Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
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Series: Signet Classics   
Annotation: Mrs. Bennet hunts for husbands for her five daughters, who offer no help themselves.
Catalog Number: #40584
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Teaching Materials: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Teaching Materials
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: xix, 379 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-451-53078-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-27263-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-451-53078-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-27263-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2009279693
Dimensions: 18 cm.
Language: English
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page [380]).
Word Count: 12,136
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: 9+
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 65126 / grade: Upper Grades
Chapter 1
 
 
IT is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”
Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.
“But it is,” returned she; “for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.”
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
“Do not you want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently.
You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.”
This was invitation enough.
“Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.”
“What is his name?”
“Bingley.”
“Is he married or single?”
“Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!”
“How so? how can it affect them?”
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” replied his wife, “how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”
“Is that his design in settling here?”
“Design! nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.”
“I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the best of the party.”
“My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty.”
“In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of.”
“But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood.”
“It is more than I engage for, I assure you.”
“But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general you know they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not.”
“You are over scrupulous surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy.”
“I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference.”
“They have none of them much to recommend them,” replied he; “they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters.”
“Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves.”
“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.”
“Ah! you do not know what I suffer.”
“But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.”
“It will be no use to us if twenty such should come since you will not visit them.”
“Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all.”
Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.
 
All new material copyright © 1994 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Excerpted from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners is one of the most universally loved and admired English novels of all time.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

The Bennets are a family of five daughters, and with no male heir, the Bennet estate must someday pass to their priggish cousin Mr. Collins. Therefore, with no fortune or security of their own, the girls must marry well—and thus is launched the story of spirited and opinionated Elizabeth Bennet and the arrogant and aloof bachelor Mr. Darcy.  

An entertaining portrait of nineteenth century matrimonial rites and rivalries, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is timeless in its hilarity and honesty.

With an Introduction by Margaret Drabble
and an Afterword by Eloisa James


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