Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 18 comments
I've done far too many technical grammar posts lately. It's high time I have a little fun, and Frankie's Literary Heartthrob Blogfest seemed just the ticket. She invited participants to write love letters to literary characters they consider swoon-worthy. Swing on by Frankie Writes to see the list of participants and read their fun letters.

I have to admit, I gave my heart young to a book boy and none other has yet replaced him. So here's my gooey gush to my beloved Theodore Laurence from Alcott's Little Women.

Images from christianbale.net

~ ~ ~ ~

My dearest Teddy,

It is you who filled my dreams from the tender age of 10, when I met you dallying with those March girls who lived next door. I immediately felt a connection because we shared the nickname "Laurie." But it was so much more than that, Teddy.

From your very first scene at the Christmas party dance, you seemed to me the perfect boy--shy, kind, funny, full imagination and prone to harmless mischief. You knew just how to put Jo at ease. Your dialogue sparkled with wit and fun.

You made the hardship of war lighter for the Marches and remained a steady friend to the whole family. Though you came from privilege, you didn't lord it over them. And while you could have had your pick of stylish young ladies, your first love was the awkward, bookish, overly imaginative tomboy. To a girl like me--one with perpetually twig-tangled hair who immersed herself in stories and followed her big brother like a puppy--you were a revelation. Somewhere in the world there were boys like you who liked girls like me. And I wouldn't have to contort myself into corsets and button boots to win that love.

You changed and grew over the course of the story, Teddy, and I admired that very much about you. And though I found many of your faults charming, I agree with Amy's assertion that there's nothing more aggravating in a man than passivity and laziness. It was gratifying to see you work hard to regain her good opinion rather than stubbornly continue on your course toward total dissipation.

You had the impeccable good taste to marry the family baby, the one everyone mocks and belittles--even her creator Ms. Alcott! You could see that we last-borns have big hearts and big ambitions and are not the silly pets our families take us for. I love you for that insight, Teddy.

I think it was seeing you embodied on the screen by this handsome Bale fellow that secured your place in my heart for good. He captured so well your expressive lightheartedness, smile that lights your whole face, and ability to tempestuously suffer. And does he ever rock a cravat and frock coat. Sigh.

We have a son, Teddy, you and I. I named him after you, though he doesn't hate the moniker like you do. He has your sense of humor, kindness, dogged persistence and tendency to give away his heart a little too easily. He speaks fluent French, of course, because you do. He's also opinionated and a champion moper when things don't go his way. I gave him sisters because the March girls were so instrumental to your becoming a good man. He also loves an artist girl like your Amy, who similarly challenges him. I hope my readers will find him as thoroughly Theodorable as you are.

I will carry you in my heart always, Teddy. Forever you remain my first and best book love.

Yours,
Laurel

18 comments:

  1. Nice. Teddy was a wonderful friend who made me believe, like you, that it wasn't just the conventionally pretty girls who won the hearts of handsome boys.

    I'm also the youngest, and could never understand what was so wrong with Amy.

    Also...uhm, Theodorable. LOL.

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  2. This is very sweet. You writing is beautiful.
    Theodorable--hehe

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  3. Oh Oh!!! I wrote to a Little Women character as well however it was not Teddy... ;o)

    Like you I read this book at a young age and fell in love with it. I still read it every summer ;o)

    wonderful letter.

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

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  4. "And does he ever rock a cravat and frock coat."
    Awesome.

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  5. Laurel this is fantastic! I'm totally in love going around to all the blogs and seeing how everyone hearts!!! LOVE :)

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  6. I love this post. :) I haven't read LITTLE WOMEN since I was little, but I do remember liking Teddy quite a bit.

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  7. Awww! That was so sweet. I loved it!!

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  8. I'm very nearly positive that he can almost read your letter. Ha, ha. Very nice.

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  9. Ah- that last picture made me swoon the way I did when I was little!!! This was lovely...he deserves a lot of leading man love.

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  10. I just went back and watched this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGgDtasH2b8

    My heart broke into a thousand pieces, again! I could smack Jo, I really could.

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  11. Simon: I warned you it was gooey. :-)

    Heather: I was flipping through the book again and found Alcott's narration of Amy somewhat perplexing. She describes young Amy as a total twit, but grows her up into this amazing, admirable adult--it's as if Alcott changed her mind about Amy while writing the book.

    Christine: Aw, thanks. I kinda just let it all hang out here.

    Countney: I loved the book as a kid, hated it as a teen (how could Jo NOT love Teddy???) and find myself loving it again as an adult. It does give an interesting window in to teen life 150 years ago (the girls range from 12-16 in the beginning).

    JEM: I could go on and on about the yummy actor, but it tends to upset my hubby. ;-)

    Jen: It was a fun fest idea, wasn't it? I try to refrain from goo in my fiction, but I've loved Teddy for decades and it was really fun (though a teensy embarrassing) to declare it openly.

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  12. Sandy: I picked it up again before writing this post and was blown away yet again by how wonderful he from his very first scene. Every YA writer should look at that first interaction between him and Jo. It's gold. Seriously--even if it's from a century and a half ago.

    Jade: The idea of a childhood friendship growing into something more is why I also loved the Anne of Green Gables books, and Ella Enchanted and even the romantic subplots in Harry Potter.

    Jill: Sigh. Teddy was born round about 1847, which means he'd be older than Bilbo now. LOL. But I do have a literary lovechild who's all his, I swear.

    Emery: This was definitely the film that made me a Bale fan. Only later did I realize he was the lead in Empire of the Sun (at age 12) and Newsies (at age 16). I don't think this guy ever had an awkward phase.

    I could watch that proposal and refusal scene over and over--he's just that good.

    Re-reading the book as an adult, I do finally "get it" why Amy is the better match for Teddy, and why Jo needed a more mature guy like Fritz. Jo and Teddy ARE too much alike--and immature in the same areas--and would have brought out the worst in each other.

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  13. This makes me swoon Laurel! Lovely! Theodorable. So cute! I have to check out the others. I think I'd write to Anne's Gilbert but Teddy would have been my second choice, partly because of Christian Bale. He did a great job in the movie version.

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  14. I do remember liking him in the movie and being very happy he ended up with Amy!

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  15. *sigh* *swoon* I love Laurie and I love Christian Bale - he was the perfect Laurie. I love Little Women too - one of my favorite books, but I didn't read it until I was older - I don't think I would've appreciated it as a kid.

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  16. Lynn: I liked Gilbert until he grew into such a workaholic in Mongomery's later books. Broke my heart that Anne had to compete for his affections once they had kids.

    Laura: I'm glad he and Jo stayed good friends and he became the brother she always considered him. And as a last-born, I was thrilled to my toes that Amy won the fabulous Teddy prize!

    Mary: Bale really carried the movie. Having watched it with my dauther recently, I realized just how much. Some of the girls' acting was overdone, but he's pitch-perfect. Totally does justice to my beloved book Teddy.

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