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On the Books With Heart Facebook & Twitter pages, we conducted polls to see who was your favourite Jane Austen romantic lead. Heartie Sarah is here to dissect your results and get into a bother over sideburns!

1. Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)

source: giphy

Well...that was predictable. Come on, Fitzwilliam Darcy could win this competition until the end of time. When alien's invade earth and we need to describe the perfect fictional romantic hero to them we will just hand over a copy of Pride & Prejudice and say 'you're welcome'.

Favourite portrayal: This could require another poll in itself but I'm sure the hearties would smite me down if I did not choose Colin Firth. Darcy is Firth, Firth is Darcy. 

2. Captain Wentworth (Persuasion)


Ladies love a man in uniform apparently! Cap also stands out among this list because he is not of the gentry but rather a self-made man (shock horror)! This didn't stop Anne from pining over him for years and with his high-quality love letters who could blame her? Shout out to the hearties on Twitter who started the #VoteForWentworth campaign!

Favourite portrayal: Ciaran Hinds, hands down! I apologise for ever including Rupert Penry-Jones in the Facebook poll. Those cheek bones, that romantic longing in his dark eyes. I'm here for it.

3. Mr. Knightley (Emma)

source: badlydoneemma.blogspot

Sure he's a bit judgemental but hey, some of us need that voice of reason when we're matchmaking the wrong people and tearing down our friends. I've never been the biggest fan of Knightley but he is a great counterpoint to Emma. Despite her flaws, he loves her no matter what, and isn't that all we want in a man?

Favourite portrayal: Paul Rudd in Clueless. I will fight everyone on this point. 

source: giphy

4. Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility)

source: rebloggy

Another man in uniform! We're seeing a trend here hearties. I received so much backlash for not including poor, old Brandon in the original Facebook poll. I was Marianne and you hearties were Elinor convincing me of Brandon's many qualities! He can rescue me from a rainstorm any day of the week.

Favourite portrayal: Alan Rickman. Duh. The voice alone! How could anyone pick Willoughby over him?

5. Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility)

source: naomiblog15.blogspot

A controversial choice! He's not the most interesting character of the bunch and poor sod has to go around wearing a lock of a girl's hair in a ring out of duty. Elinor likes him well enough though and that's good enough for us. 

Favourite portrayal: Dan Stevens. Not even sorry about it, Hugh Grant. Only Dan could make this wet blanket of a character interesting and charming. Have included angsty rain GIF for good measure.

source: tonal-gleeson.tumblr

6. Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey)

source: giphy

...who? Come now, that's not completely fair. It's not Henry's fault that everyone forgets about Northanger Abbey, published posthumously. He received a measly one vote in our Facebook poll! I wonder if it is because his sarcasm comes across as rather mean to Catherine? Or is it because he's a little bit full of himself? 

Favourite portrayal: JJ Feild is the only portrayal I have seen and he does a great job of bringing this sarcastic charmer to life. He brings a Jude Law-like quality to Henry which suits me just fine. 

7. Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park)

source: bustle

Wah, wah. Am I the only one who doesn't understand what Fanny sees in Edmund Bertram (besides the fact he is her first cousin)? Apparently not, since he too received only one vote in our Facebook poll. He is the most ignorant man on this list and lets Fanny pine away as he prances about with Mary Crawford *shudder*. Boy bye.

Favourite portrayal: Jonny Lee Miller...we guess??

Honourable Mention

Mr Bingley (Pride & Prejudice)

source: giphy

On our Facebook poll, one heartie pointed out that I didn't include Mr. Bingley. To be honest, I just forgot about him. He's a bit forgettable really... Did anyone really notice Bingley except for Jane and her mother? He is perfectly amiable though and deserves a mention. But he is a spineless jellyfish who let his best friend and sisters drag him away from the woman he loves.

Favourite portrayal: Crispin Bonham-Carter, of course. Who could resist that mop of curls and blue eyes that stare at you long enough without blinking to be almost creepy.

source: victorianachronists.wordpress

Keep an eye on the Books With Heart Facebook & Twitter pages for future Jane Austen polls!

  • The Jane Austen Society - Natalie Jenner

    Eight villagers are brought together by their love for the famous author's novels, to create THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY. As new friendships form and the pain of the past begins to heal, surely they can find a way to preserve Austen's legacy before it is too late?

Sarah Holmes

Sarah Holmes

On the marketing team. Contemporary romances with illustrated covers are my forte. Eating ice cream is also my forte. These two interests usually combine.

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