LETTERS: The attractions of Mr Darcy

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The Independent Online
From Ms Mary Martello

Sir: Decca Aitkenhead's attack on Mr Darcy ("Our knight in icy armour", 26 December) completely misses the point. It is not so much Jane Austen's portrayal that proved so attractive as the man playing the part.

Women fell in love with Colin Firth, rather than Darcy, simply because it is Colin Firth himself who looked so gorgeous. To then attack this collective good taste as meaning women must be "mad cows" shows appalling ignorance and aggression.

Even if it were the character, rather than the actor, that appeals, what on earth is wrong with liking someone who is as honest, generous, courageous, loyal, trustworthy, well-bred, loving and downright sexy as Darcy? These characteristics are generally sadly lacking in today's menfolk and should be resuscitated rather than being derided as "two centuries out of date". Good breeding is never out of date.

Decca Aitkenhead is also wrong to accuse Darcy of not showing his emotion - the pivotal episode of the series was based on Darcy's laying bare his feelings to Elizabeth in highly-charged terms, and if she had watched the series properly, she would have understood that Darcy's emotions, far from being repressed, in fact underline the whole theme, right from the first episode, when he expresses his "very great pleasure" at her "fine eyes" and "pretty face".

Yours faithfully,

Mary Martello

London, E8