The 10 Best Mr. Darcy's: From Favorite Films to Books

    He's bewitched us, body and soul—on the screen and on the page.

    We’ve got Mr. Darcy on the brain lately. And who can blame us? Darcy is one of those literary heroes who has transcended the page to become a cultural icon. Stubborn, proud, and hopelessly in love with Elizabeth Bennet, he’s one of our favorite parts of Pride and Prejudice—and one of our favorite book boyfriends in general. 

    This summer marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s  death, so it’s no wonder that Darcy is consuming our thoughts. The author died on July 18, 1817, at age 41, after having written 7 novels that become instant classics and 2 unfinished works that will always leave us wondering, what if? There’s a reason that Austen is still just as popular 200 years later—her books are filled with strong and complex characters, and she creates intriguing love stories that have touched generation after generation of readers. This is probably why we’ve seen so many adaptations of Austen’s work over the years; her stories are ones that we want to hear over and over, told to us in any kind of form.

    All of those retellings and adaptations have given us a lot of different Darcys to choose from over the years. And while we’ll always love Austen’s original Darcy the best, we most definitely have our favorite interpretations of him over the years. So here’s our definitive ranking of the top ten Mr. Darcys—from both books and the screen—who perfectly capture Jane Austen’s classic brooding hero.

    Agree with our ranking? Let us know who your favorite Darcy is!

    Colin Firth in BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series

    Colin Firth Mr Darcy
    Photo Credit: Colin Firth in "Pride and Prejudice", via BBC

    Firth has become synonymous with Mr. Darcy thanks to this classic mini-series that is still, hands-do wn, the best Pride and Prejudice adaptation out there. Firth’s Darcy is all dark-eyed and heavy glances, and he stares at Elizabeth like she hung the moon (and also like he wants to see what’s under that corset). Firth’s Darcy will always be the one to beat.

    Matthew Macfayden in Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

    Matthew Macfayden Mr Darcy
    Photo Credit: Matthew Macfayden in "Pride & Prejudice", via Focus Features

    Those smoldering eyes! We’re kind of obsessed with McFadden’s awkward, visibly lovesick Darcy. Wright’s directing doesn’t hurt either,  with all those sexy shots in the rain and a palpable chemistry between Macfadyen and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth. Macfadyen’s Darcy feels a little softer than Firth’s, but that slight sensitivity (as well as the requisite brooding) endlessly wins us over.

    Mr. Darcy in Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

    Buy Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife at Amazon

    Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

    By Linda Berdoll

    Whoa man, this is one hot Darcy. Linda Berdoll continues the story of Pride & Prejudice in her sexy take on what married life is like for the newlywed Darcys. Let’s just say there’s a lot of bedroom action. This is the take-charge, sexually adventurous Darcy that you always suspected was under those starched collars and staid manners.

    Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

    By Linda Berdoll

    Mr. Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary

    Bridget Jones's Diary Mr Darcy
    Photo Credit: Colin Firth in "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason", via Universal Studios

    Book or movie, we don’t care! We adore Mark Darcy in any form (although the Colin Firth movie version is definitely dreamy). Helen Fielding’s novel may be only loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, but her Darcy is still pretty iconic, especially since she based the character on Firth’s mini-series version of Darcy. The wealthy lawyer is definitely as stoic and standoffish as any Darcy out there, made all the more dramatic by Bridget’s constant awkward and embarrassing moments.

    Mr. Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley

    Matthew Rhys Mr Darcy
    Photo Credit: Matthew Rhys in "Death Comes to Pemberley", via BBC

    We clearly have a soft spot for stories that continue Austen’s classic tale, mostly because we just can’t get enough of Darcy or Elizabeth! Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James, is another favorite, delivering a Darcy who’s a little older but clearly still prideful. BBC One tackled the TV adaptation, and we’re e specially drawn to Matthew Rhys’s angry, more passionate version of the endlessly brooding Darcy.

    William Darcy in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

    best mr. darcy
    Photo Credit: Daniel Vincent Gordh in "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries", via Pemberley Digital

    It’s a little embarrassing how many times we’ve watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern YouTube version of the classic tale. But Lizzie and William are just so charming, and the vlogging premise still feels fresh and original. William is a bit of a robot in this version (or so Lizzie likes to tell him), but it makes all that hidden passion even more exciting.

    Mr. Darcy in Mr. Darcy's Diary

    Buy Mr. Darcy's Diary at Amazon

    Mr. Darcy's Diary

    By Amanda Grange

    There’s something so delicious about getting Darcy’s point of view, especially around Elizabeth and how/when he fell in love with her. That’s exactly what we get in Amanda Grange’s retelling of the classic tale, diving deep into Darcy’s head and letting us actually see the enigmatic man’s thoughts. It’s hard not to fall for a Darcy this open – though, let’s face it, sometimes the mystery surrounding his true feelings is half the fun!

    Mr. Darcy's Diary

    By Amanda Grange

    Fitzwilliam Darcy in Eligible

    Buy Eligible at Amazon


    By Curtis Sittenfeld

    Modern day adaptations are always fun, and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible sets the story in present day Cincinnati. Her Darcy is a neurosurgeon this time, and as pompous as any good Darcy should be. Though he might be a little too rigid for a modern day story, the relationship between him and Elizabeth feels exactly right.


    By Curtis Sittenfeld

    Will Darcy in Bride & Prejudice

    Bride & Prejudice Mr Darcy
    Photo Credit: Martin Henderson in "Bride & Prejudice", via Miramax

    This adaptation wins all the points for creativity, setting the classic tale in a modern day India, complete with Bollywood style dancing. Aishwarya Rai definitely shines as Lalita Bakshi, the version’s Elizabeth Bennet character. Martin Henderson, who plays Will Darcy, is handsome and sweet, but he doesn’t really have the same edge that we’ve come to love in our Darcys. Still, the two have tons of chemistry and the new setting is pretty awesome.

    Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    Buy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at Amazon

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Seth Grahame-Smith

    What’s better than a brooding Darcy? A brooding zombie-fighting Darcy! The book version hits a lot of the same beats as the original tale, just with brain-eating monsters thrown in for good measure. The movie version is a bit blander, with not a ton of chemistry between the two leads (Lily James and Sam Riley). Still, we’ll take Darcy anyway we can get him, especially if there’s lots of sweaty fighting going on.

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Seth Grahame-Smith

    This article originally appeared on BookTrib., “Where Readers Meet Writers,” is a network for readers and writers to make a connection and keep books alive in a distracted world. Created by Meryl Moss Media, a literary PR firm with a successful 25-year track record.

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