One Mr. Darcy Is Never Enough

Yesterday's London Daily Mail ran an article on Dominic Cooper, the latest handsome actor to portray Mr. Darcy. Click here to read the article.

What is it about Mr. Darcy that captures our imagination? For starters he is rich, handsome, dedicated to those he loves, rich, handsome, a faithful friend, a take charge kind of man, honorable and in case I failed to mention it, rich and handsome.

Until modern times, many women obtained a manor house and money by marrying some buck-toothed, alcoholic imbecile. As a result, the timeless fantasy of obtaining the title and the manor house without having to blow out the candles and think of Britain on the wedding night is quite strong. Mr. Darcy is one personification of this fantasy. Created during a time when many women needed to believe that marriage for love was possible, he is a character worthy of fantasies. After all, who wants reality?
Reality fills the pages of Sex with the Queen, the companion book to Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman (an excellent book I heartily recommend). After reading true stories of princesses sacrificing their happiness on the altar of duty, I'm ready to cheer when the fictional Elizabeth refuses Mr. Collins. I also pity poor Charlotte but I'm quickly distracted with thoughts of Mr. Darcy. He represents our desire to see true love prevail and if true love happens to come with Pemberly, who are we to question it?


Amanda Elyot said...

Call me madcap, but I think Mr. Cooper is too "pretty" to be my ideal Mr. Darcy (which is still Laurence Olivier). Colin Firth comes in a close second.

I think we all love Mr. Darcy because he is a very difficult and complex personality who learns something during the course of the story. And face it, how often do men do that in real life? :) We're also drawn to the brooding, bad-boy aspect of him, not in the Wickham or Willoughby sense, but in the fact that he's got a dark side to him. I'm no shrink so I have no idea what it is in women's makeup that makes them fall for difficult men -- perhaps that age-old (and incorrect) notion that we can change them. Darcy changes because he discovers something about human nature (and specifically Lizzy's) that allows him to be vulnerable and open to dropping his manful pride, and his prejudiced judgment against people of the lower orders of society. And still, throughout the story, he remains true to his own nobility (as in noble-ness or ethics). So, the good parts of his character remain ever staunch, and the unpleasant parts undergo a sea change.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Dominic Cooper is actually not playing Mr. Darcy. The article references the fact that he's making a movie with Colin Firth, the 1995 BBC Mr. Darcy, and the character Cooper plays in Sense & Sensibility, Willoughby, is sort of like Mr. Darcy.

Having said that, I think that women are attracted to Darcy for the same reason that they are attracted to a lot of alpha males. You can't control a man like Darcy, the way that you probably could Edward Ferrers. He's a man's man.

Kate Willoughby said...

I think that Sex with Kings book looks very interesting! Thanks for the heads up!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

You should also read Eleanor Herman's second book Sex with Queens.