Culture Street

Books

The real Mr Darcy

On February 10, 2017

Real-Mr-Darcy-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8Jane Austen’s literary character Mr Darcy has long be held up on a pedestal as the ideal man. His 'handsome features', wealth and good character embody quite simply the perfect man.

Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy and his subsequent appearances as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary served to feed the illusion of this perfect being. Austen described Mr Darcy as a tall man with handsome features but leaves most up to the imagination of her readers.

As a result, dear readers, we have apparently been deluding ourselves.

According to a new study Jane Austen's Mr Darcy looks nothing like Colin Firth.

The study revealed that Mr Darcy would have been slim and pale with powdered hair, more slender than muscular, according to professors John Sutherland and Amanda Vickery.

Professor Sutherland and Professor Vickery said that Mr Darcy's pale features reflected the men of the era who did not work. Rather than a square jaw he would have had a pointy chin and small mouth. He certainly would never have been Colin Firth’s towering height – only a mere 5ft 11in.

“Men sported powdered hair, had narrow jaws and muscular, defined legs were considered very attractive.”

It’s a very disappointing study. Our preference lies firmly with Colin Firth.

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