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Summary of Pride and Prejudice

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters are the principal residents of Longbourn. Mr Bingley, a wealthy young gentleman, rents an estate in the neighborhood. He arrives in town with his fashionable sisters, Caroline and Louisa, and his friend, Mr Darcy. While Bingley is well-liked in the community, Darcy looks down on the country people and is in turn, disliked by all. Bingley and Jane begin to grow close despite Mrs Bennet's embarrassing interference and the opposition of Bingley's sisters, who believe Jane to be 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.

A militia regiment is posted in nearby Meryton. Elizabeth becomes friendly with an officer, Mr Wickham. Wickham tells her that he has been mistreated by Darcy. Elizabeth immediately seizes upon this information as another, more concrete reason to hate Darcy. Unbeknown to her, Darcy finds himself gradually drawn to Elizabeth.

Just as Bingley appears to be on the point of proposing marriage, he leaves Netherfield, which leaves Jane confused and upset. Elizabeth is convinced that Bingley's sisters have conspired with Darcy to separate Jane and Bingley.

Mr Collins, the Bennets’ cousin who is to inherit Longbourn, arrives. He is a recently ordained clergyman employed by the wealthy and patronizing Lady Catherine de Bourgh. He wishes to find a wife from among the Bennet sisters. 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 immediately makes another proposal and marries Elizabeth's close friend, Charlotte Lucas, who invites Elizabeth to stay with them.

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 and after several further meetings, he 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 cheated him and in order to exact revenge and acquire part of Darcy's fortune, he attempted to seduce Darcy's young sister Georgiana, almost persuading her to elope with him. Darcy also justifies his actions towards Bingley and Jane by explaining that as Jane did not visibly show any reciprocal interest in his friend. Darcy also admits he was concerned about the potential disadvantageous association with Elizabeth's embarrassing mother and wild younger sisters. As a result of the letter, Elizabeth is prompted to question both her family's behaviour and Wickham's credibility, and comes to the conclusion that Wickham is not as trustworthy as his easy manners would indicate and her early impressions of Darcy may not have been accurate. Soon after receiving the letter Elizabeth returns home.

Some months later, during a tour of Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth visits Pemberley, Darcy's estate. Darcy's housekeepers, an old lady that 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 is impressed by her uncle and aunt and treats them very well.

Elizabeth and Darcy's renewed acquaintance is cut short when news arrives that Elizabeth's younger sister Lydia has run away with Wickham. This threatens 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. Lady Catherine hears rumors that Darcy will propose to Elizabeth, and so 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.

Elizabeth and Darcy marry and settle at Pemberley where Mr Bennet visits often. Jane and Bingley move from Netherfield to locate near the Darcys in Derbyshire. Elizabeth and Jane manage to teach Kitty greater social grace. Lydia and Wickham continue to move often, and approach Jane and Elizabeth for money. At Pemberley, Elizabeth and Georgiana grow close. Elizabeth and Darcy also remain close with the Gardiners who were instrumental in bringing them together.

page | by Dr. Radut