We have since decided to cut that chapter from the book.Our concern is that the typical reader would find history boring.People assume that by adopting courtship, they are adopting a traditional value system, and, in doing so, they are getting back to the “good old days.” Is Modern Courtship really a traditional system?Or is it something that cherry-picks customs from the past, the way someone would select food at a buffet? What was courtship and marriage like for our distant ancestors?
Nothing under the sun is truly new” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Ben and Ellen Knecht exchange vows—with, from left, John Labanish, Pamela Blount, Andre Lane, Mike Luzzi, Teresa Ponziani, Jim Kent, Pat Mahon, and Christina Lane. Not a few parents pine for the courtship rules and rites of, let us say, those halcyon colonial times, when, as they understand it, propriety tempered ardor, virtue checked passion, and abstinence made the heart grow fonder.
Many a modern mother and father brood about the matches their sons and daughters will make. "Distance," as Thomas Campbell wrote in 1799, "lends enchantment," and two centuries later, for many worry-ridden parents, the perfect courtship model follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen's smoldering Mr.
Darcy and the demure Miss Elizabeth Bennett, where ne'er a lusty thought or word between them passed.
But the rituals of Austen's Pride and Prejudice—idealistically drafted in 1796—as shining examples have long since been passed over, and courtship, that delicate art of hooking a prospective mate and playing the fish all the way to a preacher, is all but dead.