Bridget Jones fans will be in mourning after reading Mad About the Boy, the forthcoming third instalment in Helen Fielding's diaries of the world's most famous singleton.
Mark Darcy is dead.
The loveabley awkward yet chivalrous barrister – perfectly portrayed by Colin Firth in the Bridget Jones movie adaptations – has given Bridget two children but left her a widow, excerpts from the new book reveal.
Based on the romance between Jane Austen's Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Mark and Bridget's entanglement has been the defining relationship of her life, filled with as much misunderstanding as romance in the beginning, but blossoming into true love as the mists cleared.
Arriving 14 years after Fielding's second instalment The Edge of Reason, Mad About the Boy finds Bridget a 51-year-old widow with a 30-year-old toy boy, Roxter, who she has met via Twitter, according to the passages reproduced in The Sunday Times Magazine.
Bridget Jones's Diary began life as a column in the Independent newspaper in 1995, spawning two novels between 1996 and 1999, both of which were turned into blockbuster movies starring Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth.
Mad About the Boy is published on 10 October