Here we are introduced to Mr and Mrs. Bennet, both of the Longbourn Estate. Mrs. Bennet arrives with some interesting news that a wealthy gentleman from the north has arrived in Netherfield, moved to a nearby estate. She has plans immediately to marry him to one of her daughters. She warns her husband that she will send him to see the new neighbor Bingley as soon as he arrives. She also reminds him of their daughters while he muses on how Elizabeth is his favorite daughter with “something more of quickness than her sisters”. Knowingly he questions why his visit to Bingley is so important.
Elizabeth and three of her sisters are introduced, including Kitty, Mary, and Lydia. After Mr. Bennet’s early teasing over visiting Bingley, in chapter 2 it is revealed that he was first in line to meet Mr. Bingley, and subsequently the rest of the chapter is spent considering when Bingley will visit the Bennets in response.
Bingley returns Mr. Bennet’s visit and the Bennets invite him to have dinner with them but he declines as he has business in town. When he returns for a nearby ball thrown by Sir William and Lady Lucas, he brings his own sisters and Mr. Darcy. The first introduction of Darcy is not favorable as the ladies observe that he is rich and attractive but too proud. He makes his own comments on Elizabeth, that she is not quite “handsome enough” for his tastes, turning down someone’s comment for him to ask her to dance. Jane, meanwhile dances with Bingley and excites Mrs. Bennet.
In each other’s confidence, Jane tells Elizabeth that she admires Bingley and that she enjoys his sisters’ company as well. Elizabeth is not so easily charmed and finds her sister too easy to impress, “blind to the follies and nonsense of others”. She finds his sisters proud all by themselves and too eager for Bingley to make his own estate (he inherited his money from his father). Miss Bingley, the unmarried of his sisters will live with him in Netherfield and the friendship between Darcy and Bingley is revealed to be rather deep with Bingley having a high regard for Darcy’s intelligence.
Chapter five introduces more of Sir William and Lady Lucas and their family, which is quite large with many children. Their oldest daughter Charlotte is one of Elizabeth’s best friends and the chapter shows the conversations between the Lucas and Bennet daughters as they discuss Mr. Darcy and his pride, including his unwillingness to talk to a woman he sat beside for as much as half an hour and how rude he was to Elizabeth. They agree however that much of her being upset is because he was rude to her.
In chapter six, the Bennet sisters spend more time with Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst, although Bingley’s sisters are largely disinterested in spending time with anyone but Jane and Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Charlotte discuss Jane’s budding relationship with Bingley and the two disagree over how she should show her feelings, with Elizabeth agreeing with Jane’s coy approach and Charlotte thinking she should be more straightforward, lest nothing come of it. Also in this chapter, Darcy begins to show a bit more interest in Elizabeth. Beyond his early observations that she was just tolerable, he begins to find her...