Many of Austen’s men could be argued to be rather sheltered pretty-boys. Many are wealthy, of the upper-classes, and haven’t much to trouble themselves about besides finding a female with enough family nobility to consider aligning their name with. One of Austen’s men that definitely doesn’t fall into that category though is Colonel Brandon. Though he comes from a family with much wealth, Brandon has much experience with his own trials and tribulations. He was twice in love with women out of his class, forced to abandon one of them for a life of banishment in the East Indies, and teeters dangerously on the brink of losing the other one to a man without either morality or money. Through his rather tumultuous life and extensive travels however, Brandon gains an insight into character, a charm, and a sense of wisdom that is unmatched by any of the younger, potentially more eligible, bachelors of Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility.
In Colonel Brandon alone…did Elinor find a person who could in any degree claim the respect of abilities, excite the interest of friendship, or give pleasure as a companion. -Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility
- Work here: Maps are beautiful by themselves, but when done on a scale like this, and done in unusual places like covering an entire floor, suddenly you’ve got a map worthy to grace even the Colonel’s work space.
- Read by this: I’m going to say that Colonel Brandon wouldn’t be caught dead modge-podging one of his East Indies maps to a lampshade, but that’s all they did over at Rosie’s Vintage Lampshades to make this unique twist on using maps in a whole new way.
- Sit here: West Elm’s ‘Victor’ chair is so sleek and modern, yet has enough of a nod to the Victorian gentleman’s chair that I think Brandon would rest quite comfortably in it.
- Collect these: Brandon is always hunting, traveling, and riding, and I think he would take much pleasure in the new trend for globe-collecting. There’s so many awesome things you can do with globes besides just having them stand guard on a desk.
- Leave notes here: I want to do this so very badly: just find an old globe at a thrift store, paint it with chalkboard paint, and you’ve got the perfect, whimsical place to leave notes. If you can’t imagine painting over a globe, I’ve seen many at places like Salvation Army that are rather torn and ragged and would be otherwise unusable,–so, find one of these torn treasures and you don’t have to feel bad about covering cartography.
Even if you can’t travel like Brandon did, you can have a little global perspective in your own home with these design-ideas. Colonel Brandon’s global perspective allowed him to see through the immaturity, selfishness, and immorality of a man (Willoughby) everyone else found dashing, handsome, and irresistible, enabling him to stand apart from a society that seemed only to fall in love with appearances. His insight is what attracted the respect, admiration, and finally the love of Marianne Dashwood, the woman whom Brandon loved dearly despite her lack of wealth.
Happy Friday everyone! That’s it for my Men of Austen week, I had so much fun doing it and hopefully you found them a bit inspiring with recipes, DIY’s, gift ideas, and some commentary on the modern man.