Thursday, 15 July 2010

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

If those words set you swooning over the mere thought of Mr Darcy emerging from a lake dripping with sexual tension then read on my friend, for this shall be a tribute to one of my all time favourite reads...

I first read Pride & Prejudice when I was 12 and didn't really get it. Well, let's face it, what experience did I have of such adult emotions? A few years later and a different English Literature teacher and we read it again. Ah, this time I was starting to get it and, you know what, it was actually quite funny too.

Then, A levels came along and guess what - yes, there it was on the syllabus again. Now, we could actually have gone a different route but this was our teacher's favourite book ever and he was totally in love with Elizabeth Bennett, so was he seriously going to forgo the opportunity to swoon over her bosom so his pupils could read something different? Of course not. This time however, something special happened. I too became hooked. I was not in love with Elizabeth Bennett, but I loved her feisty nature, I despaired at her prejudice and poor decision-making and how I yearned alongside her for Mr Darcy.

Well, readers the sun has set a few more times since then and my copy is well thumbed - it gets an airing every year or so and sometimes I just dip a toe in. The BBC adaptation that turned Colin Firth from a 'he looks vaguely familiar' actor into an overnight sex symbol was truly inspired. If I myself had been given the job of casting those roles I doubt I could have bettered the Beeb decision making. I still have a battered video recording. The tape around about the lake scene seems to have got a little stretched over the years - can't think why?

Then, more treats with a cinematic version. I was ready to be a little disappointed here. How, I thought could then condense all that characterisation and turns of plot into 2 hours. Well, they couldn't really. And Keira Knightley playing Elizabeth. Now, while I have nothing against the girl, (I mean this is the second time this week I've given one of her films a plug), she really wasn't suitable casting. Too darn pretty - that's why! Elizabeth, while not plain, was never a striking beauty. Her attractiveness lay within her wit and charm - her feistiness. Saying that though I enjoyed the film, even if the final scene of Elizabeth and Darcy running around in the morning mist was highly dubious!

This piece, a mixed media collage, was created for the Inspiration Avenue challenge 'Books'. I thought I would attempt to bring these two well loved characters to life - lifting them, as Jane Austen manages so admirably, from the pages and into the realms of your imagination. First attempt at drawing a man too - how do you think I did?

Background is ripped old book (not Pride & Prejudice for that would indeed be sacrilege), acrylics, Prismacolour pencils and Derwent Inktense pencils.


  1. Gorgeous work...charming beauty.. a wonderful old world vibe to it as well! Awesome!

  2. Your picture really captures the mood. I loved the BBC version and the film, bit of Mr Darcy fan too.

  3. This post just screams BOOKS on every level! I enjoyed your story...and your portraits just keep getting better and better!

  4. wow! first of all, nice piece ... really nice! mr darcy looks exactly like mr darcy :)

    secondly, tho i haven't watched this particular adaptation, but i really love adaptations of classics by ENGLISH studios ... i watched, was it sense and sensibility? ema thompson with hugh grant? ... i watched it becos of alan rickman ... that grandpa oozes with sex appeal esp in his younger days ... can't wait for severus snape to come back on big screen! i do agree that kiera knightley is too pretty but she is a darn good actress and particularly good with periods ... atonement?
    there is one classic i really wish they would do an adaptation on ... wuthering heights ... wouldn't that be just great?! my fav book, thanks to my enthusiastic literature lecturer at college :) good thing i got a B for her :) wuthering heights is the core of edward-bella-jacob r/s in the negative sense ... you know what i mean :)

  5. The text in the background is perfect! Nice work!

  6. Looks like the characters are emerging from the book. Mr.Darcy still has sexual tension on his face.LOL
    Good job!

  7. This is great Lisa - your first attempt at drawing a man, really? I wouldn't have guessed! He has suitably smouldery eyes ;)

    This is awful but I have to confess, I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, or even seen the film or TV series. Will put it on my to-read list at once!

  8. an ABSOLUTELY gorgeous submission-what a talent you are!

  9. I loved reading about your musing on your favorite book and love your submission for challenge!


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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