When considering the quintessential romantic hero, few characters have come close to the strength, valour and all-out perfection of Austen’s dashing Mr Darcy.
As one of the most idealised and replicated literary characters of all time, Fitzwilliam Darcy has been played by a host of actors across film, theatre and television and around the world, from Hollywood to Bollywood. In the 1940s, we swooned over Laurence Olivier and, in the 1990s, he was iconised by Colin Firth and went on to seduce a new generation of fans as they watched him fall in love with hapless heroine, Bridget Jones.
Our panel, made up of historian, Carol Dyhouse, authors, Moni Mohsin and Janet Todd, will examine what it is about the character of Mr Darcy that has set the bar for heroic heartthrobs ever since. Why is it that this particular man has so enthralled audiences since the 1800s? Join us as we explore the origins of Mr Darcy and ask whether Austen created the ideal man because she was unable to find him in real life.