Originally titled Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance, the name was changed this month to the catchier, The Courtship, a title which gives us a clear sense of what to expect from the programme. The show follows the same formula as The Bachelorette, where one single woman (in this case our heroine) is fought over by a group of single men (in this case the enthusiastic suitors) in the quest for her affection. However, The Courtship comes with a unique twist; via the Regency era’s formal methods of courtship, the men will manoeuvre through the trials and tribulations of a bygone dating style, with the aim of winning the woman’s approval. Hopefully, we can expect plenty of chivalry and polite exchanges of affection between the singletons, where epistolary exchanges replace racy text messages and lake-side strolls take the place of late-night bar flirts. However, who really knows what will occur when modern reality coincides with forgotten practices of romantic pursuit.
The synopsis for the programme reads, ‘Housed in a castle in the countryside, set on a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills…From carriage rides and boat rides on the lake to archery and handwritten letters to communicate, they will be immersed in a time-traveling quest for love’. In the style of romance brought to (fictional) life by some of literature’s most famous couples, will this trip back to an ancient style of ‘wooing’ succeed in our current context?