It it a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re going to have crush on a dashing fictional hero, you might as well go the extra step and provide him with his own atmospheric mist. My earliest memory of being able to see man-mist occurred on my first reading of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. The sardonic young seaman, Nathaniel Eaton, makes an appearance from out of the mist of the Connecticut River in order to come to Kit Tyler’s rescue. From that point on, the mist never receded from his general vicinity.
Nor did the mist leave Sydney Carton’s side as he took his final stroll along the cobblestone sidewalk under Lucie Manette’s window. Likewise, if Outlander were ever to be made into a movie, Jamie Fraser would have his own fog and wind machine. He must have wind blowing through his flaming red hair at all times! None of this sissy mist, I demand a gale for this God among men!
And last but not least, Mr. Darcy came out of the mist… in slow motion. And yes, there was a faint breeze tousling his Regency era sideburns ever so gently askew…
Of course, this was all in my imagination. Never did it cross my mind that others were thinking the same thing. Until one day, in a smoky theater in Westwood Village, I feasted my eyes upon this image and nearly fell out of my seat from sheer exhilaration.
All around me, there was a collective intake of breath from the female audience as Mr. Darcy, played by Matthew Macfayden, came out of the mist, his morning-walking coat billowing behind him as he approached Elizabeth Bennet in, dare I say it, slow motion. What a thrill to see the image that has been ruminating in my mind realized before my eyes. And then, after this scene, the theater erupted into a collective sigh.
The male audience, however, were not amused.