Thursday, 15 October 2009

Mr Darcy's Marriage, and Pride and Prejudice Question 15

I can't believe it, but we're already half way through the Pride and Prejudice questions, and it has passed so quickly. It's been much better that I could ever have expected. I really didn't think the discussions would be so varied and so ... long(?). Just kidding. I love the long answers. It shows how much you all have to say about Pride and Prejudice, and of course, I have a lot to say.

Of course yesterday's question is in the realm of speculation, and as such there can't be any wrong or right answer because we don't know enough. By and large, most of you discarded Anne, though of course, as kt says, family wishes and duty may have prevailed, given the fact that he was very concerned with family connections when he proposed initially to Elizabeth. He certainly was not happy to have fallen in love and gone against them! He gave no sign of favoring Anne. Yet at the same time, he and his cousin Col. Fitzwilliam did make it a habit of going and staying with her for extended periods of time. As some of you have pointed out, it took Elizabeth to give him a different perspective on things. Clearly, he's embarrassed at the way Lady Catherine talks to Elizabeth, and it's a novelty for him to realize that he, too, has something to be ashamed of in his relations. As Sarah-Wynne points out, Elizabeth opened his eyes to a lot of things. Certainly the old Darcy might have been capable of putting family pride first.

As for his relationship to Caroline, it is very puzzling. I've wrote about it elsewhere on my blog tour, since obviously I've been giving it a lot of though. The fact is, he spends a great deal of time with the Bingleys. He comes and stays with them in Netherfield for weeks on end. Later, after he has been rejected by Elizabeth, he invites them for a long stay in Pemberley. Why does he enjoy their company so much? Enough to want Caroline and Mrs Hurst to spend time with Georgiana?  I would have thought that their background in trade, as jnaj notes, would have prevented him from wanting to associate too closely with them. But clearly, as Tracygrrrl says, he regards them as equals in that first Meryton assembly, and refuses to dance with anyone else, and in the early days, before he has fallen in love, he seems to enjoy gossiping with Caroline. I just love the way Jane Austen shows us how he starts to disagree with and move away from the people that he somehow took for granted earlier. Still, even though he now looks at Caroline differently, he does not try to get rid of her. Is it loyalty? Is it habit? Why is Caroline at Pemberley? He could easily have invited Charles without his sisters. I can only conclude that there must have been something positive in them.

But I've gone on long enough (far longer than anyone yet). So time for the next question. Since it's the middle of the contest, and we haven't given people a chance to talk about the actors yet, my next question is:

Pride and Prejudice 15 Hurray! It's the middle of the Contest!

(Cowan)(Firth)
(Macfadyen)
How would you describe Darcy in any of the productions of Pride and Prejudice (not the novel)? You can compare and contrast them if you prefer. (This is a great excuse to go off and watch your favorite production). You can also include Elliott Cowan from Lost in Austen if you are so inclined (I'll admit I would be inclined to do so myself).(Olivier)



 


9 comments:

  1. If I had to compare, I would say that Colin Firth tops them all, although I have a great love for Lawrence Oliver in any role. Besides being quite handsome, Firth is coldly haughty at first, but becomes a loveable man as the mini-series continues. Truthfully I don't think Macfayden gets the haughtiness down as well and Cowan in Lost in Austen is a little too haughty. Firth captures the role of Mr. Darcy perfectly. And who can forget the wet shirt? If only that were actually in the novel . . .

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  2. I cast my vote for Matthew! I think his portrayal showed such a wide range of emotional expression. At the Merryton assembly he was very intimidating. On his visits to the parsonage (Mr. Collins home) he looked totally "stupid" as his cousin Fitzwilliam describes him in the book. And at other times he just looks so sad! I think Firth does a great job with haughty, but doesn't portray Darcy's conflict and transformation as well to my eye. I'll take Matthew and his long coat over the wet shirt!! :)

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  3. Colin Firth is the best Darcy. I don't like Matthew at all, he is just too "nice" to be Darcy. I think Colin is the perfect Darcy. He can act really coldly but then, for example when he looks to elizabeth when she is playing piano with Georgiana that look is his eyes and face... It makes me melt. I think Elliott Cowan does good job in Lost in Austen but I think that in my mind, no one is never going to top Colin Firth.

    milkavainamo@lyseo.edu.ouka.fi

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  4. From one devoted Austen fan to the next, I’ll say this well done on a brilliant blog. I love your site so much I can hardly stand it. I’ll visit often now I know where to find you. My choice is Colin Firth. He’s handsome and charming without being a pushover.
    All the very best,
    Simone

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  5. Lovely to meet you, Simone. I'm glad you found your way here. Thank you for your kind words.

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  6. I'm torn between Firth and Macfayden. The latter uses his powerful eyes--or should I say FINE eyes--to great effect; but the former is generally more expressive, and better at catching the nuances of Darcy's character. In the newest P&P, the everything seems fainter, less pronounced, and this certainly extends to Darcy. {Oddly enough, deciding which version to watch has more to do with which Mrs. Bennet I feel like enduring.}

    And, humbug. Now I have a craving to watch every single version ever made, and all our movies are packed away because of renovations!

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  7. I agree whole-heartedly! The Firth-Ehle production has the most awful Mrs. Bennett (think nails on a blackboard), the best Mr. Bennett, and a Jane whom my husband does not consider a beauty! Plus, Collins is really slimy, Lydia is popping out of her dress and Wickham isn't all that handsome,either. One point in favor: Colonel Fitzwilliam.

    New P & P has the better Jane, Charlotte and Mr. Collins. And I am getting to be a big fan of Brenda Blethyn. (But, I digress!!)

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  8. I liked both productions, although Colin Firth is by far my favorite. You could actually see him change the way he looked and carried himself throughout the series, while the Darcy in the Keira Knightley version seemed to just sit there and look broody the whole time. Not that I complained too loudly--he was rather nice to look at while he was being all deep and misunderstood. Did not like Darcy in Lost in Austen at all, but that could be because the ending was so very, very wrong. Or it could be his ginormous chin....

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  9. In reference to Caroline and Darcy's relationship, I would say that he continues to associate with her because she comes with her brother. I think it has more to do with his love of his friend and tolerating her presence.

    Ok, comparing and contrasting productions will be hard for me. I haven't seen some of these movies in a long time...but I will say Firth is the closest to the book version of Darcy, but I'd prefer MacFadyen as my own personal Darcy...he's so smoldering and yummy. I also love the scene in the movie where after helping Elizabeth into the carriage after her sister's stay at Netherfield due to illness, MacFadyen moves his hand as if her touch has left a lasting impression on him..great touch.

    Olivier rocks in all his roles, but I think Firth nails the transformation best out of these actors.

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