One of the Pens recently confessed that she didn’t much care for Regency-set historical romances. They’re too many rules, she said. Too few ways that the hero and heroine can court. I understood, but also I found it interesting that the reasons she didn’t like the genre were the very same reasons that I loved it.
Rules of courtship were strict and demanded that interactions remained formal. Country dancing was more like choreographed walking than our free spirited idea of dance.
There was a reason the waltz was so scandalous when it was first introduced. Touching while pressed face to face, why people only do that when they...
Even so they made the most of the time they had. In Pride and Prejudice the dance between Mr. Darcy and Lizzie allows for the longest conversation between the two characters up to that point.
It’s a turning point in the story, the point were we begin to glimpse that there might be a more enigmatic side to the taciturn Mr. Darcy than we had imagined. And it only happened because the two characters had a few moments of semi-privacy to speak openly. Finding a way around all of society’s rules made the discovery all the sweeter.
Of course, this is pretty funny too. (Go to 1:32 for the line that I believe all P&P fans secretly craved in the original. NSFW)