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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?


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


  2. 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.

  3. 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.


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