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Credit: BBC

It is a truth universally acknowledged that readers have been crushing hard on Jane Austen’s literary hero, Mr. Darcy, for more than two hundred years. But academics just revealed what the real Mr. Darcy would have looked like, and um, we’re a little confused.

Is it wrong that we’ve just assumed Mr. Darcy would look sort of exactly like Colin Firth? After all, he’s portrayed our brooding book boyfriend an unprecedented four times. FOUR.

Just in case your memory needs refreshing:

BBC’s Pride & Prejudice (as if we could forget this, OMG).

Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

Bridget Jones’s Baby.

So yeah. In our minds, Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy.

Not so, according to a group of historians and academics assembled by the Drama Channel. To celebrate the airing of Jane Austen Season, the channel commissioned a team of experts that included John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at University College London and Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London. These highly qualified individuals even came up with a rendering of what Mr. Darcy likely would have looked like.

Ahem, you might want to sit down. Because here it is:

Credit: The Drama Channel

I know, right?

I mean, we’re sure this man is perfectly lovely and charming. But cravat aside, he in no way resembles Colin Firth.

According to Vickery though, this rendering (which frankly looks more like George Washington than Mr. Darcy to our modern minds), would have been a total hottie during Austen’s day. She says,

As we all know, Jane Austen was a genius, and by giving us only vague descriptions of Darcy’s appearance, she ensured his enduring popularity. Sutherland says, “There are only scraps of physical description of Fitzwilliam Darcy to be found in Pride and Prejudice; he is our most mysterious and desirable leading man of all time. What’s fantastic about Jane Austen’s writing is that Mr Darcy is both of the era and timeless.”

Timeless, indeed.

We’re not the only ones who are surprised by the Drama Channel’s depiction. It seems to have caught a lot of people off guard.

Ahem. If it’s okay, we’re just going to continue thinking of Colin Firth as the real Darcy. BRB watching the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice on constant repeat.