When Charles Bentley, a rich single man, moves to the Interfiled estate, the neighborhood residents are thrilled, especially Mrs.. Bennett, who hopes to marry one of her five daughters to him. When the Bennett daughters meet him at a local ball, they are Impressed by his outgoing personality and friendly disposition. They are less who Is too proud to speak to any of the locals and whom Elizabeth Bennett overhears refusing to dance with her. Bentley and the oldest Bennett daughter, Jane, soon form an attachment.
Any serious relationship between the two, however, is opposed by Bangle’s sisters (who do not prove of Jane as a wife for Bentley because of her mother’s lower status) and by Dairy (who believes that Jane is indifferent to Bentley). Meanwhile, Dairy finds himself attracted to Elizabeth despite his objections to her family. He is drawn to her spirited wit and expressive eyes, and Caroline Bentleys jealous criticisms of Elizabeth can do nothing to lessen Dairy’s admiration.
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As Dairy grows more Interested In Elizabeth, Elizabeth continues to despise him and Is instead attracted to George Hickman, a handsome and personable militia officer. Hickman tells Elizabeth that his father worked for Dairy’s father and that he and Dairy grew up together. Stating that he was favored by Darers father, Hickman claims that Dairy disobeyed his father’s bequest of a clergyman’s revenue to Hickman out of selfish resentment. Hacksaw’s tale makes Dairy appear not only proud but cruel, and Elizabeth accepts Hacksaw’s account without question, disliking Dairy even more because of it.
In the midst of Jane and Elizabethan developing relationships, the Bennett family Is visited by Mr.. Bonnet’s cousin, William Collins, a clergyman who will inherit Mr.. Bonnet’s estate when he dies because of a legal stricture known as an entail. Full of apologies for the entail and praises for his patroness, Lady Catherine De Burgh, Mr.. Collins informs the Mrs.. Bennett that Lady Catherine has instructed him to marry and that he plans to choose a wife from the Bennett daughters. He settles on Elizabeth, but is stunned and offended when she refuses him.
He quickly turns his attention to Elizabethan friend, Charlotte Lucas, who wants to marry for security rather than love, and the two are soon engaged and married. At the same time, Jane is dismayed to find out that Bentley and the entire Netherworld party have unexpectedly left for London. Caroline Bentley writes to Jane that they do not intend to return, and she predicts a match between Bentley and Dairy’s sister, Georgian, who Is also In London. Although Jane quietly resigns herself to a life without Blarney, Elizabeth Is angry for her sister and suspects that Bangle’s sisters and Dairy are trying to keep him from Jane. Tartness and Dairy’s aunt, Lady Catherine De Burgh, an overbearing woman who thrives on meddling in other people’s lives. Soon after Elizabethan arrival in Kent, Dairy visits his aunt with his cousin, Colonel Fatalism. Dairy puzzles Elizabeth with is behavior; he seems to seek out her company, but he never says much. One day, he surprises Elizabeth by proposing to her. Still repelled by his pride and believing Dairy is responsible for Bangle’s separation from Jane and for Hacksaw’s misfortune, Elizabeth refuses him.
The next day, Dairy gives her a letter explaining his role in influencing Bentley away from Jane and details the facts of Hacksaw’s situation. A careful examination of the facts reveals that Dairy, while proud, is innocent of rounding, leaving Elizabeth mortified at her discovery of how her own pride prejudiced her against Dairy. After returning home for a month, Elizabeth goes on a trip with her aunt and uncle Gardener to Derbyshire county, where they visit Dairy’s estate of Pimpernel. There they meet Dairy unexpectedly and are all surprised at how graciously he treats them.
He calls on Elizabeth at her inn, introduces her to his sister, and invites her to Pimpernel for dinner. Dairy is still in love with Elizabeth, and Elizabeth begins to have similar feelings for him. In the midst of this promising situation, Elizabeth receives two letters from Jane telling her that Lydia has eloped with Hickman, causing Elizabeth and the Gardeners o leave for home immediately. Elizabeth fears that Lydia and the Bennett family are permanently disgraced and that her newly-discovered love for Dairy is hopeless. Nee Lydia is found, however, she and Hickman marry.
After the wedding, Elizabeth discovers that Dairy was instrumental in orchestrating the marriage, thereby saving the reputation and marketability of the other Bennett daughters. Bentley returns to Interfiled and soon asks Jane to marry him. Jane, of course, accepts, and Mrs.. Bonnet’s exultation is only lessened by her irritation at Dairy’s occasional presence. Meanwhile, Elizabethan happiness for her sister is interrupted y a visit from Lady Catherine De Burgh, who has heard a rumor that Dairy and Elizabeth are engaged, which they are not.
She lectures Elizabeth on the imprudence of such a match, and then demands that Elizabeth promise not to accept any proposal from Dairy. Elizabeth refuses, causing Lady Catherine to tell Dairy about Elizabethan impertinence and to scold him about the folly of an engagement between them. Lady Catering’s description of Elizabethan response to her demands gives Dairy hope that Elizabeth has had a change of heart. He proposes again and Elizabeth happily accepts.