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Pride and Prejudice  
Author Jane Austen
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Novel of manners, Satire
Publisher T. Egerton, Whitehall
Publication date 28 January 1813
Media type Print (Hardback, 3 volumes)

Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen. First published in 1813, as her second novel, she started it in 1796 as her first persevering effort for publication. She finished the original manuscript by 1797[1] in Steventon, Hampshire, where she lived with her parents and siblings in the town rectory. Austen originally called the story First Impressions, but it was never published under that title; instead, she made extensive revisions to the manuscript, then retitled and eventually published it as Pride and Prejudice.[2] In renaming the novel, Austen may have had in mind the final chapter of Fanny Burney's Cecilia, itself called "Pride and Prejudice" and where the phrase appears three times in block capitals.[3] (She may also have been concerned that the original title might be confused with other works).

The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, moral rightness, education and marriage in her aristocratic society of early 19th century England. Elizabeth is the second eldest of five daughters of a country gentleman landed in the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, not far from London.

Though the story's setting is uniquely turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of 'most loved books' and still receives considerable attention from literary critics. This modern interest has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes.

To date, the book has sold some 20 million copies worldwide.[4]


Plot summary

As the novel opens, Mr. Bingley, a wealthy young gentleman, rents a country estate near the Bennets called Netherfield. He arrives in town accompanied by his fashionable sisters and his good friend, Mr. Darcy. While Bingley is well-received in the community, Darcy begins his acquaintance with smug condescension and proud distaste for all the 'country' people. Bingley and Jane Bennet begin to grow close despite Mrs. Bennet's embarrassing interference and the opposition of Bingley's sister, who considers Jane socially inferior. Elizabeth is stung by Darcy's haughty rejection of her at a local dance and decides to match his coldness with her own wit.

At the same time Elizabeth begins a friendship with Mr. Wickham, a militia officer who relates a prior acquaintance with Darcy. Wickham tells her that he has been seriously mistreated by Darcy. Elizabeth immediately seizes upon this information as another reason to hate Darcy. Ironically, but unbeknownst to her, Darcy finds himself gradually drawn to Elizabeth.

Just as Bingley appears to be on the point of proposing marriage he quits Netherfield, leaving Jane confused and upset. Elizabeth is convinced that Bingley's sister has conspired with Darcy to separate Jane and Bingley.

Before Bingley leaves, Mr. Collins, the male relative who is to inherit Longbourn, makes a sudden appearance and stays with the Bennets. He is a recently ordained clergyman employed by the wealthy and patronizing Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Though he was partially entreated to visit by his patroness, Collins has another reason for visiting: he wishes to find a wife from among the Bennet sisters. Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth are amused by his self-important and pedantic behaviour. He immediately enters pursuit of Jane; however, when Mrs. Bennet mentions her preoccupation with Mr. Bingley, he turns to Elizabeth. He soon proposes marriage to Elizabeth, who refuses him, much to her mother's distress. Collins quickly recovers and proposes to Elizabeth's close friend, Charlotte Lucas, who immediately accepts him. Once the marriage is arranged, Charlotte asks Elizabeth to come for an extended visit.

In the spring, Elizabeth joins Charlotte and her cousin at his parish in Kent. The parish is adjacent to Rosings Park, the grand manor of Mr. Darcy's aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, where Elizabeth is frequently invited. While calling on Lady Catherine, Mr. Darcy encounters Elizabeth. She discovers from a cousin of Darcy that it was he who separated Bingley and Jane. Soon after, Darcy admits his love of Elizabeth and proposes to her. Insulted by his high-handed and insulting manner of proposing, Elizabeth refuses him. When he asks why she should refuse him, she confronts him with his sabotage of Bingley's relationship with Jane and Wickham's account of their dealings.

Deeply shaken by Elizabeth's vehemence and accusations, Darcy writes her a letter justifying his actions. The letter reveals that Wickham soon dissipated his legacy-settlement (from Darcy's father's estate), then came back to Darcy requesting permanent patronage; he became angry when rejected, accusing Darcy of cheating him. To exact revenge and to make off with part of the Darcy family fortune, he attempted to seduce Darcy's young sister Georgiana—to gain her hand and fortune, almost persuading her to elope with him—before he was found out and stopped. Towards Bingley and Jane, Darcy justifies his actions from having observed that Jane did not show any reciprocal interest in his friend; thus his aim in separating them was mainly to protect Bingley from heartache.

Darcy admits he was concerned about the disadvantageous connection with Elizabeth's family, especially her embarrassing mother and wild younger sisters. After reading the letter, Elizabeth begins to question both her family's behaviour and Wickham's credibility; she concludes that Wickham is not as trustworthy as his easy manners would indicate, he had lied to her previously, and that her early impressions of Darcy may not have been accurate. Soon after receiving the letter Elizabeth returns home.

Elizabeth tells her father that Darcy was responsible for uniting Lydia and Wickham. This is one of the two earliest illustrations of Pride and Prejudice.[5] The clothing styles reflect the time the illustration was engraved (the 1830s), not the time the novel was written or set.

Some months later, during a tour of Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth visits Pemberley, Darcy's estate. Darcy's housekeeper, an older woman who has known Darcy since childhood, presents Elizabeth and her relatives with a flattering and benevolent impression of his character. Unexpectedly, Darcy arrives at Pemberly as they tour its grounds. He makes an effort to be gracious and welcoming to them, thus strengthening Elizabeth's newly favourable impression of him. Darcy then introduces Elizabeth to his sister Georgiana. He treats her uncle and aunt very well, and finds them of a more sound character than her other relatives, whom he previously dismissed as socially inferior.

Elizabeth and Darcy's renewed acquaintance is cut short when news arrives that Elizabeth's younger sister Lydia has run away with Wickham. Initially, the Bennets believe that Wickham and Lydia have eloped, but soon it is surmised that Wickham has no plans to marry Lydia. Lydia's antics threaten the family's reputation and the Bennet sisters with social ruin. Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle hurriedly leave Derbyshire, and Elizabeth is convinced that Darcy will avoid her from now on.

Soon, thanks to the intervention of Elizabeth's uncle, Lydia and Wickham are found and married. After the marriage, Wickham and Lydia make a visit to Longbourn. While bragging to Elizabeth, Lydia comments that Darcy was present at the wedding. Surprised, Elizabeth sends an inquiry to her aunt, from whom she discovers that Darcy was responsible for both finding the couple and arranging their marriage at great expense to himself.

Soon after, Bingley and Darcy return to the area. Bingley proposes marriage to Jane, and this news starts rumors that Darcy will propose to Elizabeth. Lady Catherine travels to Longbourn with the sole aim of confronting Elizabeth and demanding that she never accept such a proposal. Elizabeth refuses to bow to Lady Catherine's demands. When news of this obstinance reaches Darcy, it convinces him that her opinion of him has changed. When he visits, he once again proposes marriage. Elizabeth accepts, and the two become engaged.

The final chapters of the book establish the future of the characters. Elizabeth and Darcy settle at Pemberley where Mr. Bennet visits often. Mrs. Bennet remains frivolous and silly, and often visits the new Mrs. Bingley and talking of the new Mrs. Darcy. Later, Jane and Bingley move from Netherfield to avoid Jane's mother and Meryton relations and to locate near the Darcys in Derbyshire. Elizabeth and Jane manage to teach Kitty greater social grace, and Mary learns to accept the difference between herself and her sisters' beauty and mixes more with the outside world. Lydia and Wickham continue to move often, leaving their debts for Jane and Elizabeth to pay off. At Pemberley, Elizabeth and Georgiana grow close, though Georgiana is surprised by Elizabeth's playful treatment of Darcy. Lady Catherine stays very angry with her nephew's marriage but over time the relationship between the two is repaired and she eventually decides to visit them. Elizabeth and Darcy also remain close with her uncle and aunt.

Main characters

  • Elizabeth Bennet is the main protagonist. The reader sees the unfolding plot and the other characters mostly from her viewpoint.[6] The second of the Bennet daughters at twenty years old, she is intelligent, lively, attractive, and witty, but with a tendency to judge on first impressions and perhaps to be a little selective of the evidence upon which she bases her judgments. As the plot begins, her closest relationships are with her father, her sister Jane, her aunt Mrs Gardiner, and her best friend Charlotte Lucas.
  • Mr. Darcy is the main male protagonist. Twenty-eight years old and unmarried, Darcy is the wealthy owner of the famous family estate of Pemberley in Derbyshire. Handsome, tall, and intelligent, but not convivial, his aloof decorum and moral rectitude are seen by many as an excessive pride and concern for social status. He makes a poor impression on strangers, such as the gentry of Meryton, but is valued by those who know him well.
  • Mr Bennet has a wife and five daughters. A bookish and intelligent gentleman somewhat withdrawn from society, and one who dislikes the frivolity of his wife and three younger daughters, he offers nothing but mockery by way of correction. Rather than trying to lead his younger daughters down a more sensible path, he is instead content to laugh at them. His relationship with his two elder daughters, Jane and Elizabeth, is much better, and he appears to love and respect them far more than he does his wife and three younger daughters.
  • Mrs Bennet is the wife of her social superior Mr Bennet, and mother of Elizabeth and her sisters. She is frivolous, excitable, and narrow-minded. She is susceptible to attacks of tremors and palpitations; her public manners and social climbing are embarrassing to Jane and Elizabeth. Her favourite daughter is the youngest, Lydia.
Lady Catherine confronts Elizabeth about Darcy, on the title page of the first illustrated edition. This is the other of the first two illustrations of the novel.
  • Jane Bennet is the eldest Bennet sister. Twenty-two years old when the novel begins, she is considered the most beautiful young lady in the neighbourhood. Her character is contrasted with Elizabeth's as sweeter, shyer, and equally sensible, but not as clever; her most notable trait is a desire to see only the good in others. Jane is closest to Elizabeth, and her character is often contrasted with that of Elizabeth.
  • Mary Bennet is the only plain Bennet sister, and rather than join in some of the family activities, she reads, although is often impatient for display. She works hard for knowledge and accomplishment, but has neither genius nor taste. At the ball at Netherfield, she embarrasses her family by singing badly.
  • Catherine "Kitty" Bennet is the fourth Bennet sister, aged seventeen. She is portrayed as a less headstrong but equally silly shadow of Lydia.
  • Lydia Bennet is the youngest Bennet sister, aged fifteen. She is repeatedly described as frivolous and headstrong. Her main activity in life is socialising, especially flirting with the military officers stationed in the nearby town of Meryton. She dominates her older sister Kitty and is supported in the family by her mother. After she elopes with Wickham and he is paid to marry her, she shows no remorse for the embarrassment that her actions caused for her family, but acts as if she has made a wonderful match of which her sisters should be jealous.
  • Charles Bingley is a young gentleman without an estate; his wealth was recent, and he is seeking a permanent home. He rents the Netherfield estate near Longbourn when the novel opens. Twenty-two years old at the start of the novel, handsome, good-natured, and wealthy, he is contrasted with his friend Darcy as being less intelligent but kinder and more charming, and hence more popular in Meryton. He lacks resolve and is easily influenced by others.
  • Caroline Bingley is the snobbish sister of Charles Bingley. Clearly harbouring romantic intentions on Darcy herself, she views his growing attachment to Elizabeth Bennet with some jealousy, resulting in disdain and frequent verbal attempts to undermine Elizabeth and her society.
  • George Wickham is an old acquaintance of Darcy from childhood, and an officer in the militia unit stationed near Meryton. Superficially charming, he rapidly forms a friendship with Elizabeth Bennet, prompting remarks upon his suitability as a potential husband. He spreads numerous tales about the wrongs Darcy has done to him, colouring the popular perception of the other man in local society; it is eventually revealed that these tales are distortions, and that Darcy was the wronged man in their acquaintance.
  • William Collins, aged twenty-five, is Mr Bennet's clergyman cousin and, as Mr Bennet has no son, heir to his estate. Austen described him as "not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society." Collins boasts of his acquaintance with — and advantageous patronage from — Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Considered pompous and lacking in common sense by Mr Bennet, Jane, and Elizabeth, the latter's rejection of Collins' marriage proposal is welcomed by her father, regardless of the financial benefit to the family of such a match. Elizabeth is later somewhat distressed — although understanding — when her closest friend, Charlotte Lucas, consents to marry Collins out of her need for a settled position and to avoid the low status and lack of autonomy of an old maid.
  • Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who has wealth and social standing, is haughty, domineering and condescending. Mr Collins, among others, enables these characteristics by deferring to her opinions and desires. Elizabeth, however, is duly respectful but not intimidated. Darcy, whilst respectful of their shared family connection, is offended by her lack of manners, especially towards Elizabeth, and later — when pressed by her demand that he not marry Elizabeth — is quick to assert his intentions to marry whom he wishes.
  • Mr Gardiner is Mrs Bennet's brother, and, although a businessman, is quite sensible and gentlemanlike. He tries to help Lydia when she elopes with Wickham. His wife has close relationships with Elizabeth and Jane. Jane stays with the Gardiners in London for a while, and Elizabeth travels with them to Derbyshire, where she again meets Darcy.


A comprehensive web showing the relationships between the main characters in Pride and Prejudice

Major themes

Many critics take the novel's title as a starting point when analysing the major themes of Pride and Prejudice; however, Robert Fox cautions against reading too much into the title since commercial factors may have played a role in its selection. "After the success of Sense and Sensibility, nothing would have seemed more natural than to bring out another novel of the same author using again the formula of antithesis and alliteration for the title. It should be pointed out that the qualities of the title are not exclusively assigned to one or the other of the protagonists; both Elizabeth and Darcy display pride and prejudice."[7]

A major theme in much of Austen's work is the importance of environment and upbringing on the development of young people's character and morality.[3] Social standing and wealth are not necessarily advantages in her world, and a further theme common to Jane Austen's work is ineffectual parents. In Pride and Prejudice, the failure of Mr and Mrs Bennet (particularly the latter) as parents is blamed for Lydia's lack of moral judgment; Darcy, on the other hand, has been taught to be principled and scrupulously honourable, but is also proud and overbearing.[3] Kitty, rescued from Lydia's bad influence and spending more time with her older sisters after they marry, is said to improve greatly in their superior society.[8]


Pride and Prejudice, like most of Jane Austen's works, employs the narrative technique of free indirect speech. This has been defined as "the free representation of a character's speech, by which one means, not words actually spoken by a character, but the words that typify the character's thoughts, or the way the character would think or speak, if she thought or spoke".[6] By using narrative which adopts the tone and vocabulary of a particular character (in this case, that of Elizabeth), Austen invites the reader to follow events from Elizabeth's viewpoint, sharing her prejudices and misapprehensions. "The learning curve, while undergone by both protagonists, is disclosed to us solely through Elizabeth's point of view and her free indirect speech is essential ... for it is through it that we remain caught, if not stuck, within Elizabeth's misprisions."[6]

Publication history

Modern paperback editions of Pride and Prejudice

The novel was originally titled First Impressions by Jane Austen, and was written between October 1796 and August 1797.[1] On 1 November 1797 Austen's father gave the draft to London bookseller Thomas Cadell in hopes of it being published, but it was rejected.[9] The unpublished manuscript was returned to Austen and it stayed with her.

Austen made significant revisions to the manuscript for First Impressions between 1811 and 1812.[1] She later renamed the story Pride and Prejudice. In renaming the novel, Austen probably had in mind the "sufferings and oppositions" summarized in the final chapter of Fanny Burney's Cecilia, called "Pride and Prejudice", where the phrase appears three times in block capitals.[3] It is possible that the novel's original title was altered to avoid confusion with other works. In the years between the completion of First Impressions and its revision into Pride and Prejudice, two other works had been published under that name: a novel by Margaret Holford and a comedy by Horace Smith.[9]

Austen sold the copyright for the novel to Thomas Egerton of Whitehall in exchange for £110 (Austen had asked for £150).[10] This proved a costly decision. Austen had published Sense and Sensibility on a commission basis, whereby she indemnified the publisher against any losses and received any profits, less costs and the publisher's commission. Unaware that Sense and Sensibility would sell out its edition, making her £140,[9] she passed the copyright to Egerton for a one-off payment, meaning that all the risk (and all the profits) would be his. Jan Fergus has calculated that Egerton subsequently made around £450 from just the first two editions of the book.[11]

Egerton published the first edition of Pride and Prejudice in three hardcover volumes in January 1813, priced at 18s.[1] Favourable reviews saw this edition sold out, with a second edition published in November that year. A third edition was published in 1817.[10]

Foreign language translations first appeared in 1813 in French; subsequent translations were published in German, Danish and Swedish.[12] Pride and Prejudice was first published in the United States in August 1832 as Elizabeth Bennet or, Pride and Prejudice.[10] The novel was also included in Richard Bentley's Standard Novel series in 1833. R. W. Chapman's scholarly edition of Pride and Prejudice, first published in 1923, has become the standard edition from which many modern publications of the novel are based.[10]


The novel was well received, with three favourable reviews in the first months following publication.[11] Jan Fergus calls it "her most popular novel, both with the public and with her family and friends",[11] and quotes David Gilson's A Bibliography of Jane Austen (Clarendon, 1982), where it is stated that Pride and Prejudice was referred to as "the fashionable novel" by Anne Isabella Milbanke, later to be the wife of Lord Byron. However, others did not agree. Charlotte Brontë wrote to noted critic and reviewer George Henry Lewes after reading a review of his published in Fraser's Magazine in 1847. He had praised Jane Austen's work and declared that he, "... would rather have written Pride and Prejudice, or Tom Jones, than any of the Waverley Novels".[13] Miss Brontë, though, found Pride and Prejudice a disappointment, "... a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but ... no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck."[13]

Modern popularity

  • In 2003 the BBC conducted the largest ever poll for the "UK's Best-Loved Book" in which Pride and Prejudice came second, behind The Lord of the Rings.[14]
  • In a 2008 survey of more than 15,000 Australian readers, Pride and Prejudice came first in a list of the 101 best books ever written.[15]


Film, television, and theatre

Pride and Prejudice has engendered numerous adaptations. Some of the notable film versions include that of 1940 starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier,[16] that of 2003 starring Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale [17] (which placed the characters of Pride and Prejudice in a Mormon university, and was directed by Andrew Black [18] and that of 2005 starring Keira Knightley (in an Oscar-nominated performance) and Matthew Macfadyen.[19] Notable television versions include two by the BBC: the 1995 version starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and a 1980 version starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul. A 1936 stage version was created by Helen Jerome played at the St. James's Theatre in London, starring Celia Johnson and Hugh Williams. First Impressions was a 1959 Broadway musical version starring Polly Bergen, Farley Granger, and Hermione Gingold.[20] In 1995, a musical concept album was written by Bernard J. Taylor, with Peter Karrie in the role of Mr Darcy and Claire Moore in the role of Elizabeth Bennet.[21] A new stage production, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, The New Musical, was presented in concert on 21 October 2008 in Rochester, New York with Colin Donnell as Darcy.[22] The popular film Bridget Jones's Diary is a contemporary retelling, starring Renee Zellweger as a modern day Elizabeth, and Colin Firth, once again, as Mr. Darcy.


The novel has inspired a number of other works that are not direct adaptations. Books inspired by Pride and Prejudice include: Mr Darcy's Daughters and The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy by Elizabeth Aston; Pemberley: Or Pride and Prejudice Continued and An Unequal Marriage: Or Pride and Prejudice Twenty Years Later by Emma Tennant; The Book of Ruth (ASIN B00262ZRBM) by Helen Baker; Precipitation - A Continuation of Miss Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Helen Baker; Pemberley Remembered by Mary Simonsen and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll. In Gwyn Cready's comedic romance novel, Seducing Mr. Darcy, the heroine lands in Pride and Prejudice by way of magic massage, has a fling with Darcy and unknowingly changes the rest of the story. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding, which started as a newspaper column before becoming a novel and a film, was inspired by the then-current BBC adaptation; both works share a Mr Darcy of serious disposition (both played by Colin Firth), a foolish match-making mother, and a detached affectionate father. The self-referential in-jokes continue with the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Bride and Prejudice, starring Aishwarya Rai, is a Bollywood adaptation of the novel, while Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy (2003) places the novel in contemporary times. The off-Broadway musical I Love You Because reverses the gender of the main roles, set in modern day New York City. The Japanese comic Hana Yori Dango by Yoko Kamio, in which the wealthy, arrogant and proud protagonist, Doumyouji Tsukasa, falls in love with a poor, lower-class girl named Makino Tsukushi, is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice. A 2008 Israeli television six-part miniseries set the story in the Galilee with Mr Darcy a well-paid worker in the high-tech industry.[23]

Pride and Prejudice has also crossed into the science fiction and horror genres. In the 1997 episode of science fiction comedy Red Dwarf entitled "Beyond a Joke", the crew of the space ship relax in a virtual reality rendition of "Pride and Prejudice Land" in "Jane Austen World". The central premise of the television miniseries Lost in Austen is a modern woman suddenly swapping lives with that of Elizabeth Bennet. In February 2009, it was announced that Elton John's Rocket Pictures production company was making a film, Pride and Predator, based on the story, but with the added twist of an alien landing in Longbourne.[24] In March 2009, Quirk Books released Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which takes Austen's actual, original work, and laces it with zombie hordes, cannibalism, ninjas, and ultra-violent mayhem.[25] Scheduled for publication in March 2010, Quirk Books has announced that it will produce a prequel which deals with Elizabeth Bennett's early days as a zombie hunter, entitled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.[26]

Yet another angle was introduced by Monica Fairview, who wrote about Miss Caroline Bingley in The Other Mr Darcy, published in October 2009.[27] Pride and Prejudice has also inspired many scholarly articles and books including: So Odd a Mixture: Along the Autism Spectrum in 'Pride and Prejudice' [28] by Phyllis Ferguson Bottomer, Forewords by Eileen Sutherland and Tony Attwood.

Marvel has also published their take on this classic, releasing a short comic series of five issues that stays true to the original storyline. The first issue was published on 1 April 2009 and was written by Nancy Hajeski.[29]

Author Amanda Grange wrote Mr Darcy's Diary in 2007 that tells the original story of Pride and Prejudice from the view of Mr Darcy. In 2009, she wrote Mr Darcy, Vampyre which reimagines Darcy as a vampire after he has married Elizabeth. Following the same premise is Regina Jeffers' "Vampire Darcy's Desire", which retells Pride and Prejudice on the basis that Darcy is a dhampir (part-human, part-vampire) joined by his lover Elizabeth to fight the evil vampire George Wickham.


  1. ^ a b c d Le Faye, Deidre (2002). Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-3285-7. 
  2. ^ The Works of Jane Austen
  3. ^ a b c d Pinion, F B (1973). A Jane Austen. Companion. Macmillan. ISBN 333-12489-8. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Janet M. Todd (2005),, Jane Austen in Context, Cambridge University Press p. 127
  6. ^ a b c Miles, Robert (2003). Jane Austen. Writers and Their Work. Northcote House. ISBN 0-7463-0876-0. 
  7. ^ Fox, Robert C. (September 1962). "Elizabeth Bennet: Prejudice or Vanity?". Nineteenth-Century Fiction (University of California Press) 17 (2): 185–187. doi:10.1525/ncl.1962.17.2.99p0134x. 
  8. ^ Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice, Ch 61. 
  9. ^ a b c Rogers, Pat (ed.) (2006). The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-82514-6. 
  10. ^ a b c d Stafford, Fiona (2004). "Notes on the Text". Pride and Prejudice. Oxford World's Classics (ed. James Kinley). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280238-0. 
  11. ^ a b c Fergus, Jan (1997). "The professional woman writer". in E Copeland and J McMaster. The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-49867-8. 
  12. ^ Valérie Cossy and Diego Saglia. "Translations". Jane Austen in Context. Ed. Janet Todd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-521-82644-6.
  13. ^ a b Southam, B. C. (ed) (1995). Jane Austen: The Critical Heritage. 1. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-13456-9. 
  14. ^ "BBC – The Big Read – Top 100 Books". May 2003. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  15. ^ "Aussie readers vote Pride and Prejudice best book". 
  16. ^ Pride and Prejudice (1940)
  17. ^ Pride and Prejudice (2003)
  18. ^ See Jennifer M. Woolston's "'It's not a put-down, Miss Bennet; it's a category': Andrew Black's Chick Lit Pride and Prejudice," Persuasions Online 28.1 (Winter 2007).
  19. ^ Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  20. ^ First Impressions the Broadway Musical
  21. ^ Pride and Prejudice (1995)
  22. ^ Pride and Prejudice: The New Musical
  23. ^ Burstein, Nathan (November 6, 2008). "Mr. Darcy's Israeli Makeover". The Forward. 
  24. ^ "Pride and Predator to give Jane Austen an extreme makeover". 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  25. ^ Grossman, Lev (April 2009). "Pride and Prejudice, Now with Zombies". TIME Magazine.,8599,1889075,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-26. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Bottomer, Phyllis Ferguson (2007). "So Odd a Mixture: Along the Autism Spectrum in 'Pride and Prejudice'". ,
  29. ^

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Pride and Prejudice (1813) is a novel written by Jane Austen.

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.


Chapters 1 - 24

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. (Ch. 1)
  • She [Mrs. Bennet] was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. (Ch. 1)
  • "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me." (Mr Darcy to Mr. Bingley about Elizabeth Bennet; Ch. 3)
  • "But I can assure you," she added, "that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs. I quite detest the man." (Mrs. Bennet to Mr. Bennet about Mr. Darcy; Ch. 3)
  • "Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life."
    "I would not wish to be hasty in censuring anyone; but I always speak what I think."
    "I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder. With your good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common enough— one meets with it everywhere. But to be candid without ostentation or design— to take the good of everybody's character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad— belongs to you alone. And so you like this man's sisters, too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his." (Elizabeth to Jane; Ch. 4)
  • "I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine." (Elizabeth about Darcy; Ch. 5)
  • "Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." (Mary; Ch. 5)
  • If a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out. (Ch. 6)
  • "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."
    "You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself." (Charlotte Lucas and Lizzy; Ch. 6)
  • Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley's attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with. (Ch. 6)
  • "Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow." (Darcy to Miss Bingley; Ch. 6)
  • A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. (Ch. 6)
  • "If my children are silly, I must hope to be always sensible of it... This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree. I had hoped that our sentiments coincided in every particular, but I must so far differ from you as to think our two youngest daughters uncommonly foolish." (Mr Bennet to his wife; Ch. 7)
  • "Nothing is more deceitful," said Darcy, "than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast." (Ch. 10)
  • "The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance." (Ch. 10)
  • "You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged." (Ch. 10)
  • "To yield readily— easily— to the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you."
    "To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either."
    "You appear to me, Mr. Darcy, to allow nothing for the influence of friendship and affection." (Ch. 10)
  • She (Elizabeth) hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great a man (Darcy). (Ch. 10)
  • Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger. (Ch. 10)
  • "I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise."
    "No," said Darcy, "I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost forever."
    "That is a failing indeed!" cried Elizabeth. "Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me."
    "There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil— a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."
    "And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody."
    "And yours," he replied with a smile, "is willfully to misunderstand them." (Ch. 11)
  • Mr. Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth—and it was soon done—done while Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fire. (Ch. 15)
  • "I had not thought Mr. Darcy so bad as this— though I have never liked him. I had not thought so very ill of him. I had supposed him to be despising his fellow-creatures in general, but did not suspect him of descending to such malicious revenge, such injustice, such inhumanity as this." (Ch. 16)
  • "Interested people have perhaps misrepresented each to the other. It is, in short, impossible for us to conjecture the causes or circumstances which may have alienated them, without actual blame on either side."
    "Very true, indeed; and now, my dear Jane, what have you got to say on behalf of the interested people who have probably been concerned in the business? Do clear them too, or we shall be obliged to think ill of somebody."
    "Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion."
    (Ch. 17)
  • "It is your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy. I talked about the dance, and you ought to make some kind of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples." (Ch. 18)
  • "Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends— whether he may be equally capable of retaining them, is less certain." (Ch. 18)
  • "Books— oh! no. I am sure we never read the same, or not with the same feelings."
    "I am sorry you think so; but if that be the case, there can at least be no want of subject. We may compare our different opinions." (Ch. 18)
  • "I remember hearing you once say, Mr. Darcy, that you hardly ever forgave, that your resentment once created was unappeasable. You are very cautious, I suppose, as to its being created." (Ch. 18)
  • "It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first." (Ch. 18)
  • "May I ask to what these questions tend?"
    "Merely to the illustration of your character," said she, endeavouring to shake off her gravity. "I am trying to make it out."
    "And what is your success?"
    She shook her head. "I do not get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly." (Ch. 18)
  • "I can readily believe," answered he gravely, "that reports may vary greatly with respect to me; and I could wish, Miss Bennet, that you were not to sketch my character at the present moment, as there is reason to fear that the performance would reflect no credit on either."
    "But if I do not take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity." (Ch. 18)
  • "I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so." (Ch. 19)
  • "Indeed, Mr. Collins, all praise of me will be unnecessary. You must give me leave to judge for myself, and pay me the compliment of believing what I say. I wish you very happy and very rich, and by refusing you hand, do all in my power to prevent your being otherwise." (Ch. 19)
  • "Really, Mr. Collins," cried Elizabeth with some warmth, "you puzzle me exceedingly. If what I have hitherto said can appear to you in the form of encouragement, I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as to convince you of its being one." (Ch. 19)
  • "I do assure you, Sir, that I have no pretension whatever to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart." (Ch. 19)
  • To such perseverance in wilful self-deception, Elizabeth would make no reply, and immediately and in silence withdrew; determined, that if he persisted in considering her repeated refusals as flattering encouragement, to apply to her father, whose negative might be uttered in such a manner as must be decisive, and whose behaviour at least could not be mistaken for the affectation and coquetry of an elegant female. (Ch. 19)
  • "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." (Mr Bennet, Ch. 20)
  • "Nobody can tell what I suffer! -- But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied." (Mrs Bennet, Ch. 20)
  • ". . . resignation is never so perfect as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimation." (Mr Collins, Chapter 20)
  • "This is not fair. You wish to think all the world respectable, and are hurt if I speak ill of anybody. I only want to think you perfect, and you set yourself against it. Do not be afraid of my running into any excess, of my encroaching on your privilege of universal good-will. You need not. There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense." (Ch. 24)
  • "My dear Lizzy, do not give way to such feelings as these. They will ruin your happiness. You do not make allowance enough for difference of situation and temper. Consider Mr. Collins's respectability, and Charlotte's steady, prudent character. Remember that she is one of a large family; that as to fortune, it is a most eligible match; and be ready to believe, for everybody's sake, that she may feel something like regard and esteem for our cousin." (Ch. 24)
  • "To oblige you, I would try to believe almost anything, but no one else could be benefited by such a belief as this; for were I persuaded that Charlotte had any regard for him, I should only think worse of her understanding than I now do of her heart. My dear Jane, Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man; you know he is, as well as I do; and you must feel, as well as I do, that the woman who married him cannot have a proper way of thinking. You shall not defend her, though it is Charlotte Lucas. You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavour to persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness." (Ch. 24)
  • "We must not be so ready to fancy ourselves intentionally injured. We must not expect a lively young man to be always so guarded and circumspect. It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us. Women fancy admiration means more than it does."
    "And men take care that they should."
    (Ch. 24)
  • Miss Bennet was the only creature who could suppose there might be any extenuating circumstances in the case, unknown to the society of Hertfordshire; her mild and steady candour always pleaded for allowances, and urged the possibility of mistakes— but by everybody else Mr. Darcy was condemned as the worst of men. (Ch. 24)

Chapters 25 - 36

  • "We do not suffer by accident. It does not often happen that the interference of friends will persuade a young man of independent fortune to think no more of a girl whom he was violently in love with only a few days before."
    "But that expression of 'violently in love' is so hackneyed, so doubtful, so indefinite, that it gives me very little idea. It is as often applied to feelings which arise from a half-hour's acquaintance, as to a real, strong attachment. Pray, how violent was Mr. Bingley's love?"
    "I never saw a more promising inclination; he was growing quite inattentive to other people, and wholly engrossed by her. Every time they met, it was more decided and remarkable. At his own ball he offended two or three young ladies, by not asking them to dance; and I spoke to him twice myself, without receiving an answer. Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?" (Ch. 25)
  • "Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?" (Ch. 27)
  • "And is this all?" cried Elizabeth. "I expected at least that the pigs were got into the garden, and here is nothing but Lady Catherine and her daughter..." (Ch. 28)
  • "I like her appearance," said Elizabeth, struck with other ideas. "She looks sickly and cross. Yes, she will do for him very well. She will make him a very proper wife." (Ch. 28)
  • "There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me."
    "I shall not say you are mistaken," he replied, "because you could not really believe me to entertain any design of alarming you; and I have had the pleasure of your acquaintance long enough to know that you find great enjoyment in occasionally professing opinions which in fact are not your own."
    Elizabeth laughed heartily at this picture of herself, and said to Colonel Fitzwilliam, "Your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me, and teach you not to believe a word I say. I am particularly unlucky in meeting with a person so able to expose my real character, in a part of the world where I had hoped to pass myself off with some degree of credit." (Ch. 31)
  • "I certainly have not the talent which some people possess," said Darcy, "of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done."
    "My fingers," said Elizabeth, "do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault- because I would not take the trouble of practising..."(Ch. 31)
  • More than once did Elizabeth, in her ramble within the park, unexpectedly meet Mr. Darcy. She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought, and, to prevent its ever happening again, took care to inform him at first that it was a favourite haunt of hers. How it could occur a second time, therefore, was very odd! Yet it did, and even a third. It seemed like wilful ill-nature, or a voluntary penance, for on these occasions it was not merely a few formal inquiries and an awkward pause and then away, but he actually thought it necessary to turn back and walk with her.
  • "It is a circumstance which Darcy could not wish to be generally known, because if it were to get round to the lady's family, it would be an unpleasant thing."
    "You may depend upon my not mentioning it."
    "And remember that I have not much reason for supposing it to be Bingley. What he told me was merely this: that he congratulated himself on having lately saved a friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage, but without mentioning names or any other particulars, and I only suspected it to be Bingley from believing him the kind of young man to get into a scrape of that sort, and from knowing them to have been together the whole of last summer."
    "Did Mr. Darcy give you reasons for this interference?"
    "I understood that there were some very strong objections against the lady."
  • "I do not see what right Mr. Darcy had to decide on the propriety of his friend's inclination, or why, upon his own judgement alone, he was to determine and direct in what manner his friend was to be happy. But," she continued, recollecting herself, "as we know none of the particulars, it is not fair to condemn him. It is not to be supposed that there was much affection in the case."
  • She was suddenly roused by the sound of the door-bell, and her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of its being Colonel Fitzwilliam himself, who had once before called late in the evening, and might now come to inquire particularly after her. But this idea was soon banished, and her spirits were very differently affected, when, to her utter amazement, she saw Mr. Darcy walk into the room. In an hurried manner he immediately began an inquiry after her health, imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better. She answered him with cold civility. He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up, walked about the room. Elizabeth was surprised, but said not a word. After a silence of several minutes, he came towards her in an agitated manner, and thus began:
    "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
  • Elizabeth's astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent. This he considered sufficient encouragement; and the avowal of all that he felt, and had long felt for her, immediately followed. He spoke well; but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed; and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority— of its being a degradation— of the family obstacles which judgement had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.
  • In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man's affection, and though her intentions did not vary for an instant, she was at first sorry for the pain he was to receive; till, roused to resentment by his subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger. She tried, however, to compose herself to answer him with patience, when he should have done. He concluded with representing to her the strength of that attachment which, in spite of all his endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand. As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favourable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security. Such a circumstance could only exasperate farther, and, when he ceased, the colour rose into her cheeks, and she said: "In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot— I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to anyone. It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The feelings which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgment of your regard, can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation."
  • He was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not open his lips till he believed himself to have attained it. The pause was to Elizabeth's feelings dreadful. At length, with a voice of forced calmness, he said: "And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance."
  • "I might as well inquire," replied she, "why with so evident a desire of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my feelings decided against you— had they been indifferent, or had they even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?"
  • "I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. No motive can excuse the unjust and ungenerous part you acted there. You dare not, you cannot deny, that you have been the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other— of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice and instability, and the other to its derision for disappointed hopes, and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind."
  • "I have no wish of denying that I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success. Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself."
  • "But it is not merely this affair," she continued, "on which my dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place my opinion of you was decided."
  • "And this," cried Darcy, as he walked with quick steps across the room, "is your opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully. My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed! But perhaps," added he, stopping in his walk, and turning towards her, "these offenses might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I, with greater policy, concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination; by reason, by reflection, by everything. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?— to congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?"
  • Elizabeth felt herself growing more angry every moment; yet she tried to the utmost to speak with composure when she said: "You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner."
    She saw him start at this, but he said nothing, and she continued: "You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it."
    Again his astonishment was obvious; and he looked at her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification. She went on: "From the very beginning— from the first moment, I may almost say— of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
  • "You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness."
  • The tumult of her mind, was now painfully great. She knew not how to support herself, and from actual weakness sat down and cried for half-an-hour. Her astonishment, as she reflected on what had passed, was increased by every review of it. That she should receive an offer of marriage from Mr. Darcy! That he should have been in love with her for so many months! So much in love as to wish to marry her in spite of all the objections which had made him prevent his friend's marrying her sister, and which must appear at least with equal force in his own case— was almost incredible! It was gratifying to have inspired unconsciously so strong an affection. But his pride, his abominable pride— his shameless avowal of what he had done with respect to Jane— his unpardonable assurance in acknowledging, though he could not justify it, and the unfeeling manner in which he had mentioned Mr. Wickham, his cruelty towards whom he had not attempted to deny, soon overcame the pity which the consideration of his attachment had for a moment excited.
  • "Be not alarmed, madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of those sentiments or renewal of those offers which were last night so disgusting to you. I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten; and the effort which the formation and the perusal of this letter must occasion, should have been spared, had not my character required it to be written and read. You must, therefore, pardon the freedom with which I demand your attention; your feelings, I know, will bestow it unwillingly, but I demand it of your justice.
    Two offenses of a very different nature, and by no means of equal magnitude, you last night laid to my charge..." (Ch. 35)

Chapters 37 - 61

  • Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations, and she soon felt that even her vanity was insufficient, when required to depend on his affection for her— for a woman who had already refused him— as able to overcome a sentiment so natural as abhorrence against relationship with Wickham. Brother-in-law of Wickham! Every kind of pride must revolt from the connection. He had, to be sure, done much. She was ashamed to think how much. But he had given a reason for his interference, which asked no extraordinary stretch of belief. It was reasonable that he should feel he had been wrong; he had liberality, and he had the means of exercising it; and though she would not place herself as his principal inducement, she could, perhaps, believe that remaining partiality for her might assist his endeavours in a cause where her peace of mind must be materially concerned. It was painful, exceedingly painful, to know that they were under obligations to a person who could never receive a return. (Ch. 52).
  • "If Mr. Darcy is neither by honour nor inclination confined to his cousin, why is not he to make another choice? And if I am that choice, why may not I accept him?"
    "Because honour, decorum, prudence, nay, interest, forbid it. Yes, Miss Bennet, interest; for do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends, if you wilfully act against the inclinations of all. You will be censured, slighted, and despised, by everyone connected with him. Your alliance will be a disgrace; your name will never even be mentioned by any of us."
    "These are heavy misfortunes," replied Elizabeth. "But the wife of Mr. Darcy must have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situation, that she could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine." (Ch. 56).
  • "Miss Bennet I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I shall not go away till you have given me the assurance I require."
    "And I certainly never shall give it. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable. Your ladyship wants Mr. Darcy to marry your daughter; but would my giving you the wished-for promise make their marriage at all more probable? Supposing him to be attached to me, would my refusing to accept his hand make him wish to bestow it on his cousin? Allow me to say, Lady Catherine, that the arguments with which you have supported this extraordinary application have been as frivolous as the application was ill-judged. You have widely mistaken my character, if you think I can be worked on by such persuasions as these. How far your nephew might approve of your interference in his affairs, I cannot tell; but you have certainly no right to concern yourself in mine. I must beg, therefore, to be importuned no farther on the subject." (Ch. 56).
  • "You are then resolved to have him?"
    "I have said no such thing. I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me."
    "It is well. You refuse, then, to oblige me. You refuse to obey the claims of duty, honour, and gratitude. You are determined to ruin him in the opinion of all his friends, and make him the contempt of the world."
    "Neither duty, nor honour, nor gratitude," replied Elizabeth, "have any possible claim on me, in the present instance. No principle of either would be violated by my marriage with Mr. Darcy. And with regard to the resentment of his family, or the indignation of the world, if the former were excited by his marrying me, it would not give me one moment's concern— and the world in general would have too much sense to join in the scorn." (Ch. 56).
  • "Mr. Darcy, you see, is the man! Now, Lizzy, I think I have surprised you. Could he, or the Lucases, have pitched on any man within the circle of our acquaintance, whose name would have given the lie more effectually to what they related? Mr. Darcy, who never looks at any woman but to see a blemish, and who probably never looked at you in his life! It is admirable!"
    Elizabeth tried to join in her father's pleasantry, but could only force one most reluctant smile. Never had his wit been directed in a manner so little agreeable to her."
  • "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"
  • "Had they fixed on any other man it would have been nothing; but his perfect indifference, and your pointed dislike, make it so delightfully absurd! Much as I abominate writing, I would not give up Mr. Collins's correspondence for any consideration."
  • "He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal" (Ch. 56)
  • Elizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried. Her father had most cruelly mortified her, by what he said of Mr. Darcy's indifference, and she could do nothing but wonder at such a want of penetration, or fear that perhaps, instead of his seeing too little, she might have fancied too much. (Ch. 57)
  • "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever." (Ch. 58)
  • Elizabeth, feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone so material a change, since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure his present assurances. The happiness which this reply produced, was such as he had probably never felt before; and he expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do. Had Elizabeth been able to encounter his eye, she might have seen how well the expression of heartfelt delight, diffused over his face, became him; but, though she could not look, she could listen, and he told her of feelings, which, in proving of what importance she was to him, made his affection every moment more valuable.
    They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.
  • "It taught me to hope," said he, "as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I knew enough of your disposition to be certain that, had you been absolutely, irrevocably decided against me, you would have acknowledged it to Lady Catherine, frankly and openly."
    Elizabeth coloured and laughed as she replied, "Yes, you know enough of my frankness to believe me capable of that. After abusing you so abominably to your face, I could have no scruple in abusing you to all your relations."
  • "We will not quarrel for the greater share of blame annexed to that evening," said Elizabeth. "The conduct of neither, if strictly examined, will be irreproachable; but since then, we have both, I hope, improved in civility."
    "I cannot be so easily reconciled to myself. The recollection of what I then said, of my conduct, my manners, my expressions during the whole of it, is now, and has been many months, inexpressibly painful to me. Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget: 'had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.' Those were your words. You know not, you can scarcely conceive, how they have tortured me;— though it was some time, I confess, before I was reasonable enough to allow their justice."
  • "You thought me then devoid of every proper feeling, I am sure you did. The turn of your countenance I shall never forget, as you said that I could not have addressed you in any possible way that would induce you to accept me."
  • "When I wrote that letter," replied Darcy, "I believed myself perfectly calm and cool, but I am since convinced that it was written in a dreadful bitterness of spirit."
    "The letter, perhaps, began in bitterness, but it did not end so. The adieu is charity itself. But think no more of the letter. The feelings of the person who wrote, and the person who received it, are now so widely different from what they were then, that every unpleasant circumstance attending it ought to be forgotten. You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."
    "I cannot give you credit for any philosophy of the kind. Your retrospections must be so totally void of reproach, that the contentment arising from them is not of philosophy, but, what is much better, of innocence. But with me, it is not so. Painful recollections will intrude which cannot, which ought not, to be repelled. I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased."
  • "My object then," replied Darcy, "was to show you, by every civility in my power, that I was not so mean as to resent the past; and I hoped to obtain your forgiveness, to lessen your ill opinion, by letting you see that your reproofs had been attended to. How soon any other wishes introduced themselves I can hardly tell, but I believe in about half an hour after I had seen you."
  • "My dearest sister, now be serious. I want to talk very seriously. Let me know every thing that I am to know, without delay. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?"
    "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley."
    Another entreaty that she would be serious, however, produced the desired effect; and she soon satisfied Jane by her solemn assurances of attachment.
  • "I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." (Mr.Darcy, Chapter 60)

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From Wikisource

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is the most famous of Jane Austen's novels, and its opening is one of the most famous lines in English literature — "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife". Its manuscript was initially called First Impressions, but was never published under that title. It was published on 28 January 1813 and, like both its predecessors Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey, it was written at Steventon Rectory.
Excerpted from Pride and Prejudice on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Simple English

Pride and Prejudice is a book by Jane Austen. It was published in 1813. It was made into a movie in 1940 and again in 2005.


Plot Summary

The story starts with Mr. Bingley, a wealthy, handsome young gentleman, who comes to town and rents a place near the Bennet family. He comes, bringing clever, quiet Mr. Darcy and his pretty, glamorous sisters with him. Jane and Mr. Bingley begin to draw close to each other, even though Mrs. Bennet and the sisters of Mr. Bingley try to cut the attraction. Mr. Bingley is loved and admired by almost every woman in the town, but Mr. Darcy is soon disliked and rejected from everybody, because of his cold stony way of talking and his mean attitude. Elizabeth Bennet, the second daughter of Mrs. Bennet, seems to despise him even more after the incident where he refused to dance with her at the ball, and plans to crush his pride with her sharp wit.

Elizabeth Bennet then grows to admire an officer named Wickham, who seems to equally despise Mr. Darcy. He tells her a sad story about how Mr. Darcy was cruel to him, which assures and confirms Elizabeth's hatred toward Mr. Darcy. Meanwhile, though, Mr. Darcy feels that he is helplessly falling in love with Elizabeth.

Bingley slowly begins to declare his proposal to Jane Bennet, when he suddenly happens to leave to Netherfield, and his quick leave makes Jane sad and confused. Elizabeth determines that it is because of his sisters.

Before Mr. Bingley leaves, though, Mr. Collins, the man who was supposed to inherit all of Longbourn, appears. The rich and pompous Lady Catherine de Bourgh had employed him to the job of a clergy man. Collins wanted to find a good wife from the daughters of Mr. Bennet, and he tries to take Jane as his wife, but after receiving the information of the relationship between her and Mr. Bingley, quickly changes his tries to Elizabeth. He proposes, too, but Elizabeth coldly rejects him (even as he tries to convince himself that she is just too embarrassed to admit that she loves him), to her mother's fury and wrath, and to her father's calm agreement. Then Collins turns his attention to Elizabeth's friend, Charlotte Lucas, and she accepts it. They marry, and Charlotte invites Elizabeth over to her house for a short visit.

Elizabeth goes to Charlotte's house at spring, and it is quite close to Rose Park, Lady Catherine de Bourgh's land. Mr. Darcy's aunt was Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and he was staying there when Elizabeth was invited to there, and they met. Elizabeth finds out that Mr. Darcy was the one who put an end to Mr. Bingley and Jane's love, and later rejects Mr. Darcy's proposal, and replies all the prejudiced thoughts she had about his cruelness toward Wickham and Jane and Mr. Bingley's relationship.

Darcy writes an explanation to Elizabeth through a letter, and Elizabeth returns home soon after, thinking of Darcy's explanations and all her misunderstandings.

A few months later, Elizabeth visits Pemberly, Darcy's land, during her tour with her Aunt and Uncle. Mr. Darcy meets them there, and is very kind and benevolent to them during their visit there, which makes Elizabeth even more drawn to him, and also to his sister Georgiana. But their relationship is again shattered by a letter from Jane, containing sad news about Lydia and Wickham's elopement. Though it was thought as an elopement, they find out that Wickham did not want to marry Lydia, but only disgrace her. Elizabeth and her Uncle and Aunt hurriedly return home, and Elizabeth thinks that now Mr. Darcy will never speak to her again.

Later, Lydia and Wickham are found and marry because of the Uncle. Later, Lydia and Wickham visit Longbourn. In the middle of being coarse to Elizabeth, Lydia talks about Mr. Darcy. Surprised, Elizabeth sends an inquiry to her Aunt, and receives information that Mr. Darcy had payed for all the wedding expenses and had found the couple!

Soon after, Bingley and Darcy comes to the place, and Bingley and Darcy each propose to their lovers, even though Lady Catherine tries to stop Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship. [1]

Main Characters

  • Elizabeth Bennet: A lively, clever, witty, and pretty lady of twenty. She is brave and quick-thinking. She is usually cheerful and likes to laugh at odd people. However, her family's vulgarity often makes her very uncomfortable and ashamed. She is not as beautiful as her sister Jane, but her eyes and eyelashes are described as "remarkably fine." Mr. Darcy, who is very critical about beauty, at first calls her "tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me..." However, he later realizes that "no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it rendered (made) uncommonly intelligent (clever) by the beautiful expression in her dark eyes." There are also many other "mortifying" discoveries, such as that her figure, though not perfect, is "light and pleasing", and her manners, though they are not fashionable, are very charming because of its "easy playfulness." She does not know that he likes her at first, and when he proposes to her, she angrily and quickly says no to him because she knew he was the person who separated her sister and Mr. Bingley, and because she thought he was a bad man who was unjust to Mr. Wickham. When she finds out her mistakes, however, and he is very polite and kind to her, she begins to change her feelings; and when he helps her sister Lydia, she falls in love with him. He proposes again, and they marry happily.
  • Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: He is very handsome, with a "fine, tall person (figure), handsome features, noble mein," and he is very, very rich, with "ten thousand a year." He is also "clever". However, everybody in Elizabeth's town soon dislike him because he is too proud and cold to be pleasing ("his manners, though well-bred, were not inviting"), and they all like the cheerful and friendly Mr. Bingley better. Elizabeth dislikes him as much as anybody, but he is attracted to her because of her prettiness and "liveliness of mind." However, he is very fastidious, and he very much dislikes Elizabeth's family because they are so vulgar (he respects and likes Jane, though, and even says she is "pretty, but she smiled too much"). He learns to bend his pride, however, at the same time as Elizabeth gets rid of her prejudice, and loyally continues to love her. He is very kind to his sister, Georgiana Darcy, and loves her.
  • Mr. Charles Bingley: a "good-looking, gentlemanlike" man. He is much friendlier than Mr. Darcy, and very cheerful. He makes friends everywhere he goes, and thinks Jane is "the most beautiful creature I ever beheld (saw)," and "he could not conceive (imagine) an angel more beautiful," and Elizabeth is "very pretty, and, I dare say, very agreeable." He is patient and very modest. He is not as clever as Mr. Darcy, but he is more "sure of being liked wherever he appeared." He is sweet-tempered and kind. Miss Bingley, his sister, says his handwriting is very careless, and that "he leaves out half his words, and blots the rest."
  • Jane Bennet: Elizabeth's sister, who eventually ends up with Mr. Darcy
  • Caroline Bingley: Mr. Bingley's snobby sister. She tries to break up Elizabeth and Darcy, as she wants Mr. Darcy for herself.


  1. Sparknotes, Pride and Prejudice

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