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Why Women Love Mr. Darcy

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The Appeal of Mr. Darcy

Ok, the wet shirt scene made women swoon, but that's not the only reason. What makes this man the heartthrob of millions of women and the grudging hero of the many men whose significant other made them watch or read it? Could it be that the discriminating Jane Austen created a model of the perfect man she held out for in her own life?

Before you despair, Austen's Mr. Darcy is a lot like many of us: a man not fond of idle talk, prone to saying the wrong thing, and hopeless at comprehending the female species. Here is a man who goes from the most despised to the most desired by doing the unthinkable: he listens to the woman and is not afraid to change, all the while sticking to the principles of his character.

With the help of some female Darcy fans, I believe I have isolated ten of the most important character traits that Mr. Darcy used to win the heart of the one he loved as well as the hearts of generations of readers.

10 Things That Women Love About Mr. Darcy

1. He is open and honest

In the beginning, he is open and honest to a fault. Darcy despised the hypocrisy, shallowness and pretentious of the wealthy social class and said so. He also was open about his dislike of foolish and gossipy people like Elizabeth's mother. His first impression of Elizabeth was that she was not attractive and said so. He also gave his honest opinion to Bingley that Jane did not really care for him and was socially inferior to his station.This was not his finest hour.

When motivated by "Pride and Prejudice," being open and honest is less admirable than discretion and restraint. Darcy freely admits he does not have this filter.

“I should have judged better had I sought an introduction; but I am ill qualified to recommend myself to strangers… I certainly have not the talent which some people possess of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done."

In his drive to be open and honest, he delivers perhaps the worst proposal in literature and when Elizabeth understandably reproofs him, he reveals much about himself: `

`these offenses might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I with greater policy concealed my struggles, and flattered you... But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence..."

Elizabeth, also, openly admits she was wrong to be proud of her ability to size up Darcy and Wyckham so well. She calls herself:

“blind, partial, prejudiced, and absurd... Vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession [pride] and ignorance, and driven reason away where either were concerned. Till this moment, I never knew myself.”

2. He is not defensive.

Even when Elizabeth was mistaken in the facts concerning him and criticized him harshly, he did not defend himself. This is one of the greatest, if not the greatest of Darcy's character traits. He chose to be silent. He chose to let his actions and true reputation surface eventually rather than be known as a person who makes excuses, blames others or fails to take responsibility for his actions and words. Granted he did hand her a letter of explanation, but it was respectfully and honestly delivered--without any defensive posture.

As she pronounced these words, Mr. Darcy changed colour; but the emotion was short, and he listened without attempting to interrupt her while she continued:

How many of us can listen without interrupting, especially when the facts are incorrect?

"And this," cried Darcy, as he walked with quick steps across the room,"is your opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully. My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed!"

"You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness."

Darcy has my utmost admiration for his restraint and gentlemanly response to what was a scathing and comprehensive tongue lashing given by Elizabeth just before he says these words. Consider just a sampling:

"From the very beginning--from the first moment, I may almost say--of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."

Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness? Folks, remove your hats--this is a gentleman we can learn from, even if we have said just the opposite in our own similar encounters.

3. He does not try to change her but likes her "just the way she is"

There were things about Elizabeth that were not entirely suited to a man of Darcy's position and she spoke her mind in a way that could have brought criticism and did from the social elite surrounding him. To his credit, even before he fell in love with her, he spoke about her from pride and prejudice, but did not give her advice nor did he try to get her to be different from the way she was.

Contrast this with the smarmy twit Mr. Collins who said: "... your wit and vivacity I think must be acceptable...especially when tempered with...silence and respect..."

It is the depth of her personality and her quick wit that both challenges and attracts Darcy to Elizabeth and rather than get her to tone it down so that she would not offend the social class, he decides that nothing else will do and chooses her over the frail and timid cousin his family wants him to marry.

4. He knows how to listen

Men, as a rule, don't listen. On the rare occasions where we do listen to you trying to explain what is wrong with our relationship, we are either baffled or too stubborn to get it.

We then try to explain it away. We tell you there is no spoon, just don't think about it and it will go away. We downplay it's significance and we accuse you of being too sensitive or emotional. When we are at our worst, we give excuses and shift the blame to you.

And ladies this is the real reason you love Mr. Darcy. He listens, without interrupting, to Lizzie's caustic indictment. He understands what she is saying and it affects him deeply. He doesn't put the blame on her even when her facts are totally false.

He listens, he is courteous, he is a gentleman and he takes it to heart. Later we will see that he is also willing to change based on her input.

Right here we will pause to let all you ladies still your beating, if not melted, hearts.

5. He knows how to apologize

When Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy are talking about the girls of Meryton, Mr Darcy says something about Elizabeth that she overhears and cannot forget for most of the novel: ‘She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me’' ----Ouch! This alone would put him on her "least wanted" list, but he soon easily tops this one.

Darcy mistakes Lizzie's sister Jane's feelings for Bingley and advises him to avoid pursuing her and Elizabeth confronts him about it.

Do you deny that you separated a young couple who loved each other, exposing your friend to censure of the world for caprice and my sister to derision for disappointed hopes, involving them both in misery of the acutest kind?

Mr. Darcy listens to her eloquent description of his disregard for other's feelings and happiness and when he learns the truth about Jane's real feelings, he feels remorse and remedies the situation.

Mr. Darcy looked startled, to say the least. After a short pause, he answered, "I thank you, Miss. Bennet, for your apology. Though it was not needed, I accept." He took a breath. "Our conversation last spring, if I may call it that," he said, smiling a little into her nervous face, "taught me more about my faults and pride than I would care to admit. That I was prideful and conceited at times has been brought to my attention, and these past months I have tried to become more agreeable to those around me. I hope that you can forgive my abominable behavior from my past actions."

6. He is not afraid to change

As the previous paragraph demonstrates, the man who was despised for his pride and conceit demonstrates humility and a willingness to become a better man.

I asked a lady sitting in a table next to me at a restaurant why women love Mr. Darcy (the Colin Firth version.) When I mentioned his name, her eyes went all dreamy and a smile came to her face. "Because he is vulnerable." She said wistfully.

Ladies, you don't care that Darcy is flawed, in fact, his awkwardness in his obvious infatuation, his bumbling of his words and repetition of conversation when he sees Elizabeth at his estate, his misjudged attempts at social interaction and meddling are all mildly charming because he is so vulnerable and innocent and you can change him!

Yes he insulted you. Yes he wrecked your sister's happiness. Yes he says your mother and sisters act like poor white trash. None of that really matters because he's crazy about you and he's handsome and he's rich and most importantly you can work with him because he listens to you. When you tell him he is being a jerk, he has a “selfish disdain for the feelings of others.” and he is the last person on earth you would consider marrying, he actually is sorry and you can tell he wants to take all your constructive criticism to heart and begin to be more like you want him to be.

Never before have women met a man who thrives so well under criticism. Mirroring a persons faults to him is universally condemned by every relationship therapist on the planet and yet here is a gentleman that does not get angry at criticism. He does not zap her back. He does not crawl into his silent box and sulk. He does the unthinkable--he gets right to work on self-improvement and does not give up on the relationship. Wow. No wonder women swoon at the mention of his name.

When they meet at Pemberly, he is a changed man. He engages her aunt and uncle in conversation, offers his ponds and equipment for fishing, invites them to a party and while he is awkward at it, he is pleasant to Elizabeth and extremely hospitable.

At the end of the novel we see to what extent he has been willing to change. “Such I was, from eight to eight-and-twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased."

7. He defends her publicly

When there is the gossipy, catty conversation going on in which Miss Bingley criticizes Elizabeth's looks, Darcy quickly cuts in with his unashamed admiration for her. " is many months since I have considered her one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance."

Caroline accuses Elizabeth of deliberately walking to Netherfield in order to make a scene and when she hints that perhaps the walk has lessened Darcy's estimation of Elizabeth's "fine eyes," he casually replies, "Not at all, they were brightened by the exercise."

Nothing--let me repeat it--nothing is more impressive to the object of your affection than for you to defend her in public. Especially if it gets back to her from her friends and not from you.

8. He does something extraordinary and he is quiet about it

I'll have to say that after watching the BBC version I wanted to be like Mr. Darcy. Not the rich part, although I wouldn't mind a gigantic parcel of land and multiple mansions. I wasn't even impressed with his position and power. What impressed me was the way he handled Elizabeth's missing sister situation.

He didn't posture or debate or puzzle over what to do, he simply got on his horse, rode to London, found her, figured out how to make it work, took sole financial responsibility and swore everyone to secrecy about his part in it. He wouldn't let Elizabeth's father pay him back, didn't want him to tell Elizabeth, and he had to listen to the air head mother malign him and instead praise a relation who had nothing to do with her daughter Lydia's salvation.

This strong character trait of Darcy's that allows Wickham, Mrs. Bennett and even Elizabeth to falsely accuse him without defending himself while he works quietly to show his real integrity by his actions is formidable and for women, it is irresistible.

As a forum commentator said, "He's strong, silent, yet sensitive, he'll give time and money just to get your attention, and he'll change for you."

9. He can be engaging

Another forum commentator said, "He doesn't know how to express himself, and that's endearing. Before he ever tells Lizzie he likes her, he's super awkward to the point of being rude despite the fact that he really likes her. When he finally gets his act together at the end and properly tells Lizzie that he's always held out hope that she might be "generous enough to trifle" with him, I melt into a puddle of my own smitten-ness."

Darcy doesn't know how to express his feelings for Elizabeth, but that endears him to women. He is the antithesis of a slick, pick-up artist. Even when he likes her he can't help sounding awkward and a times, rude and insensitive. He is the quintessential strong, silent type.

What disarms Elizabeth is that when he begins to interact with her, he is quick, witty and pleasantly conversant. It's as if he only needs an equally interesting woman to bring out his inner eloquence.

At the Netherfield Ball, Lizzie agrees to dance with Mr. Darcy and she discovers that they are alike in their delight in using their wit and humor to make a point. She finds in him a worthy partner in scintillating dialogue.

“It is your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy – I talked about the dance, and you ought to make some kind of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples.”
He smiled, and assured her that whatever she wished him to say should be said. "Very well. That reply will do for the present. Perhaps by and by I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones. But now we may be silent.”
“Do you talk by rule, then, while you are dancing?”
“Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together; and yet for the advantage of some, conversation ought to be so arranged, as that they may have the trouble of saying as little as possible.”
“Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine that you are gratifying mine?”
replied Elizabeth archly; “for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the éclat of a proverb.”
“This is no very striking resemblance of your own character, I am sure,” said he. “How near it may be to mine, I cannot pretend to say. You think it a faithful portrait undoubtedly."

Darcy says what he thinks and makes his point cleanly, laced with humor. When he verbally spars with Elizabeth, he is actually sparring with the clever voice of the formidable Jane Austen who undoubtedly sees herself in the independent and loquacious Lizzie.

10. He has a private reputation of kindness and goodness

We learn from Mrs Reynolds, his housekeeper, who has known him since he was a small boy that he is far from being an intimidating tyrant. She describes him as being good-natured, sweet-tempered and generous-hearted.

"If your master would marry, you might see more of him."
......."Yes, sir; but I do not know when that will be. I do not know who is good enough for him."

.......Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner smiled. Elizabeth could not help saying, "It is very much to his credit, I am sure, that you should think so."
......."I say no more than the truth, and everybody will say that knows him," replied the other. Elizabeth thought this was going pretty far; and she listened with increasing astonishment as the housekeeper added, "I have never known a cross word from him in my life, and I have known him ever since he was four years old."

Elizabeth and Darcy find what is difficult to find in a relationship--they share a love of conversation with each other and while they are very different, each completes the other. He offers her stability and strength, she helps him to laugh at himself and the world. He offers her passion and loyalty, she offers him devotion and a lively wit.

Together they become a formidable couple--a lively, independent girl sticks to her principles and gets the guy and a private, impassioned bumbler sticks to his principles, but modifies himself to get the girl. May each of us be as passionate and as sensible as Mr. Darcy.

The producers wanted Darcy to leap in naked, but BBC thought it would not be proper for a Jane Austen costume drama. They then suggested that he jump in with just his underwear, but that was not historically correct. Finally, they decided he would leap in fully clothed but without his waistcoat and overcoat.

"Nobody had the slightest inkling that Colin Firth, wearing a lightweight cotton voile shirt with his nipples showing underneath, would have such an effect." ~ Mr Langton, Daily Mail

"I've watched this scene 100+times too! And still can't explain why we find a man nearly fully clothed...who has just taken a dip in the lake...and is sopping incredibly handsome and sexy!!?? But he is...and we know why....don't we ladies?" ~ Commenter to the above video


Diana Majors from Arkansas, USA on May 17, 2017:

Winsome, This is one of my favorite Hubs ever! I adore Mr. Darcy and think your assessment of him is spot on! I don't know how any woman could resist Mr. Darcy! I've never seen the min-series with Colin Firth, but now I'll have to! I've read the book many times and have watched the 2005 film version so many times I can quote much of it! I've truly enjoyed your article! Thank you!

hermione on September 05, 2016:

I love I love I love you Mr darcy..

Beth37 on April 15, 2013:

First Warrior, now Mr. Darcy... get out of my dreams.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on July 04, 2012:

Hi Anne, I have to agree with you--as I said, I sometimes watch the movie just for the inspiration. While I may suffer by the comparison, I am working on narrowing the gap.

Thank you for the thoughtful comment and knowledgeable change of quote to accompany your argument. I encourage you to join us here at HP and engage us with your wit. =:)

anne on July 02, 2012:

Real life Darcy is a rarity.

'I am no longer surprised at my not knowing six such accomplished men'

klarawieck on June 26, 2012:

I'm telling you, Winsome. The day would come when Elizabeth sends Darcy to the market to get 4 limes and a bottle of bleach, and the guy shows up with 4 lemons and a bottle of bubble soap. And Hell breaks loose in Pemberley!

I haven't lost passion for my husband, but he's got marks around his neck. Lol Lol Lol (j/k of course)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on June 26, 2012:

Hi Klara, so good to see you. The video is up, thank you.

Ahh the reality of everyday life. I must respectfully disagree with you, however--I believe when two people truly love and approve of each other that they are like a fire that burns brightly as long as they are together. Sometimes the fire burns even if they are not together, a love affair of the mind, but the kind of love I am talking about will not fade with familiarity.

I have a hunch that there are enough levels in a person like you to engage one for the rest of their lives without losing interest or passion.

I like that you take the time to read these labors of love. I write them for people like you and sharing them helps me to know you a little better.

Thanks for the visit and fun comment. =:)

klarawieck on June 26, 2012:

Well, you just got all my votes for this one. The video link is not working though, so you might have to check on that.

Everything you point out is true. Those are all things that make Mr. Darcy the perfect man; but in my opinion the one thing that makes him so desired is the fat that he doesn't exist. Lol

I've often wondered what Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage would have been like. I don't think it would have ended that well. Not that I'm a pessimist, but I think that eventually he would go back to his arrogant ways and she'd eventually get sick and tired of him. No one can change to that extent without going back to the old self from time to time. It's wonderful when a person changes for the better but most women will lose interest in a man who has lost his sense of identity while attempting to go the extra mile to please them. You just have to take the good along with the bad if you want to make a marriage last. That's the reality. :-)

Thanks for this AWESOME hub on one of the best books ever written.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on October 20, 2011:

Hi Rebecca, so good to see you. I'm glad you enjoy Jane Austen, she created such lively characters and I hope she had at least a taste of the marvelous romances she crafted. I would have loved to have read a collaboration between Austen and Dickens--his characters and her romantic, sparkling dialogue would have been quite a book.

Maybe I will have to write it....he laughs to himself. =:)

Rebecca E. from Canada on October 20, 2011:

ahh enjoying this so much, and very true... now must go and read a bit more Jane Austin! Awesome hub as always.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on October 12, 2011:

Hi SG, you're welcome--Yes, Mr. Nightly was great next to a perfect Gwyneth's Emma. He was a little hard on her too at times, but came around. I share your love of British media and need to find more of their movies to watch. I'm losing track of the new ones (and Australian ones as well.)

Thanks for the visit and your engaging comment. =:)

september girl on October 11, 2011:

Ah...I love that Mr. Darcy for sure in 'Pride and Prejudice', but there is also another great character: a Mr. Nightly in 'Emma'. I guess for me, there is a toss up as to whom I would prefer. : ) Great hub and all good points, as to why he was so well liked. Colin Firth is a great actor. I love British television and movies. The book is wonderful too of course. Thanks for the share!;)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on September 18, 2011:

Hi AC, so good to see you. I'm glad you liked this tribute to why being a gentleman is so attractive to women. Colin shows this better than most. I think a lot of men would suddenly become more handsome if they demonstrated Darcy's kind of character. Thank you for the kind words, I will see you soon. =:)

acaetnna from Guildford on September 16, 2011:

Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favourite and as for Mr. Darcey - well every girl's dream - well definitely mine anyway and if it's Colin Firth so much the better! A brilliant hub, voting up and pressing your buttons too.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 30, 2011:

Now C, you are supposed to imagine that all that was magically taken care of--which it in fact was. Colin's insurance wouldn't allow him to enter the lake so the footage was filmed antiseptically in a tank at Ealing Studios in West London, far from Lyme Park in Cheshire where the rest of the scene was shot.

Yes, even if Jane Austen had to supply the words and the situation, we guys can stand proud that at least one of us can apologize and be quiet when he does something right. We have all learned our lesson Jane. Hmmmm?

Thank you C for a very thoughtful comment. I can tell by your avatar you enjoy reading Austen's work. =:)

collegatariat on August 30, 2011:

What great insights, and so true. I especially liked points 5,6, and 8.

I have to disagree on the soaking wet scene though... it was disgusting! Colin Firth must have swallowed gallons of pond scum during filming. :)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 27, 2011:

Hello my friend, Hello--you are so kind. You have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I think you are a little like the Darcy character--quiet, but formidable when you need to be. I have greatly appreciated your friendship and support. =:)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 27, 2011:

An awesome job you have done here and interesting read.

attemptedhumour from Australia on August 25, 2011:

Yes the necessities of snaring Mr right, or Mr well off. The pressures of being 'left on the shelf' must have been enormous.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 25, 2011:

What a great tribute Keith, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoy period dramas. I have a hunch those two actors put so much into it because they loved the novel. I agree with you about the smarmy Mr. Collins and the reasons Charlotte Lucas gives Lizzy for marrying the dolt demonstrates the plight of women in that period:

"Charlotte Lucas: Oh, for Heaven's sake! Don't look at me like that Lizzie! There is no Earthly reason why I shouldn't be as happy with him as any other.

Elizabeth Bennet: But he's ridiculous!

Charlotte Lucas: Oh hush! Not all of us can afford to be romantic. I've been offered a comfortable home and protection. There's alot to be thankful for.

Elizabeth Bennet: But...

Charlotte Lucas: I'm twenty - seven years old, I've no money and no prospects. I'm already a burden to my parents and I'm frightened. So don't you dare judge me Lizzie. Don't you dare!"

One of the reasons we like Lizzie so much is she held out, as did Jane Austen, for a marriage of love among equals.

Your daughters sound like brilliant kids, just like their Dad. Thanks again for the kind words. =:)

attemptedhumour from Australia on August 25, 2011:

Hi Winsome, what a brilliant hub. I love pride and prejudice just as much as my wife and two daughters. My daughters can quote the whole series word for word. You really have done a great job of breaking down the interplay between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth. Jane Austin must have been two centuries ahead of her time to understand the male psyche so well. I love period dramas as they are so engrossing and well acted. Mr Collins is one of my favourite characters and he adds so much cringe factor to the series. His marriage to one of Mr and Mrs Bennet's daughters also added to the scenario. It's eleven PM here so it's time i hit the sack. This is one of the most interesting hubs i have read in my fifteen months on hubpages. Bravo sir Winsome, as this was a rare treat. Thanks Keith.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 24, 2011:

Michael, thanks for demonstrating how a man comments about another man's abilities. We sum it up, we make our decision and "Yep, good job."

HP has stretched me in my ability to say more like our fairer counterparts are prone to do and it's made me a better writer as well as, I hope, a better man. The reason I say that is that in order to respond to someone in detail, we actually have to stop the spinning thoughts in our heads that is our next response and simply listen. I know this seems a little rude to us since that leaves us with no prepared thing to say when a silence occurs, but trust me, women prefer this more primitive method because they work out what they think by talking about it while we are in our quiet box working it all out ahead of time. The jury is still out on which works better, but we guys know don't we--wink wink.

Sorry, I should leave all that for another hub. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. =:)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 24, 2011:

Hi GL, sorry folks to be so long responding--my new smartphone has made me feel like a simpleton and I missed the notice of your comments.

Hillary, I am not surprised that you wrote such a thoughtful comment. One who has interviewed Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Jeremy Irons definitely has a feel for British productions. Thank you for the kind words, I am still working on the idea that charm is simply the essence left over when one truly cares about the other and can demonstrate it by their words and actions. I think Darcy and Lizzie were able to achieve that.

Thanks again for coming by. =:)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 24, 2011:

Well JG you are in for a treat. If I could do a mind wipe of the movie so you could be introduced to the BBC version without the clutter, it would be better, but it will still be an experience. A female journalist once said that no actress could ever do Elizabeth Bennet justice--probably because every woman sees herself in the role, but Jennifer Ehle has done the impossible. She is Elizabeth and Colin Firth's performance is the reason everyone else looks wooden or weak in the role. The piano scene alone--brilliantly timed and acted glance between the two actors shows the uncanny ability to convey emotion, desire, reserve and surprise that is unmatched in any other version.

Sorry, I got carried away--some say this is the best mini-series ever and judged by the countless fans who watch the six hour production over and over again, it just might be.

Thanks Jama, I always enjoy your input. =:)

michael ely from Scotland on August 24, 2011:

Hi Winsome, Good article.


Hillary from Atlanta, GA on August 23, 2011:

Always a delightful Hub and this one is truly insightful. You must be a charmer yourself if you can recognize the ten most important ingredients in making up the elusive "perfect" man. Any savvy woman can intuit beyond good looks and wealth in a flash. Elizabeth did, although Darcy was still quite green in the art of relationships and stuck his foot in his mouth a few times. I think, because Elizabeth and Darcy were made for each other, she was able to bring out the best in him, and vise versa.. And here's to fit men in wet shirts! Thanks for a great read. Rated up.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on August 22, 2011:

Yes, many men could take lessons from this story! I've never seen the BBC version, and at the time it came out I wasn't yet a Colin Firth fan. My introduction to P&P on screen was the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth and Matthew Macfayden as Darcy. Macfayden is certainly no Colin Firth in looks or talent, but the scene toward the end where Darcy materializes out of the mist at sunrise in breeches, boots, shirt and cloak and strides across the field like a man possessed to find Elizabeth and declare his love definitely got (and still gets) my bosom heaving. I watched the entire movie 4 times in one evening the first time, and probably 10 more times after that.

Donald Sutherland was perfectly cast as Mr. Bennett, Brenda Blythen as the airhead Mrs. Bennett, and Dame Judi Dench as Darby's rich, controlling aunt. If you watch many BBC productions, you'll recognize many of the supporting actors too. Besides a great cast, the cinematography is outstanding - in some instances breathtaking - and if you've never been to England, the locations will make you want to jump on the next plane.

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 22, 2011:

Hello Shampa, what a fun dissertation! Most are like this: "The localization of the Acer gene in Drosophila Melanogaste" or some such. You at least get to study some of the more interesting characters in English literature.

I'm happy you found the article interesting and I very much appreciate you stopping in for the read. =:)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 22, 2011:

Ha ha, Dimitri you are partly right of course--money, title and physical beauty are most attractive--eg Grace Kelly and her Prince. Those will make most women agree to marriage, but beauty fades and neither money nor titles will make up for a dolt who shares your bed. Although I did listen to some women, these are the values I personally think women appreciate and swoon over...and if you are rich and handsome too...they'll stand in line.

Thank you for your always brilliant insights and of course you have the first two of your list as well as many if not all the above 10 of mine.

It would be interesting to see what your wife thinks of the ten vs. money and looks...... =:)

Shampa Sadhya from NEW DELHI, INDIA on August 22, 2011:

I wrote my dissertation on Pride and Prejudice so your title drew my attention immediately. Your hub is quite interesting and the analysis is well done. When I read the novel I too liked Mr. Darcy's character. Though his character is not very cordial but still an honest man, very straight forward and righteous with a handsome personality is bound to influence and attract.

Voted up and interesting. Keep it up!

De Greek from UK on August 22, 2011:

My dear, sweet, innocent, young friend, if you want to know what makes women 'tick', you should never ask women!

Proof of this are the ten reasons you have been given, all of them valid, BUT VERY MUCH SECONDARY!

The real reason Mr. Darcy has appealed to women long before the film and the wet shirt, is very simple and it is the triplicate of female fantasy:

- He is VERY wealthy (dream house, servants and assets)

- He is arristocracy (though without a title, he seems to be in line for one).

- He is young and attractive


It is not surprising to anyone who knows women, that none of the three reasons above have been mentioned even by one of the women you have asked! ;-))))

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 21, 2011:

Hi Amy, I have seen that series and I agree he has a similar gruffness which turns out later to be genuine concern. If you have time, renting or even buying for your cache of movies to watch more than once, the BBC version of P&P is a rewarding investment of time and money.

I had no idea this multiple DVD version would not only hold my interest, but would be so highly entertaining and would inspire self-improvement. I think it was because the writing, the acting and the direction were of the highest quality. For those of us who enjoy writing on HP, this adaptation is faithful to the masterpiece of writing of the only woman prior to Dickens who rivaled him.

Thank you for the kind words--I believe every true Texan would recognize the marks of a gentleman when he sees them and I have merely tried to give credit where it is due. In the application of them I find I fail at times, but it is nice to know a sincere apology and a resolve to be better goes a long way. =:)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 21, 2011:

Yes, Shalini, Darcy did play a bit hard-to-get in the beginning, although I wonder if part of that was his own shyness around women he didn't know. I think it was fun to see Elizabeth turning his invitation to dance down the first time he asked in retaliation for his snubbing her earlier. You have to admire the fireworks that seemed to ignite between these two very interesting characters.

Thank you for coming by. =:)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 21, 2011:

Hello Rebekah, the mode of your declaration is charming and most appreciated. I think the men of HP could also learn much from Mr. Darcy and I hope they stop by to read. I think all men can identify with Jack Nicholson when he says to Helen Hunt in "As Good as it Gets," "You make me want to be a better man."

Elizabeth has this effect on Darcy, but as I said in the article, his example of character is inspiring to men as well. Feel free to converse as you wish in the King's English, I have long been desirous of a return to civility and lively engagement.

Thanks for the lovely comments and for the visit--tea will be served at three o'clock. =:)

Winsome (author) from Southern California by way of Texas on August 21, 2011:

Hi Silvie, I think you are right that he is not as prideful as he appears early on. He really is the guy that Mrs. Reynolds describes and the fact that he doesn't talk about or seem to even know that reputation is endearing.

Thanks for coming by and for the great comment. =:)

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on August 21, 2011:

I'm ashamed to say I am not familiar with Mr. Darcy. Thank you for the intro, winsome. It seems that it is the exception to expectations that makes for a fascinating person. The polarity that contrasts his beautiful physical presence with his awkward sincerity and unawareness of his impact gives him a presence that ignites swooning passion.

I recently began watching a PBS program called "Doc Martin" at my mom's suggestion. At first, I did not like the main character, but he has grown on me. Although, the doc does not have the sex appeal of Mr. Darcy, his abject sincerity, often seen as rude, gives him an unapologetic straightforwardness that I find endearing. It makes me want to know him.

Thank you for this brilliant summation regarding a very intriquing topic. The fact that you recognize these qualities in Mr. Darcy makes me imagine that you, winsome, are equally magnetic.

Shalini Kagal from India on August 21, 2011:

One of my favourite heroes! You got it down so pat, Winsome! I think what also attracts women to men like Darcy is that a-little-out-of-reach quality :)

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on August 21, 2011:

You've given Mr. Darcy due justice. He is our vulnerable, eloquent, boyishly, charming gentleman who adores not only with his eyes, but with his words. I've often thought I must have been born in the wrong century, or perhaps lived in another time period. Elizabeth speaks in a manner which inspired Mr. Darcy to change. "You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner" How much fun would it be to say, 'mode of your declaration', and have the man understand what we are really saying.

As always, Winsome, another well-written, delightful hub on one of my favorite topics! And a pic of Colin Firth at the top of the hub is brilliant. ;)

Justsilvie on August 21, 2011:

Great Hub! What makes him so attractive to me is his lack of awareness of that fact that he is and he is just plain ole NICE and those type of guys really do finish first to a smart woman.

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on August 21, 2011:

ah, hot off the press. I just saw it at the top of my feed, and haven't read it yet -- BUT we love Mr. Darcy because he's what most women really desire in a man. I'll return after I read and see if I agree with your analysis. :D