Was the real Mr Darcy short, slim and a bit of a geek?
Could Irishman Tom Lefroy have been Jane Austen’s inspiration for Mr Darcy… a thin, probably quite geeky young man, even though he was a Class 1 flirt and enthusiastic dancer at balls?
Lefroy met Jane when they were both 20 and their story has been hyped up – and grossly misrepresented – by the movie BECIOMING JANE – starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy.
He may not be everyone’s idea of a Mr Darcy – either Colin Firth or Matthew McFadyen have taken care of that – but he was certainly important to Jane. Biographer Claire Tomalin is on record as having said that Jane was in love with him, and because their new relationship was broken up by Tom’s parents after a few short weeks, we will never know what might have been.
One thing is for sure though – If Jane had ever married, we wouldn’t have the 6 masterful novels left to us as her legacy. As a married woman she would have neither the time nor the opportunity to indulge in her passion for writing. Household management, producing and rearing a family, and social duties would have been her destiny.
But as food for thought – Tom was married off by his parents rather hastily to an Irish heiress – and guess what he called his first child – a daughter…