Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy Takes a Dip in the Serpentine

From The Independent:



Colin Firth’s memorable wet shirt scene in Pride and Prejudice has been recreated thanks to a giant statue of Mr Darcy which has been built in The Serpentine.

Click here or on ‘view gallery’ for more photos of Colin Firth’s giant Mr Darcy

The fibreglass sculpture, which closely resembles Firth, stretches 12ft out of the water at London’s Hyde Park. The image of Firth emerging dripping wet from the lake at Lyme Park, Cheshire featured in the 1995 BBC adaption of the Jane Austen novel. The scene, which caused a stir at the time, recently topped a viewers’ poll of the most memorable TV moments ever.

The model of Darcy took a team of three sculptors in excess of two months to design, construct and paint. Lead sculptor Toby Crowther said: “The challenge for us was capturing the spirit of Darcy as handsome and noble but also aloof and proud. The Mr Darcy sculpture is a real mix of the many portrayals of Jane Austen’s most famous hero.” The sculpture will tour a number of locations before being installed in Lyme Park, where it will remain until February.

Adrian Wills, general manager of Drama, said: “Jane Austen spent a lot of time walking in Hyde Park and along the banks of the Serpentine, so we would like to think she would have approved of our new dashing Darcy.”

The statue has been built to celebrate today’s launch of new UKTV channel Drama, a free-to-air station on Sky and Freeview.


[image from BBC News]

And the Real Thing:


though I always liked this one better:


12 thoughts on “Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy Takes a Dip in the Serpentine

    • Hi Tess! – that was quick! – I have to be honest too and completely agree with you and why I put MY favorite picture at the end! – it WAS a memorable scene – and I do like the one in Lost in Austen where she makes Darcy stand in the water for her to prove his love! – But this seems a tad over the top – whatever must Colin Firth think??

      Thanks for stopping by Tess!


      • Putting aside the whole question of that scene, this doesn’t even look like Colin Firth to me (a fact I’d bet would not upset him, LOL) unless the picture angles are just distorting it. This is just plain… garish! And humongous! And disturbing the more you look at it. I can give it a miss too – in the Serpentine or Lyme Park or anywhere in between! *shudder* I much prefer your picture too, Deb!

        And I love the Lost in Austen scene, too, it’s a great spoof of something that should never have been included in the mini in the first place.


  1. Hi, Deb–This is a complete LOL, although it does look in the picture with the bridge in the background as if it’s frightening the swans. And at the JA Summer Program at Chapel Hill (from which I have recently returned), this scene was referred to so many times–in both jest and earnest–that I believe it’s now become part of the Pride and Prejudice canon, for better or for worse.


      • Ted Scheinman’s July 2 Paris Review blog post, which I believe you retweeted, gives a reasonably accurate and most amusing account. I will only add that the “Longbourn” discussion group in which I participated was one of the best features of the conference for me, and that we were “most abundantly supplied with coffee and muffin” (well, OK, scones and my friend Gisele Rankin’s homemade clotted cream!).


  2. This is appalling! How could a team have spent months on this and ended up with something so static, so lifeless. It’s a good thing that there’s plenty to do in London, I’ll be giving the Serpentine a miss this summer. My Dunning forebears were yeomen farmers, nurserymen, and gardeners, and one great-great-uncle was the head gardener at Lyme. I can here him spinning in his grave from here!


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