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Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, Chapter I of Volume I

Дата публикации: 2018-05-27 14:08

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Elizabeth returns to the hotel to find two letters from Jane, prompting the Gardiners to go for a walk and leave her to the letters. The first letter is in regards to Lydia, stating that she had run off to Scotland to marry Wickham. However, the second letter states that she may not have done so and that Wickham does not plan to marry Lydia at all. The family is thoroughly disrupted of course and Colonel Forster, with whom Lydia was staying, continues searching for her as Jane requests Elizabeth to return home.

Pride and Prejudice AudioBook - LinkEngPark

Miss Bingley sends yet another letter to Jane, informing her that they will be staying in London for the duration of the winter. Elizabeth finally tells Mrs. Bennet that her constantly talking of Bingley is bringing Jane pain. Caught up on her own problems, Elizabeth continues to talk against the marriage of Charlotte and Collins with Jane. She also tries to comfort her though, stating that Bingley’s sisters and Darcy are keeping him away from her. Wickham spends more time with the Bennets and soon the stories of Darcy’s ill treatment of him become public knowledge.

Pride and Prejudice, By Jane Austen

Elizabeth wonders where the rumor must have come from, and worries that Lady de Bourgh will do what she said and keep the match from occurring, talking negatively of her family to turn him against her. Mr. Bennet confronts her the next day with a letter from Mr. Collins congratulating the family on Jane’s engagement and Elizabeth’s future engagement, having originally believed Elizabeth to despise Darcy. He is amused by the confusion, which upsets Elizabeth.

``I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane , nor half so good humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference.'

Jane Austen's own tongue-in-cheek opinion of her work, in a letter to her sister Cassandra immediately after its publication, was: "Upon the whole. I am well satisfied enough. The work is rather too light, and bright, and sparkling it wants [. needs] shade it wants to be stretched out here and there with a long chapter of sense, if it could be had if not, of solemn specious nonsense, about something unconnected with the story: an essay on writing, a critique on Walter Scott , or the history of Buonaparté , or anything that would form a contrast and bring the reader with increased delight to the playfulness and general epigrammatism of the general style".

Darcy and Elizabeth have a conversation of their own on the nature of pride in each of them. She comments that his problem is a “propensity to hate everybody” and he responds by saying that she tries to “willfully misunderstand” those same people.

In regards to the other charge regarding Wickham, Darcy explains that Wickham received a sum from the will after Darcy’s father’s death. He returned shortly afterward having spent that sum and asked for more. Darcy refused to give him any more and Wickham soon disappeared. Soon enough, there is evidence that the Wickham and Darcy’s sister are close to eloping, which he stops with barely enough time to spare. He asks for her removal of suspicion over Wickham, and that she can converse with Fitzwilliam for corroboration.

With Jane finally feeling better, she arrives in the drawing room and spends a few hours of the evening talking with Bingley in the drawing room. Meanwhile, Miss Bingley engages him in discussion of the ball, to which he replies that he was serious about having one. She also notices that Darcy does not pay her any attentions but that when she asks Elizabeth to walk with her, he takes note.

Also in this chapter, Darcy begins to show a bit more interest in Elizabeth. Beyond his early observations that she was just tolerable, he begins to find her much more interesting and when he willingly takes her hand to dance at another party at Sir William’s, she turns him down. It is here though that Bingley’s sisters discover that Darcy has an interest in Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and three of her sisters are introduced, including Kitty, Mary, and Lydia. After Mr. Bennet’s early teasing over visiting Bingley, in chapter 7 it is revealed that he was first in line to meet Mr. Bingley, and subsequently the rest of the chapter is spent considering when Bingley will visit the Bennets in response.

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