Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Volume Three, Chapters 1−5 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Mrs. Reynolds: Darcy’s housekeeper at Pemberley who speaks highly of him

Georgiana Darcy: Darcy’s shy but impeccably−mannered sister

Mrs. Annesley: Georgiana’s elderly governess

On a leisurely journey, the Gardiners and Elizabeth stop in Derbyshire to view Darcy’s beautiful estate, Pemberley.

The estate is elegant and tasteful, and the housekeeper is overly enthusiastic with praise of her master’s fine manners and honest nature. She mentions that he is often thought of as proud, but she will have none of that, having never seen an occasion where he has evidenced this. Darcy’s letter has made a great change in Elizabeth. She feels repentance for wrongly accusing him. She looks at his marvelous estate, and reflects that she could have been mistress of Pemberley, if she had been a better judge of character.

Darcy, who was not expected until the next day, appears while Elizabeth and the Gardiners are surveying his gardens. This causes embarrassment on both parts. As a true gentleman, Darcy treats them with civil manners and respect. Darcy is friendly and attentive, and is impressed with this branch of Elizabeth’s family tree. He shocks Elizabeth when he asks if he could have the honor of introducing her to his sister during this visit.

Darcy calls on the party the next day, with Georgiana and Bingley. Georgiana is not in the least proud, as Wickham had defined her. She is extremely shy and well−mannered. It is obvious to the Gardiners that Darcy is still in love with Elizabeth. Her feelings have changed, but they remain private. Bingley is obviously not in love with Georgiana, and he makes several references to Jane in his conversations.

Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth return the visit the next day. Caroline Bingley, who is present, resents her visit and makes improper comments about how her family must be reacting to the militia withdrawal from their town. Elizabeth takes all this without an offending reply. On her departure, Caroline tells Darcy that Elizabeth looks worse than on their previous encounter. His reply that she is one of the handsomest women of his acquaintance astounds her.

Darcy is trying to make up his mind to propose for a second time to Elizabeth, just as she receives two letters from Jane. Lydia, while visiting at Brighton, has run off with Wickham (without the advantage of marriage). Jane beseeches Elizabeth to return home, while her father goes after the pair to avenge the family name and seek redress. Jane asks that Mr. Gardiner intervene and go to London to help her father to search for the two. Darcy comes to the inn. When hearing of the current crisis, he believes his own silence about Wickham is partially to blame. Believing he is only intruding on a family affair, he leaves. Elizabeth realizes now for the first...

(The entire section is 960 words.)