Crushing on Mr. Darcy

by Patti Wigington

We’ve all had crushes on fictional characters. Back in 1978, I knew darn well that someday Han Solo would be my boyfriend. Other girls preferred the freshly blow-dried and needy Luke Skywalker, but not me. No, I wanted a guy with blaster pistols and an upgraded Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 stock light freighter. Han Solo was a space pirate.

Later, I moved on from Han to various teen-movie crushes, although (again) not the ones my friends liked. While my girlfriends were dreamily tacking up posters of Tom Cruise’s Maverick from “Top Gun,” I had a magazine photo of Val Kilmer’s snarky and arrogant Iceman in my locker. Patrick Swayze’s slick moves in “Dirty Dancing” did nothing for me, but Judd Nelson with his combat boots and trench coat in “The Breakfast Club”? Yowza. He even had an earring, which back then meant you were either a rebel or European.

Clearly, I developed an early track record of liking men whose personality was, shall we say, leaning towards the abrasive. Men who didn’t care what anyone thought of them. Men who did what they liked because they wanted to, not because it was expected of them. Men who, if you dated them in real life, would probably say something to you cry on prom night, but you’d still love them anyway because they brought you a corsage without anyone reminding them.

And so, I met Fitzwilliam Darcy.

In a college English Lit class, I was assigned the reading of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” I had never read Austen before, and perhaps it was a good thing – I don’t think I was ready for Darcy until then.

Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet near the opening chapters of P&P, and promptly acts like a total jerk. Lizzie, being too much of a lady to say, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that you, sir, are an ass,” laughs it off, allowing him to get a glimpse of her “fine eyes.” Then she ignores him, rebuffs him, recognizes him for the stubborn, proud man he is, and finally – despite her best judgment – falls in love with him. So do the rest of us, and many of us did so before we suspected Darcy might resemble Colin Firth or Matthew McFadyen. And how can we not love Darcy? He’s arrogant and proud and taciturn but he’s got a good heart. He will quietly do what needs to be done for the benefit of those he loves, and ask nothing in return. On the surface, he’s overly proud – and yet the fault is partly Lizzie’s, because she in turn is prejudiced against him for what she believes him to be. It is only when she learns his true nature that she realizes what we already know – that Darcy, for all his flaws, is a hell of a guy.

So I’ll continue to have crushes on the Darcys of the world. They’re flawed, they’re damaged, and sometimes they’re outright fools. Most likely, they’re nothing but trouble, and will probably make us say bad words and throw vases at their heads before we’re done with them.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t want them any other way.


  1. Huzzah!
    On Valentine's, I actually posted about how Han's flaws make him the epic hero that makes me sa-woon :)
    Wonderful post ... and here's to the Darcys of the world.

  2. I fell in love with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) when I saw "Bridget Jones Diary" and he said he liked her just the way she was. Where can I find a real man like that?

  3. Mmmm hmmm. Darcy. My only real fictional swoon.

  4. cute! loved your thoughts! praise Jesus our One true hero is unflawed to the bone!! have a blessed day!

  5. So nice to have read a kindred spirit. While my gal pals were drooling over Sean Cassidy, I wanted to be enslaved by the Native American Indian on the cover of my latest romance, my bodice ripped by a pirate, and, alas, I'd even suffer flea bitten wookies if it meant a night in the throws of passion with the swashbuckling Han Solo. Hormonal teenagers should NOT read historical romances such as Moonstruck Madness, Raven, or Nakoah's Woman!! Nor spend all their babysitting money on Star Wars sagas just so they could lap up anything to do with one delicious space pirate. All grown up, Mr. Darcy...well...he's the stuff that let's a gal dream again about bad boys ;D

  6. I'm reasonably sure at some point, I'll have to crank out some Pride & Prejudice/Star Wars crossover fanfic. Perhaps Han and Darcy are long-lost half-brothers... one got the Pemberley Outpost and the other got the Millennium Falcon.

  7. And I thought I was the only nine-year-old with a crush on Solo instead of that pretty boy, Skywalker! Then again, I grew up to love strong, quiet men that look dashing in tight pants and pistols.

  8. I think Han spoiled me for Nice Boys. Ten years after I fell in love with the space pirate, I was dating shaggy-haired guys who drove beat-up Chevy Novas held together with Bondo and duct tape. Coincidence? I think not.

  9. You dated Chad Elmore too? I wonder if he ever replaced the dashboard in that Nova?

  10. Hahaha - I have TWO Nova guys in my past. One was Danny G, who worked as a gravedigger of all things and was only about a generation removed from the West Virginia coal mines. The other was a guy I'm still friends with, who turned out to be an Actual Good Guy :)


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