Category: Media & Culture / July 9, 2013 1:51 PM EDT
If you are a fan of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, you might be pleasantly surprised by a 12 foot fiber glass statue of the popular character Mr. Darcy climbing out of Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park in London.
In the 1995 BBC TV miniseries based on the novel, staring Colin Firth, there is a scene in which Darcy takes a swim, and it was voted most memorable British TV drama moment of all time in a recent UK survey.
Pride and Prejudice was published two centuries ago, and UKTV Drama General Manager Adrian Wills thinks it’s the perfect time to bring one of Austen’s most famous characters to life.
"It's 200 years since Pride and Prejudice was first published, so it's really appropriate that we're doing this year, and Pride and Prejudice the TV series is the best thing we can use to launch the channel with," he said.
The first editions of Austen’s novel came out on January 28, 1813 and the story was an instant hit with readers at the time.
"I think people were quite startled, originally, to see such a giant Darcy emerging from the lake, but on the whole everyone seems to be happy with it," Sketch production director and sculptor, Toby Crowther said.
"He is what he is, you know he's an homage to one of the most famous scenes and the public generally seem to be delighted," he added.
Those swimming in the Serpentine or walking nearby seemed to agree.
"I think it's rather wonderful actually. Certainly surreal," said one unnamed swimmer treading water near the sculpture.
"Yeah, I mean it was a bit wacky to come down this swimming morning and see Mr Darcy kind of coming out of the Serpentine, but you know, good on you, good on you. It makes swimming a bit more interesting, and I think the swans like it," added, another.
"Well I've come for a run round, so I was going to go down to Kensington Gardens, but when I saw that I sort of diverted to come here to get a photo," she said.
It took a team of three sculptors over two months to design, construct and pain the fiber glass model.
The 12 foot version of Mr Darcy will begin a short tour before it is installed at Lyme Park in Cheshire, where the now infamous scene was originally filmed, which is where it will remain until February 2014.
Video Credit: Reuters