Fitzwilliam Darcy

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Name= Fitzwilliam Darcy

caption=Darcy and Bennet by C. E. Brock (1895)
"She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me."
Fullname= Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy
Gender= Male
Age= 28
Income= £10,000+/year
Carriages= Curricle at Pemberley
PrimaryResidence= Pemberley House, in Derbyshire
RomanticInterest= Elizabeth Bennet (later his wife)
Parents= Mr Darcy and Lady Anne Darcy (formerly Anne Fitzwilliam)
Siblings= Georgiana Darcy
Portrayed= 1940 Movie: Laurence Olivier
1952 TV adaptation: Andrew Osborn
1952 TV serial: Peter Cushing
1958 TV serial: Alan Badel
1967 TV serial: Lewis Fiander
1980 TV serial: David Rintoul
1995 TV serial: Colin Firth
2005 Movie: Matthew Macfadyen|

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy is a fictional character and one of two protagonists in Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice". He is an archetype of the aloof romantic hero, and a romantic interest of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel's other protagonist. The story's narration includes Elizabeth's perspective on events more often than Darcy's, which makes Elizabeth a more sympathetic figure. Usually only referred to as "Mr Darcy", his first name is mentioned twice in the novel."Pride and Prejudice". Chapters and .] The novel gives his age as twenty-eight, and his income as £10,000 a year."Pride and Prejudice". Chapter .]


In the novel, Mr. Darcy is a wealthy gentleman with an income of at least £10,000 a year, and the owner of Pemberley, a large estate in Derbyshire, England. Darcy slights Elizabeth at their first meeting, but becomes attracted to Elizabeth, and begins to court her, in his own way, while struggling against his continued feelings of superiority. When Darcy realizes his friend, Mr. Bingley, is seriously courting Elizabeth Bennet's elder sister, Jane, Darcy disapproves of the relationship and convinces Bingley that Jane does not care about him. Darcy's interference in Bingley and Jane's budding relationship, has caused Elizabeth to dislike him intensely.

When she turns down his proposal of marriage however, Darcy is stunned, and shocked into a new reality of how his behaviour is perceived by others, particularly Elizabeth. Now he reconsiders all, and then commits to go out of his way to demonstrate his respect and devotion for her. He tempers his pride, re-evaluates his feelings on the relationship between Bingley and Jane, and, acts to save Elizabeth's youngest sister Lydia from disgrace at the hands of his bitter enemy, George Wickham: after these two have run away together, Darcy convinces him to marry her. His rescue of Lydia from disgrace was not done to win Elizabeth but to ease her distress, because he attempts to keep her from knowing about it. He does it in spite of being required to deal not only with George Wickham, but with a former companion to his sister who betrayed her trust. The novel suggests that it may have cost him a year's income. (This contrasts sharply with a situation in Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park", where Mr. Crawford proposes to Fanny Price immediately after doing a favour for her that cost him very little.) Darcy's second proposal to Elizabeth, against the express wishes of his aunt, Lady Catherine, completes the novel's climax; she accepts him, much to the delight of her mother, and the novel concludes with her becoming Mrs. Darcy.

Darcy is depicted within the novel as a seemingly cold and aloof man with a large sense of personal pride that frequently expresses itself as arrogance. His apparently distant manner and contempt for those around him leads to his becoming the focus of the disdain of both Elizabeth and many of the other characters over the course of the narrative, particularly in light of the claims of George Wickham, who insists that Darcy has wronged him in the past and who, because of his approachable and charming nature, is automatically given the benefit of the doubt over Darcy. It is eventually revealed, however, that these first impressions are erroneous, as Darcy's seemingly arrogant character masks a sincerely generous and upright nature, and that it was in fact "he" who was wronged by Wickham, whose own character is revealed to be untrustworthy and duplicitous. Even such matters as his interference in the relationship between Jane and Bingley are presented and re-interpreted as being motivated by genuine concern for the feelings of his friend rather than out of malicious intent.

Noted portrayals of Mr. Darcy

* Laurence Olivier portrayed Darcy in the classic 1940 version of "Pride and Prejudice".
* Alan Badel portrayed Darcy in the 1958 BBC adaptation.
* David Rintoul portrayed Darcy in the 1980 BBC adaptation.
* Colin Firth portrayed Darcy in the 1995 BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice". Firth's portrayal of Darcy inspired Helen Fielding to create the character Mark Darcy in her novels "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "". Firth then played Mark Darcy in the films based on Fielding's novels.
*Orlando Seale portrayed Will Darcy in the 2003 film "" a modern version of "Pride and Prejudice".
* Martin Henderson portrayed Will Darcy in the 2005 film "Bride and Prejudice", a Bollywood adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice".
* Matthew Macfadyen portrayed Darcy in the 2005 film "Pride and Prejudice".
* Elliot Cowan portrayed Darcy in the 2008 ITV drama "Lost in Austen", a tale about a modern girl who is transported back in time into the Pride and Prejudice plot.

Cultural influence and legacy

The character of Fitzwilliam Darcy has appeared and inspired numerous works. Both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet feature as part of science fiction author Philip Jose Farmer's 'Wold Newton family' concept, which links numerous fictional characters (such as Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes) together via an interconnected family tree of people and events.Fact|date=January 2008 According to Farmer's works, both were recipients of radiation resulting from a meteorite that struck Wold Newton in Yorkshire in the 1790s (this event actually occurred). This allowed them to be the ancestors of many other famous literary characters, some of whom possessed unusual or even superhuman gifts and abilities. American writer Pamela Aidan has written a trilogy called "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" (former title was "The Chronicles of Pemberley"), which explores Darcy's perspective on the events of "Pride and Prejudice" - in particular focusing on his developing relationship with and feelings for Elizabeth Bennet.Fact|date=January 2008

Helen Fielding has admitted she "pillaged her plot" [ [ Penguin Reading Guides - Bridget Jones's Diary] Retrieved on January 4-2008.] for "Bridget Jones's Diary" from "Pride and Prejudice". In "Bridget Jones's Diary" and its sequel ', Bridget Jones is constantly mentioning the 1995 BBC adaptation and watches the scene in the fourth episode where Darcy (Colin Firth) comes out of a pond wearing a wet white shirt numerous times,"Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" Helen Fielding. Penguin Books, 1999. (ISBN 014303443X)] and refers to the Darcy and Elizabeth of the TV series as "my chosen representatives in the field of shagging, or, rather, courtship". [ [ - 'Pride & Prejudice': The Way They Were (Nov 23 2005)] Retrieved on January 4-2008.] When in "The Edge of Reason" Bridget becomes a journalist, she is flown to Italy where she is to interview Firth about his (then upcoming) film "Fever Pitch", but finds herself only asking him questions about Mr.Darcy and the filming of the "pond scene". This scene was shot but not included in the film adaptation of ' because Colin Firth portrayed Mark Darcy, Bridget's love interest. This scene can be seen in the DVD's extra features. Colin Firth's Mr.Darcy in the BBC adaptation has been called the “definitive” Darcy, [ [ Entertainment Magazine - The Timelessness of Jane Austen’s Classic Romance] Retrieved on January 4-2008.] and his "pond scene" made it into Channel 4's Top 100 TV Moments. [ [ The Independent - There's no escaping Mr Darcy (9 June 2000)] Retrieved on January 4-2008.] Colin Firth has found it hard to shake off the Darcy image, [ [ BBC News - Star takes pride in new Prejudice] Retrieved on January 4-2008.] and he thought that playing Bridget Jones’s Mark Darcy, a character inspired by the other Darcy, would ridicule and liberate himself once and for all from the character. [ [ Vanity Fair (Italy) - Me Sexy? only to that crazy Bridget Jones (Oct 16, 2003)] Retrieved on January 4-2008.]


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