Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Volume Two, Chapters 13-19 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Mrs. Forster: the wife of an army colonel, and a friend of Lydia’s, who invites her to Brighton

Summary
While Elizabeth is taking her morning walk, Darcy arrives, gives her a letter, and abruptly leaves. The contents of the letter admit that he kept Bingley from Jane as Elizabeth had charged, but that he did so because Jane’s calm nature did not show a deep emotional tie. The second part of the letter goes on to list the improper behavior of members of her family. At first reading, Elizabeth is full of resentment and anger, but she soon realizes that his criticism may be harsh but valid. The third part of the letter details the relationship with Wickham, and how deceitful and dishonorable the man was in his version of their estrangement. On reflection, Elizabeth realizes that she has been wrong in her trust in Wickham and prejudices against Darcy. This knowledge of her own lack of discernment and the dishonor she has done Darcy throws her into a deep depression. She is filled with regret for having acted so blindly, and admits that only now is she beginning to know her own faults.

In the next chapter, Elizabeth and Maria leave the parsonage. Prior to their departure, they receive more unasked−for advice from Lady Catherine, and more pompous civilities from Mr. Collins. He again talks of his social position in another attempt to show her what she missed by her rejection of his proposal. They arrive in London, pick up Jane, and continue their journey home.

When they arrive home, Mrs. Bennet and the younger daughters are all upset, because the military regiment is leaving for nearby Brighton. Elizabeth is secretly glad, because she has no desire to see Wickham. Lydia gets an invitation from a colonel’s young wife to summer in Brighton, where the regiment is to be now stationed. She lords it over the other sisters, and Elizabeth sees that Darcy’s criticism of her was justified. She tries to convince her father that Lydia is not to be trusted on her own. His denial of responsibility only exposes another family weakness.

Her tour with the Gardiners has been...

(The entire section is 721 words.)