Friday, July 10, 2009

The Young Protagonist

Jane Austen and Regency enthusiasts might recognize Beau Nash's rules of conduct for one's time in Bath, which among other things declared:

. . . that the elder ladies and children [must] be content with a second bench at a ball, as being past or not [yet] come to perfection.

When I came across this quote, it struck me as being true in books nowadays. It is rare that I come across a protagonist older than thirty, but then again, I read a lot of historical. If you were lucky, you were married by sixteen.

So, is this just my preferred genre, or are the majority protagonists young?


Noel De Vries said...

Yes, I contributed to the 16-19 surplus. But I write YA. So it's legit.


Bert Johnston said...

Thanks for an interesting poll. My protagonists, in two novels, are 25-34, in the first novel, mid 50's in the second, probably a clue to my own advancing years.

Jessica Dotta said...

I've been looking at the ages that, thus far, at 0 percent, trying to think of successful books the protagonist is that age. Here's what I've come up with:

0-10: To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout age 6

60-69, Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

Can't think of any well-known protagonist in their 70's and 80's, but surely there must be a few out there.