Pride and Prejudice

Classics Revisited: 'Pride and Prejudice' 1980

Lizzie Bennet (Elizabeth Garvie) and Fitzwilliam Darcy (David Rintoul). (Photo: BBC/Britbox)  BBC

 Jane Austen's birthday is December 16, so what better time than to revisit the 1980 BBC version of her classic Pride and Prejudice. Free of pigs inside the house and gentlemen stripping off to swim in ponds, this serialization was for many years the gold standard of Austen adaptations. Has it held up? Let's take a look.

This is a Real Thing: Giant Colin Firth Currently Hanging Out in Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake

This is one of those things that feels like it ought to be too incredible – or just flat out too weird – to be true. And yet, it actually exists, in a perfect storm of awesomeness with just a dash of crazy mixed in. In short: There’s a giant sculpture of Colin Firth coming out of Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake in London, basically like Godzilla, except considerably more attractive.

The twelve foot sculpture has been created to mark the launch of new UKTV channel Drama and recreates the famous scene from the 1995 BBC adaptation in which Firth’s Mr. Darcy emerges from a lake, clad in a white shirt and breeches, to meet Elizabeth Bennett and made women across the globe swoon. It was voted the most memorable moment in British TV drama, hence the creation of the sculpture, which is the height of a double decker bus. Click through for more details.


Watch Out, Jane Austen Fans: There’s a New Mr. Darcy in Town

For many people, when considering Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the novel’s prickly yet dreamy hero Fitzwilliam Darcy, one thing immediately comes to mind. One thing associated with this story above almost all others these days, despite the fact that the novel is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. And that thing is Colin Firth. The actor sparked a love of Austen, an interest in classic literature and an appreciation for white shirts and bucolic scenery among a generation of women, who all swooned over his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation. He is in the minds of a great many people, the definitive Darcy.

Well, he’s about to get some competition. The BBC has ordered a three-part adaptation of the novel Death Comes to Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice sequel written by P.D. James, which tells the story of Austen’s famous couple six years into their marriage. But the question everyone wants to know is – who’s playing Mr. Darcy this time?

Answer: It’s Matthew Rhys. You may have seen him on ABC’s Brother’s and Sisters, the Masterpiece adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood or FX’s The Americans. And he’s aware of the inevitable Firth comparisons headed his way.