Pride and Prejudice Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Pride and Prejudice

    The book begins as the main character Elizabeth Bennet and her family have just heard of the arrival of a very rich man named Charles Bingley. The Bennet family is completely made up of girls the oldest being Jane, then Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and then Lydia. Because there are no men in the family, after the father passes away his entire estate passes on to their cousin Mr. Collins. Mrs. Bennet is very aware that if her husband was ever to pass that her and her daughters would be left homeless, so she has taken it upon herself to get her daughters not only married, but married to more wealthy men, even though they are in the lower ranks of society. So upon hearing Charles Bingley was coming Hertfordshire where they lived, Mrs. Bennet insists her daughters are introduced. Along with Mr. Bingley came his sisters Caroline and Luisa, Luisa's husband Mr. Hurst and Mr. Bingley's friend Fitzwilliam Darcy.
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      The Bennet girls and Mr. Bingley were introduced at a dance and right away Mr. Bingley took a liking to Jane. His sister invites her to dine with her soon after the dance and Jane goes. Her mother tells her she must walk to their house and on her way there is begins to rain. Jane gets very sick and Elizabeth goes to stay with her until she gets better. While she is there Mr. Darcy begins to like Elizabeth although Elizabeth detests him. When Jane regains her health they return home only to find that Mr Collins has come for a visit hoping to find one of the daughters to marry so that the estate could stay in the family. At first he pursues Jane until Mrs. Bennet informs him she is soon to be engaged to Mr. Bingley. He then swtiches his interests to Elizabeth, Elizabeth however has absolutely no interest in Mr. Collins. He asks her to marry him and she rejects him, which results in a big fuss coming from her mother as well as his proposing to her good friend Charlotte Lucas who accepts.
    Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet fall in love, but Mr. Darcy who is thought by many to be a very proud man decides he must tear them apart, because he does not believe that Jane is really in love with him and that she only wants his money. So the whole company leaves Hertfordshire and Jane is heartbroken. Jane goes to her aunt and uncle who live in London where Mr. Bingley has gone hoping that he will come to see her, but Mr. Darcy kept her presence there a secret. While Jane is in London Elizabeth has been invited by Charlotte to visit her and Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins is always talking about his patron Lady Catherine De Bourgh and Elizabeth finally gets to meat her. During her visit, Mr. Darcy also shows up at Lady de Bourgh's, he is the her nephew and she wishes Darcy to marry her daughter, however that is not in Darcy's plan, for he proposes to Elizabeth. She is disgusted by the proposal because he is proud, separated her sister and Mr. Bingley and had ruined the happiness of her friend Mr. Wickam back home who claims that Mr. Darcy had cheated him out of a fortune left to him by Mr. Darcy's father. Mr. Darcy leaves dejected and sad, but returns later with a letter explaining his reasons for all he has done, his suspicions of Jane only using Mr. Bingley for money, as well as explaining that all that Mr. Wickham has told her was a lie that he had given him his inheritance and he had swindled it away. Elizabeth feels a little bad about how harsh she was to Mr. Darcy, but still does not want to marry him.
    Elizabeth returns home and leaves on trip to tour the lakes with her aunt and uncle. On the trip they decide to go tour Pemberley which is where Mr. Darcy lives. At first she says no, but upon being reassured that he is not at home she agrees. They go on the tour and Mr. Darcy returns unexpectedly. This brings about many other meetings between the two during their trip. Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle receive a letter from Elizabeth's family saying that her sister Lydia has run off with Mr. Wickham whom the family had trusted, but after the letter Elizabeth received from Mr. Darcy she now knows otherwise and fears that Mr. Wickham does not plan to marry Lydia at all, but only wants to take advantage of her. Elizabeth informs Mr. Darcy of the circumstances and immediately returns home. Her father and uncle leave in search of Lydia, and return with the news that Lydia is married. Although Mr. Darcy had sworn Wickham and Lydia to secrecy that he was the one who had paid Wickham's debts so that he would marry Lydia the secret was spilled to Elizabeth and her feelings towards him begin to change drastically.
    News comes that Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are again in town, and they pay the Bennets a visit. Mr. Bingley proposes to Jane and she accepts. Elizabeth realizes that she loves Mr. Darcy and while they are on a walk one evening the subject comes up again and they decide to get married. Mr. Darcy speaks with Mr. Bennet and he agrees to the marriage. So the story ends happily with Lydia marrying Mr. Wickham, Jane marrying Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth Marrying Mr. Darcy.

The review of this Book prepared by Alyssa Jenkins

Taking place in the early 1800's is a romantic comedy about the pride of a man and the prejudice of a woman. In a time where the only way for a woman to become wealthy, or increase her social status is by marrying, there is a family of Bennets. When a young and wealthy Mr. Bingly purchases an estate near the Bennets home, it is only a matter of time until Jane (the oldest Bennet), and the amiable object fall in love. Mr. Darcy, however, (Mr. Bingly's good friend who is staying with him at the time) does not approve of the match, and with his many other disqualifies, Darcy unwillingly persuades the town of his conceited foulness. Elizabeth Bennet, the second oldest Bennet, has thus forth sworn to loath him for all of eternity. Through a chain of events, Darcy becomes captivated by Elizabeth, and without the satisfaction of her love, does everything in his power to win her over. But when the youngest Bennet, Lydia, elopes with a sneaky foe (who had fooled them all into thinking he was a friend), some things change.
The review of this Book prepared by Hannah

Elizabeth Bennet is the intelligent and witty daughter of a country gentleman. Mr. Darcy is a wealthy landowner. Darcy's pride regarding his status in society and Elizabeth's prejudice against Darcy's arrogant behavior keep these two apart. At the close of the novel, Darcy finally shows his true generous nature and Elizabeth discards her prejudice in favor of his love.
The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer Wood

Jane and Elizabeth Bennett go to a neighbourhood ball and whereas Jane dances all night with Mr Bingley and falls in love, Elizabeth has the misfortune to be only "tolerable" in the eyes of his friend Mr Darcy. She overhears this remark and decides there and then he is the most odious and disagreeable man she has ever met! Fortune at first doesn't favour either of the girls in this spirited tale of love and rejection, but how each of them gets what they eventually want is skillfully unfolded by this superb story-teller.

Jane Austen takes us through the lives and loves of Jane, Elizabeth and their wider family and friends in this most sparkling of her novels. Often derided as "only seeing the small picture" she shines at portraying the stifling minutiae of early 19th century life in the Home Counties of England, with all the hustle and bustle small town life.
The review of this Book prepared by Mary Heywood (nee Stewart!)

Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bennet is forced to deal with a mother whose only goal is life is to marry off all of her daughters. Lizzy meets Mr. Darcy, a wealthy, yet arrogant man. They hate each other at first, but then Darcy realizes that he's madly in love with her! In addition, Lizzy's sensible older sister, Jane is in love with Mr. Bingley, whose family is against the relationship. As for the younger sisters, Mary only cares about books, while Kitty and Lydia chase after every man they see.

This is an excellent romance, and it also offers social commentaries on marriage, upper class society, and the church.
The review of this Book prepared by Katie Becker

Elizabeth Bennett meets richer, snobby Mr. Darcy, whom she hates almost immediatly. She learns things from some other aquaintances about Mr. Darcy which make her dislike him even more. However, she soon learns that she may have been misled about him. She begins to feel that first impressions may not always be right.
The review of this Book prepared by Brittney Anglin

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins Jane Austen's most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice. And, of course, a single woman in search of a good fortune must equally be in want of a husband who has one!
The difficulty for the Bennet sisters -- lovely, sweet-tempered Jane; beautiful, headstrong, intelligent Elizabeth (Lizzie); plain, bookish Mary; Kitty, who slavishly follows the lead of the youngest, the empty-headed and man-hungry Lydia -- is that because they have no brother their father's estate will pass to a cousin, the pompous clergyman Mr. Collins, and they will be left with very little to live on. Solution: at least one of them "must marry VERY well" -- meaning, marry money.
Enter a new neighbor, Mr. Bingley, a wealthy young man who takes a house in the neighborhood. The dithering, laughable Mrs. Bennet immediately selects him for Jane, and the young people oblige her by showing affection for each other. But Bingley's friend, Mr. Darcy, persuades the somewhat weak Bingley that Jane isn't serious, and Bingley begins to turn his attention elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet has contrived for Lizzie to marry Mr. Collins, mainly to keep the family home and estate "in the family." But Lizzie simply isn't having it, and her father takes his head out of his books long enough to back her up.
Lizzie thinks Jane and Mr. Bingley are perfect for each other, and is furious when she realizes that the proud, imperious -- and VERY wealthy -- Mr. Darcy is keeping them apart. She has already concluded that Darcy "is the last man on earth I could ever be persuaded to marry" -- as indeed she tells him when he, fascinated and attracted in spite of his "better judgment" -- proposes.
But fate intervenes to bring Darcy and Lizzie into contact and she begins to realize there is another side to this proud man. That he is indeed a good man -- "the best man I have ever known," she concludes -- becomes apparent when he secretly intervenes to rescue the flighty Lydia, youngest of the Bennet sisters, from a fate worse than death: being seduced but not married by a genuine scoundrel.
Gradually Lizzie realizes that her first impression of Darcy's "pride" was, well, "prejudiced." And Darcy realizes there are factors in male-female relationships that class and fortune cannot dicate.
Jane Austen had a satiric eye and a ready wit, all of which are present in Lizzie. She accepted the social order of her day, even when she could recognize its absurdities.
Modern critics often see Lizzie as a pre-feminist heroine, a liberated woman ahead of her time. But she is not. She lives happily within the social constraints of early 19th century England (the Regency period), and she doesn't fight them. She doesn't burn her corset. She doesn't want a career. She accepts the unfair laws of entail that would rob her and her sisters of their father's estate, because it had to pass to a MALE relative. And she figures out how to have a happy, fulfilling life WITHIN those constraints, not by challenging them. Just like Jane Austen.

The review of this Book prepared by Leigh

Elizabeth is quite certain the terrible things she learns about her attractive, rich new neighbor are true. Then her sister becomes involved with his best friend and Elizabeth blames him for their separation. When she learns the truth, she is forced to set aside her pride and accept him for what he is--not as awful as she had thought.
The review of this Book prepared by Sarrah

Jane Austen opens this book with a cynical commentary on the Eighteenth Century conception of the value of love - 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gentleman in possession of a good fortunre must be in want of a wife'!

This book is a parody of the battle between the lower gentry of merrie England and the slightly higher toffs as they each search for love, but each is hindered by pre-conceived 'prides' and 'prejudices' of other social classes. The main pratagonist, Lizzy Bennett, manages to overcome her mother's objections to the pomposity and deign of her long-time adversary, Mr Darcy, and find true love. The book is full of minor characters who all marry for the wrong reasons. Charlotte for status, Lydia for sex and Mrs Hirst for money. But the Bennett sisters are maniuplated by Austen to marry for the only thing worth marrying for ... love.
The review of this Book prepared by Steve Slack

Pride and Prejudice is probably Austen's greatest accomplishment. A true comedy of manners and society with a wonderful protagonist, Elizabeth Bennett, to whom you will come to love. The dialogue is brilliant She is smart, funny and very hep- even by today's standards. The fun part of the book, aside from the 18th century etiquette and manners and puns on social class, is no matter how many times you read this book, the prose is so fresh that you always wonder if Eliza and Darcy will hook up! What book, written nearly 180 years ago as a contemporary, still has so many fans that it has fan web sites and historical recreation societies? Why, one of the most timeless pieces of literature ever written, of course.
The review of this Book prepared by Kathleen

A hilarious tale set around "society" of the English countryside during the 18th century when young ladies were in want of a husband of good breeding and fortune! Elizabeth Bennet, headstrong and outspoken is the heroine in this story who declares only the deepest Love will induce her into matrimony meets her unlikely match in the proud, arrogant Mr Darcy. Quite possibly the most amazing lover story ever written!!
The review of this Book prepared by heather huckfeldt

Miss Elizabeth Darcy is not your average Regency period female, it seems. She has a head on her shoulders and refuses to hide it in order to flatter her way into a wealthy marriage and high society, as she is expected to. Combine this eldest daughter of five children (all girls, no less) with a wealthy 30-ish bachelor by the name of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and watch the sparks fly!!
The review of this Book prepared by Amanda Wesley

This is a very simple book about judging a book by its cover, and marriage. In other words, it's about pride and prejudice. Having read the title, the reader can skip the book. If one should so choose, one can sleep for eight hours and, thus, simulate the reading of this book. This book should be read for entertainment value only (and that, only if you're entertained by proper Vicorian society and hackneyed "bad men"), and should not be considered a work of any type of literary merit.
The review of this Book prepared by David J. Peterson

Elizabeth is the second daughter in the Bennet family. She has four sisters: Forgiving and naive Jane, studious Mary, Kitty, and flamboyant, flirtatious Lydia. Her mother is very eccentric in marrying her daughters to wealthy men and does everything in her power to complete this objective. When rich Mr. Bingley moves into the area, she immediately attempts to attach him to Jane. Bingley's friend, Mr. Darcy is first percieved to be a proud, elegant, and unamiable man. But when he grows fond of Elizabeth, who is the most prejudiced of them all, he learns that a man can change his manners, and a woman her mind.
The review of this Book prepared by Katy

Jane Austen satirizes society superbly in this romance about a young woman who learns about her own prejudices and a man who learns to temper his pride.
The review of this Book prepared by Skylar H. Burris

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a wife."
The review of this Book prepared by Allmi

Elizabeth Bennet knows all about Mr. Darcy from the moment she meets him: he's proud, rude, and standoffish. Later, she learns he's also betrayed a family friend and intervened in her sister's romance. And after *that*, she learns that there's two sides to every story, including his - and two sides to every person, too. A classic work of literature that should be missed by no one.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

Elizabeth meets Darcy, they hate each other. Elizabeth realizes how perfect they are for each other. They get together, a lot of criticism of society sprinkled through.
The review of this Book prepared by Jenna Evans

Pride and Prejudice, my favorite Jane Austen novel, follows the life of Elizabeth Bennet, a headstrong, intelligent woman who thinks she has the arrogant Mr. Darcy's character down to a tee, and she despises him. But does she really know all there is to know about him?

(Ditto to Mandy's description, I doubt I can word it better)
The review of this Book prepared by Jess

Chapter Analysis of Pride and Prejudice

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Woman's story?    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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