- The fictional characters:
Emma (by Jane Austen)
La Celestina (by Fernando de Rojas)
- The songs:
November Rain (Guns N'Roses)
White Wedding (Billy Idol)
- The relationship:
Emma is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in December, 1815. It is a story about the perils of misconstrued romance and the concerns and difficulties of women's lives in Georgian-Regency England. In the opening paragraph the main character, Emma Woodhouse, is described as a "handsome, clever, and rich" woman of about 21. She is also rather spoiled, she overvalues her personal judgement and skills at human match-making and she is naive —clueless, even— about the effects of her social machinations on others. Prior to starting the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."
Emma Woodhouse is the first Austen heroine with no financial concerns, which she declares is the reason that she has no inducement to marry. This is a great departure from Austen's other novels, in which the quest for marriage and financial security is the main focus and theme of the story. Emma also proves surprisingly immune to romantic attraction and sexual desire. In contrast to Austen heroines like Elizabeth Bennet and Marianne Dashwood, who are attracted to the wrong man before they choose the right one, Emma shows no romantic interest in the men she meets. Her family is loving and her economic circumstances comfortable but her everyday life is dull indeed, and she has few companions of her own age when the novel begins. Emma's life changes when she engages in inept matchmaking and, worse still, she believes she is good at it. Though vowing she will never marry, she delights in making matches for others. She seems unable to fall in love, until jealousy makes her realize that she has loved Mr. Knightley all along.
Though in all of Jane Austen's novels, almost all the heroines marry, Jane Austen never married (nor did her sister, Cassandra). Jane was known to have fallen in love with a man but that man died. The family supposedly knew about this mystery man (his name was never disclosed) but didn't discuss it. Cassandra was engaged before this "mystery man" came into Jane's life, and her fiancé died while on a journey to the West Indies.
Later Jane was proposed to and accepted the proposal of Harris Bigg-Wither, brother to her close friend. The next morning she told him that she had changed her mind. It is assumed that Jane Austen didn't love him and would have accepted for the material gain of a home and security but thought better of it. When she was young, she loved Madame LeFroy's brother but they were separated (because of difference in social class and money), and he eventually married someone else. If this is true, he would have been her first love and the "mystery man" her - perhaps forever - love (the one she never got over).
Jane Austen died at the age of 41 and it is sad to think that a woman who knew so much about love (and, according to her nephews and nieces, loved children and had a very good rapport with them), never married or had children of her own.
Emma is, in fact, a well-known matchmaker in English fiction. A famous matchmaker in Spanish literature is La Celestina. La Celestina is one of the characters of the book actually called Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea Book written by Fernando de Rojas. It is a tragic love story about Calisto, who falls in love with Melibea. Melibea at first rejects him but, eventually, falls madly in love with him. Following the machinations of Celestina, their love has a tragic end after an accident in which Calisto falls off a ladder. On seeing this, Melibea subsequently decides to jump from a tower to her death. The name Celestina has become synonymous with procuress —especially an old woman— dedicated to promoting the illegal engagement of a couple; and the literary archetype of the matchmaking character.
Both Emma and La Celestina revolve around two matchmakers. The latter novel portrays a tragic love story. The video of the song November Rain (performed by Guns N'Roses) features Axl Rose marrying model Stephanie Seymour and ends with the tragic death of his wife.
Much speculation exists about the shot of Axl walking past the gun store. Some take it as a sign that Axl killed his new bride. Others think it may mean that Stephanie has already visited the store, and Axl is too late to save her. Yet another theory is that, while Axl didn't physically shoot her, he may have pushed/motivated her to kill herself. There is even some confusion as to how Stephanie died. While most accept that she was shot in the head, some believe that she is killed by the lightning strike at the end of the wedding reception. However, the mirror over half her face gives credence to the "gunshot theory", as the families of head trauma victims often employ mirrors to give the appearance of a full face. It's entirely possible that the gun store was just a clever play on the band's name.While Stephanie Seymour was dating actor Warren Beatty, she met Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N' Roses. Stephanie immediately dumped Warren and took up with Axl and they began a passionate but rocky love affair. During her relationship with Axl, Stephanie co-starred in the Guns N' Roses videos "November Rain" and "Don't Cry." Stephanie and Axl eventually became engaged but after living together for two years, they had a bitter breakup.
Before meeting Stephanie Seymour, Axl had been married to Erin Everly, for whom the song Sweet Child O’ Mine was written. Axl "proposed" marriage to Erin by coming over to her home at 4:00 am and threatening to kill himself unless she married him that day. Axl and Erin were married on April 28th 1990. They drove to Las Vegas that day and married in a quickie ceremony. Less than a month after the wedding, Axl filed for divorce, but later changed his mind. That same year, Erin became pregnant but unfortunately had a miscarriage. In January 1991, the marriage between Axl and Erin was annulled and they finally broke up for good.
The wonderful November Rain Wedding Dress was designed by Carmela Sutera. Many people say they want a similar dress for their marriage. The black dress Stephanie Seymour wears at the reception later in the video is also designed by Carmela Sutera.
"White Wedding" is a song by Billy Idol that appeared on his album Billy Idol (1982). Idol claims it was written to show his displeasure with his sister's fiancé. It is often considered his most successful song, although other Idol songs charted higher.
The music video, featuring Idol attending a gothic wedding, is one of his best-known videos. The bride in the music video is played by Perri Lister, Idol's real-life girlfriend at the time. In a memorable scene from the video, Idol forces the wedding ring onto the bride's finger and cuts her knuckle. Lister insisted that her knuckle actually be cut in order for the scene to appear more realistic. MTV, however, removed this scene from the video. The video was filmed in a real church outside of London.
- The question:
"Happily ever after" is a stock phrase in fairy tales signifying a happy ending. In most stories this happy ending is connected with marriage. Is it so in real life?