Books

The Real Mr. Darcy Has Finally Been Revealed

Literature's most eligible bachelor is not who you imagined.
Comments

Thanks to Colin Firth and the iconic lake scene in Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy will forever be known as literature's broody heartthrob.

Yet according to new research, Jane Austen's famous fictional character would actually have been a pale, pointy-chinned man with sloping shoulders and powdered white hair.

After a month-long study, academics have created the first historically accurate portrait of the "real" Fitzwilliam Darcy, who has often been portrayed on screen by tall, dark, and handsome actors including Firth and Matthew MacFadyen.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The research, led by John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at University College London and Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London, explored how the qualities considered to be attractive have changed over the past 200 years.

To come up with the portrait, the team looked into the existing descriptions and illustrations of the character, and examined the socio-economic and cultural factors that would have contributed to Darcy's appearance.

In the late 1790s, at the time Pride and Prejudice was written, Darcy's pale complexion was a sign of wealth and privilege, but square jaws and a broad chest were unheard of amongst the upper classes. Instead, sloping shoulders, a pointy chin and a small mouth were more common features for gentlemen of the era.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

While strong legs were said to be attractive to women, it's unlikely that the real Darcy would have been tall. It's estimated he would have been around 5ft 11, rather than Firth's 6ft 2.

"Men sported powdered hair, had narrow jaws and muscular, defined legs were considered very attractive," Professor Amanda Vickery explained in a statement. "A stark contrast to the chiseled, dark, brooding Colin Firth portrayal we associate the character with today."

Fans of the modern-day Darcy might want a reminder of this...

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Katie Jones
View Other Articles From Katie Jones
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
 
Share
The collection is up for auction, and a private buyer could take it home for good.
 
Share
This week, the birds on the Thames were checked and counted.
 
Share
Rixo acknowledged the designs used on several pieces of its apparel were Feanne's designs. 
 
Share
After an extensive search, Luhrmann cast Austin Butler to play the King.
 
Share
The label's Autumn Winter ’19 collection by Paul Andrew and Guillaume Meilland is an undefined, androgynous delight.
 
Share
On July 20 and 21, memorabilia from the Quezon Residence will go under the gavel in an online auction.
 
Share
 
Share
For the first time, a black woman will assume the iconic codename.
 
Share
The journey of the Igorots who were put on display for the world to see.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US