You should have seen this one coming … Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?
First, Eugene Wrayburn in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend. He’s troubled, witty, intelligent and (I’ve always thought) quite sexy. I tried to find one of Marcus Stone’s illustrations of him, but I couldn’t, so here’s a drawing by Denise Rajauski of Eugene as played by Paul McGann in the BBC adaptation a few years back.
Isn’t he handsome?
Others: Mr. Knightley in Emma (“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more”) and Captain Wentworth in Persuasion (“I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve”). Need I say more?
I’m also fond of two of Anne Tyler’s male leads in particular: Ian Bedloe in Saint Maybe and Barnaby Gaitlin in A Patchwork Planet. Neither is Mr. Knightley material–Ian is searching for redemption after a hasty remark of his leads to the death of two people; Barnaby is an ex-juvenile delinquent in rebellion against his wealthy Baltimore family–but they’re lovable in their own right.
Historical fiction? I’m a sucker for any historical novel with Edward II & Co. in it, as regulars here well know (and I’m right fond of Hugh le Despenser the even younger, as Alianore has dubbed him, the hero of my own Hugh and Bess). I loved Jude Morgan’s portrayal of James of Monmouth in The King’s Touch. And I’m fond of Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities.