Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A tribute to actor David Bamber as Mr. Collins in Austen's Pride and Prejudice

David Bamber as Mr. Collins

On my list of the best ever television drama series, the 1995 BBC production of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth is by far the number one. I have seen it at least twenty times, and every time there is something new to admire and enjoy.

Mr. Collins: "Mark the windows. There are 64 in all. 64! And I have it on good
authority that the glazings alone originally cost in excess of 600 pounds".

Among all the superb actors appearing, my own favourite is David Bamber as Mr. Collins. The way he speaks e.g. these lines is unforgettable:

"My situation in life, my connections with the family of de Bourgh, and my relationship to your own, are circumstances highly in my favour; and you should take it into further consideration, that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you. Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood undo the effects of your loveliness and amiable qualifications. As I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females."

Mr. Bennet: How happy for you, Mr. Collins, to possess a talent for flattering with such... delicacy. Elizabeth Bennet: Do these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are they the result of previous study? Mr. Collins: They arise chiefly from what is passing of the time. And though I do sometimes amuse myself with arranging such little elegant compliments, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible.

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