Way before chick flicks, Jane Austen was such a boss. Mistaken intentions, scales falling from eyes, true love, and happy endings...it's all there in Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion.
The best thing about these classics, though, isn't just that they're romantic in a fairy-tale way. They're romantic in such an honest way. The young men and women in her novels aren't perfect, just sitting there waiting for the one, but are works in progress. They sometimes lose their tempers, cast misjudgments, and aren't always brave enough to put their hearts out there. In other words, they're real.
A few years ago, I wrote my senior thesis on the notion Jane's novels show that virtue is a requirement, not an option, for authentic love and friendship. Do you agree? Things like infatuation, pride, and injustice can be huge roadblocks to loving and being loved. Self-knowledge, I think, along with the pursuit of virtue and holiness, are so key in becoming vulnerable and letting love refine us. So, though it might be rare that fiction can help you prepare for marriage, I can't think of better bedtime reading for any bride!
Are you a big a Jane fan as I am? What's your favorite?