Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy with neutral expressions on their faces

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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Who is Mr. Collins and why is he visiting Longbourn? How did Wickham and Darcy become acquainted?

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In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Collins is Mr. Bennet’s cousin and the heir to the Bennet estate. He is visiting the Bennets to see what he will inherit and to propose to one of the Bennet daughters. Although Jane is his first choice, he proposes to Elizabeth once he realizes that Jane is involved with Mr. Bingley.

Although Wickham pretends to have been poorly treated by Darcy, the truth is that Darcy’s father had cared for Wickham and left him part of his estate in his will. Wickham refused the estate and was given money instead, which he gambled with and lost frivolously. He pretends that Darcy has deprived him of it out of jealousy, and this influences Elizabeth’s feelings toward Darcy.

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Mr Collins is a distant relative of the Bennet family, and (since Mr. Bennet has no male heir) he is also the only beneficiary of the Bennet's estate in Longbourn. He had not even been acquainted with the Bennets until he received the news of the entailment and went there to see the estate. Basically, he was calling to look at what would be his once Mr.Bennet dies much to the aggravation of Mrs. Bennet.

Wickham and Darcy grew up together. Darcy's father had taken Wickham and basically adopted him. However, according to Wickham Darcy was always envious of his Dad's attention toward Wickham as a child, and because supposedly Darcy's father had left Wickham some estates which then Darcy took away. We later know that Wickham is a wicked money hunter and he tweaked the real story (that he was a money hungry thief) as a way to justify why Mr Darcy still refuses to speak to him.

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