F&H and Austen

Katarina Hjärpe head_overheels at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 10 04:45:24 EST 2003

As the years pass and she grows
>up his friendship turns gradually to romantic love, which is reciprocated.
>In short, if Tom Lynn is dodgy, then so is Mr Knightley.

I think the problem is that when we see Emma she's already grown up. When we 
first see Polly she's ten. Not to mention that we see Tom through her eyes, 
and she sees him as very much grown up, and realises only later that he's 
quite young. And quite frankly, a fourteen year difference for a girl of 
nineteen – not too much with the healthy. Sure, if you think the ideas of 
Austen's time, with the man as the one responsible for his wife in a nearly 
fatherly manner, is the way a romantic relationship should be, I suppose it 
would work out. But personally, I'd run in the other direction. Fire and 
Hemlock is one of my absolute favourite books by DWJ, but I do wish Tom 
would have the sense to stay away from the romanticism at the very least 
until Polly has finished university.

That said, when they do get together she's legal, so it's not pedophilia. I 
had a middle-aged teacher who dated a 17-year-old student, and he certainly 
wasn't a pedophile. Doesn't mean I think it was a good idea.


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