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Arizona State University’s resident Jane Austen expert, Devoney Looser, busts the myth of “sexy Mr. Darcy” in a recent piece for London newspaper The Independent.
Oct. 14, 2015, marks the 20th anniversary of the BBC Pride and Prejudice’s airing of the episode with Colin Firth — who played Mr. Darcy in the series — diving into a lake and emerging in a wet, white shirt.
According to Looser, modern-day fans of the story “struggle to imagine a Darcy who isn't all sexy broodiness.”
“[M]ost would agree that the 1995 BBC series was the origin of ‘Sexy Darcy,’” but, writes Looser, “[h]istory suggests otherwise. … More than a century of two- and three-dimensional Darcys included some who had neither good looks nor charisma.”
Looser spoke to the series’ director, Simon Langton, about Firth’s appeal and how it compares to other depictions of Darcy through the ages.