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Chapters 1, 2, and 3

Chapter 1

The book begins with Mrs. Bennet announcing that a nearby estate - Netherfield Park - has finally been let, or rented, and that the new tenant is a young, single man named Mr. Bingley who is also quite wealthy. Having heard about him from a gossiping neighbor, Mrs. Bennet is certain that he would make a good match for one of her daughters, and she implores her husband to call on Mr. Bingley (it would be improper for a woman to make such a visit). Mr. Bennet begrudgingly agrees to go. He reveals that he favors his second daughter Elizabeth, who is not "silly and ignorant" like her sisters. Mrs. Bennet is not pleased, arguing that Lizzy is not as pretty or as friendly as some of her other sisters. It is from this dialogue that Austen introduces both Lizzy's unique nature and the diverging characters of the Bennet parents - Mrs. Bennet as obsessed with finding suitable husbands for her daughter, slightly annoying, and prone to hysteria, and Mr. Bennet as reserved, sarcastic, and somewhat distant from the women in his family, with the exception of his favorite daughter, Elizabeth, or Lizzy.

Chapter 2

Mr. Bennet secretly calls on Mr. Bingley, while his wife and daughters are caught up in the anticipation of meeting Bingley at the upcoming ball. Convinced that Mr. Bennet will not make Bingley's acquaintance, they are concerned about who will introduce them to the man. They are worried that another family with daughters will call on him first. Finally, Mrs. Bennet declares that she is sick of talking about Mr. Bingley, and it is then that Mr. Bennet admits he has paid their new neighbor a visit. The women are astonished and excited, particularly Mrs. Bennet. At the close of the chapter, the Bennet women are discussing when they should invite Mr. Bingley over for dinner.

Chapter 3

Mrs. Bennet and her five daughters, intent on getting details on Mr. Bingley out of Mr. Bennet, attack him with questions, all to no avail. Instead, they must glean what they can through the gossip of neighbors, and are pleased to find out that Mr. Bingley is young, handsome, friendly, and attending the next ball with a large group of friends. Mrs. Bennet takes this description to again declare her goal to get one of her daughters married to Bingley and settled at his estate, Netherfield. Bingley visits the Bennet household in hopes of seeing one of the famously beautiful Bennet sisters, but instead only meets with Mr. Bennet, while the women huddle around an upstairs window and see what they can of the man while he enters and exits. The next time the Bennets see him is at the assembly, or ball, when he is joined by two of his sisters, the husband of the elder sister, and a friend named Darcy. All eyes are immediately on the dashingly handsome Darcy, who is rumored to have over twice the fortune of Bingley. His manners, however, prove horrible, and he stands in the corner sulking in-between a few dances with Bingley's sisters. After Bingley implores him to dance with the seated Lizzy Bennet, she hears him declare that he does not find her attractive. Jane, the eldest of the Bennet daughters, meanwhile, has caught the eye of Mr. Bingley. Bingley and Jane dance twice, and his sisters also seem to enjoy Jane's company. When the Bennet women return home, a smirking Mr. Bennet listens to Mrs. Bennet's account of the evening. She highlights how happy she was to see Bingley's interest in their daughter, how well-dressed the Bingley women were, and the sheer rudeness of Mr. Darcy.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 ,10, and 11
Chapters 12, 13, and 14
Chapters 15 and 16
Chapters 17, 18, and 19
Chapters 20, 21, and 22
Chapters 23, 24, and 25
Chapters 26, 27, and 28
Chapters 29, 30, and 31
Chapters 32, 33, and 34
Chapter 35
Chapters 36, 37, and 38
Chapters 39 and 40
Chapters 41 and 42
Chapters 43 and 44
Chapters 45 and 46
Chapters 47 and 48
Chapters 49 and 50
Chapters 51 and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56 and 57
Chapters 58 and 59
Chapters 60 and 61


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