Pride and Prejudice, Essential Revision Notes
The novel begins with a conversation about the news of a wealthy young gentleman renting out the manor estate known as Netherfield Park. This gossip causes the neighbouring village of Longbourn to go into an uproar, especially the Bennet household. The gentleman in this case is named Charles Bingley, and the five Bennet girls were very keen to meet him, as were their mother, for the five were all unmarried. Mrs Bennet, a fussy gossip, sees Bingley’s arrival as a perfect opportunity for one of her daughters to get married and obtain a wealthy spouse; “a single man of great fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!” (5).
She therefore insists that her husband call upon Bingley immediately, and Mr Bennet torments his wife and daughters by pretending to be indifferent to doing so. However, he does eventually meet with Mr Bingley without their knowing. When he finally reveals his secret to his wife and daughters, after much teasing, they are overjoyed; “Well, how pleased I am! And it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word about it till now” (8). But he disappoints them by eluding their barrage of questions about Bingley's character.
Mrs Bennet still curious about Mr Bingley, with the assistance of her five daughters, probed Mr Bennet for information in varying ways. A few days later, Mr Bingley returns Mr Bennet’s visit, though he does not meet Mr Bennet’s daughters; they however, caught a glimpse of him from the upstairs window. To rectify this, the Bennets invite him to dinner shortly after his visit; however, he is called away to London and cannot make it. However, when he arrives he brings with him his two sisters, his brother-in-law (the husband of the eldest), and another young man, a friend named Mr Darcy. Mr Bingley and his guests go to the ball in the nearby town of Merton, in which the Bennet sisters also attend, with their mother, and it is there that they all f...