Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Title: Pride & Prejudice
Writer: Jane Austen (1775-1817) English
First publication: 1813
The story begins with a discussion between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Bennet enthusiastically tells her husband that there is a new inhabitant on the estate of Netherfield Hall. The man is called Charles Bingley. He is rich and he is single. Mrs. Bennet tries to persuade her husband to go and visit Mr. Bingley, because she and her daughters cannot visit him if Mr. Bennet does not do so first. Mrs. Bennet is determined to arrange a good marriage for all her five daughters. She will do everything in her power to get Mr. Bingley to marry one of her daughters. Though Mr. Bennet would rather not have married Lizzy off.
Mr. Bennet pretends that he refuses to go and visit Mr. Bingley. Of course he does visit him but he doesn’t say anything about that until the next day. Mrs. Bennet is very upset about this at first but soon is her usual self again. She and her daughters start making plans to meet Mr. Bingley.
Mrs. Bennet invites Mr. Bingley to dinner but he was unable to come since he had some business in town (London). He went to a party for the assembly that will be held a few days later. Eventually he brought back his two sisters, his brother-in-law and his closest friend, Mr. Darcy. Mrs. Bennet is delighted to see Mr. Bingley dance with her daughter Jane.
His friend Mr. Darcy draws a lot of attention with his tall figure and handsome face. He has the appearance of a real gentleman and he’s also very rich. But they soon find his character very unpleasant. He is a very proud man, even conceited at times. He refuses to dance with anybody he doesn’t know. In contrast to his friend Mr. Bingley is generally well liked. He is very lively and unreserved and loves dancing. Elizabeth (Lizzy) overhears a conversation in which Mr. Darcy offends her. "She is perfectly tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me".
There are several conversations about the assembly. The first is between Jane and Lizzy in which Jane admits that she likes Bingley very much. Lizzy agrees that he is a very nice gentleman. The other conversation is between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. Their opinion is typical for their character. Mr Bingley is very positive and Darcy is rather negative. Bingley also likes Jane very much; he thinks she is beautiful on which Darcy replies that she is ‘pretty’. Bingley’s sisters agree that Jane is a very sweet girl and Bingley is very pleased to hear this. There is also some information about the nature of the friendship between Darcy and Bingley.
The day after the assembly the Bennets go and visit the Lucas family. They are old family friends. Of course the ball is the topic of all conversation. Again there is a disapproving talk of Darcy’s behaviour. Though some say that he, with his family and fortune, has the right to be proud. Lizzy agrees with that but adds that she could easily have forgiven him his pride had he not wounded hers. The conversation continues on several other topics but the general opinion of Mr. Darcy remains unchanged.
Elizabeth notices that her sister begins to fall in love with Mir. Bingley. She discusses this with her friend Charlotte Lucas. She advises that Jane should marry him as soon as possible, form as she declares, there will be plenty of time to get to known him afterwards and he will certainly not be single for long anymore. Lizzy does not agree. She thinks that Jane can only marry with her heart. Little does Lizzy know that Darcy is beginning to take an interest in her. She, however, still dislikes him very much.
Charlotte makes Lizzy perform. Lizzy is rather embarrassed by this because the is not a very good singer. Mr. Lucas tries to persuade her to dance with Darcy but she refuses, leaving Darcy alone with his thoughts. Darcy and Miss Bingley (Caroline) have a talk about Lizzy and when Caroline suspects that Darcy actually likes her, begins to abuse her immediately. Darcy listens with perfect indifference. He has already made up his mind.
The two youngest sisters, Lydia and Kitty (short for Catherine), are introduced to several officers by their uncle Mr. Phillips. They can talk of nothing but officers after that and their father calls them silly, but Lydia and Kitty are not at all discouraged by this.
An invitation arrives for Jane. She is asked to have dinner at Netherfield Hall with Caroline and her sister Louisa. Jane’s forced to go on horseback since the horses for the carriage can not be spared. It is raining very hard though so Jane catches a cold.
Lizzy is very anxious when she hears about this and is determined to go to Netherfield to visit her sister. She walks all the way to Netherfield, a very uncommon thing for a lady to do. It is of course criticized by Caroline as soon as she hears of it. Jane is rather ill and she prefers Lizzy to stay until she is better. Now both Lizzy and Jane are guests at Netherfield.
Jane is still rather ill and Lizzy barely leaves her. Except for breakfast, dinner etc. The moment Lizzy is out of the room Caroline and her sister start abusing her. They are determined to make their brother and especially Darcy think ill of her.
Mr. Hurst (Louisa’s husband) is astonished when he finds that Lizzy prefers a book to playing cards. Then the conversation goes on about the library at Pemberly (Darcy’s estate) and his sister. His sister said to be very accomplished. Lizzy gets a full explanation of the word by Caroline and Darcy. She does not believe, after hearing it, that such ‘’accomplished’’ women exist. When she has returned to Jane again there are several remarks from Caroline on her horrible manners.
Jane’s getting better. Her mother and two younger sisters come to visit her. Jane wishes to be taken home, but Mr. Bingley will not hear of it until she is completely recovered. Mrs. Bennet’s behaviour towards Bingley, Darcy and Caroline makes Lizzy feel very unpleasant. It is rather embarrassing. Darcy and Lizzy have a disagreement about poetry. While Darcy is convinced that it is ‘the food of love’ Lizzy is convinced that poetry will drive away love, unless it is true love. There’s also a description of Lydia (the youngest) who apparently has little sense of propriety. She asks Bingley whether he will hold a ball at Netherfield. To Lizzy’s great relieve Bingley’s not offended by this, and answers that he certainly will, once their sister is recovered.
When Kitty, Lydia and Mrs. Bennet go away again, Lizzy returns to her sister (Jane) embarrassed by the impression her mother and youngest sisters must have made. Indeed they are for Miss Bingley has another reason for gossiping. She is determined to make Darcy think ill of Lizzy and her family.
Another day at Netherfield passes with conversation.
They talk about writing letters and the greatest flaws in Bingley’s character when it comes to that. He is too careless sometimes and leaves out half his words. Darcy begins to notice that his regard for Elizabeth is rising although she still dislikes him. Miss Bingley tries to provoke Darcy into saying something mean but he is not cooperative. Jane is getting better by now and she and Lizzy hope to be home in a few days.
Jane’s is well enough to join everyone in the dining parlor, after dinner. Bingley and his sisters are very nice to her and Lizzy is pleased to see it.
Miss Bingley keeps trying to attract Darcy’s attention while he is writing a letter to his sister, but he keeps brushing her off. Then Miss Bingley invites Elizabeth to take a walk around the room with her. She also invites Darcy to join them which he refuses. He claims that they can only have to motives for inviting him and that he will interfere with either. Then Miss Bingley tries to make him speak to her, which only ends up in a discussion between Elizabeth and Darcy about his pride. He admits that the biggest flaw in his character is temper. He calls himself resentful. His good opinion once lost is lost forever. Elizabeth interprets that to be that he likes to dislike other people. On which Darcy suggest that it is perhaps her flaw to intentionally misunderstand people. Miss Bingley then tries to change the subject because Darcy is not paying any attention to her while he’s caught up in his discussion with Elizabeth.
Darcy is not at all sorry when the discussion ends; he begins to see the danger of paying to much attention to her.
Jane and Lizzy want to go home. But their mother refuses to send the carriage because she wants Jane to spend more time at Netherfield. Despite of her mothers intentions Lizzy knows that they are overstaying their welcome. Bingley arranges for his carriage to take them home the next day. During their last day at Netherfield Darcy is very careful not to show any signs of regard towards Elizabeth because it makes Miss Bingley treat her horribly and annoy him with her constant attention. And so Elizabeth leaves Netherfield with the same opinion of Darcy she had when she first arrived. Mrs. Bennet is rather annoyed to see the girls home earlier then she had intended. But Mr. Bingley is very pleased to see them again.
Mr. Bennet announces that his cousin Mr. Collins will come to introduce himself and will be staying for over a week. Mr. Collins is the relative that will inherit the estate because he is the closest male relative and women cannot inherit the estate. Mrs Bennet therefore suspects that he is only coming to inspect his future estate and she is not happy to hear of his coming.
When he finally arrives they find that he is a nerdy preacher who thinks very highly of himself. He keeps giving compliments to Mrs. Bennet and her daughters. Elizabeth doesn’t like him much, but her father is amused by him. He finds his lack of real intelligence and constant talk and apologies rather funny.
Mr. Bennet doesn’t talk much generally. But during dinner he asks Mr. Collins to talk about his patroness, Lady Catherine the Bourg, because he suspects that Collins will excel on this subject of conversation. He certainly does, his descriptions about the great lady and her estate, Rosings, go on and on. After dinner Mr. Collins tries to entertain the family by reading out loud. But the book he has chosen is boring and Lydia interrupts him to talk about the soldiers stationed at Merryton. Mr. Collins is offended by this interruption and despite the family insisting, he refuses to read on. Instead he plays a game of backgammon with Mr. Bennet.
Mrs. Bennet and the girls walk to Merryton because Lydia and Kitty want to see the soldiers. Mr. Bennet sends Mr. Collins with them, just to get rid of him. Lydia and Kitty notice that one of their soldier friends, Mr Denny, has a new handsome friend and they are determined to speak with them. While they are talking to Mr. Denny and his friend Mr. Wickham, Bingley and Darcy show up. Lizzy notices that Darcy and Wickham seem to know each other although they do not appear to be friends. She doesn’t really know what to make of it. Mr. Collins and the Bennets go to visit their aunt, Mrs. Phillips. She invites them all to dinner the next night and Lydia and Kitty are very excited about this because they happily seize any opportunity to socialize with the soldiers, including Mr. Wickham.
Mr. Collins confesses to Mrs. Bennet that his intention in coming to Longborn was to choose a wife from one of their daughters, to make the entail less painful. When Mrs. Bennets warns him that Jane is practically engaged, his eye turns from her to Lizzy. Lizzy of course has no idea of this.
tells her about his youThat night at the dinner party of her aunt, Lizzy sits next to Mr. Wickham. He is very pleasant, charming and handsome. Mr. Wickhamth. He grew up with Darcy and he was the godson of Darcy’s father. He was promised a parish on their estate, but when Darcy’s father died Darcy ignored this promise and refused to give the parish to Wickham.
He is very negative about Mr. Darcy, he was a selfish, spoiled child who turned into an unjust and heartless man. Wickham is also very negative about Darcy’s sister, Georgiana. Elizabeth is rather willing to believe it all. Her regard for Wickham rises when he vows that despite of all the horrible things Darcy has done to him, he will not reveal them, out of respect for Darcy’s father. Wickham also tells her that if Darcy wishes to avoid seeing him Darcy himself must go, because he (Wickham) will not. Elizabeth agrees with him.
is not at all pleased wiBingley and his sister pay a visit to Longbourn to announce that they are having a ball at Netherfield. Elizabeth, her sisters and their mother are all very excited. Especially Elizabeth as she’s looking forward to dancing with Mr. Wickham. In her enthusiasm she asks Mr. Collins whether he will be going too. Collins responds that he will and that he would be honoured to have the first to dances. Elizabeth agrees this, but agrees out of politeness. Then suddenly the idea strikes her that Collins might be considering her as a possible wife, and she finds that horrible.
The day of the ball arrives. Lizzy is very disappointed to find that Wickham has not come to the ball at all. She suspects that Wickham had intended to be out of town around that time so that he wouldn’t be forced to be around Darcy. That makes Lizzy hate Darcy even more.
But when Mr. Darcy asks her to dance she can not find a polite way of refusing and is therefore forced to have at least one dance with him. They talk very little, but Lizzy starts to ask questions to make out Darcy’s character. She mentions Wickham’s name to see how Darcy responds to that but before she can really get an answer the dance ends and they separate. Immediately after that Jane comes to Lizzy. She has asked Bingley about Wickham and she does not believe that Darcy has treated Wickham so badly. Bingley told her so, although he did not know all the details he did know that Wickham was not the sort of man a young woman could be trusted with. But Lizzy won’t hear of it. She refuses to think ill of Wickham.
Lizzy is greatly embarrassed by her family later. When Collins finds out that Darcy is actually the nephew of his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourg, he is determined to go introduce himself. At supper Mrs. Bennet is behaving very shamefully. She practically shouts over the table that she expects to have Jane and Bingley married shortly. To Lizzy’s great annoyance Darcy is sitting just across the table and can hear every word.
After supper Mary Bennet performs poorly. She has no talent for music whatsoever but will not stop performing until her father tells her to. At the end of the ball the Bennet family is that last to leave. Lizzy feels very ashamed because they are clearly overstaying their welcome and she doesn’t want to give Miss Bingley nor Darcy any more reason for gossiping about her. Mrs. Bennet urges Bingley to accept an invitation for a family dinner as soon as he’s back from his business in London.
Mr. Collins proposes to Lizzy and he’s very long-winded in his question. He also makes it far too obvious that he expects Lizzy to say yes. But Lizzy refuses. Mr. Collins, however, does not take that as a rejection but rather as an encouragement. He believes Lizzy to be shy and modest, according to the customs. And so he asks her again. Again Lizzy refuses. Then Mr. Collins sets off on a very long-winded and rather rude explanation that this marriage will do them both good and that it is very unlikely that Lizzy will ever get another proposal of a sort. Lizzy still refuses, and consideres the possibility of calling upon her father to tell mr Collins that she really does refuse so he can’t take it for another female custom. Finally Collins get’s it-he’s been refused.
Mrs. Bennet, still under the assumption that Lizzy and Collins are now engaged, hurries off to Collins to congratulate him. When Collins tells her that Lizzy has refused him, she is furious. She tries to make Mr. Bennet force Lizzy to marry Collins, by telling him that she will never speak to Lizzy if she doesn’t marry Collins. Mr. Bennet replies to Lizzy that she is unfortunately forced to choose between one of her parents. For Mrs. Bennet will never speak to her again is she doesn’t marry and Mr. Bennet will never speak to her again if she does.
The choice is easy.
Collins takes back his offer of marriage, he respects Lizzy he says, but a marriage to her would not work at all. She is not suited to be a preacher’s wife.
Collins is still rather astonished by Lizzy’s refusal but makes is quite clear that he does not intend to leave earlier then he had planned. Lizzy and her sisters walk to Merryton; they are anxious to know whether Wickham is back. He is back. He walks all the girls home and stays for dinner. While they’re having dinner a message arrives for Jane. It is from Miss Bingley saying that they have left Netherfield for good. She also mentions that Bingley is interested in Darcy’s younger sister. Jane’s feelings are very much hurt, but she is unwilling to believe that Miss Bingley intended to hurt her. Lizzy, on the contrary, is not so good-hearted. She believes Miss Bingley has noticed that her brother likes Jane very much and has taken him off to persuade him otherwise. For Jane this points out that Bingley never really loved her, for Lizzy this point out that Bingley in fact does love Jane.
The Bennets have dinner with the Lucas family. Charlotte is nice to Collins which Lizzy appreciates because it takes his attention off her for a while. In fact, Charlotte is so nice to him that he comes back the next day and proposes to her. Charlotte accepts, but she insists that she will be the one to tell the Bennets because she doesn’t want Lizzy to hear about it from anyone else. She comes after breakfast. Lizzy is shocked that Charlotte would want to marry such a ridiculous man. But for Charlotte he is her salvation, she has been offered a safe and comfortable home and wishes for nothing more than that, knowing well that she may never get another proposal.
Lizzy feels their friendship has been changed by Charlotte’s decision, but tries to be happy for Charlotte none the less.
Mr. Lucas comes to Longbourn to tell the Bennets about Charlotte’s engagement. Mrs. Bennet is furious. She had intended for one of her daughters to marry Collins so that the estate would not be lost. Now that Charlotte is going to marry Collins she will be the future mistress of the estate. Mrs. Bennet is furious at Charlotte, at Mr. Collins, at Lizzy for refusing him and finally at all the Lucases. She is convinced that they are all part of big conspiracy to make her life miserable.
Lizzy and Charlotte are not so close anymore. Instead Lizzy grows closer to Jane. She notices that Jane is very sad about Bingley. It’s been a week since he left and they haven’t heard or seen any of him since. Lizzy is worried that Miss Bingley and a sister might have found way to keep Bingley away from Jane and make him marry Darcy’s sister. Lizzy understands why Miss Bingley would want such a marriage. Once her brother and Darcy’s sister are married.
Another letter arrives from Miss Bingley to say that they are not coming back to Netherfield and that her brother and Miss Darcy grow closer every day. Jane is devastated. Lizzy is furious. She believes that Bingley is being manipulated by his two sisters. Jane believes that they are pushing him to marry Miss Darcy because it is the best choice for his happiness.
Mrs. Bennet's constant talk about Bingley is not helping either, she keeps wondering what is keeping him so long. Once it is clear that Darcy and Bingley are not coming back to Netherfield, Wickham tells everyone who want to hear what a terrible man Darcy is.
Within very short time, Darcy is the most hated man in and around the village. But that didn’t take much, because the villagers didn’t have a high opinion of him anyway because he is proud and a snob. Wickham is very much liked in the village and he visits Longbourn often, to great pleasure of Lizzy.
Lizzy’s aunt and uncle come to visit for Christmas. Their aunt invites Jane to come with them to London. Jane accepts. Although she says it is not the reason for her departure, Lizzy knows that she hopes to see Bingley. But Lizzy is sure that she won’t because either Darcy or Bingley’s sisters will prevent it.
Mrs. Gardiner meets Wickham. They start talking about Pemberly. Wickham tells her how very ill Darcy has treated him. She believes every word, because she remembers that, when she still lived in Derbyshire (close to Pemberly), she heard that Darcy was a very selfish, spoiled and proud man.
Lizzy is warned by her aunt not to get too romantically involved with Wickham, for she declares that would be very unpractical since neither Lizzy nor Wickham have any money. Lizzy listens with surprise and assures her aunt that, although she likes Wickham, she is not in love with the man. But she promises to take some distance anyway just in case.
Charlotte and Collins marry. Charlotte makes Lizzy promise that she will come visit her when her father and sister do so. Lizzy agrees.
The gardeners leave for London, taking Jane with them. Some time later a letter arrives from Jane, telling that she has paid a quick visit to Miss Bingley, and expects to have a return visit very soon. However it takes another six weeks before Miss Bingley shows up.
Jane is very disappointed in her, and has to admit that Lizzy was right all along.
Mrs. Gardiner also writes to ask about Wickham. And Lizzy answers that he has gone off to chase some girl who will inherit a large amount of money. Lizzy is not sorry that Wickham leaves and she knows that she never really loved him.
Lizzy, Sir William and his daughter set off to visit Charlotte in Hunsford. But the journey is long and they stay at the Gardiner’s overnight. Jane is very happy to see her sister again but Lizzy notices that Jane is still down. She has a talk about this with her aunt Mrs. Gardiner, she asks Lizzy again about Wickham and Lizzy answers that he’s again chasing some rich girl.
Mrs. Gardiner is not very pleased to hear this as she thought very highly of Wickham. Elizabeth expresses her disappointment, and to ease that disappointment mrs. Gardiner invites Lizzy to go with them on vacation the next summer. Lizzy happily accepts.
Chapter twenty eight
Lizzy leaves London with Sir William and his daughter as they continue their journey to Hunsford. Although Lizzy had expected that her friendship with Charlotte was completely changed she finds that is not the case. Collins is also around to point out every little detail of his parish. This annoys Lizzy because she feels that he is doing it to point out everything that she missed out on when she refused to marry him.
Mr. Collins is very exited because they have been invited by Miss de Bourgh to have dinner at Rosings. Lizzy sees Miss de Bourgh through the window and remembers that Wickham told her that she and Darcy where practically engaged. When Lizzy sees what a sickly and unhappy looking lady Miss de Bourgh is, she feels that this is exactly what Darcy deserves and that they’ll fit well together.
Lizzy, Charlotte, Collins, Sir William (charlotte’s father) and Maria (Charlotte’s sister) set off towards Rosings to have dinner. Collins is very pleased with this opportunity to show off. He brags about every window and carpet and knows the exact price of all of it.
Lady Catherine de Bourgh turns out to be exactly as Wickham had described her. She’s dominant and proud and has an opinion on everything, even on Lizzy’s education. She is amazed to find that Lizzy was brought up without a governess and that all her sisters where already introduced in society.
Lizzy is enjoying the time she spends with Charlotte. Lady de Bourgh keeps visiting the parish frequently and makes suggestions about the household to Charlotte. Lady de Bourgh always seems to know it all so much better then anyone else. Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam come to visit at Rosings for Easter. They come to visit the parish together.
Colonel Fitzwilliam is very nice and Lizzy likes him immediately, but Darcy is still the unpleasant silent man that he was in Hertfordshire. Still, he and Lizzy talk and Lizzy mentions that Jane is in London, asking whether he has seen her there by any chance. Darcy replies that he hasn’t-he doesn’t understand what Lizzy implied by the question.
At Easter Sunday the parish is invited to dinner at Rosings again. At dinner Lizzy has a great time with Colonel Fitzwilliam until his aunt breaks off their conversation. Lizzy is now forced to speak to her and Darcy. Colonel Fitzwilliam talks Lizzy into performing for him.
While she is playing Darcy comes to listen. He and Lizzy end up in a conversation.
Not much later Colonel Fitzwilliam comes to join them. At his request Lizzy tells about the behaviour of Darcy at the Hertfordshire balls. This makes Darcy feel embarrassed about himself, which was probably Lizzy’s intention. Darcy leaves Lizzy to play and returns to the company of his aunt and niece. While Lizzy is watching them she notices that Darcy and Miss de Bourgh are not so close as Wickham said they were.
Lizzy is sitting by herself in the dinning parlour at Charlotte’s, when Darcy comes in. She is just as surprised to see him as he is to see her sitting there by herself. There’s an awkward silence while they try to find something to talk about. Lizzy tries to get him to talk about why they all left Netherfield in such a hurry, but Darcy slithers out of answering that. He leaves soon afterwards. Just as Charlotte and Maria return. Charlotte suspects that Darcy might like Lizzy but she isn’t sure because Darcy always seems to be behaving very oddly around her.
Lizzy goes for a walk around Rosings park. She is very surprised to bump into Darcy during this walk. She meets him quite often at the same path the following days, and each time he walks her back to the parsonage. A letter from Jane arrives and Lizzy can tell by reading it that Jane is still rather depressed about Bingley. On another walk she bumps into Colonel Fitzwilliam who reveals that Darcy had indeed persuaded Bingley to go away from Jane because it was an unwise mach. This confirmed all Lizzy’s assumptions and by the evening she feels so badly that she decides to stay behind while everyone else sets off for Rosings to have dinner.
Lizzy is reading all of Jane’s letters over and over again when suddenly Darcy rushes in. She’s rather surprised to see him here, and even more surprised to hear him say that he had come because he was worried about her health. What he says after that absolutely stuns Lizzy. He says that he loves her, despite her lack of fortune and connections. He says he’s tried to ignore the feelings but that he can no longer do so. Lizzy is at first flattered to have an offer of marriage from such a man but when she sees that he actually assumes that she will accept she becomes furious and gives him a piece of her mind. She tells him about her dislike for him from the first moment they met, about he part he has played in separating Jane from the person she loved and also about Wickham’s misfortune for who no one but he could be blamed.
Darcy listens to it all, and does not deny any of her accusations as he is to stunned that Lizzy has refused him. They have an argument. That ends when Lizzy tells him ‘had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner’. This makes a very deep impact on Mr. Darcy although they both don’t know that yet at the moment.
When Lizzy wakes up that morning she is still very upset and she decides to go for a walk. During the walk she bumps into Mr. Darcy who gives her a letter asking her to read it. Lizzy reads the letter. It is Darcy’s reply to the accusations she has laid against him. Such as the separation of Jane and Bingley and the misfortunes of Wickham.
He states his reasons for separating Jane and Bingley were that he believed Jane to be indifferent and of course a connection with her and her family was not at all in Bingley’s best interest. He finds his behaviour acceptable because it was in the service of a friend.
What he finds less acceptable is that he tried to hide from Binlgey that Jane was in town, but again he’s not sorry for he’s just trying to protect his friend.
As for Wickham, Darcy writes that that when his father died the will recommended that Darcy give Wickham a parish at Pemberly or help him in some other way to find a suitable position in life. But Wickham had other plans. He demanded the money for the purpose of studying law. Darcy gave it to him and thought that would be the end of it. But not long after Wickham had gone to London to study, he wrote to Darcy saying that he had changed his mind and needed more money. But Darcy knew that Wickham wasn’t using the money to study and denied any demand for more. Seeing that his plan would not work, Wickham then seduced Darcy’s younger sister. He persuaded her to elope with him.
But Miss Darcy told her brother about this and he put an end to their plans. The whole affair was kept a secret to protect Miss Darcy. Darcy says that if Lizzy does not believe this story since she hears it from his hand, she can check it with Colonel Fitzwilliam for he and Darcy are both guardians of Miss Darcy. Wickham is chased off and Darcy doesn’t hear or see anything of him until they again in Merryton.
Lizzy still doesn’t know what to think of the letter. At first she doesn’t want to believe Darcy’s side of the story. But when she thinks about it she has to admit that what he says makes sense. She believed Wickham because she liked him, but in their acquaintance she had never seen him do anything good or selfless that would prove his good character. She believed it because she wanted to believe it, just like she doesn’t believe Darcy because he wasn’t nice to her. As for Jane, Lizzy remembers what Charlotte once said about her, that she should more encourage Bingley or he would believe her indifferent. Lizzy had not wanted to believe that, but when she now comes to think of it, she realizes that to anyone who doesn’t know Jane so well, her shy and modest ways could be seen as indifference.
When Lizzy returns to the parsonage she hears that Colonel Fitzwilliam as well as Darcy have come by to say goodbye. They are leaving the following morning.
After Darcy and Fitzwilliam have left they are again invited to dine at Rosings, where Lady de Bourgh tries to bully Lizzy into staying longer. But Lizzy stands her ground and insists that she should return home next week. When Lizzy is alone she reflects on the letter that Darcy wrote and her own embarrassment about her accusations and her family’s bad manners. She notices that her opinion of Darcy is changing. She now thinks of him with respect and feels shameful about her own behaviour towards since she has met him.
Lizzy and Maria leave for London. They will visit the Gardiners. Elizabeth can't wait to get home to Longbourn with Jane so she can see how her sister is really doing. Lizzy isn’t really sure how much of Darcy’s proposal and letter she can reveal to Jane. She’s afraid that if she reveals everything she will hurt Jane’s feelings with regard to Bingley. She can also not tell about the whole affair with Miss Darcy because her own integrity forbids it.
Lydia and Kitty are awaiting Jane and Lizzy when the return home. The two youngest sisters are full of stories about the regiment and about Wickham, apparently he has lost his interest in the ugly rich girl. They also have the sad news that the regiment is leaving for Brighton. Lizzy is glad to hear this because she then no longer has to worry about Lydia or Kitty getting themselves in some sort of trouble. But she is not happy to hear that they are making plans for a vacation near Brighton. Lizzy’s rather worried that her father will allow them to go, and if he does, shame will surely be brought on the family by either Lydia or Kitty or both.
Lizzy confesses to Jane about Darcy’s proposal and about his connection to Wickham. She does not mention Bingley however. Jane is shocked to hear about it all, and she feels sorry for Darcy because Lizzy must have disappointed him when she refused him.
Lizzy feels much better now that she has talked with Jane about it, but she is still worried about her sister’s happiness. Mrs. Bennet does not help with her opinion on the situation.
Lizzy decides that she will not reveal Wickham’s true character because the regiment is already leaving town in two weeks such as it is. In order to prove her accusation on Wickham’s behalf she would have to reveal information that she received in confidence, she will not betray that confidence.
Lydia is invited to go to Brighton with a Colonel and his young wife. Lydia and Mrs. Bennet are extremely happy, Kitty is extremely disappointed. Lizzy worries about Lydia going to Brighton because it could be dangerous. According to Lizzy, Lydia’s bound to get herself into trouble and bring shame on all of them. She talks about this with her father, pleads with him not to let Lydia go. But despite her efforts he allows Lydia to leave with the colonel and his wife.
At a farewell party the night before Lydia and the soldiers leave Wickham talks with Elizabeth. She mentions seeing Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam. She also tells him that meeting Darcy frequently gave her a different view of him. It made her understand his character better and she likes him better each time they meet. This scares Wickham off, which was exactly what Lizzy had intended it to do.
Lizzy’s getting annoyed sitting around the house and she looks forward to her vacation with her aunt and uncle. She’s very disappointed to hear that the trip must be postponed and shortened because otherwise her uncle will be unable to come with them. Instead of going to the Lake District they will only go as far as Derbyshire. Lizzy worries about running into Darcy if they go there because his home Pemberly is in Derbyshire. But when she rationalizes this she realizes that the odds of running into him are very small and she’s excited again.
The vacation is wonderful until her aunt and uncle propose to go to Pemberly. Lizzy can’t tell them that she doesn’t want to go without telling them the real reason for it so she is forced to agree. But when she hears that Darcy won’t be there, she is actually excited to see the estate.
Pemberly is beautiful and Lizzy can’t help thinking that if she’d wanted to she could be the mistress of it all. They learn that according to the house-keeper Darcy is a kind, generous, good-tempered man. This warm praise makes Lizzy’s feelings for the man soften into admiration despite of her own expectations. She thinks the portraits of him make him look rather handsome, which she had never noticed before. Suddenly he doesn’t seem as repulsive to her anymore as he did when he proposed. They are surprised when Darcy interrupts their tour. Both Lizzy and he are uncomfortable but Darcy is more polite than she has ever seen him. And she wonders what caused that sudden change of manners.
As she and the Gardiners tour the grounds of Pemberley, Lizzy can't take her mind off Darcy and his unsure behaviour. She is even more surprised when Darcy comes out onto the grounds to speak with her again. Lizzy introduces her aunt and uncle to him and is surprise to see that he’s friendly to them. He invites her uncle to fish at Pemberley while he is in town, and Lizzy is happy that she has some relatives she doesn't have to be ashamed of. Lizzy is amazed when Darcy asks if he may introduce her to his sister. That was the last thing she had imagined he would do.
Such an action suggests that he still cares for her, but Lizzy can’t imagine he still does after the way she treated him. But despite this confusion she agrees to meet Miss Darcy. The Gardiners think Darcy a very nice man which doesn’t suit with the picture of him they got in Merryton. Lizzy tries to explan to them, without betraying Darcy's confidence, what really happened between Wickham and Darcy.
Lizzy spends the rest of the day wondering about Darcy’s behaviour.
Lizzy gets to meet Darcy’s sister. He bring her over not long after she’s arrived at Pemberly. Lizzy is surprised to find that Miss Darcy is extremely shy instead of proud, as she’d heard she was. Bingley also drops by to say hello and Lizzy is very pleased to hear him make some subtle inquiries to Jane. In the meanwhile the Gardiners have decided that Darcy is in love with Lizzy, but they are not sure how she feels about him. But when they are alone with Lizzy they do not press the matter. Lizzy is grateful about this because she’s trying to determine her own feelings about him. What she does know is that he must really care for her is he can still be this nice to her after the way she’s treated him.
Mr. Gardiner goes on a fishing trip the next morning and so Lizzy and her aunt decide to return miss Darcy’s visit.
Lizzy and Mrs. Gardiner visit miss Darcy. Miss Bingley is also staying at Pemberly and Lizzy is curious to see how she will treat her.
She finds that Miss Bingley watches her very carefully when she speaks with Miss Darcy. Miss Darcy speaks very little. When Darcy comes back all eyes turn towards him and Lizzy including Miss Bingley’s. She tries to embarrass Lizzy by bringing up Wickham and Lizzy’s believed affection for him. The mentioning of Wickham bothers Lizzy but not as much as it does Darcy. Soon after that Lizzy and Mrs. Gardiner leave. Immediately Miss Bingley starts making her and her family ridiculous and when Darcy comes back from walking them out she continues with more enthusiasm. But it is in vain and she knows it. She knows that Darcy loves Lizzy and will therefore never love her.
Lizzy gets two letters from Jane telling her that Lydia has eloped with Wickham. There have been several attempt to find them, all of them unsuccessful. But there’s reason to believe that they went to London. Before Lizzy has time to find her aunt and uncle and tell them the news, Darcy comes in. She tells him what has happened and that she must leave immediately.
Lizzy feels responsible for what happened because she knew what Wickham was truly like and she hadn’t informed anyone and now her whole family will be disgraced. Darcy listens in silence, which convinces Lizzy that she has lost all hope of his affections.
When the Gardiners return and hear the news they leave for Longbourn immediately.
When they reach Longbourn they find out that Mr. Bennet has already left for London in an attempt to find his daughter. Mrs. Bennet is so upset that she’s unable to leave her bed. All the Bennet sisters are upstairs with her when Lizzy comes home. The colonel who was Lydia's guardian in Brighton had heard from one of Wickham's friends that Wickham never planned to marry Lydia. Although the soldier couldn't be sure that Wickham hadn't married Lydia, it would've been a poor choice for him because Lydia had no money. The rumors of the elopement reach Meryton and it comes out that Wickham has gambling debts that he left unpaid when he left town. It looks very bad indeed.
Mr. Gardiner decides to go to London to join his brother-in-law in his search. They haven’t got any leads-nobody knows any relatives of Wickham’s. Mr. Gardiner convinces Mr. Bennet to return to Longbourn to look after his wife, and let him take care of things in London.
At home Mr. Bennet accepts the blame for Lydia's behavior because he let her go to Brighton and he didn't punish her silly behaviour. He's decided he's going to be stricter with Kitty so that she'll have some sense.
Mr. Bennet gets a letter from Mr. Gardiner the next day letting him know that Lydia and Wickham have been found and agreed to get married. Mr. Gardiner arranged to pay for Wickham’s debts and give him a small allowance every year in order to save Lydia’s reputation, which would never recover otherwise. Lizzy is glad that they are marrying but is full of contempt for Lydia’s behaviour. Mr. Bennet is angry with Lydia for putting them in such a situation because he’s now indebted to his brother-in-law and will probably never be able to pay him back properly.
Mr. Gardiner writes to tell Mr. Bennet not to think of the debt. Wickham will get a new post somewhere up North. Mr. Bennet, Jane and Lizzy are glad that they will live so far away. But Mrs. Bennet is pretty sad. Mr. Bennet is still so angry with Lydia that he refuses to let her stay at lLongbourn but Lizzy and Jane convince him to let them come. Lizzy is not very glad that they’re coming, but she knows it’s for the best.
Lydia and Wickham come to Longbourn for ten days. When Lydia describes her wedding to Lizzy, she finds out that Darcy had attended it. She won’t say anything else about him because she had promised to keep it secret. So Lizzy writes to her aunt in order to find out what Darcy was doing at her sister’s marriage to Wickham.
Mrs. Gardiner writes back quickly. She replies that Darcy was actually the one who found Lydia and Wickham and that he was also the one who made the arrangements for their marriage and paid off Wickham’s debts. Because he didn’t want anyone to know about this he asked Mr. Gardiner to take the credit for it and told Lydia to keep quiet. Darcy claimed that he felt responsible for the same reason Lizzy felt responsible. But Mr. Gardiner is determined to attribute this action to his love for Lizzy. Lizzy is sure of his affection for her, but finds a marriage unthinkable as well as for the reasons he stated as the fact that if they would, Wickham becomes his brother-in-law.
Wickham and Lydia leave.
Bingley returns to Netherfield. Three days after his arrival Bingley comes to Longbourn accompanied by Darcy. Lizzy is ashamed about the way her mother treats Darcy, to whom she owes the marriage and reputation of her youngest daughter.
Lizzy tries to figure out whether Darcy still loves her, but without success. Darcy barely looks at her, and speaks even less. Bingley however still seems to be in love with Jane.
They accept a dinner invitation to come back in a few days.
Bingley and Darcy come for dinner. Lizzy decides that Darcy’s behaviour at this dinner will be decisive. But Darcy is seated at the other side of the table with Mrs. Bennet so he and Lizzy don’t have a chance to speak to one another. After dinner Lizzy has no chance either because she has to serve the coffee. Even when Darcy comes to bring back his cup personally they only speak a few words before they are interrupted. Darcy and Bingley leave without Lizzy having a chance to really speak with Darcy. She realizes that she really cares for him a lot, but knows it impossible that he will propose again seeing that he’s such a proud man and she has treated him so awful the first time he proposed. According to Lizzy it won’t be long anymore before Jane and Bingley are engaged.
Bingley comes to longbourn several more times. Finally he proposes to Jane. They are all very happy for her.
Jane is very happy to hear that Bingley loved her already when he first left Netherfield but believed it was not mutual. Also was she glad to hear that he never knew she was in London, because if he had, he would certainly have come to visit her. Lizzy is glad to hear that Bingley doesn’t mention the part that Darcy played in all the misunderstandings because she doesn’t like Jane to think bad of Darcy.
About a week after Jane’s engagement, Lady Catherine de Bourgh shows up.
She demands to speak with Lizzy alone. She tells Lizzy that she’s heard that she and her nephew Darcy are engaged. She’s furious. She makes it very clear that Lizzy is not at all a suitable candidate for her nephew. He’s supposed to marry her daughter. When Lizzy finally admits that she and Darcy are not engaged Lady de Bourgh tries to bully her into promising that she and Darcy will never be engaged. Lizzy refuses to make such a promise and Lizzy urges her to leave.
Lizzy is worried that Lady Catherine will speak with Darcy about her visit, which will only embarrass her even more.
She has no idea where the rumour Lady Catherine was so furious about started. This bothers her greatly. She figures that it has something to do with Jane’s engagement to Bingley and with her being the sister and Darcy being the groom’s best friend there would probably be some people who fancy seeing them together too. This rumour probably reached Lady de Bourgh through the Collinses. This suspicion is confirmed when Lizzy is called into her father’s library. He’s received a letter from Collins that he finds highly amusing. Collins congratulates Lizzy with her assumed engagement to Darcy. Mr. Bennet thinks it is very funny that anyone could ever imagine a match between someone as wealthy as Darcy and Elizabeth who hates Darcy so much. Lizzy listens to it all rather silently she thinks that perhaps he's right. That her own desire to regain Darcy's affections have made her imagine that he feels the same.
Darcy and Bingley come to Longbourn for a visit a few day’s later. Darcy and Lizzy go for a walk. Lizzy uses this time to thank Darcy for everything he’s done for Lydia. He’s surprised that she knows because it was supposed to be a secret. He doesn’t want her to feel obliged to him in any way. He says he did it as much out of guilt for not revealing Wickham as he did it for her. Darcy says that he wishes to know how Lizzy feels about him and Lizzy confesses that she loves him. Apparently Lady De Bourgh repeated to Darcy part of her conversation with Lizzy. That gave him some hope. Because he knew Lizzy well enough to know that if she'd not cared for him she would have told Lady De Bourgh that at once.
Lizzy tells Jane that she’s engaged to Darcy and at first Jane doesn’t want to believe it. When she does she asks Lizzy whether she’s really in love with him because she knows that Lizzy will never be happy unless she can marry someone she loves. Lizzy is afraid of telling her parents because even Jane thought she’d lost her mind when she told her. She doesn’t really want to think of her father’s reaction and even less of her mother’s, who seems absolutely determined to hate Darcy for the rest of her life.
The next day Darcy returns to ask Mr. Bennet permission to marry his daughter. Mr. Bennet grants his permission but does warn Lizzy in private that she must be sure to respect and love him or she will never be happy in marriage. But when Lizzy tells him what he’s done for Lydia, Mr. Bennet sees that Darcy will be good to her and wishes her joy. Even Lizzy’s mother is not as annoyed as Lizzy had expected her to be. Her opinion of Darcy changes very quickly now that she’s heard he will be her rich son-in-law.
They’re all very happy for Lizzy, just as they are for Jane.
Darcy and Lizzy have a conversation about their relationship and how it came to be. Darcy writes a letter to Lady de Bourgh telling her that he’s engaged to Lizzy. Lizzy writes the same news to her aunt, Mrs. Gardiner.
In the meanwhile Jane receives a letter of congratulations from Miss Bingley, which is as insincere as her usual kind behaviour towards Jane. Jane knows it, but doesn’t think to much of it. By now all of Lonbourn and Merryton know about the engagements and Lizzy and Jane receive lots of best wishes and congratulations.
Darcy and Lizzy marry. Lizzy and Darcy will live at Pemberly. And Jane and Bingley eventually move nearby because Mrs. Bennet’s visits to Netherfield were driving them crazy. Kitty has greatly improved thanks to her sisters and although Lydia invites her to come to the North often, Mr. Bennet will never allow it. Mary stays home, to take care of her mother.
Lydia and Wickham stay the same. They ask Lizzy frequently for money and stay so long at the Bingley’s that even Bingley himself is ready to throw them out. Miss Darcy now lives at Pemberly the whole year with her brother and sister-in-law. She and Lizzy grow very close. Their connection is everything Darcy hoped for and more.
Lady de Bourgh is furious about the marriage and sends a letter that gives them a piece of her mind. Eventually Darcy, encouraged by Lizzy, forgives his aunt this. They grow very close to the Gardiners. To whom they actually thank their marriage.
“they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them."
The title of the book is Pride & Prejudice.
I think those are the characteristics of the two main characters, or at least the characteristics that they are supposed to have in the beginning and must overcome at the end. Mr. Darcy is the Pride and Elizabeth Bennet is the Prejudiced.
The story is situated in England in the 19th century. Most of the story takes place in the village of Longborn in Hertfordshire though part of it also takes place in Derbyshire, where Darcy’s estate is, as well as in the city of London and Kent.
The story is chronological. You start at the beginning of the story. Where all the characters are introduced and then you follow several characters through a year of their life.
When that year is over, the story has ended.
There are no flashbacks, although there are sometimes memories of what happened before.
Such as the main character remembering something he had said two weeks ago or two months ago etc.
The main characters are:
She’s a very headstrong young woman.
She has an own opinion on everything and is not afraid to let anyone hear it.
She has a great sense of humour, which sometimes makes her too cynical.
She’s also rather prejudiced towards rich people. And is, after a fashion, a rather proud young woman, she will not be forced into doing something she doesn’t want to do. She has a great sense of propriety and cares much for her family’s reputation.
She’s very close to her father and her sister Jane.
He is considered very proud. But in fact he’s rather shy, and because of that he doesn’t make much contact with people. Therefore people assume that he’s too proud to talk with them , while in fact he isn’t. according to some other people he’s a very nice and generous man.
Who will always be ready to help someone in need. Eventually that turns out to be his true character.
Is a good-hearted girl. She’s always determined to think the best of people.
She’s simply incapable of thinking ill of anyone. But she’s not week, she’s very strong.
She has suffered of a broken heart without showing it to anyone. She’s also very good at hiding her true feelings which, in my opinion, requires a lot of strength.
In the book she’s described almost as some sort of angel.
So pure and good and on top of that very beautiful.
Is sort of the male form of Jane.
He’s also very good-hearted. Has very easy manners, is very polite and pleasant.
He is not good at hiding his feelings, he’s more the sort or person that is incapable of hiding what he feels. Also he’s sometimes a bit insecure, therefore he can be easily persuaded by his sisters or his friends.
These are also rather important characters although they’re not the main characters:
Miss Bingley: the sister of Charles Bingley, a very unpleasant woman, who is used to having what she wants. Very proud and very manipulative.
Mr. Bennet:. Lizzy’s father. A man who’s very intelligent although he chooses not to show that. He sometimes thinks to easily of things that he should give more consideration.
Mrs. Bennet: Lizzy’s mother. A rather silly woman with little sense of propriety. She is very lively and has a good heart. But is sometimes too fast at forming her opinion, which is therefore always based on rumours. She loves rumours
Lydia Bennet: Lizzy’s youngest sister. She’s very stubborn. And rather spoiled. She has no sense of propriety, and cares very little about other people’s opinion. She has the same lively spirit as her mother, and also loves gossiping. She has a thing for officers.
George Wickham : an officer of the militia. He appears to be a very pleasant man, he’s got great manners. He has an easy manner. In fact he is a selfish, licentious man who cares about no one but himself.
Mr. Collins: the nephew. He’s a silly man. Who thinks too highly of himself.
He is always very longwinded in conversation. He’s polite but it always seems a bit artificial.
he doesn’t only flatter others, he also likes flattering himself.
There are several other characters but it would be to confusing to name them all.
There is a character development, and it is one of the most important things in the story.
The character development is related to Darcy and Lizzy. Elizabeth is at first a rather cynical woman, who thinks she has seen it all.
That is until she meets Mr. Darcy who forces her to review every judgement that she’d given so fast every time. It’s like she’s frozen and at the end she’s thawed out. She’s more open to other people’s opinion and is not so sure of her own judgement anymore.
Darcy is very proud and a snob until he meets Lizzy. He falls in love with her. which forces him to adjust his view of society, because he’s always considered himself superior in almost everyway. Lizzy is not having that, however. And when they have an argument and she tells him ‘’had you behaved in a more gentleman like manner…” this makes a great impact on him. It makes him look back on his previous behaviour with shame. His manners soften and he becomes a more pleasant man.
After a fashion I think the two complete each other. They bring out the best in each other.
The main theme is definitely love and I think the sub theme might be society, because the book gives such a complete view of society in that time period.
There are several social problems discussed as well, such as the elopement. At that time that was one of the worst things a young woman could do. The book makes that very clear. It also makes clear what could happen to a family if this elopement does not end with a marriage. On other thing that is discussed could be the problems that the lower ranks of society have, like the Bennet family. They are not of noble birth but they do belong to the upper class, but because they have little money the nobility doesn’t really take them seriously. I’m pretty sure that it actually happened as it is described here. Also the continual search for a rich husband or wife is very typical I think, for that time and especially for the poorer nobility.
I really liked the book. I had heard from several people that it was boring and longwinded. But I don’t agree. I found it very nice. I liked the story. It is a love story, but you keep wondering whether they will be together at the end, although it’s quite obvious that they will be. The book gives a very detailed description of the life in England in the 19th century. The book is actually written in that time too, I think the description is therefore quite accurate.
It’s very nice, you just sort of go back in time. I also liked the characters very much. They seemed so real, that they were almost like real persons. I especially liked Mrs. Bennet, I could just imagine what kind of woman she would be. I think if she were my mother she’d drive me crazy but I really liked her. I also liked the cynical reactions of Mr. Bennet when Mrs. Bennet said something silly. What I liked very much also was that all the characters, accept for Jane, had some sort of flaw, which made them more human.
I didn’t spend that much time reading I don’t really know exactly. But I had read the book quite fast. I think I might have spend more time making the summary then I did reading.