Mr Darcy’s white shirt from Pride and Prejudice scene goes on display in Jane Austen’s House

New exhibition also showcases Elizabeth Bennet’s petticoat from the BBC 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s book

Kate Ng
Saturday 26 March 2022 17:26 GMT
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(Alamy Stock Photo)

The white shirt worn by Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice’s famous scene where he emerges soaking wet from a lake can now be viewed at Jane Austen’s House in a new exhibition.

The iconic white shirt is best known from the scene where Fitzwilliam Darcy (better known as Mr Darcy, played by Firth) bumps into Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) while wet, marking a major moment in the 1995 film.

The exhibition, called Jane Austen Undressed, will put undergarments that Austen’s beloved heroines would have worn on display, from chemises to stays to petticoats.

But the white shirt worn by Mr Darcy, as well as Bennet’s petticoat will form the main centrepieces of the exhibition. According to the museum, both garments will “bring us a little closer to understanding the character”.

“Lizzie Bennet’s muddy petticoat reveals her love of freedom and the outdoors, as she refuses to adhere to convention and walks five miles across muddy fields to Netherfield,” the exhibition’s curators explain on the museum’s website.

Meanwhile, Mr Darcy’s dive into the lake “reveals how comfortable he feels in nature, as he reveals a more informal, less starched side of his personality”.

Undergarments from BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice on display at Jane Austen’s House
Undergarments from BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice on display at Jane Austen’s House (Jane Austen’s House)

The exhibition will also put rare examples of Regency underwear on display, highlighting the many layers that gave Regency-era women a “foundation to their dresses, helping them maintain an elegant silhouette, preserve their modesty and keep warm”.

Curator Sophie Reynolds told the Guardian that Pride and Prejudice is a film beloved by “most women of my generation” and people will be “excited to see [the shirt] in the flesh”.

She added that “hopefully no one will go up to hug it”.

The exhibition comes after the much-awaited second season of Netflix’s Bridgerton paid tribute to the iconic scene.

In the series, Anthony Bridgerton (played by Jonathan Bailey) falls into a lake and emerges in a very similar fashion to Firth’s character, with his shirt soaked through and nearly transparent.

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