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Fitzwilliam Darcy

Fictional Heartthrob

Born: 1813
Best known as: The wealthy suitor from the book Pride and Prejudice
One of the great romantic characters in English literature, Fitzwilliam Darcy is a handsome, wealthy and remote bachelor in Jane Austen's 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice. Darcy is the type of man described in the book's wry opening line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Haughty and aloof, though secretly good-hearted, he is by turns baffled by, unsettled by, and finally smitten with the novel's heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. Darcy was played with much success by Colin Firth in a 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, which renewed interest in the book and in the Darcy mystique. He was also played by Laurence Olivier (1940) and Matthew Macfadyen (2005) in feature films of the story.
Extra credit:

Darcy’s wealth is a central point in Pride and Prejudice; the story’s gossips discuss him having an income of £10,000 a year… The character of Mark Darcy in the 1996 novel Bridget Jones’s Diary, written by Helen Fielding, was named in tribute to Fitzwilliam Darcy. In an amusing twist, Colin Firth played Mark Darcy in the 2001 film adaptation of the book and in the film’s 2004 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

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