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Wednesday, February 6

The Men of Austen: Mr. Darcy Rules & John Thorpe Drools

I'm having a good giggle from reading the results of the 'The Men of Austen' poll on the PBS Masterpiece Classic web site. Darcy still rules, and John Thorpe drools! Ha! I am just amazed that the drippy Mr. Collins is seventh in the poll out of a possible 16 candidates! Really, Janeites, have you all gone all Charlotte Lucas on me?

It's reasuring to know that tastes in men haven't changed much in 200 years! What amiable qualities Jane Austen saw in Regency era men and endowed upon Mr. Darcy are still desirable today in 2008. Or are we influenced like Lizzy Bennet by his ample estate of Pemberley, and his 10,000 pounds a year income? Oh, and that's 6,000,000 a year in today's currency ladies!

One wonders if it is really Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. D. in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice that inspires us to vote him our most suitable mate. Darcy is a bit of a stuffed shirt in the novel. His transformation into a caring, compassionate suitor for Elizabeth Bennet's affection is so much more compelling on the screen when you can watch Colin watching Lizzy. She is renown for her 'fine eyes', but his are more impressive.

Novel, movie. Movie, novel. They have both become so ingrained in our perception of Pride and Prejudice that they have melded together in my mind. It will be a pleasure to re-view the 1995 P&P staring Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, and Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy, airing this Sunday, February 10th, and the next two consecutive Sundays in February on Masterpiece Classic at 9:00 pm on PBS. Be sure to watch Darcy watching Lizzy. He will tell the real story.

Posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose


LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Colin Firth...there is no other man for the part of Mr. Darcy than him. And it's not just him walking drenching wet in that white shirt. It's the agony of love in his eyes, the tightness around his mouth of self restraint and pride, and the longing in his heart that we can so CLEARLY see.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably the only woman on the face of the earth who will say this, but Collin Firth is NOT my favorite Mr. Darcy. Possibly because I'd been watching David Rintoul in the role for ten or so years before the A&E version came out, I don't find Collin Firth quite fits my image of Mr. Darcy. For me, even Matthew MacFadyen was a better fit for the character I imagine when I read the novel. But David Rintoul is my favorite Mr. Darcy on film.

I know. I'm about to be drummed out of the Janite sisterhood. But there it is.

Ms. Place said...

I'm a confirmed Firth fan, but I must admit David Rintoul was a droolishly handsome Mr. Darcy. I just wish his acting hadn't been so wooden. Matthew M gets my vote for sexiest bedroom eyes and a voice that can melt iron.