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Poldarcy: a new British species?

Posted: 12th May 2015

Topic: Discovering Darcy

The hero of the recent BBC TV series Poldark has created quite a stir and triggered comparisons with Mr Darcy. This has led to rumours of a new British species – the Poldarcy. 

Here’s what we know so far …

Classification: Class = Hero; Family = Brooding Alpha Male; Genus = Period Drama; Species = Poldarcy. Group name = pride, as in ‘a pride of Poldarcys’.

Habitat: Native to British period drama adaptations; found mainly in the wilds of Cornwall and Derbyshire, with occasional sightings (under duress – a form of captivity) in Hertfordshire, Kent and London.

Appearance: Tall and athletic, instantly recognisable by his brooding looks and impressive head of tousled dark curls. May wear a hat to avoid identification. In Cornwall, the Poldarcy has a battle scar down one side of his face. 

Diet: Carnivore, with regional differences; the Cornish version is fond of pilchards and home-made pies, whereas the Derbyshire one has more refined tastes.

Colin Firth as Darcy 1995

Group dynamics: Poldarcys are men of honour, respected for their leadership qualities. They prefer a quiet existence running their estates, but will defend their territory aggressively when provoked. They enjoy physical exercise, especially during the mating season; this is usually limited to dashing around on horseback, although they occasionally shed their outer layers to swim in cold water.

Mating habits: Displays of courtship are infrequent and repressed. The species tends to mate successfully only with feisty females of a lower classification. Once a mate is selected, the Poldarcy proves himself intensely loyal and an avid breeder.

Protection status: Despite (or perhaps because of) being fiercely protected by his female admirers, the Poldarcy is vulnerable to attack by other males. He finds the ‘W’ species of anti-hero particularly provoking – Warleggan and Wickham being notable examples. There are fears that the Poldarcy is an endangered species: since 1995, he has appeared only at 10-year intervals  (although earlier versions  have been identified). Now that a second series of Poldark has been commissioned by the BBC, at least we won’t have to wait until 2025 to see the next Poldarcy!

Aidan Turner PoldarkPlease note: The Poldarcy is not to be confused with the Thornton, a different species entirely. While they have some characteristics in common, the Thornton favours northern industrial areas and railway stations rather than open countryside. The Thornton is even more endangered than the Poldarcy, having appeared only once, and has never been seen to shed anything beyond his cravat.

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