When your Book Boyfriend Dies. Goodbye Gilbert Blythe.

Today my Book Boyfriend died. Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe, passed away aged 48.gilbert1

I don’t normally get emotional when a celebrity dies. It’s not as if I know them personally. But this passing has really affected me. I mean, seriously. I’ve been moping around all day.

Those of you who know me well, know I wasn’t much of a reader when I was younger. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I didn’t read Anne of Green Gables as a kid. I did, however, see the series starring Crombie and Follows and I fell head over heels in love with Gilbert Blythe. I used to swan around in ‘the depths of despair’ dreaming of the day I would find my own real-life Gilbert.

I did go on to read AofGG and Gilbert was, is and always will be my one and only Book Boyfriend. Yes, Mr Darcy can make my heart skip a beat with a well-penned letter, and James Alexander Malcom McKenzie Fraser would surely melt my ovaries if he ever called me ‘sassenach’. But Gilbert Blythe – sweet, loyal, smart, trustworthy, funny, charming Gilbert – well, he is the standard by which all men (fictional and real) should be judged.

But what is it about our Book Boyfriends? Whether you go goo-goo over Gilbert, or faint in the presence of Fitzwilliam, or Jamie makes your heart jump, there is something special about our Book Boyfriends that touches us deep into our souls.bbf

And it isn’t that they’re perfect – all the classic BBFs have flaws. And it isn’t that they’re insanely good-looking – although they are, but so is Darcy’s nemesis Wickham and there aren’t too many of us in love with him. So what it is?

bbf2Maybe it’s because, written well, books have that power to transport us so totally into their world that we can inhabit the minds and souls of our heroes so completely, in a way we simply can’t in real life. Maybe it’s because with books we bring our own knowledge and experience when reading, and while the writer gives us all the clues and tools for us to fall in love with their characters, we fill in the gaps and we fill them in with what is perfect for us. Or maybe it’s because we can fall in love with them again and again, each time we open the book, that special feeling constantly new.

Whatever the reasons, our BBFs are certainly something special.

Good-bye Gilbert – my first love, my only BBF. “The tears don’t hurt like the ache does.”

photo courtesy of glogster.com

photo courtesy of glogster.com

I’d love to know who your BBF is. And, more importantly, WHY? Leave a comment below.

S 😦

And my thoughts go out to Crombie’s family – my pain is ‘fictional’, theirs is real. Thinking of them during this difficult time.



4 thoughts on “When your Book Boyfriend Dies. Goodbye Gilbert Blythe.

  1. Gail

    Hi Sandie, I hear you… Can we move into visual literacies or do we have to stick to books? Oh that’s right, you are a book author! Shame, so many visuals come to mind!
    Loved Gilbert, like you and Mr Darcy, but what about the ever intriguing Heathcliffe?

  2. krystal jane

    Oh, I loved Gilbert! ^_^
    Some of my hardest book crushes I’ve ever had are on Laurie from Little Women (don’t get me started, OMG!!!!), and Gale from The Hunger Games (*hugs him forever*). I also ❤ Mr. Darcy SO hard!!

    Anyway, (*calms self down*), I know I saw Anne of Green Gables shortly after reading the book for the first time as an adult (which I loved so much, I can't believe I never read it growing up, I related SO MUCH!), so, that's really sad that he's gone. I thought everyone embodied the roles so well. And 48 isn't nearly old enough.


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