The 200 year anniversary of Pride and Prejudice is afoot, and well, I thought there would be no better way to celebrate the book that to honour the greatest Mr Darcy, EVER, Colin Firth.
In the autumn of 1995 every Sunday night at 8pm the majority of the female population of the UK tuned onto BBC 1 for the Pride and Prejudice mini series. Fifty minutes of incredible costumes, 19th century British humour, beautiful settings and Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.
Like every other pre-teenager who was interested in the mini series, I was mostly looking forward to the sumptuous empire line costumes and beautiful interiors which were going to appear on TV, as well as seeing a filmic rendition of the book, which I already loved, at only 12 years old.
Instead just a few minutes in, after some wailing and screaming buy Mrs Bennet (beautifully played by Alison Steadman), and preparation for an Assembly, in comes a brooding Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, and we were hooked.
The complicated love hate love-story between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet enthralled many. In those days I went to a girl school in Central London, and on a Monday morning it’s all we talked about. Not just between us girls, but I remember our English teacher and the choir mistress also just rambling on about Mr Darcy in a dreamy way.
From the first episode the class room was turned into a gaggling group of school girls discussing everything about the series, from the locations, the costumes (I still want that green velvet bolero Lizzy wears), Mr Darcy’s proposal, the grounds of Pemberley, Mary’s singing, the Ball, Jane’s hair do, and yes Mr Darcy swimming in the lake.
While Jennifer Ehle, (Elizabeth Bennet) all but disappeared from our screens, Colin Firth went on to bigger and better things. Perhaps not better, but definitely bigger, our love affair with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy continued with the Bridget Jones Diary franchise, and well, the rest is history.
For many of us now thirty somethings who first watched the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Colin Firth will remain our brooding Mr Darcy, presiding over his estates at Pemberley (Lyme Park in reality) and secretly pining over Lizzy Bennet.