You all know I love Pride and Prejudice, right, people? And you also know I love writing? Right? So these last few days I wrote this hopefully-fun short summary of Elizabeth Bennet's story. I had so much fun writing this, people. I hope you like it.
The Story of Elizabeth Bennet
This is Elizabeth Bennet. She’s twenty years old (or ‘not one-and-twenty’, because that sounds better) and sometimes has muddy hems.
Most people think of her as that brunette who hated Mr Darcy and then actually liked him. Or something like that, anyway. But before all the Mr Darcy business, Mr Darcy was never even slightly talked of by people who knew Elizabeth Bennet.
Most people then thought of Elizabeth Bennet as ‘number two’ of those five girls with ‘the screaming mum’ and ‘the dad who doesn’t care.’ Other people, who knew her slightly better, thought of her as ‘that girl who says what she thinks.’ Yet other people, like Jane, her older sister, and Charlotte, her bestie across the road, knew her as Lizzy or Eliza, a loyal-and-fun-kind-of-friend.
The Bennet family were a mixture of people who screamed, people who didn’t scream, and people who did it just right.
The people who screamed were Mrs Bennet, Lydia, and Kitty (who kind of parroted Lydia, unfortunate as that may seem), the people who didn’t scream were Mr Bennet, Jane and Mary (who thought screaming was extremely vulgar), and the people, or, should I say, person, who did it just right was Lizzy. For this reason, Mr Bennet decided one day that Lizzy was his favourite. (Mrs Bennet thought that was shocking and declared that she needed her smelling salts, which, bless her, didn’t help.)
But then Mrs Bennet heard that they had new neighbours. For some reason or the other, she got very excited about that.
Maybe because the neighbour-dude was rich, or maybe because he was handsome, or maybe because his name was Charles Bingley, (which sounds rather nice, actually, if you think about it.) Maybe because a new neighbour meant more fancy balls. And more fancy balls meant more fancy gentlemen. And more fancy gentlemen meant more chances that one of the five Bennet girls would drastically fall in love and get married (which is what Mrs Bennet dreamt of unusually often). Mrs Bennet was therefore elated.
Mr Bennet heard about the new neighbour too, but he wasn’t excited in the least. He told his wife he didn’t care, and that upset her enormously.
Sooner or later they managed to meet Mr Bingley at a ball. Jane, Elizabeth’s older sister, was wearing gold with pine green trimmings, and Mr Bingley’s favourite colours happened to be gold and pine green, so he fell in love with her and danced with her twice. That made Mrs Bennet even more elated, and she told everyone they were practically engaged. (Jane didn’t really mind, because she fell in love with Mr Bingley as well.)
There was one thing, however, that no-one liked about Mr Bingley. (But then, it wasn’t really his own fault, so no-one went to him to complain about it.)
He had a friend who was a robotic snob. Although he was over-the-top handsome and over-the-top rich, that friend was just plain stiff annoying and did things such as telling Elizabeth that she wasn’t pretty. Everyone said he was odious. (Although not all in front of his face, of course.) This robotic snob was Mr Darcy. He really was a bit of a nuisance. He hardly reacted. He answered questions with ‘yes’ and ‘no’, and maybe ‘perhaps’ if he was in a talkative mood, and he wouldn’t dance because he thought everyone was either too ugly or too poor. He just stood at the wall and grumpily waited for the ball to be over.
A was a boring sort, he was.
Mrs Bennet, in the meanwhile, had found a man for Elizabeth. His name was Mr Collins and he had oily hair that smelt. At first Mr Collins wanted Jane, but when Mrs Bennet told him that Jane was already practically engaged, he looked around at the other Bennet girls and chose again. He didn’t want Lydia, because she snorted and it reminded him of pigs (and he didn’t like pigs). He didn’t fancy Kitty either, because she coughed too much. As for Mary, he didn’t want her because she liked books better than people. So he looked at Elizabeth and thought, ‘Why not?’
Elizabeth wasn’t a jot interested in Mr Collins, so when he proposed, she rejected him tartly. This gave Mrs Bennet a lot of pain, but Mr Bennet just told her to be quiet, and Mr Collins realised he preferred Elizabeth’s bestie Charlotte, so all was well.
Elizabeth was a bit disturbed by the fact that her bestie Charlotte was going to marry a man with oily hair that smelt, but she got cheered up by Mr Wickham. Mr Wickham was a redcoat. He was kind and charming. Lydia was nuts about all the redcoats, and Kitty was nuts about the redcoats as well, but Elizabeth only liked one redcoat. And that happened to be Mr Wickham.
She liked Mr Wickham even more when she discovered that he knew Mr Darcy and that he thought he was annoying as well. So they gossiped together. The more Mr Wickham talked about Mr Darcy, the more Elizabeth thought Mr Darcy was a big slutty-head annoyance, because Mr Wickham said all kind of things. He said that Mr Darcy had broken his heart by saying that he couldn’t marry his younger sister. He said that Mr Darcy had taken away money that really, really, really actually belonged to him. And so on. They gossiped for hours. (People thought they were flirting, but they weren’t.)
By this time, Mr Bingley had organised another ball, in which he had invited both Mr Darcy and the entire Bennet family as well as all the redcoats.
The ball was glittering and stunning and all those kinds of things, but Elizabeth, frankly, hated it. There were five reasons why she hated it. Number one, Mr Collins stepped on her toe. Number two, Mr Wickham wasn’t there. Number three, Elizabeth’s sister Mary sang a solo in front of everyone and it was simply so embarrassing that Elizabeth almost died. Number four, Elizabeth’s sister Lydia snorted five times and that was super embarrassing as well. Number five, she ended up dancing with Mr Darcy.
Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s dance was very awkward. They talked about awkward things such as Mr Wickham and pride and prejudice. Mr Darcy wanted to change the subject to ‘books’, but Elizabeth didn’t, so they didn’t.
Anyway, all I can tell you is that she was dead relieved when the dance was over.
Elizabeth asked Mr Wickham, after the ball was over, why he didn’t come. “Why,” he said. “I couldn’t. If I would have, Mr Darcy and I, being the enemies we are, would’ve caused a very unfortunate scene.” He smiled, and looked very handsome. “And I don’t want that,” he finished. And then he bowed charmingly.
Elizabeth and Jane sooner or later both received a letter. Elizabeth’s was from her bestie Charlotte (who she missed to bits because she didn’t live across the road any more, she lived with Mr Collins) who asked her to come and visit. (Elizabeth promptly accepted that invitation.)
Jane’s letter was sadder. Her letter was, more or less, from Mr Bingley. He said that he was moving to London and that he would never come back again, ever. (Talk about unexpected news.) Jane, needless to say, was very upset indeed, and spent her hours sitting alone, looking at her gold and green dress and thinking of Mr Bingley. Poor girl.
Elizabeth, although very upset and confused about the whole Mr-Bingley-and-Jane-business, got cheered up when she finally saw her bestie Charlotte again. But then she got not-so-cheered-up when she saw Mr Collins again. (Mr Collins’ hair still looked oily and still smelt, you see.) Another thing that made her not-so-cheered-up was that Mr Collins brought her to this grumpy rich lady called Catherine de Bourgh who asked her all kinds of stupid questions. Another thing that made Elizabeth not-so-cheered-up was that she met Mr Darcy there.
Mr Darcy, by pure coincidence, happened to be the nephew of the grumpy rich lady Mr Collins brought her to. (Grumpiness, Elizabeth thought, runs in that family.) Anyway, Mr Darcy was terribly creepy, as usual. He came into the house and went off after five minutes. He stared at her and judged her piano playing. All sorts of stuff. Elizabeth thought he was very odious.
But just when she thought Mr Darcy couldn’t get any worse, she heard that it was Mr Darcy who told Mr Bingley to go to London and forget all about Jane. Elizabeth made a list of reasons why she didn’t like Mr Darcy, and she didn’t have enough paper to finish it.
Then one day she heard a knock on the door. In came Mr Darcy. He had sweat on his forehead. “I love you,” he said, “And, even though I don’t know why I’m asking you this, because you’re not even pretty or rich, will you marry me?”
Elizabeth said, “No.” Well, more than that. She said, “No, of course not,” and “You are the last man in the world I would ever marry” and “You ruined Mr Wickham’s life, you!” and “You ruined my sister Jane’s life too!” and stuff like “You annoying person.” Mr Darcy pretended not to be offended, but he was. He might have even cried in his bed that following night. In fact, he was so upset about this that he wrote her a letter.
The letter went something like this:
Dear Madam, Don’t worry, I won’t propose again. I know you hate me. But I would just like to give my defence. Yes, I did separate Mr Bingley and Jane. I did that because I thought Jane didn’t really like Mr Bingley and only wanted him because she wanted to have more money to buy more lace for her dresses. I don’t think she really liked him at all. But now about Mr Wickham. What he has told you isn’t true. He didn’t love my sister – he only wanted her because she’s rich. I saved her just on time. And Mr Wickham never owed any of my money. Mr Wickham is the villain, Elizabeth. God bless you. Darcy.
(The letter did sound somewhat more Darcy-ish than that.)
Elizabeth read it quite a lot of times, left Charlotte, and went home to tell Jane all about it.
They decided not to tell anyone, because they weren’t sure. You know, better safe than sorry, and all that. But the more Elizabeth thought, the more she thought that Mr Wickham was the bad one and that Mr Darcy was the good one. So when Lydia said she was going to go to visit all the redcoats, Elizabeth didn’t approve. (But Lydia went anyway. Younger sisters don't often listen to their older sisters. It's a Thing.)
Elizabeth thought of Mr Darcy more and more every day (don’t ask me why.) One day, her Aunt and Uncle asked her if she would like to go to Pemberley. Pemberley, they said, is where Mr Darcy lives. It’s big and beautiful, they said, and Mr Darcy isn’t at home right now and the house is free for visitors, they said. So Elizabeth said, ‘Okay’ or something like that, and went to visit Pemberley.
Pemberley was gorgeous, on the outside and on the inside. The outside was gorgeous because of the trees and the parks and the lakes and the swans, and the inside was gorgeous because of the pianos and the harps and the pictures of Mr Darcy. But then all of a sudden, Something Awkward Happened. Very Awkward. Elizabeth bumped into Mr Darcy.
Mr Darcy wasn’t offended. In fact, he almost smiled a bit. He took Elizabeth for a walk, and asked her if she liked Pemberley. (Of course she did, she said.)
The next day, in a hotel, Elizabeth received a letter from Jane. It was a bad-news-letter. It was about Mr Wickham, in fact, so of course it was bad. It was also about Lydia. The bad news was this – Lydia and Mr Wickham had eloped. Run away. Together. In the night. Scandalous. Elizabeth started to cry, because that meant everyone would think the Bennets were awful scandalous people and then no-one would ever want to be their friend again.
Just then, Mr Darcy came inside. (He really had an impeccable timing.) He patted Elizabeth’s shoulder and asked her what was wrong. When Elizabeth told him, he quickly said goodbye. (Elizabeth thought she would never see Mr Darcy again, and therefore she cried some more, because she suddenly realised she was in love with him. I told you her story was a complicated one. (Did I?))
She rushed home and tried to cheer Mrs Bennet up. (She couldn’t.)
Mr Bennet was off in London to try to find Lydia and Wickham. You see, they had to get married. If they didn’t, the Bennet family was going to be a scandal for the rest of their lives. Mr Bennet didn’t find them, but someone else did. And that someone else made them marry by giving Mr Wickham, that odious creature, a lot of money. That someone else was a benefactor indeed. Good sort, that someone, isn’t he?
That someone was Mr Darcy. Elizabeth, when she found out, couldn’t believe her ears.
But there was one more Sad Thing. Jane and Bingley were still miles apart. But never mind, because Mr Darcy solved that too. ‘Mr Bingley,’ he said, ‘You can have Jane anyway.’ So Mr Bingley came back again, Elizabeth suddenly loved Mr Darcy more than anything, and Darcy still loved Elizabeth, so yeah.
So Mr Bingley married Jane, and Elizabeth married Mr Darcy. They were jolly happy, I suppose, and didn’t invite Mr Wickham to their weddings, because odious people weren’t invited (and also because, frankly, he didn’t deserve it.)
Elizabeth went to live at Pemberley with Mr Darcy, which was heavenly. (She spent her first two weeks of married life teaching Mr Darcy how to smile, and the next two weeks how to laugh.)