Behold, Austen Lovers: Mr. Darcy Emerging from the Lake
If you have ever seen the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice starring Colin Firth (and if you haven’t, you really must – it is the best adaptation to many minds, mine included), you’ll remember the scene in which Darcy returns to Pemberley a day earlier than expected. It is a hot summer day, and he decides to go for a swim on his estate’s small lake. He strips to breeches and shirt and swims. When he emerges, soaking wet (and in a white shirt, at that – much Firth-y chest bits highlighted by clingy, wet fabric), he looks very pleased and relaxed, until he unexpectedly encounters Elizabeth Bennet, and awkwardly mutters and fumbles through painful pleasantries as he stands sopping wet before her:
Now London’s enormous and beautiful green space Hyde Park boasts a tribute to the scene – in the form of a huge, fibreglass replica statue of Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth emerging from the park’s Serpentine Lake. You can see a video of the Mr. Darcy statue at The Guardian.
Interestingly, though the scene is among the most memorable for fans of the that BBC adaptation – it was actually the invention of director Andrew Davies, and never appeared in Austen’s iconic novel. In fact, its implications of sexual attraction would likely have been frowned upon at the time of its publication.
The 12-foot Darcy model was created in celebration of a new UK television channel, “Drama”.