Taylor Herring

News

Drama reveal the real Mr Darcy

Posted on February 9th, 2017 in Book PR,Television PR.

Leading academics reveal how the Pride and Prejudice heartthrob would have really looked… and he’s no Colin Firth

The mission to discover the real Mr Darcy was commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate Jane Austen Season, which starts on Sunday 12th February. 

realmrdarcy

 A new, historically accurate portrait of the most admired and revered romantic leading man in literary history, Fitzwilliam Darcy, has been unveiled for the first time, following new research by leading academics.

 The new portraits paint a very different picture of the literary heartthrob when compared to modern day TV depictions, portrayed by Hollywood actors such as Colin Firth, Elliot Cowan and Matthew MacFadyen.

Instead of tall, dark and handsome, research reveals that Jane Austen’s fictional character, Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, would have been pale with powdered white hair. He would also have had a long nose, sloping shoulders and pointy chin – a far cry from muscular modern day TV representations.

32382182570_7e6478e580_z

The mission to discover the real Mr Darcy was commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate Jane Austen Season, which starts on Sunday 12th February.

The study, The Real Mr Darcy – a dramatic re-appraisal carried out by John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at University College London and Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London, highlights how the qualities considered attractive have dramatically changed over the past two centuries.

The academics conducted a month-long study, investigating Austen’s personal life and relationships, drawing conclusions on who may have been the inspiration for Mr Darcy. Researchers looked into the existing descriptions and illustrations of the character, along with the socio-economic and cultural factors that would contribute to Darcy’s background, appearance and lifestyle.

 Key findings of the research reveal the real Mr Darcy would have had:

  • Powered mid-length white hair
  • A long oval face with a small mouth, pointy chin and long nose
  • Pale complexion – pink and white skin
  • Slender sloping shoulders and modest chest
  • Large quads, thighs and calves
  • A height of 5ft 11” (in comparison to Colin Firth’s 6ft 2” and the 6ft 3” Matthew MacFadyen)

Leading artist Nick Hardcastle took the academic research and brought the descriptions to life in a series of unique illustrations.

 The Real Mr Darcy – a dramatic re-appraisal study revealed that Mr Darcy’s white powdered hair is reflective of the norms of the Austen era, with mid-length hair favoured over the shorter crop of today. The illustrations highlight Darcy’s pale complexion, a sign of wealth and privilege, and his long oval face shape. In the late 1790s, square jaws were practically unheard of amongst the upper classes, with the pointy chin and small mouth evident on Mr Darcy very common features of the gentlemen of the era.

Strong legs were an attractive and important feature to females of the time, with well-modelled thighs a sign of virility, a good fencer and horseman. The real Mr Darcy would also have been akin to many of the landed gentry of the time, with slim sloping shoulders. A muscular chest and broad shoulders was the sign of a labourer, not a gentleman. 

Jane Austen’s romances have been well researched and documented over the centuries and it is believed that it was the 1st Earl of Morley John Parker, who was the inspiration for Mr Darcy. She also had a rumoured romance with Thomas Lefroy and it is likely he too provided inspiration for the character. Both men sported powdered hair and had long youthful faces with pale complexions. Other noblemen at the time, including Horatio Nelson, Leveson Gower and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, all also had similar features and were considered the pin-ups and sex symbols of their time.

Professor John Sutherland says, “There are only scraps of physical description of Fitzwilliam Darcy to be found in Pride and Prejudice; he is our most mysterious and desirable leading man of all time. What’s fantastic about Jane Austen’s writing is that Mr Darcy is both of the era and timeless. Our research for TV channel Drama’s ‘Jane Austen Season’ shows how Austen herself envisioned Mr Darcy, however the literature leaves space for the reader’s imagination to create their own Darcy and bring their own fantasies to the storyline.”

Professor Amanda Vickery says, “Mr Darcy is an iconic literary character, renowned for his good looks, charm and mystery. As Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in the 1790s, our Mr Darcy portrayal reflects the male physique and common features at the time. Men sported powdered hair, had narrow jaws and muscular, defined legs were considered very attractive. A stark contrast to the chiselled, dark, brooding Colin Firth portrayal we associate the character with today.

“Drama’s The Real Mr Darcy – a dramatic re-appraisal study reveals that in recent times, Darcy’s character has been sexed up for the modern day audience with a turbo-charged injection of testosterone and steamy romance.”

Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama says, “It’s incredible to finally see how Jane Austen may have actually been envisioning her Mr Darcy when she wrote Pride and Prejudice. Drama viewers will have loved the handsome and brooding portrayals of Mr Darcy by some of their favourite actors, so we are delighted to offer up another in time for Valentine’s Day. These illustrations might lead to a slightly different imagining of one of the most famous romantic heroes of all time”

TV channel Drama’s Jane Austen Season, from midday every Sunday from the 12th February until the 19th March. The season includes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Mansfield Park.  

 Jane Austen Season starts for Valentine’s Day on Sunday 12 February at midday on Drama and available to catch up on UKTV Play www.uktvplay.co.uk

For further details and to read the full research paper, please visit: http://corporate.uktv.co.uk/news/

Maasai people of East Africa and the nomads of Mongolia experience VR for the first time

Posted on December 20th, 2016 in Consumer Electronics PR.

This Christmas, two remote communities on opposite sides of the planet were given an incredible experience through the power of next generation virtual reality technology.

The nomadic herders of Mongolia and the Maasai people of East Africa were given a series of amazing experiences, the likes of which they had never seen before.

Samsung travelled to a Maasai village in Kenya and a remote nomadic family in Mongolia with Samsung Gear VR technology to show the indigenous people incredible content from around the world, including; surfing in Hawaii, paragliding across the Brazilian coast, skydiving in Dubai, extreme Kayaking, swimming in the Great Barrier Reef, skiing across the French Alps, riding the tallest rollercoasters in the world and experiencing what life is like in busy cityscapes.

The way of life of the Maasai people in the Great Rift Valley and the nomads of Mongolia has remained unchanged for thousands of years and they were blown away by the experience.

A camera crew captured reactions as they watched the content and documented their emotional responses. The production team also created incredible 360 VR content on location in Africa and Mongolia, using the Samsung Gear 360 camera, which is available to view on the Samsung YouTube channel.

Conor Pierce, Vice President of IT & Mobile for Samsung UK and Ireland, said, “Gear VR opens up a world of possibilities and has the potential to instantly transport you to new worlds and environments. We wanted to bring that transformative experience to two of the most remote communities in the world. The reactions from the nomadic herders of Mongolia and the Maasai people of East Africa have been amazing to watch and it is incredible to hear their feedback.”

The production crew who filmed the content flew out to Mongolia and battled temperatures of -30 degrees celsius.

The team then continued their travels to the blistering heat of Kenya to visit the legendary Maasai warriors, who honoured their presence with a traditional welcome dance.

Forgotten the Baileys, Santa? New home delivery service from thebar.com and Deliveroo brings festive spirit to London

Posted on December 14th, 2016 in Consumer PR.

Beatboxing carollers remix classic Christmas songs to spread the festive cheer as part of the launch of a new alcohol home delivery service across the UK from thebar.com and Deliveroo.

Launching in London, those first to use the service will have their order delivered by the beatboxing carol singers for a seasonal singalong with a twist.

31522608481_7652a61d25_k

Whatever your favourite tipple, there’s no excuse not to be stocked up with festive spirits after Diageo, makers of Christmas favourites including Baileys, launched a new home delivery service in partnership with Deliveroo.

30828141073_c979e8fa8c_k

To celebrate its launch, some lucky Londoners who buy their drinks via the new home delivery service this week will have their order accompanied by a beatboxing seasonal singalong from thebar.com’s Christmas carol singers.

You’ve never bought a bottle quite like it…

thebar.com aims to takes the stress out of shopping for your favourite drinks, from stocking your cupboard for Christmas Day to buying a bottle to take to a house party, or even leaving a little something out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Orders made via the Deliveroo app or online will be subject to standard Deliveroo delivery times.

Fancy a glass of Baileys for a post shopping treat? Hosting Christmas drinks and need some extra festive spirits for the perfect Gordon’s & Tonic? Or simply forgotten a gift for the house party; swipe to order a last-minute Smirnoff delivery. thebar.com’s new offering, which will mean no Christmas occasion ever has to fall short of alcohol again.

Diageo brands including Smirnoff, Gordon’s, Captain Morgan, Johnnie Walker and Baileys will be available to order by searching thebar.com on the Deliveroo app and website in select areas.

 

Follow the conversation at @thebar_GB #FestiveSpirits #LetsCocktail