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Pride and Prejudice

This article is about the novel. For other uses, see Pride literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives
and Prejudice (disambiguation).
considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic
imiPride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories
tating Austens memorable characters or themes.[1]
Austen, rst published in 1813. The story follows the
main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and
marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British
1 Plot summary
Regency. Elizabeth is the second of ve daughters of a
country gentleman living near the ctional town of MeryThe novel centres on Elizabeth Bennet, the second of the
ton in Hertfordshire, near London.
ve daughters of a country gentleman. Elizabeths father,
Mr Bennet, is a bookish man, and somewhat neglectful
of his responsibilities. In contrast Elizabeths mother,
Mrs Bennet, a woman who lacks social graces, is primarily concerned with nding suitable husbands for her
ve daughters. Jane Bennet, the eldest daughter, is distinguished by her kindness and beauty; Elizabeth Bennet
shares her fathers keen wit and occasionally sarcastic outlook; Mary is not pretty, but is studious, devout and musical albeit lacking in taste; Catherine, sometimes called
Kitty, the fourth sister, follows where her younger sister
leads, while Lydia is irtatious and lacks maturity.
The narrative opens with news in the Bennet family that
Mr Bingley, a wealthy, charismatic and sociable young
bachelor, is moving into Nethereld Park in the neighbourhood. Mr Bingley is soon well received, while his
friend Mr Darcy makes a less favourable impression by
appearing proud and condescending at a ball that they attend (he detests dancing and is not one for light conversation). Mr Bingley singles out Jane for particular attention, and it soon becomes apparent that they have formed
an attachment to each other. While Jane does not alter
her conduct for him, she confesses her great happiness
only to Lizzie. By contrast, Darcy slights Elizabeth, who
overhears and jokes about it despite feeling a budding resentment.

Page 2 of a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra (11

June 1799) in which she rst mentions Pride and Prejudice, using
its working title First Impressions. (NLA)

On paying a visit to Mr Bingleys sister, Caroline, Jane is

caught in a heavy downpour, catches cold, and is forced
to stay at Nethereld for several days. Elizabeth arrives
to nurse her sister and is thrown into frequent company
with Mr Darcy, who begins to act less coldly towards her.

Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennets ve unmarried
daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his
status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their
neighbourhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking
to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has diculty
adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the
second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.

Mr Collins, a clergyman, and heir to Longbourn, the Bennet estate, pays a visit to the Bennets. Mr Bennet and
Elizabeth are much amused by his obsequious veneration
of his employer, the noble Lady Catherine de Bourgh, as
Pride and Prejudice retains a fascination for modern read- well as by his self-important and pedantic nature. It soon
ers, continuing near the top of lists of most loved books. becomes apparent that Mr Collins has come to LongIt has become one of the most popular novels in English bourn to choose a wife from among the Bennet sisters (his


Bingley and is forced to realise that Caroline doesn't care

for her.
In the spring, Elizabeth visits Charlotte and Mr Collins
in Kent. Elizabeth and her hosts are frequently invited
to Rosings Park, home of Lady Catherine de Bourgh,
Darcys aunt; coincidentally, Darcy also arrives to visit.
Elizabeth meets Darcys cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, who
vouches for Darcys loyalty, using as an example how
Darcy had recently stepped in on behalf of a friend,
who had formed an attachment to a woman against
whom there were some very strong objections. Elizabeth rightly assumes that the said friend is none other than
Mr Bingley, and her dislike of Darcy deepens. Thus she
is of no mood to accept when Darcy arrives and, quite
unexpectedly, confesses love for her and begs her hand in
marriage. His proposal is attering, he is a very distinguished man, but it is delivered in a manner ill suited to
recommend it. He talks of love but also of revulsion at
her inferior position and family. Despite assertions to the
contrary, he assumes she will accept him.

Illustration by Hugh Thomson representing Mr Collins protesting

that he never reads novels

cousins) and Jane is initially singled out, but because of

Janes budding romance with Mr Bingley, Mrs Bennet directs him toward Elizabeth. After refusing his advances,
and much to the consternation of her mother, Elizabeth
instead forms an acquaintance with Mr Wickham, a militia ocer who relates having been very seriously mistreated by Mr Darcy, despite having been a godson and
favourite of Darcys father. This accusation and her attraction to Mr Wickham increase Elizabeths dislike of
Mr Darcy.
At a ball given by Mr Bingley at Nethereld, Mr Darcy
becomes aware of a general expectation that Mr Bingley and Jane will marry, and the Bennet family, with the
exception of Jane and Elizabeth, make a public display
of poor manners and decorum. The following morning,
Mr Collins proposes marriage to Elizabeth, who refuses
him, much to her mothers distress. Mr Collins recovers
and promptly becomes engaged to Elizabeths close friend
Charlotte Lucas, a homely woman with few prospects.
Mr Bingley abruptly quits Nethereld and returns to London, devastating Jane, and Elizabeth becomes convinced
that Mr Darcy and Caroline Bingley have conspired to
separate him from Jane.
Jane is persuaded by letters from Caroline Bingley that
Mr Bingley is not in love with her, but goes on an extended visit to her aunt and uncle Gardiner in London in
the hope of maintaining her relationship with Caroline if
not with Charles Bingley. Whilst there she visits Caroline
and eventually her visit is returned. She does not see Mr

Elizabeth rebukes him, and a heated discussion follows;

she charges him with destroying her sisters and Bingleys
happiness, with treating Mr Wickham disgracefully, and
with having conducted himself towards her in an arrogant, ungentleman-like manner. Mr Darcy, shocked, ultimately responds with a letter giving a good account of his
actions: Wickham had exchanged his legacies for a cash
payment, only to return after frittering away the money
to reclaim the forfeited inheritance; he then attempted to
elope with Darcys young sister Georgiana, which would
have secured her fortune for himself. Regarding Jane and
Bingley, Darcy claims he had observed no reciprocal interest in Jane for Bingley, and had assumed that she was
not in love with him. In addition to this, he cites the want
of propriety in the behaviour of Mr and Mrs Bennet and
her three younger daughters. Elizabeth, who had previously despaired over this very behavior, is forced to admit
the truth of Mr Darcys observations, and begins to see
that she has misjudged him. She quite rightly attributes
her prejudice to his coldness towards herself at the beginning of their acquaintance.
Some months later, Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle Gardiner visit Pemberley, Darcys estate, believing he will be
absent for the day. He returns unexpectedly, and though
surprised, he is gracious and welcoming, quite unlike his
usual self. He treats the Gardiners with great civility, surprising Elizabeth who assumes he will decamp immediately on learning who they are. Darcy introduces Elizabeth to his sister, which Elizabeth knows is the highest
compliment he can bestow, and Elizabeth begins to acknowledge her attraction to him. Their re-acquaintance
is cut short, however, by the news that Lydia has eloped
with Mr Wickham. Elizabeth and the Gardiners return
to Longbourn (the Bennet family home), where Elizabeth
grieves that her renewed acquaintance with Mr Darcy will
end as a result of her sisters disgrace.

Longbourn. She has heard a rumour that Elizabeth will
marry Mr Darcy and attempts to persuade Elizabeth to
agree not to marry. Lady Catherine wants Mr Darcy to
marry her daughter (his cousin) Anne De Bourgh and
thinks Elizabeth is beneath him. Elizabeth refuses her
demands. Disgusted, Lady Catherine leaves, promising
that the marriage can never take place. Elizabeth assumes
she will apply to Darcy and is worried that he may be persuaded.
Darcy returns to Longbourn. Chance allows Elizabeth
and Darcy a rare moment alone. She immediately thanks
him for intervening in the case of Lydia and Wickham.
He renews his proposal of marriage and is promptly accepted. Elizabeth soon learns that his hopes were revived
by his aunts report of Elizabeths refusal to promise not
to marry him.
The novel closes with a happily-ever-after chapter including a summary of the remaining lives of the main
characters. None of the characters change very much in
this summary, but Kitty has grown slightly more sensible from association with Jane and Elizabeth and distance
from Lydia, and Lady Catherine eventually condescends
to visit the Darcys.

2 Main characters

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.[2] The clothing styles reect the time the
illustration was engraved (the 1830s), not the time the novel was
written or set.

Lydia and Wickham are soon found and are persuaded to

marry, thus enabling the Bennet family to preserve some
appearance of decorum. Jane, Elizabeth, and Mr Bennet
conclude that Uncle Gardiner must have bribed Wickham
to marry Lydia, and they are ashamed of their indebtedness and inability to repay him.
Mrs Bennet, quite typically, has no such scruples and is
ecstatic to have a daughter married, never stopping to
consider the want of propriety and honesty throughout
the aair. Mr and Mrs Wickham visit Longbourn, where
Lydia lets slip that Mr Darcy was in attendance at their
wedding but that this was to have been a secret. Elizabeth
is able to discover by letter from her aunt Mrs Gardiner,
that in fact Mr Darcy was responsible for nding the couple and negotiating their marriage, at great personal and
monetary expense. Elizabeth is shocked and attered as
her heart did whisper that he had done it for her but is
unable to dwell further on the topic due to Mr Bingleys
return and subsequent proposal to Jane, who immediately

Elizabeth and Mr Darcy by Hugh Thomson, 1894

2.1 Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet The reader sees the unfolding plot and

the other characters mostly from her viewpoint. The secLady Catherine de Bourgh pays an unexpected visit to ond of the Bennet daughters, she is twenty years old and


is intelligent, lively, playful, attractive, and wittybut

with a tendency to judge on rst impression (the prejudice of the title) and perhaps to be a little selective
of the evidence on 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. As the story progresses, so
does her relationship with Mr Darcy. The course of Elizabeth and Darcys relationship is ultimately decided when
Darcy overcomes his pride, and Elizabeth overcomes her
prejudice, leading them both to surrender to their love for
each other.


2.4 Mrs Bennet

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, and she imagines herself
susceptible to attacks of tremors and palpitations when
she is displeased. Her public manners and social climbing are embarrassing to Jane and Elizabeth. Her favourite
daughter is the youngest, Lydia, who reminds her of
herself when younger, though she values the beauty of
the eldest, Jane. Her main ambition in life is to marry
her daughters to wealthy men; whether or not any such
matches will give her daughters happiness is of little concern to her.

Mr Darcy

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy is the male protagonist of the

novel and is twenty eight years old. He is the wealthy
owner of the renowned family estate of Pemberley in
Derbyshire, and is rumoured to be worth at least 10,000
a year. This is equivalent to anywhere from around
200,000 a year to around 10 million a year in 2014,
depending on the method of calculation,[3] but such an
income would have put him among the 400 wealthiest
families in the country at the time.[4] Handsome, tall, and
intelligent, Darcy lacks the social ease that comes so naturally to his friend Bingley. Others frequently mistake his
aloof decorum and rectitude as further proof of excessive pride (he is the pride of the title). While he makes
a poor impression on strangers, such as the landed gentry
of Meryton, Darcy is greatly valued by those who know
him well.
As the novel progresses, Darcy and Elizabeth are repeatedly forced into each others company, resulting in each
altering their feelings for the other through better acquaintance and changes in environment. At the end of
the work, both overcome their dierences and rst impressions to fall in love with each other.[5]


Mr Bennet

Mr Bennet is the patriarch of the Bennet family, a gentleman of modest income with ve unmarried daughters.
Mr Bennet has an ironic, cynical sense of humour that
irritates his wife. Though he loves his daughters (Elizabeth in particular), he often fails as a parent, preferring
to withdraw from the never-ending marriage concerns of
the women around him rather than oer help. In fact, he
often enjoys laughing at the sillier members of his family, partially the reason many have fatal faults, as he has
not taken pains to amend them. Although he possesses
inherited property, it is entailedthat is, it can only pass
to male heirsso his daughters will be on their own upon
his death.

Lady Catherine confronts Elizabeth about Darcy, on the title page

of the rst illustrated edition. This is the other of the rst two
illustrations of the novel.

2.5 Jane Bennet

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 Elizabeths as sweeter, shyer,


Catherine Bennet

being silly by Mr Bennet. Mary is not very intelligent
but thinks of herself as being wise. When Mr Collins
is refused by Elizabeth, Mrs Bennet hopes Mary may be
prevailed upon to accept him and we are led to believe
that Mary has some hopes in this direction but neither of
them know that he is already engaged to Charlotte Lucas
by this time. Mary does not appear often in the novel.

2.7 Catherine Bennet

Catherine, or Kitty, Bennet is the fourth daughter at
17 years old. She is the shadow of Lydia, although older
than she, she follows in her pursuits of the 'Ocers of
the regiment. She appears but little, although she is often portrayed as envious of Lydia and also a 'silly' young
woman. However, it is said that she has improved by the
end of the novel.

2.8 Lydia Bennet

In a letter to Cassandra dated May 1813, Jane Austen describes

a picture she saw at a gallery which was a good likeness of Mrs.
Bingley - Jane Bennet. Deirdre Le Faye in The World of Her
Novels suggests that Portrait of Mrs. Q-" is the picture Austen
was referring to. (pp.201-203)

and equally sensible, but not as clever; her most notable trait is a desire to see only the good in others.
As Anna Quindlen wrote, Jane is sugar to Elizabeths
lemonade.[6] Jane is closest to Elizabeth, and her character is often contrasted with that of Elizabeth. She is
favoured by her mother because of her beauty.

Lydia Bennet is the youngest Bennet sister, aged 15

when the novel begins. She is frivolous and headstrong.
Her main activity in life is socializing, especially irting
with the ocers of the militia. This leads to her elopement with George Wickham, although he has no intention
of marrying her. She dominates her older sister Kitty and
is supported in the family by her mother. Lydia shows no
regard for the moral code of her society, and no remorse
for the disgrace she causes her family.

2.9 Charles Bingley

Charles Bingley is a handsome, good-natured, and
wealthy young gentleman of 23, who rents Nethereld
Park near Longbourn. He is contrasted with his friend Mr
Darcy as being more kind and more charming and having more generally pleasing manners, although not quite
so clever. He lacks resolve and is easily inuenced by others. His two sisters, Caroline Bingley and Louisa Hurst,
both disapprove of Bingleys growing aection for Jane

She falls in love with Mr Bingley, a rich man who has

recently moved to Hertfordshire, and a close friend of
Mr Darcy. Their love is initially thwarted by Mr Darcy
and Caroline Bingley, who are concerned by Janes low
connections and have other plans for Bingley. Mr Darcy,
aided by Elizabeth, eventually sees the error in his ways
and is instrumental in bringing Jane and Bingley back to- 2.10 Caroline Bingley
Caroline Bingley is the snobbish sister of Charles Bingley, with a dowry of twenty thousand pounds. Miss Bin2.6 Mary Bennet
gley harbours romantic intentions for Mr Darcy, and she
is jealous of his growing attachment to Elizabeth and is
Mary Bennet is the only plain (not pretty) Bennet sis- disdainful and rude to her. She attempts to dissuade Mr
ter, and rather than join in some of the family activities, Darcy from liking Elizabeth by ridiculing the Bennet famshe mostly reads and plays music, although she is often ily in Darcys presence, as she realises that this is the main
impatient to display her accomplishments and is rather aspect of Elizabeth with which she can nd fault. She
vain about them. She works hard for knowledge and ac- also attempts to convey her own superiority over Elizacomplishment, but she has neither genius nor taste. Like beth, by being notably more polite and complimentary
her two younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia, she is seen as towards Darcy throughout. She often compliments his


younger sister, Georgiana - suspecting that he will agree

with what she says about her. Miss Bingley also disapproves of her brothers esteem for Jane Bennet, and it is
acknowledged later that she, with Darcy, attempts to separate the couple. She sends Jane letters describing her
brothers growing love for Georgiana Darcy, in attempt
to convince Jane of Bingleys indierence towards her.
When Jane goes to London she ignores her for a period
of four weeks, despite Janes frequent invitations for her
to call upon her. When she eventually does, she is rude
and cold, and is unapologetic for her failure to respond
to Janes letters. Jane, who is always determined not to
nd fault with anybody, is forced to admit that she had
been deceived in thinking she had a genuine friendship
with Caroline Bingley, the realisation of which she relays
to Elizabeth in a letter.

2.11 George Wickham

George Wickham has been acquainted with Mr Darcy
since childhood, being the son of Mr Darcys fathers
steward. An ocer in the militia, he is supercially
charming and rapidly forms an attachment with Elizabeth Bennet. He spreads tales about the wrongs Mr Darcy
has done him, adding to the local societys prejudice, but
eventually he is found to have been the wrongdoer himself. He elopes with Lydia, with no intention of marrying
her, which would have resulted in her complete disgrace, Lady Catherine and Elizabeth by C. E. Brock, 1895
but for Darcys intervention to bribe Wickham to marry

2.14 Aunt and Uncle Gardiner

2.12 William Collins
William Collins, aged 25, is Mr Bennets clergyman
cousin and heir to his estate. He is not a sensible
man, and the deciency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society. Mr Collins is obsequious,
pompous, and lacking in common sense. Elizabeths rejection of Mr Collinss marriage proposal is welcomed by
her father, regardless of the nancial benet to the family of such a match. Mr Collins then marries Elizabeths
friend, Charlotte Lucas.

2.13 Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who possesses wealth and
social standing, is haughty, pompous, domineering, and
condescending, although her manner is seen by some as
entirely proper and even admirable. Mr Collins, for example, is shown to admire these characteristics by deferring to her opinions and desires. Elizabeth, by contrast,
is duly respectful but not intimidated. Lady Catherines
nephew, Mr Darcy, is oended by her lack of manners,
especially towards Elizabeth, and he later courts her disapproval by marrying Elizabeth in spite of her numerous

Aunt and Uncle Gardiner: Edward Gardiner is Mrs

Bennets brother and a successful businessman of sensible
and gentlemanly character. Aunt Gardiner is close to her
nieces Elizabeth and Jane. Jane stays with the Gardiners
in London for a period, and Elizabeth travels with them to
Derbyshire, where she again meets Mr Darcy. The Gardiners are quick in their perception of an attachment between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, and judge him without
prejudice. They are both actively involved in helping Mr
Darcy arrange the marriage between Lydia and Mr Wickham.

2.15 Georgiana Darcy

Georgiana Darcy is Mr Darcys quiet, amiable, and shy
younger sister, aged 16 when the story begins. When 15,
Miss Darcy almost eloped with Mr Wickham, who sought
her thirty thousand pound dowry. Miss Darcy is introduced to Elizabeth at Pemberley and is later delighted at
the prospect of becoming her sister-in-law. Georgiana is
extremely timid and gets embarrassed fairly easily. She
idolises her brother Mr Darcy (Fitzwilliam Darcy), and
the two share an extremely close sibling bond, much like
Jane and Elizabeth. She is extremely talented at the pi-

ano, singing, playing the harp, and drawing. She is also
very modest.

2.16 Charlotte Lucas

Charlotte Lucas is Elizabeths friend who, at 27 years
old, fears becoming a burden to her family and therefore
agrees to marry Mr Collins, whom she does not love, to
gain nancial security. Though the novel stresses the importance of love and understanding in marriage (as seen
in the anticipated success of ElizabethDarcy relationship), Austen never seems to condemn Charlottes decision to marry for money. Austen uses Lucas as the common voice of early 19th Century societys views on relationships and marriage.

2.17 Interrelationships

A comprehensive web showing the relationships between the main

characters in Pride and Prejudice

2.18 Family trees

3 Major themes
Many critics take the novels 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 because 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] The title is very likely taken from a passage
in Fanny Burney's popular 1782 novel Cecilia, a novel
Austen is known to have admired:[8]
The whole of this unfortunate business,
said Dr. Lyster, has been the result of PRIDE
and PREJUDICE. ... Yet this, however,
remember: if to PRIDE and PREJUDICE you
owe your miseries, so wonderfully is good and
evil balanced, that to PRIDE and PREJUDICE
you will also owe their termination ...[8][9]
(Capitalization as in the original.)

A major theme in much of Austens work is the importance of environment and upbringing on the development of young peoples character and morality.[10] Social
standing and wealth are not necessarily advantages in her
world, and a further theme common to Austens work is
ineectual parents. In Pride and Prejudice, the failure of
Mr and Mrs Bennet as parents is blamed for Lydias lack
of moral judgment; Darcy, on the other hand, has been
taught to be principled and scrupulously honourable, but
he is also proud and overbearing.[10] Kitty, rescued from
Lydias bad inuence and spending more time with her
older sisters after they marry, is said to improve greatly
in their superior society.[11]
Pride and Prejudice is also about that thing
that all great novels consider, the search for
self. And it is the rst great novel that teaches
us this search is as surely undertaken in the
drawing room making small talk as in the
pursuit of a great white whale or the public
punishment of adultery.[12]

3.1 Marriage

Family relations in Pride and Prejudice

The opening line of the novel announces: It is a truth

universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.[13]
This sets the marriage motif of the novel. It turns out that
rather than the man being in want of a wife, the woman

is in want of a husband who is in possession of good fortune. Charlotte Lucas, Lydia Bennet, Jane Bennet and
Elizabeth Bennet get married to men who are suciently
appropriate for each of them. Marriage becomes an economic rather than social activity. In the case of Charlotte,
the seeming success of the marriage lies in the comfortable economy of their household. The relationship of Mr
and Mrs Bennet serves to illustrate all that a marriage relationship should not be. Elizabeth and Darcy marry each
other on equal terms after breaking each others 'pride'
and 'prejudice' and Austen clearly leaves the reader with
the impression that the two will be the happiest.


3.4 Self knowledge

Elizabeth and Darcy were not born a great match. It is

through their interactions and their critiques of each other
that they recognize their faults and work to correct them.
Elizabeth meditates on her own mistakes thoroughly in
chapter 36: How despicably have I acted!" she cried;
I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who
have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratied
my vanity in useless or blameable distrust. How humiliating is this discovery! yet, how just a humiliation! Had
I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly
blind. But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased
with the preference of one, and oended by the neglect
3.2 Wealth
of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance,
I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven
Money plays a key role in the marriage market, not only reason away, where either were concerned. Till this mofor the young ladies seeking a well-o husband, but also ment I never knew myself.
for men who wish to marry a woman of means. Two examples are George Wickham, who tried to elope with
Georgiana Darcy, and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Marrying a 4 Style
woman of a rich family also ensured a linkage to a high
family as is visible in the desires of Bingleys sisters to
Pride and Prejudice, like most of Austens works, employs
have their brother married to Georgiana Darcy.
the narrative technique of free indirect speech. This has
Inheritance was governed by laws of entailment. When been dened as the free representation of a characters
there was no heir to the estate, the family had to entail speech, by which one means, not words actually spoken
its fortune to a distant cousin. In the case of the Ben- by a character, but the words that typify the characters
net family, Mr Collins was to inherit and his proposal to thoughts, or the way the character would think or speak,
Elizabeth would have allowed her to have a share. Never- if she thought or spoke.[16] By using narrative that adopts
theless, she refused his oer. Inheritance laws beneted the tone and vocabulary of a particular character (in this
males because most women did not have independent le- case, that of Elizabeth), Austen invites the reader to folgal rights until the second half of the 19th century. As a low events from Elizabeths viewpoint, sharing her prejuconsequence, womens nancial security at the time the dices and misapprehensions. The learning curve, while
novel is set depended on men. For the upper middle and undergone by both protagonists, is disclosed to us solely
aristocratic classes, marriage to a man with a reliable in- through Elizabeths point of view and her free indirect
come was almost the only route to security for the woman speech is essential ... for it is through it that we remain
and her future children.[14]
caught, if not stuck, within Elizabeths misprisions.[16]



Much of the pride and prejudice in the novel exists because of class divisions. Darcys rst impressions on Elizabeth are coloured by his snobbery. He cannot bring himself to love Elizabeth or at least acknowledge his love
for her even in his own heart because of his pride. His
rst proposal clearly reects this attitude: In vain have
I 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. [15] Also, Elizabeth quickly believes Wickhams account of Darcy because of her prejudice against him. Lady Catherine and the Bingley sisters
belong to the snobbish category. Mr Bingley shows complete disregard to class. Because Mr Bingleys fortune
comes from trade, it would actually be a benet socially
to marry a gentlemans daughter, such as Jane.

5 Publication history
Austen began writing the novel after staying at
Goodnestone Park in Kent with her brother Edward and his wife in 1796.[17] The novel was originally
titled First Impressions by Jane Austen, and was written
between October 1796 and August 1797.[18] On 1
November 1797 Austens father sent a letter to London
bookseller Thomas Cadell to ask if he had any interest
in seeing the manuscript, but the oer was declined by
return of post.[19]
Austen made signicant revisions to the manuscript for
First Impressions between 1811 and 1812.[18] As nothing remains of the original manuscript, we are reduced
to conjecture. From the large number of letters in the
nal novel, it is assumed that First Impressions was an
epistolary novel.[20] She later renamed the story Pride and

Favourable reviews saw this edition sold out, with a second edition published in November that year. A third
edition was published in 1817.[21]
Foreign language translations rst appeared in 1813 in
French; subsequent translations were published in German, Danish, and Swedish.[24] Pride and Prejudice was
rst published in the United States in August 1832 as Elizabeth Bennet or, Pride and Prejudice.[21] The novel was
also included in Richard Bentley's Standard Novel series
in 1833. R. W. Chapmans scholarly edition of Pride and
Prejudice, rst published in 1923, has become the standard edition from which many modern publications of the
novel are based.[21]

6 Reception
You could not shock her more than she shocks me,
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous eects of 'brass,
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.
W.H.Auden (1937) on Austen[25]
The novel was well received, with three favourable reviews in the rst months following publication.[22] Anne
Title page of a 1907 edition illustrated by C. E. Brock
Isabella Milbanke, later to be the wife of Lord Byron,
called it the fashionable novel.[22] Noted critic and rePrejudice. In renaming the novel, Austen probably had in viewer George Henry Lewes declared that he would
or Tom Jones,
mind the suerings and oppositions summarised in the rather have written Pride and Prejudice,
nal chapter of Fanny Burney's Cecilia, called Pride and
Prejudice, where the phrase appears three times in block Charlotte Bront, however, in a letter to Lewes, wrote that
capitals.[10] It is possible that the novels original title was Pride and Prejudice was a disappointment, a carefully
altered to avoid confusion with other works. In the years fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and
between the completion of First Impressions and its revi- delicate owers; but ... no open country, no fresh air, no
sion into Pride and Prejudice, two other works had been blue hill, no bonny beck.[25]
published under that name: a novel by Margaret Holford
and a comedy by Horace Smith.[19]
Austen sold the copyright for the novel to Thomas 6.1 Modern popularity
Egerton of Whitehall in exchange for 110 (Austen had
asked for 150).[21] This proved a costly decision. Austen
In 2003 the BBC conducted the largest ever poll
had published Sense and Sensibility on a commission bafor the "UKs Best-Loved Book" in which Pride
sis, whereby she indemnied the publisher against any
and Prejudice came second, behind The Lord of the
losses and received any prots, less costs and the pubRings.[26]
lishers commission. Unaware that Sense and Sensibility would sell out its edition, making her 140,[19] she
In a 2008 survey of more than 15,000 Australian
passed the copyright to Egerton for a one-o payment,
readers, Pride and Prejudice came rst in a list of
meaning that all the risk (and all the prots) would be
the 101 best books ever written.[27]
his. Jan Fergus has calculated that Egerton subsequently
made around 450 from just the rst two editions of the
The 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice on 28
January 2013 was celebrated around the globe by
Egerton published the rst edition of Pride and Prejumedia networks such as The Hungton Post, The
dice in three hardcover volumes on 27 January 1813.[23] It
New York Times, and The Daily Telegraph, among
was advertised in the Morning Chronicle, priced at 18s.[18]



Film, television, and theatre


What Would Mr. Darcy Do, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The

Last Man in the World, and others. Her modern adaptation, The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice, is set on
Cape Cod.[40]

See also: Jane Austen in popular culture Pride and Helen Fieldings 1996 novel Bridget Joness Diary was
also based on Pride and Prejudice and spawned a feature
lm of the same name that was released in 2001.
Pride and Prejudice has engendered numerous adaptations. Some of the notable lm versions include that
of 1940 starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier[35]
(based in part on Helen Jeromes 1936 stage adaptation),
and that of 2005 starring Keira Knightley (an Oscarnominated performance) and Matthew Macfadyen.[36]
Notable television versions include two by the BBC: the
popular 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. Jamess 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.[37] In
1995, a musical concept album was written by Bernard J.
Taylor, with Claire Moore in the role of Elizabeth Bennet
and Peter Karrie in the role of Mr Darcy.[38] A new stage
production, Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice, The New
Musical, was presented in concert on 21 October 2008 in
Rochester, New York, with Colin Donnell as Darcy.[39]



In March 2009, Quirk Books released Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which takes Austens actual, original
work, and mashes it up with zombie hordes, cannibalism,
ninjas, and ultra-violent mayhem.[41] In March 2010,
Quirk Books published a prequel that deals with Elizabeth
Bennets early days as a zombie hunter, entitled Pride and
Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.[42]
In 2011, author Mitzi Szereto expanded on the novel in
Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, a historical sex parody
that parallels the original plot and writing style of Jane
Marvel has also published their take on this classic, releasing a short comic series of ve issues that stays true
to the original storyline. The rst issue was published on
1 April 2009 and was written by Nancy Hajeski.[43] This
was published as a graphic novel in 2010 with artwork by
Hugo Petrus.
Pamela Aidan is the author of a trilogy of books telling
the story of Pride and Prejudice from Mr Darcys point of
view entitled Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman. The books
are An Assembly Such as This,[44] Duty and Desire[45] and
These Three Remain.[46]

Detective novel author P.D. James has written a book tiMain article: List of literary adaptations of Pride and tled Death Comes to Pemberley, which is a murder mysPrejudice
tery set six years after Elizabeth and Darcys marriage.[47]
The novel has inspired a number of other works that are
not direct adaptations. Books inspired by Pride and Prejudice include: Mr. Darcys Daughters and The Exploits
and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy by Elizabeth Aston; Darcys Story (a best seller) and Dialogue with Darcy
by Janet Aylmer; Pemberley: Or Pride and Prejudice Continued and An Unequal Marriage: Or Pride and Prejudice
Twenty Years Later by Emma Tennant; The Book of Ruth
by Helen Baker (author); Jane Austen Ruined My Life and
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo; Precipitation
A Continuation of Miss Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice by Helen Baker (author); Searching for Pemberley
by Mary Simonsen and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and its
sequel Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberly
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 ing with Darcy and unknowingly
changes the rest of the story.
Abigail Reynolds is the author of 7 Regency-set variations
on Pride and Prejudice. Her Pemberley Variations series
includes Mr. Darcys Obsession, To Conquer Mr. Darcy,

Sandra Lerner's sequel to Pride and Prejudice entitled

Second Impressions developed the story and imagined
what might have happened to the original novels characters. It was written in the style of Austen after extensive
research into the period and language and published in
2011 under the pen name of Ava Farmer.[48]
Jo Bakers 2013 novel Longbourn imagines the lives of
the servants of Pride and Prejudice.[49]

8 See also
9 References
[1] 7
May 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
[2] Janet M. Todd (2005),, Jane Austen
in Context, Cambridge University Press p. 127
[3] Tim Worstall (31 August 2014). Using Mr Darcys Income To Disprove Thomas Piketty. Forbes.


[4] Austen, Jane (1996). Pride and Prejudice, Penguin Classics, note 2 to Chapter 3

[23] Anniversaries of 2013. Daily Telegraph. 28 December


[5] Austen, Jane, and Carol Howard. Pride and Prejudice.

New York: Barnes & Noble Classics Collection, 2003.

[24] Valrie Cossy and Diego Saglia. Translations. Jane

Austen in Context. Ed. Janet Todd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-521-82644-6

[6] Quindlen, Anna (1995). Introduction. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library. p. viii. ISBN 0-67960168-6.
[7] Fox, Robert C. (September 1962). Elizabeth Bennet: Prejudice or Vanity?". Nineteenth-Century Fiction
(University of California Press) 17 (2): 185187. JSTOR
[8] Dexter, Gary (10 August 2008). The Telegraph, How
Pride And Prejudice got its name. The Daily Telegraph.
Retrieved 27 April 2015.
[9] Fanny Burney (1782). Cecilia: Or, Memoirs of an Heiress.
T. Payne and son and T. Cadell. pp. 379380.
[10] Pinion, F B (1973). A Jane Austen. Companion. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-12489-8.
[11] Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice, Ch 61.
[12] Quindlen, Anna (1995). Introduction. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library. p. vii. ISBN 0-67960168-6.
[13] Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice, Ch 1.
[14] Chung, Ching-Yi (July 2013). Gender and class oppression in Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice. IRWLE 9 (2).
[15] Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice, Ch 34.
[16] Miles, Robert (2003). Jane Austen. Writers and Their
Work. Tavistock: Northcote House in association with
the British Council. ISBN 0-7463-0876-0.
[17] History of Goodnestone. Goodnestone Park Gardens.
Retrieved 26 August 2010.

[25] Southam, B. C. (ed) (1995). Jane Austen: The Critical

Heritage 1. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-41513456-9.
[26] BBC The Big Read Top 100 Books. May 2003.
Retrieved 12 May 2008.
[27] Aussie readers vote Pride and Prejudice best book.
[28] 200th Anniversary Of 'Pride And Prejudice': A HuPost
Books Austenganza. The Hungton Post.
[29] Schuessler, Jennifer (January 28, 2013). Austen Fans to
Celebrate 200 Years of 'Pride and Prejudice'". New York
Times. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
[30] Video: Jane Austen celebrated on 200th anniversary
of Pride and Prejudice publication - Telegraph. 28 January 2013.
[31] ABC News. "'Pride and Prejudice' 200th Anniversary.
ABC News.
[32] Queensbridge Publishing: Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Edition by Jane Austen.
[33] TED Talks to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pride
and Prejudice - TED Blog. TED Blog.
[34] Rothman, Lily. Happy 200th Birthday, Pride & Prejudiceand Happy Sundance, Too: The writer/director of
the Sundance hit 'Austenland' talks to TIME about why
we still love Mr. Darcy centuries years later. Time. Retrieved February 7, 2015.

[18] Le Faye, Deidre (2002). Jane Austen: The World of Her

Novels. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-81093285-7.

[35] Pride and Prejudice (1940) at the Internet Movie Database

[19] 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.

[37] "''First Impressions' the Broadway Musical. 6 November 2008.
Retrieved 27 January 2012.

[20] This theory is defended by Character and Caricature in

Jane Austen by DW Harding in Critical Essays on Jane
Austen (BC Southam Edition, London 1968) and Brian
Southam in Southam, B.C. (2001). Jane Austens literary
manuscripts : a study of the novelists development through
the surviving papers (New ed.). London: the Athlone press
/ Continuum. pp. 5859. ISBN 9780826490704.

[38] "''Pride and Prejudice'' (1995)". Retrieved 27 January 2012.

[21] Staord, Fiona (2004). Notes on the Text. Pride and

Prejudice. Oxford Worlds Classics (ed. James Kinley).
Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280238-0.

[41] Grossman, Lev (April 2009). Pride and Prejudice, Now

with Zombies. TIME Magazine. Retrieved 26 April

[22] Fergus, Jan (1997). The professional woman writer. In

E Copeland and J McMaster. The Cambridge Companion
to Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52149867-8.

[42] Retrieved 27

January 2012.

[36] Pride and Prejudice (2005) at the Internet Movie Database

[39] PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the Musical.

[40] Abigail Reynolds Author Page. Retrieved 27 July 2012.

[43] Retrieved 27 January 2012.



[44] Aidan, Pamela. An Assembly Such as This. ISBN 978-07432-9134-7.

[45] Aidan, Pamela. Duty and Desire. ISBN 978-0-97285291-3.
[46] Aidan, Pamela. These Three Remain. ISBN 978-0-74329137-8.
[47] Hislop, Victoria. Death Comes to Pemberley: Baroness P. D. James: 9780571283576:
Books. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
[48] Farmer, Ava (2011). Second Impressions. Chawton,
Hampshire, England: Chawton House Press. ISBN
[49] Baker, Jo. Longbourn.''. Alfred A. Knopf (October 8, 2013). Retrieved 16 July 2014.


External links

Digital resources relating to Jane Austen from the

British Librarys Discovering Literature website

Pride and Prejudice (Chapman edition) at Project

Pride and Prejudice, page-by-page text.
Annotated HTML hypertext of Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Read Online,
Flash Version from LibriPass
Pride and Prejudice public domain audiobook at
1945 Theatre Guild on the Air radio adaptation at
Internet Archive




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A Novel
Jane Austen
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Cumming, Dublin, Bell & Bradfute, Edinburgh
Galignani, Paris
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A Novel
Jane Austen


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(Successor to H. Colburn)
Cumming, Dublin, Bell & Bradfute, Edinburgh
Galignani, Paris
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