A new book will reveal the true identity of the man who inspired Austen's Pride and Prejudice heartthrob His brooding good looks, personal fortune and hidden depths have made him the object of romantic affections for generations of women. Now the mystery of Jane Austen's alluring Mr Darcy may be a step closer to being solved, after a historian claimed to have identified his real-life inspiration. Dr Susan Law believes the fictional aristocrat was based on the first Earl of Morley, John Parker, who was married to a friend of Austen and said to be “intense”. She now claims to have built a “convincing argument” for pinning down the real Fitzwilliam Darcy, admitting she cannot be “100 per cent” sure. The claim is likely to cause controversy among Austen fans, who have endured numerous theories about the inspirations behind Pride and Prejudice over the decades. Dr Law, who will publish her claims in a new book, said she has now spent five years piecing together letters, diaries and newspapers to show the Earl is a prime candidate.