About Books#99: There’s Something About Darcy

Who’s the literary hero that might end you? For many people, me included, there’s quite a big chance the answer to that question would be Mr. Darcy. After all – the moodiness, the change of heart – the wealth, both in money and, unexpectedly, in emotions… Honestly, there’s something about Darcy!

I was offered an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.

The subject

For some, Colin Firth emerging from a lake in that clinging wet shirt is one of the most iconic moments in television. But what is it about the two-hundred-year-old hero that we so ardently admire and love?

Dr Gabrielle Malcolm examines Jane Austen’s influences in creating Darcy’s potent mix of brooding Gothic hero, aristocratic elitist and romantic Regency man of action. She investigates how he paved the way for later characters like Heathcliff, Rochester and even Dracula, and what his impact has been on popular culture over the past two centuries. For twenty-first century readers the world over have their idea of the ‘perfect’ Darcy in mind when they read the novel, and will defend their choice passionately.

In this insightful and entertaining study, every variety of Darcy jostles for attention: vampire Darcy, digital Darcy, Mormon Darcy and gay Darcy. Who does it best and how did a clergyman’s daughter from Hampshire create such an enduring character?

The opinion

As I’ve said on many occasions on this blog: I love Jane Austen. From my favourite of her work, Persuasion, to the many, many *many*retellings… There’s something about the world which she created, that gets me every time.

And I’m really not the only one. There’s been countless retellings, reproductions, re-… Through all of those, however, Darcy has made quite the transformation. The author manages to tie his person in with a long-standing tradition, spanning across centuries, style periods and media.

If nothing else, a huge plus for this book is just the sheer amount of inspiration it gave me. There’s new adaptations to check out, fanfictions to look up, books to read. But of course – it goes beyond that.

The rating: 4/5

The author does have the tendency to go off on a tangent every once in a while. However, even when doing so, she offers such a width of new information, that I couldn’t really fault her for that. (Goodreads)