Deborah Yaffe

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If your Mr. Right is Mr. Darcy

By Deborah Yaffe, May 25 2015 01:00PM

Was Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy always seen as the quintessential romantic icon, even in that misty prehistoric time known as B.C. (Before Colin)? By now, the question is moot: Darcy = Swoonworthy Hero, and that’s all there is to it.


Thus it is that the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England, is now offering a delightful prize to any Janeite with an eloquent pen: a one-night, mid-September stay at an elegant Bath hotel, a cream tea at the Jane Austen Centre, and a pair of tickets to the festival’s costume promenade.


All it takes to win is a 250-word essay on “What makes him Mr. Darcy” – the “him” being “a hero in your life.” No reason this couldn’t be grandpa, Uncle Joe or your favorite high school teacher, I suppose, but somehow I doubt that’s whom most of the entrants will have in mind. To quote Mr. Knightley, “Brother and sister! no, indeed!” (The contest rules also state that the Darcy nominee "must be personally known" to the contest entrant, so no choosing George Clooney.)


As far as I can tell from the web site, you have to provide your own transportation to Bath, not to mention your own Regency costume for the promenade, so for American Janeites, this may end up being one of those prizes that’s cheaper not to win. But if you have a Mr. Darcy in your life, here’s your chance to pay him tribute.


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