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Posts Tagged ‘pride and prejudice’

mr darcy

Fitzwilliam Darcy is 200 years old and still the epitome of desirable man. When I close my eyes and think of him, do I see Colin Firth striding from the lake, his clothes plastered to his perfect form? Yes, I admit it, yes; though a scene of tacky cinematic invention and not at all of Jane Austen’s wonderfully understated novel, the moment is almost as timeless.

The difficult, temperamental and sometimes dour Mr Darcy inexplicably appeals to many modern women who really should know better just as strongly as he did to the naïve Elizabeth Bennett. Those of us who have reached a certain stage of life’s journey and had our hearts unreasonably trampled by men of the Mr Darcy mould now openly warn our younger sisters that such strong stuff is for fun, not for marriage – something which the older ladies in Jane Austen’s novels seem unable or perhaps unwilling to do – and yet the attraction remains.

As I attempt to step through the minefield of my own Fitzwilliam’s moods as skillfully as Jane Austen whilst maintaining the innocent pertness of Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth, I have to ask, why? What does a deeply conservative, socially blinkered, emotionally hamstrung 200 year old man-child offer so enduringly to independent 21st century women? And what are 21st century men to make of this strange attraction?

Perhaps we are better at discerning the difference between life and fiction than sometimes credited and recognise Mr Darcy as love’s aspirin for our egos. However life may crush us, this apparently unattainable, disdainful and antagonistic heart-throb is the one man who nevertheless can be won so entirely by our irresistible charms as to declare unfailingly ‘you have bewitched me body and soul…’; who will meet us no matter what with eyes filled with unshakeable ardour and admiration.

I can’t begin to answer this question, although I feel I should say ‘Girls, be careful what you wish for’. Now I need a break from my own realities, so I’m just going to close my eyes for a while….

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