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Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1775-1817).

Main characters

(With their ages, where known, as specified at the beginning of the story)

  • Mr Bennet

    Father of the five daughters (shown below), who are destined to be spinsters unless he can marry them off. He loves his daughters and worries about who will provide for them after he dies. With his wife, there are six womenfolk for whom Mr Bennet must try to fulfil his role as patriarch.

  • Mrs Bennet

    The family tolerates Mrs Bennet's mild hypochondria. She is desperate to marry her daughters off and sometimes tries a little too hard to impress people.

  • Miss Jane Bennet

    At 22 years old, Jane is the oldest of the five sisters and described as the prettiest. She develops a fondness for Mr Bingley but his steady friend, Mr Darcy, feels Jane is not suitable for Mr Bingley and tries to derail the relationship. Elizabeth intervenes and eventually Jane does marry Mr Bingley.

  • Miss Elizabeth Bennet

    Elizabeth (20) is the novel's female protagonist. She is the bright spark of the family but tends to be a bit hasty in judging people (the "prejudice" in the title). She falls in love with Mr Darcy, a proud man (the "pride" in the title) born with a bigger silver spoon in his mouth. When he overcomes his self-importance and Elizabeth overcomes her prejudices, the love blossoms.

  • Miss Mary Bennet

    Mary, Mary, quite contrary, is not only relatively quiet in her nature but also has a minute appearance in the story.

  • Miss Catherine Bennet

    Nicknamed "Kitty", Catherine is a rebellious and frivolous 17-year-old.

  • Miss Lydia Bennet

    Lydia is, at 15 years old, the baby of the family and without doubt the least mature.

  • Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Georgiana Darcy

    Mr Darcy (28) is the male protagonist of the novel. Perhaps if he were not so wealthy he wouldn't be so haughty (the "pride" of the title); yet his manners are tolerated and apparently admired by those who wish to take advantage of his position.

    His younger sister, Georgiana (16), lives in his shadow. She warms to Elizabeth, her future sister-in-law.

  • Mr Charles Bingley and Miss Caroline Bingley

    Charles (23) is amiable and less charismatic than his long-time friend, Mr Darcy.

    In contrast his sister, Caroline Bingley, is rather prissy in her attempts to divert Mr Darcy's attention from Elizabeth to herself.

  • Mr George Wickham

    George is another contender for Elizabeth's hand and attempts to sabotage her relationship by defaming Mr Darcy. He fails, and settles for the younger Lydia instead.

  • Mr William Collins and Miss Charlotte Lucas

    William (25) is yet another failed suitor of Elizabeth's hand, despite the wealth such a match would have brought to the Bennet family. Instead he marries Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth's friend

    The story makes the point that Charlotte (27) marries William primarily for his money; the man's role in those days being seen as the provider for women.

    Was it Austen's attempt to bring reality into the story by showing that not all marriages are between sweethearts? Or was this gold digging introduced to enhance the image of the marriages made for the right choices?

  • Lady Catherine de Bourgh

    Lady Catherine is Mr Darcy's rich aunt. Mr Darcy becomes annoyed at her disdain for Elizabeth, and it might have been partly defiance that encouraged him to marry Elizabeth.

  • Mr and Mrs Edward Gardiner

    This aunt and uncle of the Bennet sisters deputise as their parents when marital advice and blessing is required.

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