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Mr. Darcy Goes Swimming

White Linen bar soap is what every girl needs--an reminder of the scene in Pride and Prejudice where a dripping Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet at Pemberley. Smells just like a clean white shirt! The perfect Jane Austen gift for a Lady.

You might say Pride and Prejudice influenced my upbringing, as I saw the 1995 film (starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy) at the impressionable age of 14 and read the book shortly thereafter. After analyzing the content of the film and the book, and reviewing what matters most in life, I came to the conclusion that whether or not Mr. Darcy actually went swimming in the book did not matter to me. What mattered was watching the movie as many times as possible and laughing heartily every single time Elizabeth stumbles upon a dripping Darcy!

I know I’m not the only one who loves it. (If you are unfamiliar with the scene, watch it here and then come right back!) There have been numerous references to it in books, film, and the news that I have come across. To name a few:

  1. There’s the novel by Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, where the character Bridget interviews Colin Firth and peppers him with questions about his “wet shirt.”
  2. And of course the scene in the film, “Lost in Austen,” where Mr. Darcy walks into a lake to satisfy the request of the heroine.
  3. Another is a hilarious song written and performed by Sense and Spontaneity called “Dear Mr. Darcy,” again with numerous references to his wet white shirt.
  4. And finally, there was a gigantic memorial statue of wet Mr. Darcy that toured the UK in 2013 and 2014.

Do you know any others? Please share in the comments!

And we cannot forget Northanger Soapworks’s contribution to this lovely list of memorials! That is, White Linen bar soap, or Mr. Darcy’s White Linen as it is sometimes called! Inspired by the wet shirt scene, it smells like freshly laundered linen and has a glittery blue top just like the sun reflecting on the lake. All that’s missing is Mr. Darcy himself, and we’ve got a bar soap for him too:)

Click here to shop White Linen bar soap, or add it directly to your cart!

Experience the scene again from Elizabeth Bennet’s perspective:

And to think you nearly didn’t visit Pemberley with your Aunt and Uncle Gardner. Thank heaven the family were not at home or you would never have come. The beauty of your surroundings overwhelms you and you struggle to take it all in. It is probable you will never again see its splendor, due to your refusal of Mr. Darcy’s hand. You must make the most of this visit.

A sparkle of light through the bushes catches your eye. The housekeeper had mentioned a lake on the property, could this be it?

You near the break in the hedge but before you reach it you see a figure pass through on foot. He has not seen you yet, but you flush red with mortification at your realization that it is Mr. Darcy himself—for the first time since your refusal—walking toward you in a state of dishevelment with a dripping wet white linen shirt. He looks up, shock registers upon his face, and he stops abruptly. 

“Mr. Darcy!” you say.

“Miss Bennet!”

Too late to get away. You are trapped.

by Laura Hansen of Northanger Soapworks

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What rose bush? a Northanger Abbey mystery

Mr. Tilney's Proposal is shrouded in mystery to one Catherine Morland. What rose bush can he possibly mean? Relating to the 1987 film adaptation, a bar of soap, and an unquenchable Austen addiction #janeausten

“I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, but since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.” ~Henry Tilney to Catherine Morland, the final scene of Northanger Abbey 1986 (or was it 1987? It’s a very confusing point for an Austen fan).

For anyone who has watched that adaptation and was paying attention (honestly who could look away from such a spectacle?), you may have asked yourself the question, “What rose bush?”

Well, you are not alone.

Catherine herself asked this. See the helpful imagery below to illustrate.

When Mr. Tilney proposed to Catherine he confuses us all by mentioning a rosebush hitherto unknown to the reader. Does Catherine feel the same? Is she thinking, thank you for finding me, but, what rose bush?

There. Do you see how she was thinking it? She DESPERATELY needs to know. And now I repeat, What rose bush?

There was no rose bush in the film hitherto Mr. Tilney’s speech, nor is there any mention of one in the book, except a reference on the first page that Catherine enjoyed watering rose bushes.

I can discover only three possibilities:

1. Henry Tilney had a dream where he gave her a white rose bush and it had tragically died after she departed. As much as he wanted to tell her about this dream, he knew it was too inappropriate to tell an unmarried young lady that he had been thinking about her whilst in a bed. Henry planned to tell her AFTER the wedding and was working up to it by making modest allusions to its existence. Unfortunately, he chose an inopportune moment because instead of her heart feeling touched by his love for her, she was rather confused about the dead rose bush. If she had known there was a rose bush that she was to water, she would surely have told the gardener to water it before her departure.

2. Tragically, the 92 minute film was deemed too long so a 4 minute scene about a white rose bush was cut from the final version leaving the audience bewildered.

3. Henry was a romantic sort and was speaking figuratively.

Which do you think?

Get your own white rose bush by adding Mr. Tilney’s Proposal bar soap to your cart.