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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.

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Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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