Mr. Darcy's White Shirt Will Go on Display in Washington, D.C.

In 1995, a simple white shirt helped transform actor Colin Firth into a star. While playing Mr. Darcy in the BBC mini-series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, one scene required Firth to dive into a pond while clad in a loose white tunic. Austen fans swooned when Firth emerged from the water, the fabric clinging to his torso. Soon, those fans will be able to see the famous fashion item in person at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. According to The New York Times, the shirt will go on display on August 6, as part of the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity.”

The display takes a look at Austen and Shakespeare’s fame after death, identifying the movie adaptations, parodies, and milestone events that helped cement the authors’ popularity among generations of later readers. According to the Times, it will include a bundle of wood from Shakespeare’s birthplace, a bottle of Austen-inspired Bath Gin, and Will and Jane action figures. However, Firth’s shirt—which will be labeled simply as “The Shirt”—is the show’s main highlight.

“The shirt seemed like a celebrity object that demonstrated the kind of fun that people have with Austen as an author,” Janine Barchas, a University of Texas English professor who co-curated the show, told the Times. “It exemplifies the kind of play that is central to our whole exhibition.”

The pond scene never appeared in Austen’s original work. It was added to the BBC adaptation to spice up the otherwise chaste Regency period piece. (According to Andrew Davies, who wrote the BBC adaptation, Firth was originally "meant to be naked.") The evocative scene ended up spawning countless homages, including a photo reenactment by actor Benedict Cumberbatch for a charity fundraiser in 2014.

The shirt will be dry in its display case, although Barchas says the library staff is already bracing for the lipstick marks Austen fans will leave behind on the glass. For more information on the exhibition (which ends in November), check out the library's website for details—and for fun, take a few minutes to re-watch Firth’s iconic dip in the video above.

[h/t The New York Times]

Header image: Wikipedia//Fair Use.

The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
most popular Netflix show in each country map
most popular Netflix show in each country map key

If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation? recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed

Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]


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