Thursday, July 24
Have YOU Placed Mr. Darcy on a Pedestal?
Is Jane Austen’s character Mr. Darcy the most alluring and lusted after male romantic archetype in literary history? Maybe. There is certainly plenty of evidence to support it. We see his name bantered about in all sorts of references and used as an example of the ultimate male romantic hero. There are not many Janeites out there who would not understand the pop reference to ‘wet shirt Darcy'. Just Google “Mr. Darcy”, and 906, 000 hits appear! Now that’s Austen power!
Recently I read an amusing article entitled Beating Darcy Down where blogger Alisa Harris thinks that Darcy’s admirers have taken it to an extreme and placed him on a pedestal. It made me laugh, but also think about what Mr. Darcy has become to his public, (yes, he has a public), and how each of us who admire his brooding charms perceive him differently - often times conveniently forgetting his faults altogether. Yes, he does have faults, even if Caroline Bingley thinks not, “He has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise.”
The public’s interest in the character of Mr. Darcy can certainly be measured by how many books have been published recently containing his name. I count over 20, and please correct me if I am wrong. It’s a Darcy epidemic. Next week we will have another Mr. Darcy book to consume entitled Seducing Mr. Darcy. Hurrah! Every author seems to have their own interpretation. Darcy is a cad to the bone, Darcy is a complete gentleman, Darcy is pious saint, Darcy is a scoundrel and a rogue, Darcy does Dallas. Oops. Typo. Sorry!
I just finished reading Maya Slater’s new book Mr. Darcy’s Diary. In a field of many Darcy reading options, I was drawn to it because of the positive reviews it received when it was released last fall in the UK, but criticism online based on the storyline description in the review. Being the inquisitive type, I wanted to draw my own conclusions. You can read my full review at my other blog, Austenprose. It may, or may not suit your fancy, but I liked it!
CONTEST: So, gentle Austen readers. Who is your personal Darcy? Is the character set in stone, or are you flexible with his life outside of his actions in Pride and Prejudice? Is Darcy a true Regency man who does manly things like drink and play cards and tumble the housemaid, or is he totally pious and saves his virginity for the marriage bed? Inquiring minds would like to know. Leave a comment and share your Darcy thoughts between July 23rd and August 31st, and you will be eligible in a drawing for a free copy of Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Maya Slater. The winner will be announced on August 1st. Learn for yourself what all the controversy is about!
Posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose