Would The Real Mr Darcy Please Step Forward?

The man who inspired Jane Austen's character is a little different from our own Mr Firth!

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Modern day Mr Darcy Colin Firth


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A portrait of Thomas Lefroy, the man believed to have inspired Jane Austen's character Mr Darcy, has been put up for auction but it’s not the £50,000 price tag that has raised the most eyebrows.

The miniature portrait of Lefroy, painted on ivory in 1798 by English artist George Engleheart, shows the man who stole the literary heroine’s heart as a "pale, skinny student with wispy grey hair and girlish looks."

A far cry from our local wet shirt wearing hero of BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in which Colin Firth stole the hearts of many.

Mr Darcy has also been played by Laurence Olivier and Matthew Macfadyen and of course again by Colin Firth in the updated version of the character in the "Bridget Jones" films.

Thomas Lefroy was played by James McAvoy alongside Ann Hathaway as Jane Austen in last year’s "Becoming Jane".
The portrait will be auctioned at The Grosvenor House next week.

June 13, 2008