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13.6.11

The Height of Heroism

Has a romance been written in which the hero was a short man? Or even a man of average stature? Or a man who was tall, yet shorter than the amazonianly-proportioned heroine?

If so, it wasn't by me. I'm not brave enough to shatter that particular convention.

We seem to like our heroes tall, or at least, tall enough. "Is he a tall man?" is pretty much the first question asked about newcomer Frank Churchill in Jane Austen's Emma, so it's not just us. Our bonnet-wearing precursors were just as keen on the idea of having to stand on tippy-toes for a bit of courtship down in Lovers' Lane.

Why this might be, I can't say. At a primitive level, perhaps we perceive a correlation between height and, well, size. Or perhaps we just like standing on tiptoes. Either way, the strapping six-footer seems to be here to stay.

I must confess a personal preference for the gangler. I love a lanky, skinny chap, especially if he dresses eccentrically. My perfect example of the type is Jarvis Cocker, who may well have inspired one of my own characters in a TEB story...but that's another story. The tenth and eleventh Doctors also fall into this category (though Nine will always be my favourite).

So who can name for me a short romantic hero?

4 comments:

Ranae Rose said...

Gotta confess, I love tall guys too. Maybe it's because I'm a tall woman. Everyone in my family is tall, the men at least 6 feet. If I was shorter, maybe I'd want someone closer to my own size. This popular preference does seem rather hard on the short guys.

Justine Elyot said...

I agree, Ranae - it must be very annoying for shorter men to feel that they don't measure up (so to speak) to the romantic hero standard.

I think I might try to write a book where the hero's height is never mentioned at all.

Rachel Randall said...

Nine + Rose forever. *pins colours to sleeve*

Justine Elyot said...

Oh yes, Nine/Rose is THE Dr Who OTP.