The New York Times compares Rupert Murdoch’s attempts to purchase The Wall Street Journal to Mr. Darcy’s courtship of Elizabeth Bennet.
But the specter of it — all forced smiles and cleared throats, the discovery of common values whether there are any or not — brings to mind a 19th-century comedy of manners that would be funny, except it is not.
The family’s first reaction to Mr. Murdoch’s $5 billion offer was all pursed lips and tut-tuts. Unthinkable, really, for such a man to be offered custody of the family’s most precious asset. He is, after all, a bit of a brute, a man of enormous capital, but very sketchy provenance.
“The last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry,” Elizabeth called the well-situated Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice.” But Mr. Darcy wore her down, erasing her doubts and easing her suspicions by gradually revealing his character and suggesting that the stories she had heard about him were just that.
Reuters’ report of the incident includes perhaps the least sexy photo of Matthew Macfadyen we’ve ever seen.