Free Study Guide: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Free BookNotes

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The novel is set in the 19th century in England. It is set principally in Longbourn, the Hertfordshire country town that is a mile from Meryton and twenty-four miles from London. It is a well-ordered, provincial town, filled with landed gentry and oblivious to the sweeping changes occurring outside the fringes of its narrow, circumscribed vision.


Major Characters

Mrs. Bennet
The match-making mother of five daughters. The wife of Mr. Bennet and "a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper," who embarrasses her older daughters with her lack of class and entertains her husband with her ignorance.

Mr. Bennet
A country gentleman, who is the sometimes irresponsible father of five daughters and the husband of Mrs. Bennet. He is fond of books and can be witty and amusing.

Jane Bennet
The eldest daughter of the Bennets who is pretty, shy, calm, gentle and good-natured; she falls in love with and marries Mr. Bingley.

Elizabeth Bennet (Lizzy)
The second daughter of the Bennets who is lively, intelligent, witty and sensible; she at first strongly dislikes Mr. Darcy and then falls in love with him.

Marry Bennet
The third daughter, who is pedantic, tasteless, plain, vain, silly, and affected.

Catherine Bennet (Kitty)
The fourth daughter, who is almost a non-entity in the novel except for chasing soldiers.

Lydia Bennet
The youngest daughter who is silly, thoughtless, stupid, unprincipled, flirtatious, loud-mouthed and scatter brained; not surprisingly, she is Mrs. Bennet’s favorite daughter. She elopes with

George Wickham
A handsome, militia officer

Rev. Mr. Collins
Mr. Bennet’s cousin who is to inherit Mr. Bennet’s property. He is a pompous, undignified mixture of servility and self-importance.

Charles Bingley
A wealthy country gentleman who is kind and charming. He falls in love with and marries Jane Bennett and is Darcy’s best friend.

Fitzwilliam Darcy
The wealthy, best friend of Charles Bingley who at first is proud, rude, and unpleasant; after falling in love with Elizabeth, he is shown to be discreet, shrewd, generous, and magnanimous; in the end, he wins Elizabeth’s love.

Minor Characters

Georgiana Darcy
The younger sister of Fitzwilliam Darcy who is shy, reserved, and warm-hearted.

Mrs. Reynolds
The trusted housekeeper of Mr. Darcy.

Colonel Fitzwilliam
The cousin of Mr. Darcy who is handsome and well-mannered.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Mr. Darcy’s aunt who is arrogant, over-bearing, domineering, interfering, vulgar and affected; she cannot tolerate any opposition.

Ann de Bourgh
Lady Catherine’s daughter who is sickly and coddled by her mother and who has no mind of her own.

Mrs. Jenkinson
Ann de Bourgh’s teacher.

Caroline Bingley
Mr. Bingley’s unmarried sister, who is snobbish, conceited, scheming and jealous.

Mrs. Hurst
Bingley’s married sister who lives a lazy, purposeless life.

Mr. Hurst
Bingley’s brother-in-law, who is lazy and purposeless, like his wife.

George Wickham
A seemingly charming man with attractive manners, who is really selfish, unprincipled, extravagant and prone to gambling; he is the villain of the novel, who elopes with Lydia Bennet

Sir William and Lady Lucas
Neighbors and friends of the Bennet family and parents of Charlotte.

Charlotte Lucas
The eldest daughter in the Lucas family who is plain, practical, intelligent and absolutely unromantic; she is a very close friend of Elizabeth.

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner
Mrs. Bennet’s brother and his wife who are sensible and refined; Mrs. Gardiner is a confidante of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet.

Mrs. Philips
Mrs. Bennet’s sister, who is as vulgar and ridiculous as her sister; her husband is an attorney.

Mary King
An acquaintance of the Bennet family.

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Free BookNotes Summary

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