11 September 2013

A Darcy of a Tangent

fables  fables

I've been a fan of Keri Russell since her big-haired Felicity days, so when I heard she was in a quirky new movie called Austenland, I had to find out more.

Which led me to downloading and reading the novel Austenland by Shannon Hale.

Which intrigued me enough to dig through my boxes of books from my English Lit major days to unearth my worn copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to reread it.

Then in the name of nerdy research, I had to YouTube the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice - the 1995 version, which is apparently considered the best.

fables  fables

Which, thanks also to YouTube and a bit of Amazon, made me realize there's a whole cottage industry of books and shows that revolve around Pride and Prejudice - or more specifically, that revolves around one Mr. Darcy.

And tangents upon tangents and a full week of Pride and Prejudice immersion later, I may be a struck a little with the idea of Regency Era cosplay, but I still don't quite the whole deal about Mr. Darcy.

I guess he's like the first heartthrob? The original unattainable? A handsome rich guy that could only really open his heart to the right girl - and a smart sassy one at that! Yeah, yeah, but I could not quite get over the him being a huge asshole part.

You ladies have any Mr. Darcy insight? Why is he a thing? Or if the idea of a 200-year-old character in a tailcoat and top hat rolls your eyes back into your head, who are your favorite fictional heroes?

(Mine's a tie between Heathcliff, Amory Blaine and Gambit. I guess I like my fictional men varied).

Dress: Pinkerton via Anthropologie fables print (worn here - sim)
Necklace: Elizajay Charm (worn here - sim, sim)
Bracelet: J.Crew tortoise & turquoise (worn here - sim, sim)
Sunglasses: Target
Shoes: Artisan by Clarks kyna wise (worn here - sim, sim)
Bag: Longchamp (worn here - plain, sim, leather)

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Thanks to Ginny from My New Favorite Outfit for featuring me today!

65 comments:

  1. What a great print! I read this book in college and he is quite the character, you're right is is quite the A-hole though.
    Thanks for the mention, that was really sweet of you!
    Ginny

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  2. That dress is the perfect length on you! I'm not into Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen, but I love Bridget Jones' Mark Darcy!

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  3. I have to admit, I am not a reader. I'm also not really into TV or movies. I'm weird. But, I did just hear that Jax from SOA (a show I actually have been into) is going to be that 50 Shades of Gray guy and so now I'm for sure gonna have to see that!

    I love the pretty print on your dress!

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    1. He cleaned up real well for "Pacific Rim", so I can envision him a bit as Christian now.

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  4. I am not a fan of Pride & Prejudice at all, and all the spin offs in my area make me nauseous. (There are condo complexes named Pemberley and they sell out SO MUCH FASTER than adjacent, nicer ones with names like Cambria or the The Downs or whatever. Irritating.) I think the think most people forget about Elizabeth Bennet is that she is kind of a ninny. Yes, she's smart and sassy, but she doesn't fall for Darcy (who is a jerk and also a sweetheart, at times) until she sees his vast land holdings. She's no better than anyone else marrying for money.

    Blagh.

    xox

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    1. I didn't know about the thing with the condo complexes, that's funny though.

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  5. One of my personal favorites. Mr Darcy will always have a place in my heart, assholish and all.

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  6. I think it's interesting that you liked Heathcliff, because I'm a Darcy fan and found Heathcliff to be a monster! But we're all different.

    I am a huge fan of Pride & Prejudice, first the novel then the BBC version with Colin First/Jennifer Ehle. I think that what gets my heart to flutter is not Darcy himself, but his chemistry with Elizabeth. They both detest each other at first (pride!) but eventually see past their prejudices to realize there's so much more to one another, something they're passionate about and love. And I like that she chooses him, amongst her other possible suitors. She's picky in a time she couldn't be picky. And if you read up on Jane Austen's life (or read/watch Becoming Jane) you understand a bit more about her inspiration.

    I also love the characters in the book. They're just too funny! I mean, COME ON Mr. Bennet/Mrs. Bennet dynamic alone is hysterical.

    And I don't buy that she didn't fall for him until she saw his property. That's reading too literally.

    I'm a big Jane Eyre fan too, though I feel she's weaker than Elizabeth. And I'm not an Austen-ite... I can't stand Emma. SHE'S a ninny.

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    1. Heathcliff is really dark, brooding and all sorts of obsessed crazy - but he was dedicated, haha. I think I "fell" for Heathcliff after watching him played by Ralph Fiennes - what a cutie!

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  7. Darcy has always been my number one literary crush. Who doesn't love a jerk? A rich good-looking jerk? Sign me up! (I know, I have issues. It's amazing I'm in a loving happy relationship!) I've also always liked how Elizabeth is so different (so much smarter) than her sisters/other girls and it took someone like her to "tame" Mr. Darcy.

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    1. I always had a soft spot for Jane - so kind-hearted but not so smart.

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  8. Okay I agree that Darcy was an ass...but man when Michael Fassbender played that part I didn't care. Not one tiny bit. Okay I may have a "thing" (obsession) for Fassbender ever since I saw him in Shame. There is something about a man that can show both extreme vulnerability and strength at the same time. Another reason why I fell in love with DiCaprio in The Departed. His best role ever as far as I'm concerned.

    As far as literary heroes probably Heathcliff as well, Robbie Turner and the original Dracula which was after all a love story.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I didn't know Fassbender played Darcy in a version! He is a cutie! I'm going to need to look that up, thanks!

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  9. This is so funny - I actually just finished reading Austenland. It's totally corny, but really cute. I don't know about the whole Mr. Darcy thing... I loved Pride and Prejudice, but I related more to Emma, so my dream guy is more of a Mr. Knightly :)

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    1. For me, while reading through Austenland, I kept thinking of ways that the concept could work in real life, different programs, etc. Ha, ha.

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  10. I think Mr. Darcy is the original for the trope of a "bad boy". He is rough around the edges, but the right woman can make him all the best in the world. That said, I've never actually read the book, so I suppose I can only comment that I like the idea of the trope, but may hate the character himself.

    I'm shocked that you like Heathcliff though. In fact, I'm shocked anybody liked any characters in Wuthering Heights. I found them all intolerable and manipulative, and in Catherine's case, stupid. Both of them. Maybe it's time I slog through that book again.

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    1. I know, Wuthering Heights is so dark, isn't it. And Heathcliff is so crazily obsessed. I don't know why, part of his self-madeness (though I'm not going to ask how!) appealed to me and his dedication! Crazy crazy dedication ...

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  11. I don't know about anyone else, but I wasn't a fan of Mr. Darcy in the books, but Colin Firth REALLY sold it for me. Perhaps because he interpreted Mr. Darcy as just a rather socially awkward dude who is really a nice guy behind his veneer of privilege and apparent snobbery.

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    1. That's true, I guess I can kind of see the appeal if it was social awkwardness and not so much arrogance. Cute, rich awkward guy? OK!

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  12. Well, i'm all about Captain Wentworth personally (swoon) but I believe Colin firth had a lot to do with the hottification of Mr. Darcy...wet shirt scene and all that... :)
    I love these kinds of tangents!

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    1. Haha, through the wet shirt scene, I was like, was that all?

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  13. Wonderfully fun dress. I have no opinion about Mr. Darcy, but I don't get that into fictional men. I think that's why the whole "Twilight" thing passed me by; I can't get excited about a shiny vampire or any other fictional man.

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    1. The Twilight books were awful, I have to admit the movies (such as they were), were better!

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  14. I really like the kiera knightly version of P&P. I liked that version of Mr. Darcy. Though, I did enjoy him in the actual austen book...so that helped. I do agree with Heathcliff...he was always a good read :)

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  15. Love your dress! Pride & Prejudice is the ONLY Jane Austen book I've read but I loved it. And I totally get the Mr. Darcy thing, ah my heart skips a beat. Because of all those things you mentioned, and the fact that we can overlook the a-hole part haha. But honestly, it probably has something to do with the fact that all those boys that you desperately pined after, who in turn were major jerks, may have in fact been totally in love with you! Or something like it.

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    1. Of course all the cute boys were in love with me, that's why they ignored me, because they were scared to talk to me, haha.

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  16. Love your dress! Pride & Prejudice is the ONLY Jane Austen book I've read but I loved it. And I totally get the Mr. Darcy thing, ah my heart skips a beat. Because of all those things you mentioned, and the fact that we can overlook the a-hole part haha. But honestly, it probably has something to do with the fact that all those boys that you desperately pined after, who in turn were major jerks, may have in fact been totally in love with you! Or something like it.

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  17. I think it is because he fell in love with the girl who wasn't the prettiest or the wealthiest or the most popular. He fell in love with Elizabeth who was smart and witty and flawed. So a lot of us women can see ourselves in that. He had some really asshole moments at first, but as the book goes on you see that Bingley, his sister, and his servants all go on about what a kind and compassionate guy he really is. Love Darcy.
    ~cynthia

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    1. Though I felt like from the 1995 BBC version, Elizabeth was by far the prettiest. I thought Jane was "handsome."

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  18. It's always so fun and entertaining to read this random blog about fictional characters. I read P&P, Emma and Persuasions a while back.The leading men in these books are all heartthrob worthy, I think. What make them so interesting is that they are not perfect. They either come across as snobbish at first, too fatherly or may be poor at first. but once that shell comes off underneath is a tender, loving man vulnerable to rejection just like everyone else despite good looks, wealth, talents etc. And that they like strong willed women with flaws albeit. The guy from Persuasion, Rupert Jones... lol, I kind of have a little crush on him which lead me to watch Spook for a while until his character Adam Carter died and I stopped watching. I know, that sounds terrible.
    Fun to see what others have to say about Darcy so far.

    M

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    1. You look great in the dress, by the way. Lol, too wrapped up with Darcy on mind :)!

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    2. I still need to read Persuasion - I only read P&P, S&S and Emma (wasn't too fond of the character of Emma). That'll be my next book!

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  19. Okay, so the deal with Mr.Darcy is that you have to have watched all of the '95 BBC series, and then maybe re-read the novel with him and Jennifer Ehle (who plays Caitlin Stark in Game of Thrones, btw!) in your mind as the characters. Basically, Colin Firth MADE that character. I think what people swoon over is Colin Firth's take on Mr. Darcy. My two cents' worth, anyway! ;)

    You look fab, as usual. That dress is so perfect for you. :)

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    1. I didn't know Jennifer Ehle was in GOT, I've got to check that out!

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  20. Fellow English nerd here! I also majored in English in college, so I love re-visiting the novels we read every now and then. I was a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice as well as Jane Eyre (not by Austen, but same era).

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    1. Jane Eyre was kind of creepy for me - ooh, Bertha Mason!

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  21. Love love love that dress on you!

    I've also been a fan of Keri Russell from Felicity. Waitress was an adorable movie. I even tried to watch The Americans because of her. (I gave up because it got boring. Her hair is amazing in it though, I want her hair.)

    Colin Firth = Mr. Darcy and that's why. :) (Matthew MacFadyen in the Keira Knightley movie is also good.) I don't think the obsession with Mr. Darcy would be as strong if it weren't for Colin Firth and the scene where he jumps in the lake. (Related: Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley in the 2009 BBC adaptation of Emma.)

    Speaking of literary crushes, Anne of Green Gables has been on TV recently and I think Gilbert Blythe is up there for me, above Mr. Darcy. Then again, the Anne books are very much a part of my formative years, much more than P&P ever was.

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    1. I though Waitress was an adorable movie! That song Keri Russell sang to her baby - I still have in my head sometimes!

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    2. I'm glad I am not the only one who had a huge crush on Gilbert Blythe, (sigh). Yes, he was the boy of my idolatry in my growing up. Love the Anne of Green Gables books and TV series. M.

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  22. I for one, never liked any of it. Well, I liked Bride and Prejudice. Darcy isn't really for me. I like my fictional heartthrobs to be more men of action.
    Chic on the Cheap

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  23. Cute dress!! I'm so excited to see Austenland! I read the book when it first came out and loved it! There's a really great Pride and Prejudice mini-series called Lost in Austen that just hilarious. There's also a whole YouTube series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries that is utterly amazing!!
    ~Sara

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    1. I watched Lost in Austen over the weekend - it was a cute spin on things!

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  24. I haven't read the book, but I am reading a book on the philosophy of etiquette, and the other makes a few references to P&P. At one point, she explains that Darcy's exterior is unpleasant, coarse, and at times downright impolite, but he's a good person on the inside, unlike the other male lead of the story (can't remember his name) is the opposite, in the sense that he puts up a great front, but is a bad person on the inside. I think at the end of the day, the polite outer shell isn't enough. Character counts, and that's what Darcy has.

    Now that I've read that, it would be interesting to go back and see the movie to see whether that's an accurate interpretation of the two characters.

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    1. Yep, Darcy is a way better person that Wickham - all good looks and charm, but not much there. Shoot, I liked Bingley!

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  25. Love the dress Lisa! Has such a beautiful print/pattern! I loved Pride & Prejudice! I never read the book, but I've seen the movie over a million times! I just watched the 1995 version over the weekend!

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  26. I haven't read Austenland, but I do admire Shannon Hale as a writer. I was definitely on the upper end of the age spectrum for YA when I read some of her books and don't know much about her newer books though.

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    1. Oh man, how many books am I reading right now that are technically YA?! ;o)

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  27. I 've not read or seen any of the movies of Pride & Prejudice. My goal this year was to read more classics and so far, I am not doing very good. I've ready Uncle Tom's Cabin & Great Gatsby. This is on my list to read.

    BTW - love this dress on you!

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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    1. I think of all Austen's books, P&P is probably the best option.

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  28. i couldn't get over the asshole part, either (thanks for the laugh btw)! what a great dress...i love all the colors!

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  29. Like some other people said, I totally associate Mr. Darcy as being Colin Firth which really makes the character swoon-worthy!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  30. First, your dress is awesome and you look beautiful in it!

    Second, I love how this all started with your love for Keri Russell. And honestly, I never understood the appeal of Mr. Darcy.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  31. Two things: when I was in high school, I had my hair cut to model Keri Russell's hair in Felicity. It was quite the drastic change from my long locks. Second, the link to the Pride & Prejudice movie you linked to IS the best. The characters all play their roles so well and the relationships between everyone is intriguing. I have no insight as to the draw of Mr. Darcy, however. But he was a fun character to watch!
    FashionEdible

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  32. I love that dress Lisa! It's so pretty! I'm a big fan of pride & prejudice. Love Mr. Darcy despite his issues. HAHAHA LOVE Colin Firth!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  33. Love the patterns and colors going on in this dress! And I've always been a huge fan of Keri Russels, mostly because I could relate to her curly hair! I'm going to have to check out this new movie of hers...I love her in the Americans!

    Runway Chef

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  34. Hi Lisa, apologies for being so behind in commenting, but had to jump in here, as I loved reading "Pride and Prejudice". As Austen herself said of the novel, it is "light, bright and sparkling". I don't read as much into it as others do... I would hazard a guess that a part of the on-going fascination with Darcy is that he is a notch or two higher up the social ladder than Elizabeth (although she is a daughter of a gentleman), and the class system is so embedded in British society, that to marry outside of one's social class - and especially marrying up - is a huge deal.

    I also agree with thatdamngreendress - my vote for Austen hero goes to Frederick Wentworth!!

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    1. I can understand that Darcy's got the whole rich cute guy with a heart-of-gold thing, but wow, 200 years later and he's still going strong. You're right, most that on-going Darcy obsession is British.

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  35. I am so with you. Never really got the Mr. Darcy obsession. I had a weird crush on Humbert Humbert and his weird quirkiness (pre-full fledged pedo mode) in Lolita, but oh man, my favorite favorites were definitely Atticus Finch, Odysseus, and Sydney Carton!

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  36. I don't read much anymore, but I love that dress. Looks beautiful on you!

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  37. Oh my gosh...reading this post has made me want to read Pride and Prejudice again! It's my favorite book and I pretty much read it every year! I LOVE Mr. Darcy! I can't even explain why... And the BBC version is the only version to me. The newer one with Keira Knightly is a piece of hollywood over dramatic crap in my opinion...haha. But I'm a Pride and Prejudice snob I guess!
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

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  38. Read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Hilarious!
    -Ash
    www.thestylizedwannabe.com

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  39. Love that dress! So pretty. And on chillier days slip on some slim jeans and voila - boho practicality.

    The Mr. Darcy as written was initially quite one dimensional and a snob extraordinaire, and became more complex as the novel unfolded. I think that's the appeal: that Lizzy's perception of him changes over time as more of his real character is revealed. But there's also a dissonance that doesn't get resolved even after we start seeing the glimpse of the wounded man; for example, there is no satisfactory explanation of why he's so tiresomely hypercritical to the society Bingley so easily embraces, yet is viewed as an attentive patron of the common folk in his own neighborhood.

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  40. The story is as old as can be: rich guy, poor girl. Usually he is older and something happens so there is a lot of trouble, but they get each other at the end.
    Apparently we girls like this.
    Fun dress.
    Greetje

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