On the Eve of Valentines, and for all lovers of English literature and the romantics among us. I thought It would be nice to remember the great “Pride and Prejudice”, and how love, feelings were communicated in the 18th century compared to England in the 21st Century.
Communication in the 18th century was mostly by letter, using a quill pen dipped in ink to write on paper, they sent telegrams, letters were given to messengers to deliver. They also attached letters to birds, and most amazing of all, they talked to each other!
In comparison to the 21st century, where it is instant, via text, e mail, in fact a relationship can start and end via text and e mail without people actually ever meeting and speaking face to face?
In the 18th century they would communicate their feelings using antiquated formal English. A lot of very big words and sentences:
Today it would read something like this:
I have fancied you for ages.
And now I have had a few drinks,
I am able to tell you, I really like you
and think you are great.
(perhaps a bit simplified)
Today, the use of antiquated and formal English as a form of expressing ones feelings for another, is very rare. As is using a lot of words to convey how we feel apart from the use of a hallmark card. More common is supplementing words for emoji's, love hearts as eyes, winks, and sending pictures of ourselves that look nothing like who we really are.
So this valentines as we send out emoji's, winks, texts, selfies, face timing and skyping, spare a thought for those who lived in the 18th century. Darcy and Elizabeth writing their letters to each other, running out of ink, quills and candles, birds, and walking across cold damp fields to deliver their words. And then waiting what would be to us these days an eternity, for the object of their affections to return their words.
Often In vain as life expectancy in the 18th century was around 40 years old. So, they did not have a lot of time to hang around waiting for birds, date, and start a family. When forty today is an age when a lot of men and women only feel ready to settle down.
Today communicating our feelings for another can be instant via text, e mail which many of us have lived to regret, and hated technology for. But for many a relief, if it has taken months to pluck up the courage. We live longer which is just as well for those who fall into the former, and the impulsive among us, as we now have more time to make mistakes and recover from them and live long enough to forget them.
But what century's have not changed, is how difficult it can be to express our emotions and true feelings regardless of how we say it, or how they are delivered, and that the path to true love is often not a smooth one, all of this everyone can relate to in the characters of Elizabeth and Darcy. One thing is for sure romance never gets old.