Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Literary Hunk of the Month: George Emerson

It's sad to say that the summer is nearing its end (though I have to admit, I kind of can't wait for new Fall boots and jackets!) While my posts may have been scarce this month, I can't let August come to a close without mentioning the one book I must read every single year: EM Forster's A Room with a View.

There are so many reasons why A Room with a View makes the perfect summer read. It's slim (at 196 pages, you could read it in a day), it really makes you want to go on a trip (preferably to Florence), and it involves summertime activities, like tennis and bathing in the local pond. (Okay. That second one you definitely do not want to do. But they seem to have a fun time of it in the book.) And then, there's that other reason that makes this book worth reading - and re-reading, and re-reading again - any time of year.

George Emerson.


George Emerson is not your typical Edwardian hero - which, of course, is entirely the point. He's silent, sullen, and often comes off as rude. He doesn't conform to genteel English customs, and he speaks what's on his mind. Unlike other dark and mysterious heroes, George doesn't have a terrible, hidden past, and there isn't the slightest element of danger about him. In fact, he's a kind-hearted, sensitive boy, who is really just trying to figure out what this crazy thing called life is all about.

Oh, and he's one heck of a kisser.

One of the reasons I love A Room with a View so much is because it features one of the most unforgettable heroines in literature, Lucy Honeychurch. When you have someone like Lucy - stuck somewhere between her Victorian upbringing and her feminist desire for independence and adventure - you need to give her a hero who can match that spirit. It's abundantly clear that her snobbish fiancé, Cecil, who wants to mould her to his liking, is not that person. But George, George tells Lucy, "I want you to have your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms." Those around him may think he's of the "lower class" with "ill bred manners", but George is an intelligent man who acts from the heart and is far more enlightened than those stuffed shirts surrounding him.

And again, he's a crazy good kisser.

If you’ve never read A Room With A View and love a good story about life, love and finding happiness, move this book to the top of your reading list. If you have read it, I’m sure you’ve never looked at violets the same way since. That’s just the sort of effect George Emerson has on a girl.

As George’s father tells Lucy, “He is already part of you. Though you fly to Greece, and never see him again, or forget his very name, George will work in your thoughts till you die. It isn’t possible to love and to part.”

Anyone who has spent a summer afternoon with George Emerson knows just how true this is, even if he does only exist on the page.


  1. That sounds like a great read!! Thank you for another great recommendation! I am also very excited for the fall - fashions, food and TV!

  2. I always love your reviews! Its clear how passionate you feel about these characters. And who doesn't enjoy a spunky heroine? Thank you for the great recommendation!