Pride and prejudice: a novel, By Jane Austen complete in ine volume Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman, Mr. Bennet, living in Longbourn. Page 2 of a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra (11 June 1799) in which she first mentions Pride and Prejudice, using its working title First Impressions. (NLA) Set in England in the late 18th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's five unmarried daughters after two gentlemen have moved into their neighbourhood: the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley, and his status-conscious friend, the even more rich and eligible Mr. Darcy. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy is disdainful of local society and repeatedly clashes with the Bennets' lively second daughter, Elizabeth.Pride and Prejudice retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of "most loved books." It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Likewise, it has paved the way for archetypes that abound in many contemporary literature of our time. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes.The novel centres on Elizabeth Bennet, the second of the five daughters of a landed country gentleman. Elizabeth's father, Mr. Bennet, is a bookish man and somewhat neglectful of his responsibilities. In contrast Elizabeth's mother, Mrs. Bennet, a woman who lacks social graces, is primarily concerned with finding suitable husbands for her five daughters, who will inherit little or nothing from their father due to primogeniture laws. Jane Bennet, the eldest daughter, is distinguished by her kindness and beauty; Elizabeth Bennet shares her father's keen wit and occasionally sarcastic outlook; Mary is studious, devout and musical albeit lacking in taste; Catherine, sometimes called Kitty, the fourth sister, follows where her younger sister leads while Lydia is flirtatious and lacks maturity. The narrative opens with news in the Bennet family that Mr. Bingley, a wealthy, charismatic and sociable young bachelor, is moving into Netherfield Park in the neighbourhood. Mr. Bingley is soon well received while his friend Mr. Darcy makes a less favourable impression by appearing proud and condescending at a ball that they attend (he detests dancing and is not one for light conversation). Mr. Bingley singles out Jane for particular attention, and it soon becomes apparent that they have formed an attachment to each other. While Jane does not alter her conduct for him, she confesses her great happiness only to Lizzie. By contrast, Darcy slights Elizabeth, who overhears and jokes about it despite feeling a budding resentment. Upon paying a visit to Mr.Bingley's sister, Caroline, Jane is caught in a heavy downpour, catching cold, and is forced to stay at Netherfield for several days. Elizabeth arrives to nurse her sister and is thrown into frequent company with Mr.Darcy, who begins to act less coldly towards her.Mr.Collins, a clergyman and heir to Longbourn, the Bennet estate, pays a visit to the Bennets.Mr.Bennet and Elizabeth are much amused by his obsequious veneration of his employer, the noble Lady Catherine de Bourgh, as well as by his self-important and pedantic nature.It soon becomes apparent that Mr. Collins proposes marriage to Elizabeth, who refuses him, much to her mother's distress. Mr. Collins recovers and promptly becomes engaged to Elizabeth's close friend Charlotte Lucas, a homely woman with few p.