[LMB] age differences

Agnes Charrel-Berthillier agnes at charrel.net
Tue Dec 7 18:16:31 GMT 2021

On 12/7/21 09:58, adkinslawfirm at mindspring.com wrote:
> When the Sharing Knife books first came out, some readers were scandalized by the age difference between Dag and Fawn.  Others of us, familiar with older Harlequins & other romances, were more comfortable with the pairing of a woman of 17 and a man who looked 35.
> Oddly enough, two of the couples in _A Civil Campaign_ have similar age differences, with the men being about twice the age of their future wives.  Delia and Olivia are 24 and 22; Duv and Dono are both well into their 40s.  Yet I don't recall anyone on the list squawking, making "cradle-robbing" comments, or any other protest.
> Why the furor in the fantasy, but not the science fiction?  "Is a puzzlement."

1) Dag was *not* actually 35. Even Fawn was mildly squicked out when she 
found out his real age, and the people most upset initially (his aunt 
and arguably Dag *himself*) were well aware of it.

2) There is a large difference in maturity  between 17 and 22. Even 
though 18 is an artificial bright line for adult responsibilities, see 
what is currently expected of somebody who just graduated high school 
and somebody who just graduated from college.

3) there might be an argument that in a society where medical science is 
advanced enough there would be a flattening of perceived differences for 
people in the "self sufficient" category, until they move to a 
"responsible for dependents" stage of life. Perceptions would be very 
different in a society where lives are shorter and more chancy/brutal. 
That might be wrong: historically huge age differences between spouses 
seemed more common then than now (but then marriages were also a lot 
more transactional than now).


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list