Pride and Prejudice

 Summary by Chapter


Chapter 1: Mrs. Bennet notes that Netherfield Park, a large Hertfordshire estate, has been let to a Mr. Bingley, "a young man of fortune from the north of England".

Chapter 2: Mr. Bennet lets his family think that he will not visit Mr. Bingley, when he has already done so. The truth is revealed.

Chapter 3: Mr. Bingley makes his first appearance. With him are sisters Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley and friend Mr. Darcy.  Darcy is admired for his good looks and fortune, but offends with his disdainful, proud manner. He is rude to Elizabeth Bennet, saying she is not "handsome" enough. Bingley  is liked, and dances with Jane Bennet twice.

Chapter 4: Jane confesses she likes Mr. Bingley. Mr. Bingley is renting Netherfield. Mr. Darcy is "haughty, reserved and fastidious".

Chapter 5: Charlotte Lucas, the eldest daughter the Bennets' neighbours visits Longbourn.  Bingley's liking for Jane and Darcy's manner is discussed.

Chapter 6: The acquaintance of the Bingleys and the Bennets is advanced.  Elizabeth tells Charlotte that while Jane is attracted to Bingley, she will hide it. Charlotte replies that Jane would do better to encourage him. Charlotte is more concerned than Elizabeth with marrying well, that love is secondary to being comfortably settled. At a Darcy asks Elizabeth to dance, she declines.

Chapter 7: We learn that as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have no sons the Longbourn estate will be inherited by a "distant relations". The daughters, Kitty and Lydia, have been introduced to officers of a regiment at nearby Meryton.  Jane is invited to Netherfield and Mrs. Bennet insists on her going on horseback in the hope that she will catch cold from riding in bad weather and be forced to stay longer.  She is invited to stay in order to be near her sister while she is unwell.

Chapter 8: Elizabeth spends the evening with Bingley, his two sisters and Darcy. Darcy continues to her admire her, which provokes jealousy.  Miss Bingley hopes to marry Darcy herself. Miss Bingley disparages Elizabeth.

Chapter 9: Jane is a little better in the morning. Mrs. Bennet arrives with Kitty and Lydia and embarrasses Elizabeth with tactless remarks. Lydia reminds Bingley that he promised to give a ball.

Chapter 10: As Jane continues to recover Elizabeth spends another evening and day with Bingley and his guests. Miss Bingley compliments Darcy on his handwriting and teases him as it is clear he is  becoming more and more attracted to Elizabeth.

Chapter 12: Jane and Elizabeth return home. Darcy worries that Elizabeth has realised that he likes her.

Chapter 13: Mr. Bennet reads a letter from his cousin who will inherit Longbourn. He introduces himself as a clergyman with Lady Catherine de Burgh's patronage. He feels that the two families can be reunited but is a  pompous goose. On his arrival he hints that he wants a Bennet girl as a wife.

Chapter 14: Mr. Bennet draws out his guest on the subject of Lady Catherine de Burgh.

Chapter 15: Mr. Collins hints he wants Jane as his wife but transfers his choice to Elizabeth. They walk to Meryton where they meet Mr. Wickham, whom they all like. Bingley and Darcy arrive but leave when they see Mr Collins. The Longbourn party visit aunt Philips, who invites them to a party the following evening.

Chapter 16: At the Philips's Wickham explains to Elizabeth that his father was Darcy's father's steward and he himself grew up at Darcy's estate. Darcy's father had undertaken to set him up in the clergy, but died. Darcy refused to honour his father's wishes. Wickham claims that this was out of jealousy; Elizabeth sympathises with him. Wickham tells Elizabeth that Catherine de Burgh is Darcy's aunt and he is expected to marry her daughter. He reports that of Darcy's younger sister is as prideful as her brother.

Chapter 17: Elizabeth repeats to Jane what Wickham has told her. Bingley arrives to invite them all to the promised ball at Netherfield; Mr. Collins immediately asks Elizabeth to dance the first two dances with him, from which she begins to suspect that he may propose to her.

Chapter 18: At the ball Elizabeth finds that Wickham is absent and hears that he has stayed away in order to avoid Darcy. Darcy asks her to dance. They struggle for conversation and Elizabeth finds refuge in barbed banter. Miss Bingley contradicts Wickham's report of Darcy's cruelty. Her family humiliate her when Mrs. Bennet talks of hope that Jane and Bingley will soon be married while Mary shows off at the piano.

Chapter 19: Mr. Collins proposes. Elizabeth disposes. He remains confident that he will succeed.

Chapter 20: Mrs. Bennet is furious when Elizabeth turns Mr. Collins down. Mr Bennet supports her refusal, leaving his wife to persuade Elizabeth. Mr.Collins withdraws his proposal.