death of my beloved father, am finally free from family obligations and ready to pursue a love match. Although I enjoyed a genteel upbringing, I am not averse to consorting with a man from a different background than my own, as long as he is kind, honest, and skilled with his hands. I have been accused of being clingy, but the truth is simply that I am steadfastly loyal and expect the same in return. Once I give my heart it will be yours forever, even on my deathbed.
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Single man in possession of a good fortune in search of a wife to help manage my estates and serve as a respectable role model for my younger sister. I have little interest in dancing or the theater, though I do appreciate a pretty singing voice and a pair of fine eyes. In fact, I have no time for frivolities beyond the usual social responsibilities; I much prefer more intimate pursuits such as quiet evenings in my library, long rides across my vast country estate, and intimate tête-à-têtes with women of deep intellect and charm. You should know that I am fiercely protective of my friends and family and will do whatever is necessary to keep them safe.
Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, Anna Karenina
I have an eye for handsome men, particularly those in uniform, and a yearning for deep, all-consuming romance. Potential lovers should know that I am married, but the passion between my husband and me faded long ago. Nonetheless, he is a good man and I have a reputation to uphold, so discretion is a must. No long-distance suitors, please: Trains make me nervous.