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Alive In Our Hearts, Our Minds, and Our Fandoms: The Sexiest Men Imagined

November 23, 2013

In “honor” of the annual People Magazine issue of the “Sexiest Men Alive,” I have written a blog post inspired by my friend Kara.

I hereby give you…in no particular order…


Horatio Hornblower

“All the nice girls love a sailor,” as the song goes, and all the nice (and some not-so-nice) girls love the earnest Mr. Horatio Hornblower. This clever, ambitious chap has risen smartly through the ranks from midshipman to lieutenant to captain and beyond, thwarting the French while looking positively dashing in his naval uniform. A loving lady may be just the thing this seasick stud needs to welcome him home from his travels. Bear in mind, however, that you’re unlikely to see him more than once every few years, and even then you’ll be playing fifth fiddle to King, country, honor, and duty.

Ioan Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower

Ioan Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower

. . .

Mr. Thornton
The hard-working hero of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, Mr. Thornton is not only tall, dark, handsome, and wealthy, but an honest and straightforward boss, a dedicated son, and a cautious investor. This brooding, self-made master of industry may seem stern and intimidating at first, but deep down he is as soft and fluffy as the cotton produced in his factories. Once you’ve won his heart, you’ll have it forever—if his mum thinks you’re good enough.

Richard Armitage as John Thornton

Richard Armitage as John Thornton

. . .

Mr. Tilney
An underrated hero in Jane Austen’s equally underrated Northanger Abbey, Henry Tilney is the sort of well-rounded chap any reasonable young woman would admire. This good-natured clergyman is fun-loving enough to holiday in Bath, where he meets and subsequently teases heroine Catherine Moreland. Don’t think him as frivolous as his ne’er-do-well elder brother, however. Tilney is well-read, and principled enough to stand up to his overbearing father for the sake of the woman he loves. It’s enough to tempt any unattached young ladies to try their luck at finding a modern version, which is the equivalent of running into a hot minister in Las Vegas.

J.J. Feild as Henry Tilney, with Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland

. . .

Do you want a tall, dark stranger to sweep you off your feet to music? Hoping for a mysterious and sensitive genius to dedicate his life’s work to your beauty and talent? Have I got the fellow for you! Sure, he may have a few murders under his belt, and the next one may be yours if you try to peek under his mask, but Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, is a true Renaissance man with the voice of an angel—perfect for any woman who enjoys opera, organ music, and especially damp basements.

…and candles. Lots and lots of candles.

. . .

If you’re looking for a gentleman who will bring you flowers, take you to romantic candlelit dinners, and serenade you on the acoustic guitar, then keep looking. Mischief-maker Loki does what he wants, and he’s too busy pursuing world domination to woo any of you mewling quims. But if you want a man/demigod with eye-gouging ambition and a morbid sense of humor, and don’t mind the destruction of a few cities, Loki just might be the one for you. This adopted Asgardian may love his mum, but don’t hold out too much hope for Christmas dinner with the in-laws. Now KNEEL!

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in "The Avengers," here kept in mint condition in his glass cage.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in “The Avengers,” here kept in mint condition in his glass cage.

. . .

Sherlock Holmes
Whether its Robert Downey Jr.’s steampunk boxing champion, Jeremy Brett’s enthusiastic eccentric, or Benedict Cumberbatch’s snarky sexpot, women around the world continue to fall in love with Arthur Conan Doyle’s most hated creation. The observant and calculating Sherlock Holmes may not be the most sensitive lover, but you’ll never be bored. Don’t take any coffee from him, though—he’s not above poisoning you for the sake of an experiment.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman as John Watson

. . .

The Doctor
Little girls may dream of Prince Charming riding away with them on a white horse, but real women are waiting for a Time Lord in a blue police box. With The Doctor, “I can show you the world” takes a backseat to “I can show you all of space and time.” As his new companion, you’ll be meeting William Shakespeare, fleeing Daleks, and witnessing the death of Planet Earth. Since you’re a human who will eventually die and he’s an immortal alien, though, don’t expect this whirlwind relationship to last more than a few years. Make every second count—and pray that Steven Moffat doesn’t write your episodes.

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

Sir Percy Blakeney, aka The Scarlet Pimpernel
Sink me, m’dear! Don’t be fooled by the dimwitted dandy you see before you. If it’s adventure, danger, and intrigue you seek, this master of disguise may give you even more than you bargained for. Sir Percy, better known as The Scarlet Pimpernel, spends much of his time bravely rescuing French aristocrats from the guillotine. It’s never a dull moment with this wealthy English baronet, as he and his comrades are in constant danger from Robespierre’s men. Seek him here and seek him there—can you find this dashing hero anywhere?

Anthony Andrews as The Scarlet Pimpernel

(In case you think I have omitted some deserving fellows, or if any of these entries displease you, well … deal with it. These are my personal choices and preferences. Although I have so many others, I may eventually do a Part Two…)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2013 5:10 am

    I agree with all the choices! I had to smile at the Ioan Gruffudd picture — one of my friend’s sisters calls him “Hubba-hubba Hornblower.”

    • November 23, 2013 10:22 am

      Hubba-Hubba Hornblower…I may have use that one sometime!! ;-)

  2. November 23, 2013 9:06 am

    While we must agree to disagree (to some degree) on the actual desirability of some of these men, they are undeniably hot, your write-ups are fantastic, and the fact that you ended with Sir Percy Blakeney makes me ridiculously happy. For he is very, very hot. Congratulations on a list well made that is way better than People’s.

    • November 23, 2013 10:20 am

      That is one of the layers of meaning I was kind of aiming at: that sexy doesn’t necessarily = good boyfriend material!

      And yeah…no way I’m leaving out Sir Percy!

      • November 23, 2013 4:09 pm

        Yay! Also, looking forward to Part II and/or Sexiest Men, Dead. :D


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