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THE BOOK RIOT 50: #37 Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Wooing Women

Jeff O'Neal

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Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

To celebrate Book Riot’s  first birthday on Monday, we’re running our best 50 posts from our first year this week. Click here for the running list. This post originally ran October 12, 2011.


You can’t stop new adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. (I’ve learned this through bitter tears.) And there’s really only one reason we keep making and watching these; Mr. Darcy is the biggest heartthrob ever to be put into print. Seriously, he’ll top any (admitted short) poll of most desirable literary bachelors. In fact, Colin Firth’s whole cinematic career stems from playing versions of him. We simply can’t get enough of this guy.

All that excess mojo, though, seems a shame to waste. What can aspiring gentlelady-killers learn from Mr. Darcy? Here’s a seven-step guide to imitating the Playboy of Pemberley.


1. Be rich.

Like seriously, private -jet, Russian mobster, Tony Stark rich. This is helpful for a lot of reasons, not in the least of which is….

2. Target women in dire financial straits.

The less able they are to provide for themselves, the better, especially in cases where…

3. The woman has an unbearable family.

Not only will she want to escape them, but your aloof indifference will make you seem like an oversharing camp counselor. Speaking of….

4. Be aloof and indifferent.

Stop short of actually disparaging her and her family; keep it to a seething disdain. I mean be subtle, but be clear you think they are all silly and inconsequential. In fact, make their lives harder by…

5. Blocking advantageous marriage arrangements for her siblings.

It’s not enough to demonstrate passive disdain, you’ve got to make sure her older sister doesn’t marry your sweet, sorta dim-witted friend. Even though they’ll be happy, their marriage would confer some element of status, and we can’t have that. This all leads up to revealing finally that you like her, when you should….

6. Tell her that you whole-heartedly wish you didn’t think she was fine.

Sell it hard. Like you’d rather drink castor oil or go to the DMV than be around her, but for some reason that you can’t explain and wish would go away, you have to be around her. Maybe compare her to meth or The Jersey Shore. She will surely rebuke you, which sets the stage for…

7. Bide your time and use your immense fortune to capitalize on her utter despair.

If her family is self-destructive and she has no way of escaping, eventually your cash is going to come in handy. Throw a little of your dough around, make the problem go away, and then…do nothing. Don’t tell her or acknowledge in any way that you had any part in it. Wait patiently for the truth to come out and you’ll be in like Rin Tin Tin.