Jane Austen (1775-1817)
1775 Born in Steventon, England. Father is a rector of the local parish.
1796-97 Completed original script of Pride and Prejudice at the age of 22.
Often wrote behind a closed door, choosing to publish anonymously as English society did not welcome female writers, and censorship of literature was spread.
Wrote realistically of class stratification in England, focusing mostly on upper and middle class.
Pride and Prejudice (1813)
The Bennets live in the village of Longbourn with their five unmarried daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Mrs. Bennet is set to get them married.
Charles Bingley, wealthy and young, rents Netherfield Park nearby.
At a ball, Bingley meets and likes Jane, spending the night dancing with her.
His friend, Mr Darcy, isn’t pleased and refuses to dance with Elizabeth but at later parties begins to like her.
Jane goes to Bingley’s house, catches a cold, and stays for a few days.
Elizabeth crosses muddy fields to be near her sister, arriving at Netherfield Park in muddy clothes that cause Miss Bingley’s disdain.
Miss Bingley, Bingley’s sister, also dislike Elizabeth when she sees Darcy with her as she is pursuing Darcy herself.
Mr. Collins, the only heir to Bennet’s property (only male heirs can inherit the Bennet property), arrives and proposes to Elizabeth who turns him down.
The girls befriend some officers, among which is Wickham who tells Elizabeth that Darcy cheated him out of his inheritance.
Winter comes, Bingley and Darcy return to London. Jane visits her friends on London. Miss Bingley visits her and is rude to her. Mr Bingely never visits.
Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s best friend, marries Mr. Collins. Elizabeth visits them and sees Darcy on a visit to Collin’s patron Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is also Darcy’s aunt.
Darcy proposes to Elizabeth. She rejects the proposal telling him he’s arrogant and blames him for taking Wickham’s inheritance and driving Bingley away from Jane.
After he leaves, Darcy sends a letter explaining that Wickham lied and that he kept Bingley away from Jane as he thought they were not in a serious relationship.
On a trip to the north, she comes across Darcy’s estate and decides to visit while he’s away.
Meanwhile, Lydia elopes with Wickham and Elizabeth goes back home.
Just when the family reputation was about to be questioned, they hear that Wickham has accepted to marry Lydia and later learn that Darcy is the one who paid for it.
Bingley returns to Netherfield Park and starts courting Jane and eventually marrying her.
Darcy returns also to renew his proposal to Elizabeth. Elizabeth accepts.