Thursday, May 27, 2010

What is it about Mr Darcy?

Over at Nathan Bransford's blog he has posed the question, "Which literary character do you have a crush on?" I did a quick scan of all his comments, 176 when I visited, and Mr Darcy is well in the lead. Heathcliff, Aragorn, Hamlet and many other's followed. Quite a few also mentioned Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. (Myself included.) But Mr Darcy is the clear favourite.

So what is it about Mr Darcy? Is it the TV series with Colin Firth? I think he helped - a little. Why do we like a man who is, let's face it, totally rude to Elizabeth when they first meet. Then when he declares his love, demeaning.

I think if we were to imagine really really hard that we were Elizabeth, we might not be so quick to fall for him. Or is it the large estate and all that money that really swayed her?

Don't get me wrong, I'm up there with women who like him. He may be a brooding, aloof character, but in the end he saves the Bennets from the scandal of Lydia's atrocious behavior and who can resist the real man at home with his sister Georgiana? But is that enough?

I have a book on my shelf entitled: A Truth Universally Acknowledged - 33 Reasons Why We Can't Stop Reading Jane Austen. Edited by Susannah Carson. In it, 33 writers, past and present, discuss just what it is about Jane Austen that inspires such devotion. There are comments from Somerset Maugham, E.M.Forster, C.S.Lewis, Fay Weldon, A.S.Byatt and others.

Today I am taking the book from my shelf and I'm going to read it. Also, I have been meaning to read all of her novels. I have read Pride and Prejudice several times and recently I read Northanger Abbey. It's time to dust of another volume and get reading.

I will keep you posted with my progress.


  1. Good question. I'll have to think about it. Happy reading Jane Austin. Thus far Emma is the only one I haven't read. Perhaps I should give it another go. I've read all the others multiple times and loved them.

  2. I bought the 'Complete Novels' - the collector's library editions. They came out a few years ago with a gorgeous cover. I wish I could go somewhere and read all of them, but I never seem to have enough time. That book you have sounds very interesting. I hope you find out what all the fuss is about. Happy reading.

  3. So far,at only about an eighth of the way through the book on Austen, I've discovered some interesting things: The ball at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice is barely described, no dance is mentioned, even the clothes they wear are not detailed. It's all about the characters. Mr Darcy is described as tall, but every other detail relates to character. That surprised me. I think watching two series (at least twice each) and the movie (too many times!) puts a bigger emphasis on the costumes, settings etc.
    I wonder what I'll discover today.