Reader, I buried him:
Bridget author braves fans’ anger
Rhoda Buchanan | The Times – September 30, 2013
is not the first romantic hero to be killed off by his author, but fans
have reacted with horror to the death of Mark Darcy in the latest
Bridget Jones book.
As if this was not damage enough to inflict on her heroine, the author
Helen Fielding has the highly irresponsible Daniel Cleaver babysit
Bridget’s children while the now 51-year-old diarist visits a pop-up
“speakeasy” in Hoxton.
In an extract of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, published in
The Times today, Bridget’s friends take her on a night out where she
is chatted up on a hay bale in East London, leading to her first sexual
encounter in five years.
famous singleton is now a widow, having married and been widowed by
Darcy, with two young children. Her new challenges consist of pushy
parents, nits and the digital revolution. Fans found it hard to accept
the loss of Darcy, the human rights lawyer-boyfriend who was played by
Colin Firth on screen.
“Why would you kill Mark Darcy, Helen Fielding, why?!” one shocked
reader wrote on Twitter.
One reader said that they needed black clothing and a drink, while
another mused: “Pretty funny that people are so mad at Helen Fielding.
Though if I were her I wouldn’t drive on icy roads in desolate
Instead of the brooding Darcy, Bridget, at one stage, has a 29-year-old
boyfriend named Roxster.
One Twitter user said: “Surely the news that A. Conan Doyle killed off
Holmes raised less rancor than Helen Fielding’s choice to kill off
Mark Darcy.” A more supportive fan wrote: “Well done to Helen
Fielding, I say. Who would’ve bought a book about 51-year-olds in
Bridget Jones’s Diary, published in 1996, was described as one of the
top 10 books that defined the 20th century. A second book, Bridget
Jones: The Edge of Reason, followed in 1998. Growing out of a
newspaper column, the books were eventually turned in to films starring
Renée Zellweger, Firth and Hugh Grant. Thirtysomething Bridget battled
with her weight, had on/off relationships, consumed cigarettes and
alcohol and at one point was imprisoned for drug dealing in Thailand.
Darcy finally proposed, but the new book makes it clear that although
they married, they did not live happily ever after. The cause of
Darcy’s death is not being revealed in advance but is buried in a
flashback within the new diaries. The rakish Daniel Cleaver is godfather
to Billy and Mabel, Bridget’s children.
Fielding has always denied that Bridget Jones is autobiographical, but
she herself is 55 and a single mother of two young children. After her
relationship with Kevin Curran, a television executive on The Simpsons,
ended in 2009, she returned from Hollywood and lives with their children
in North London.