MCM: James Purefoy, Redux


Back when this blog was just in its larval (pupal?) stage, I wrote a Man Candy Monday about James Purefoy. However, we were still just figuring out formats, and while I firmly stand by everything I wrote in that post, I missed my chance to include many hot photos of hot James Purefoy in many of his hot roles. I am nothing if not a completionist, so here’s a second go-round at His Hotness, this time without leaving anything (hopefully) out!


The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes: The Boscombe Valley Mystery (1991)

As a guest star on the TV series starring Jeremy Brett.

1991 The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes - The Boscombe Valley Mystery



Sharpe’s Sword (1995)

As “Spears” in one of the 5 million Sharpe (Sean Bean) TV movies.

1995 Sharpe's Sword

I loves me some good sideburns!


Feast of July (1995)

An adaptation of a novel, in which “an abandoned young woman in late 19th-century England is taken in by a rural couple with three handsome sons, tragic consequences result” (per IMDB).

1995 Feast of July

I’m guessing he plays one of the sons.

1995 Feast of July

I am always pro-men in historical uniform!


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

The adaptation of the Anne Brontë novel. Purefoy plays supporting character Mr. Lawrence, brother of main character Helen.

1996 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Well hello there Mr. Top Hat and Cravat!

Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

Yes please where do I sign up?


The Tide of Life (1996)

A Catherine Cookson novel adaptation in which a young housekeeper forms relationships with three different men.

1996 The Tide of Life

DAMN he rocks those long pointy sideburns!


The Prince and the Pauper (1996)

The future Edward VII changes places with a poor boy. Purefoy plays Miles Hendon, protector to Edward-in-disguise and comic relief.

1996 The Prince and the Pauper


A Dance to the Music of Time (1997)

As the character who narrates his memories in this adaptation of the Anthony Powell novels.

1997 A Dance to the Music of Time



Mansfield Park (1999)

Yes, he plays bad seed older brother Tom Bertram in this Jane Austen adaptation!

1999 Mansfield Park

Smirk away, hotness


Don Quixote (2000)

As Sansón Carrasco, Quixote’s friend.

2000 Don Quixote


A Knight’s Tale (2001)

As Edward the Black Prince in this attempt to make medieval more rock n’ roll.

2001 A Knight's Tale

Ooo I like the scruff! And the leath-ah!


The Mayor of Casterbridge (2003)

As Donald Farfare, a Scot who becomes mayor after the main character.

2003 The Mayor of Casterbridge

Ooo floppy hair!

2003 The Mayor of Casterbridge

And the sideburns are back!


Vanity Fair (2004)

Oh Rawdon, how much I heart thee. Come to mama and I’ll soothe you after Becky breaks your heart.

2004 Vanity Fair

So wounded.

2004 Vanity Fair



Rome (2005-07)

As Mark Antony in the HBO series. Shoulda stuck with Attia, although the Cleopatra scenes were hot!

2005-07 Rome


2005-07 Rome

Rocking the laurels.

2005-07 Rome

FYI, HE GETS HIS KIT OFF. ALL OFF. Things are relaxed (he’s being bathed), but it’s VERY WORTH WATCHING.

2005-07 Rome

And he’s witty and smart AF.


Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2008)

SO perfectly cast as the famous Regency dandy!

This Charming Man: Beau Brummell (2008)


This Charming Man: Beau Brummell (2008)



Blackbeard: Terror at Sea (2006)

Being hot does not stop you from making bad choices.

2006 Blackbeard- Terror at Sea



Camelot (2011)

Playing his traditional smirky baddie, this time as King Lot in yet another King Arthur adaptation.

2011 Camelot


Ironclad (2011)

13th-century Knights Templar fight against King John. Purefoy plays a disillusioned KT.

2011 Ironclad

I sense great manliness.


The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012)

As Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.

2012 The Hollow Crown - Richard II

I don’t LOVE him with the longer hair.

2012 The Hollow Crown - Richard II

But I’ll let it slide.


Roots (2016)

The first slaveowner to buy main character Kunta Kinte in this multi-generational story about enslaved people.

Roots (2016)

And one of the better costumed.


Churchill (2017)

As King George VI in this story focused on Churchill right before the Invasion of Normandy.

2017 Churchill

I’m liking it!


Interlude in Prague (2017)

HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS UNTIL NOW BRB WATCHING THIS. Ahem. As Baron Saloka in this story about Mozart’s years in the Czech capital.

2017 Interlude in Prague

DAMN, girl.


Urban Myths (2018)

As director Billy Wilder working with Marilyn Monroe on Some Like It Hot.

2018 urban myths

Wow, they just aged him like 20 years!


Which hot James Purefoy historical costume role is your hottest?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

17 Responses

  1. LadySlippers

    I just finished watching Sex Education on Netflix and James has a brief part in it — and he’s quite yummy. Not a Frock Flick but the costuming in Sex Education is interesting because it has costuming elements from multiple decades (1970’s until now) which gives the series an unusual feel.

    But thanks for the redux — it’s most appreciated. 😍

    • Viola

      Is that any good? All the comments I’ve seen have been saying it looks and sounds like an American school where for some reason everyone has English accents, which put me off as it sounds irritating.

      • LadySlippers

        I throughly enjoyed the series!

        Overall, I think they blended fashion and cultural mores (American and British) in order to create a universality that isn’t anchored in any one place or time. It allows you to address other issues that might get trapped if they have a date/time and place stamp. The series is definitely in your face regarding sex and sexuality but it has a diverse cast that includes queer and people of colour (one of the leads is a queer black young man). The acting is top notch — including all the newcomers to acting. It’s beautiful, sensitive, and funny. And exquisitely human. I recommend it.

  2. Jacqui Gauld

    Sexy, sexy man who has got even more lust-worthy as he’s aged. My favourite of his is Rome. Will have to look for Urban Myths, it’s passed me by.

  3. Myra Edwards.

    Could you review Matilda? It’s about Matilde Kschessinska.

  4. Sophie

    ha! thomas de mowbray is my 20th great grandfather, and while i know at that point its more of a tangential blood relation than anything, i’d def be okay if he looked anything like purefoy

  5. 992234177

    Love Music of time, tried to read them but 12 books is a bit much.

  6. Roxana

    I well remember my reaction to Prince Edward in ‘A Knight’s Tale’; where has this gorgeous man been all my life?!

  7. Mab

    I still feel sad that no-one ever got him to play Flashman (of the George MacDonald Fraser books). It would have been such perfect casting.

  8. Rowan

    There is something about him that is simply, hmmmmm…

    I also liked him in the pseudo frock flick, Solomon Kane.