by Jack Caldwell
What breed of dog is Darcy?
Hello, everyone—Jack Caldwell here. In this special edition of the Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles, in celebration of the Austenesque Extravaganza at Austenesque Reviews, we dive into a never-ending discussion of epic proportions—if your man was a dog, what breed of dog would he be?
C’mon, tell the truth—at one time or another you ladies have thought your man was some sort of canine. This post will not argue the fairness of that conjecture or its counter-balance: all women are [female dogs]. Instead, we’re going to have some fun.
Listed below are some of the male figures from Jane Austen’s novels and the dog breeds I think best represent their characteristics. This is an original work; I started it before a similar discussion appeared on a JAFF web site. So not, I didn’t steal this idea!
I want to point out that I used a combination of Austen’s physical descriptions of each gentleman, their actions in the novels, and my understanding of their individual characters. This is NOT based on any film adaptation of Austen’s work. So forget about Colin Firth, Ciarán Hinds, and Alan Rickman; they did not enter into the equation.
Also, you will note that Austen’s villains didn’t make the cut. Why? Dogs are often better than people, and they are certainly better than Wickham, Willoughby, and Crawford.
Boy—that sounds like a law firm! I digress.
Ready? Let’s go.
Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey) – Henry knows way too much about ladies’ fashions, yet he is no poof. He loves Catherine so much he is willing to break with his dominating father. But he uses guile rather than force to win the general’s approval of the match. Great stamina (he is always riding between his house and the Abbey) and is attracted to the water. Very smart, clever, and affectionate. Well dressed. Standard Poodle.
Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion) – Frederick is Austen’s idea of a self-made man in the image of the author’s brothers. He is handsome, brave, honorable, and resourceful. He is also temperamental and given to fits of resentment. He loves deeply and truly, and he can be jealous. He has not much use for anyone outside of his family, shipmates, and close friends. Giant Schnauzer.
Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park) – Edmund is loyal, gentle and friendly, and somewhat affectionate, but not overly so. Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, he desires a simple life in the country, rather than a high-profile existence in London. Fanny better socialize him, or he’ll vegetate in that parsonage. Saint Bernard.
Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility) – Brandon is described as silent and grave, and though his face was not handsome his countenance was sensible, and his address was particularly gentlemanlike. He is loyal to his first love, the lost Eliza, and is dedicated to his second, Marianne. He rushes to his ward’s side when she is discovered pregnant and alone in London and tracks down her seducer. He is strong and faithful. Bloodhound.
George Knightley (Emma) – Knightley is smart. He loves to work and keep others in line. He is very observant and takes the full measure of a situation before he makes a move. But once he acts, he is decisive. His handling of Emma is akin to herding troublesome livestock. German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian).
Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility) – Everybody likes Edward—he makes friends easily—but no one can say why. He needs to work, particularly in the country, or he will get in trouble. Fortunately for Elinor, Edward is gentle, loyal, intelligent, and highly trainable. Rough Collie.
Col. (?) Fitzwilliam (Pride and Prejudice) – Austen didn’t give us much of a description of the good colonel, except that he wasn’t overly handsome, but he was friendly and talkative. If he was a successful officer, he must have been brave. Subsequent authors have almost universally portrayed the colonel as witty and funny. What else but a Bull Terrier?
Charles Bingley (Pride and Prejudice) – C’mon! Think about it. Is there anyone who is a better representation of a Golden Retriever?
Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) – Darcy is Austen’s über-male. He is tall, dark, and handsome. He also presents two faces to the world. To most of humanity, he appears proud, aloof, unapproachable, and slightly dangerous. To those who know him well, Darcy is generous, friendly, intensely loyal, and affectionate. In fact, he’s a bit needy. He is also resourceful, hard-working, and brave. As Elizabeth found out, Darcy needs a lot of socialization. Doberman pinscher.
I know there will be lots of disagreements about this. What’s your opinion? Be prepared to defend it!
Until next time, this has been the Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles.