Persuasions #11, 1989 Pages 37-45
In August 1797 “First Impressions” was
having been begun the previous October; and while it underwent some
in the years 1809-13, but primarily in 1810 – before its publication as
and Prejudice in 1813, there can be little doubt that Jane
Austen had it
down in fairly finished form by the time her father offered it to a
publisher – Cadell – on 1 November 1797.
He had in his possession, said George Austen, “a manuscript
comprising 3 vols., about the length of Miss Burney’s Evelina.”
He wished to know “what will be the expense of publishing it at
author’s risk, and what you will venture to advance for the property of
on perusal it is approved of.” The book
was declined by return of post.
Cadell preferred to publish Mrs. Radcliffe.
Critics have surmised that the original title
discarded following the publication of First Impressions
Holford in 1801, and that the final title might well have been
suggested by the
last pages of Fanny Burney’s Cecilia (1782), in which the
“pride and prejudice” is printed in capital letters three times in a
perorational paragraph. The
original title may well have been taken from the opening chapter of
Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), in
see St. Aubert instructing his daughter Emily “to resist first
and to acquire that steady dignity of mind, that can alone
passions” – a lesson of Jane Austen’s novel as well.1
Those who believe that the book was written
wholly between 1809 and 1812 cannot be right.
Jane Austen conceived the action of the tale as belonging to the
decade of the eighteenth century. There
can be no doubt that the dates Cassandra gives for the writing of the
(October 1796-August 1797) George Austen offered to Cadell in November
those for “First Impressions”; Cassandra’s dating of the composition of
the novels can hardly be disputed. As
Chapman has pointed out, the militia camps at Brighton were notorious
years 1793-95, but not afterwards. Probably
Pride and Prejudice began as a burlesque,
principally of Cecilia.
Elizabeth, as several critics have noted, is patently
though Jane Austen’s heroine does resemble Camilla and Evelina in some
and Darcy is not unlike some of Fanny Burney’s patrician heroes.
If, as Mrs. Leavis says, Pride and Prejudice
Austen’s effort to “rewrite the story of Cecilia in realistic terms,”
would also tie it to the 1790s – a period during which the novelist
literary flower principally as a parodist.
Southam sees Pride and Prejudice as a
well to such other novels as Sir Charles Grandison – a
version of which Jane Austen was working on in the Nineties – and The
of Udolpho. He
identifies elements of burlesque in Pride and Prejudice
argues that in its earliest stages it might have been written in
In all of these lights Pride and Prejudice
seen as the natural spiritual heir of the Juvenilia and a work of the
Recently some additional information has come
light which further confirms Pride and Prejudice
as a novel
of the 1790s. It must be fairly
certain that Chevening Park, in Chevening, Kent, along with its
provided the basis for Rosings and Hunsford parsonage, the homes of
Catherine de Bourgh and Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice.
Austen did some visiting in Kent in 1796 while she was writing “First
Impressions.” The most direct
route from Steventon to Goodnestone, Godmersham, and so on to London
taken her through Guildford, Reigate, and Westerham, over the Sundridge
Chevening and onwards via Borough Green and Maidstone.
A section of the road at one time actually ran through Chevening
built originally around 1630 for the thirteenth Lord Dacre, later
by the first Earl of Stanhope, whose family, the Lennards, employed
Austen’s uncle Francis as their solicitor during the latter third of
eighteenth century. Old Francis Austen
owned property in and around Chevening,
and may well have taken his grand-nieces over some of the ground.
Certainly Jane Austen had the opportunity to know the Chevening
well. Due to the absence of letters
before 1796 we cannot be sure exactly where she went in her late teens,
do know that she visited her uncle Francis Austen, and that between
1796 she stayed with relations in Kent on several occasions.
Rosings is described in Pride and
as being “well situated on rising ground” and “a handsome modern
building,” which fits the account of Chevening Park given in Paterson’s
Roads (1826); in Jane Austen’s day it would have been about 165
old, but it had just undergone extensive renovation.
From 1813 the parsonage house near the Great House at Chevening
occupied by the Rev. John Austen, Jane Austen’s cousin.
But the novelist, as we have seen, had ample opportunity to know
well long before 1813, the year in which Pride and Prejudice
Rosings and Hunsford are almost perfect fits
Chevening Park and its parsonage house. Sir
David Smithers reminds us that, according to Pride and
Rosings … lay in the village of
Hunsford near Westerham, a convenient distance from London and nearly fifty miles
Bennet home at Longbourn … Records
of journeys between the two, with pauses made in London at the home of
Mrs. Gardiner in Gracechurch Street, reveal that the drive from
Hunsford to the
Gardiners was completed within four hours, changing horses at The Bell
Bromley. From Gracechurch Street to
the unnamed town … near Longbourn where the travellers were met by Mr.
Bennet’s carriage was a distance of twenty-four miles.
It is to be concluded, therefore, that Rosings also lay some
miles from London to the south near Westerham on a route
through Bromley which would be roughly half way.
But there is more than this.
Rosings Park and Hunsford parsonage are described in some detail
and Prejudice when Sir William Lucas, his daughter
Elizabeth Bennet visit Charlotte Lucas Collins and her husband at the
house. Once in Hunsford Lane, Rosings Park
is said to form the
boundary on one side, and the parsonage house to stand opposite the
gate to the
Great House, and to be separated from it by a lane.
This perfectly recapitulates the geographical relationship of
Park (still extant) to its parsonage house (since pulled down).
The parsonage is described as having a short gravel walk and
a large garden – with walks and crosswalks – which sloped down to the
fronted by green pales and a laurel hedge.
Two glebe meadows are said to be adjacent to it.
Its back room, from which Mr. Collins watches the road for the
of Lady Catherine’s carriage, fronts the road itself.
Elizabeth’s walks in garden and meadow while at Hunsford
described in language which easily fits the topography of the parsonage
Chevening Park. Indeed, the
architect’s plans confirm that Pride and Prejudice
an accurate picture of the parsonage at Chevening as it existed in the
Lady Catherine de Bourgh, both physically and
temperamentally, bears many resemblances to the Dowager Lady Stanhope
the second Earl and mother of the third), who would have been in her
in the 1790s. Contemporaries
describe Lady Stanhope as a very “determined” woman who dominated her
husband while he was alive and his descendants when he was dead. One source refers to her as “a rather fierce
In the 1790s the dowager was living at the Dower House across
from the Great House at Chevening, but was frequently at Chevening Park.
It is interesting to note that the first Earl of Stanhope’s
the dowager’s mother-in-law – was named Catherine Burghill.
The first Lady Stanhope’s portrait hung in the Great House.
Jane Austen probably appropriated both her name and her
daughter-in-law’s character with a minimum of alteration.3
The extent to which Jane Austen, by writing for publication at all, was flouting a convention of the period probably has not been adequately realized. At the time she began to write in earnest, professional women writers were still regarded with suspicion. Of course there were exceptions. Fanny Burney had the help of royal patronage, her father’s wide circle of cultivated friends, and Dr. Johnson; Maria Edgeworth also enjoyed the encouragement and even the collaboration of her father, and had written works on education as well as novels. But the extent of Jane Austen’s distance from the official world of letters of the time is reflected in the fact that all of her books published during her lifetime appeared anonymously. It was still forward for a woman, except an already famous one, to put her name on a title page. Nevertheless, Jane Austen wrote for publication – there is no doubt about that – making, as Joan Rees has put it, her own quiet revolution in the novel, and becoming in the process the first great woman writer in English.4
It can hardly be disputed that Pride and
Prejudice is one of the greatest novels in any language.
It is about the difference between true and false moral values.
It is about the difference between the appearance of things, the
which they may be perceived, and their true reality, the ways in which
exist. Like all great literature,
it seeks to identify what is true and expose what is false – and to
the two from one another. It
accomplishes these things brilliantly.
Critics have tended to agree with much of this,
though in recent years Pride and Prejudice has
relegated by some of them to second place among the six novels.
This may be a mistake; it is probably the best of Jane Austen’s
for all the changes in modern taste. It
has many virtues beyond those already mentioned.
It is not only a very funny novel, it is also highly suspenseful
elements not always noticed by its readers.
The events of
the last half of the book race toward resolution at a breathless pace:
one of the most perfectly plotted novels in English.
And its dialogue – much of it worthy of a Congreve, a
Wilde, an Orton – is often brilliantly witty.
If the book reminds some readers of Mozart’s music, one may
the composer died just five years before Jane Austen began to write
My concern here is chiefly with what Pride
and Prejudice may tell us about its author.
It is unnecessary to rehearse again the process by which Darcy’s
is humbled and Elizabeth’s prejudices exposed – “your defect is
propensity to hate every body,” she tells him early in the novel; “And
… is wilfully to misunderstand them,”5 he
replies; or how conceit, self-importance, avarice, arrogance,
hypocrisy, and snobbishness are all attacked; or how “first
shown to be, so often, merely a self-indulgent exercise in egotism,
upon the perceiver and his own complicated psyche rather than the thing
person perceived. “My first
impressions of people are inevitably right,” the erring Gwendolen
complacently to Cecily in The Importance of Being
Earnest (1895); this is what Jane Austen’s heroine believes, but
quite manages to say. Nor need one
list contrasts between right and wrong moral conduct in the novel,
out very precisely to define these things, and does so.
Such matters have been amply discussed by others.
As in all of Jane Austen’s novels, in Pride and Prejudice
the true, the rational way of looking at things emerges out of the
unreliable point of view, so that we, like the characters, receive an
in perception as the story unfolds.
But how does the novel reveal the novelist
herself? At the centre of the story
are two sisters, close in age and inseparable in most things.
There is something of Jane Austen in both Jane and Elizabeth –
she is present chiefly in the latter. When
the family is assembled in the evening, the conversation among the
“much of its animation, and almost all of its sense,” if the sisters
absent – which must have been true of the Rectory household when the
elder brothers had gone off to Oxford. Both
sisters love to dance. Jane Bennet
– though wishing, as she says, “not to be hasty in censuring any one” –
always says what she thinks. Elizabeth,
who “dearly love[s] a laugh,” “had a lively playful disposition, which
delighted in any thing ridiculous”: she “shares her author’s
characteristic response of comic irony,” it has been noted.6
Yet there is also a side of her that is reversed, “unsocial,
taciturn,” as she tells Darcy – “unwilling to speak” without being able
“to say something that will amaze the whole room and be handed down to
Darcy says he is the same sort of person – and
defines, perhaps, Jane Austen’s special brand of shyness:
“ I … have not the talent which some people possess … of
easily with those I have never seen before.
I cannot catch their tone of conversation or appear interested
concerns, as I often see done.” “We
neither of us perform to strangers,” Elizabeth says.
Shyness and arrogance are often confused; and perhaps some of
found Jane Austen cold simply encountered her reserve.
There is a reserve in Elizabeth, gay as she can be.
Like Jane Austen at the Rectory, Elizabeth at Longbourn is fond
to a little copse in a back garden to think over important matters.
She is not easily attached to others.
She tells her aunt Mrs. Gardiner that she has never been in love
wishes he could find an intelligent, interesting man to fall in love
After her first failures with Darcy, she declares petulantly:
men are the only ones worth knowing, after all.”
Mrs. Gardiner replies:
“That … savours strongly of
The “disappointment” Mrs. Gardiner
is responsible for Lydia’s torment of Jane: “Jane will be quite an old
soon … she is almost three and twenty! Lord,
how ashamed I should be of not being married before three and twenty!”
Here is sibling rivalry articulated with a vengeance.
Jane Austen was twenty or twenty-one when she wrote that –
Elizabeth’s age. Unlike her sister
Cassandra, she had never been engaged.
Clearly enough, Darcy is the sort of man she was looking for.
She began … to
comprehend that he was exactly the
man, who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His
understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered
wishes. It was a union that must have been to the advantage of
her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners
improved, and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the
must have received benefit of greater importance.
Jane Austen undoubtedly saw “ease and
liveliness” as being among the contributions she could bring to
a knowledgeable, discriminating man. “He
wants nothing but a little more liveliness,” Mrs. Gardiner says of
“and that, if he marry prudently, his wife may teach
Mr. Bennet tells Elizabeth: “I know that you could be neither
respectable unless you truly esteemed your husband; unless you looked
up to him
as a superior. Your lively talents
would place you in the greatest danger in an unequal marriage.
You could scarce escape discredit and misery.”
These passages may help explain why Jane Austen never married. Where was the man for her?
She found them only in her novels – in extraordinary men like
Henry Tilney, and Mr. Knightley. The
men she met in real life suffered by comparison.
An important theme of Pride and
is the danger of detachment. It
seems as if Jane Austen – aware, perhaps, of her own temptation to
to stand back – exhibits for herself, by putting them into a novel,
the possible penalties of such conduct.
Elizabeth’s tendency to observe others from
afar is clearly delineated.
“I did not know before,”
continued Bingley … “that you were a studier of character. It must be
“Yes; but intricate
characters are the most amusing. They have at least that
“The country,” said Darcy,
“can in general supply but few subjects for such a study.
In a country neighbourhood you move in a very confined and
“But people themselves alter
so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever.”
Mrs. Bennet’s assurance that there is quite as
much of “that” going on in the country as in town follows, but
Elizabeth’s character as an amused observer, a student of human nature
ever,” is established. Admitting
to Darcy moments later that she loves a good laugh, she adds: “I hope I
ridicule what is wise and good. Follies
and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert
me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.” At
the end of the novel she has to hold in check her desire
to laugh at her husband-to-be: “he had yet to learn to be laught at,
was rather too early to begin.” The
habit of laughing at others may bespeak a lively sense of humour or the
characteristic of easy amusement; but it may also signal a tendency to
oneself from such objects of amusement as other people.
Satire embodies both hostility and detachment; and in this sort
laughter – what we might call moral laughter – there is usually an
That Jane Austen is fully aware of these
possibilities and these dangers is apparent in the character of Mr. Bennet, a
frightening exemplar of the perils of detachment. He
is a terrible father precisely because of his bottomless
capacity to be amused by others. Mr.
Bennet’s brand of mockery is not unlike his author’s.
He says some witty things, but there can be no doubt that he
is dealt with unsympathetically by the novelist.
His most spectacular abandonment of duty comes in connection
Lydia’s proposal to go to Brighton. “Lydia
will never be easy till she has exposed herself in some public place,”
Mr. Bennet, “and we can never expect her to do it with so little
inconvenience to her family as under the present circumstances.”
Fatherly sentiments indeed! The
expense and inconvenience turn out to be enormous.
As Mr. Bennet rightly says later, after the Brighton debacle:
should suffer but myself? It has
been my own doing, and I ought to feel it.”
Elizabeth’s judgment of her father is harsh, but just.
She sees that his only response to his wife’s ignorance and
folly is to
be amused; he won’t take the trouble either to correct or quiet her.
Elizabeth, says Jane Austen, had never been “blind to the
of her father’s behaviour” – a strong word indeed (“impropriety”) to
use in connection with a gentleman. Elizabeth
reflects on “that continual breach of conjugal obligation and decorum
in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children, was so highly
reprehensible.” And she feels markedly
“The disadvantages which must attend
the children of so unsuitable a marriage,” and the potential “evils
from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents which rightly used
least have preserved the respectability of his daughters.”
Again, strong words: this man has failed to preserve “the
respectability of his daughters.” So
that when, at the end of the novel, Mr. Bennet makes his famous
– “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh
them in our turn” – it is the uninformed reader who takes this as a
declaration of the novelist’s faith. On
the contrary, everything in the book up to this point asks us to read
Bennet’s statement ironically – as the speech of a man who, by
the kind of detachment he defines here, has ruined the life of one of
daughters and made possible one of the most ill-assorted and unpleasant
marriages in English literature. The
only real question is whether or not Mr. Bennet is speaking
here – whether he is aware of the monstrous nature of the
articulates in the “making sport for our neighbours” speech.
If we can see him as speaking ironically, we may get closer to
Austen’s point of view. Mr.
Bennet has now experienced at firsthand the perils of detachment;
surely he has
no further desire to make sport for his neighbours.
It is an important moment in Pride and Prejudice. His sort of
“detachment” is shown to be highly irresponsible. Mr
Bennet is morally defective in becoming “an ironic
spectator almost totally self-enclosed, his irony rigidly defensive”;
“the irony of the detached observer has become sterile.”
Critics have noted this. Mrs. Bennet, being stupid, can almost be forgiven her silliness, but “there
something more ominous in Mr. Bennet.” “Ominous,”
one feels, is the right word; and it is especially “ominous” that many
readers of Pride and Prejudice are so ready to see Mr.
the author’s spokesman. This far
she doesn’t go: there is such a thing as excessive detachment, and Mr.
personifies it. As Donald Greene
says, Mr. Bennet winds up being an object of contempt, not pity.
Susan Morgan has written that Mr. Bennet’s chief weakness, “the
weakness which must finally make him more culpable than his intolerable
his refusal to be responsible for his life … Retiring to his library,
retired from his life.”7
In the novel there appear unmistakeable strains of cynicism – strains which seem to have made up a part of Jane Austen’s personality. Some of them we find in the novel’s celebrated irony, some in an attitude of mind which must be characterized by stronger words. The irony begins, as everyone knows, in the very first sentence, perhaps the most famous opening of any novel in English: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” The novel’s nastiness is everywhere – spectacularly in Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but elsewhere as well. Mrs. Bennet to one of her daughters: “Don’t keep coughing so, Kitty, for heaven’s sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.” Mr. Collins to Elizabeth: “Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood undo the efforts of your loveliness and amiable qualifications.” The novelist on Sir William Lucas’s younger daughter: “Maria, a good humoured girl, but as empty-headed as himself, had nothing to say that could be worth hearing, and [was] listened to with about as much delight as the rattle of the chaise.” The gossips of Meryton on hearing that Wickham has finally consented to marry Lydia: “the good-natured wishes for her well-doing, which had proceeded before, from all the spiteful old ladies of Meryton, lost but little of their spirit in this change of circumstances, because with such an husband, her misery was considered certain.” Charlotte Lucas on marriage: “If a woman conceals her affection … from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him. … In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.” Mrs. Gardiner reminds Elizabeth that in matrimonial affairs there is very often no difference “between the mercenary and the prudent motive.” The cynicism of all this is striking – especially the suggestions that human attachments spring largely from selfish motives, and that women who do not feign affection for men are likely to be left on the shelf.
There is a measure of cynicism too in Darcy’s
declaration that no more than half a dozen women among his large
are genuinely “accomplished”; no woman who refuses to cultivate her
“extensive reading” can be truly accomplished, he says.
The speech he makes to Elizabeth about his own prickly nature
strongly of self-scrutiny on the part of the novelist: “I cannot forget
follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences
myself. My feelings are not puffed
about with every attempt to move them. My
temper would perhaps be called resentful. – My good opinion once lost
for ever.” He adds a sentiment
which, if it is the novelist’s, may help explain much of the
assessment of human nature to be found in all of Jane Austen’s books:
is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil,
natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome” – thus
detached irony and cynicism with which human nature is often depicted
novels. Elizabeth’s speech to her
sister on the unsatisfactory nature of the human race – and the reasons
gives for not being specially fond of human race – seems to be spoken
from the novelist’s heart and mind, and in her own sad voice:
There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.
None of this detracts from the novel’s comedy,
black though some of it may be. Indeed,
the razor-sharp wit which flashes through Pride and
one of its most striking features – and proof, among other things, that
Austen’s sense of humour was fully developed at an early age.
Elizabeth on Bingley: “Is not general incivility the very
love?” On Sir William Lucas:
“his civilities were worn out like his information.” On Darcy and Wickham:
“There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those
young men. One has got all the
goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.”
On Darcy, at the end: “Perhaps I did not always love him so well
do now. But in such cases as these,
a good memory is unpardonable.” On
Lady Catherine’s meddling: “Lady Catherine has been of infinite use,
ought to make her happy, for she loves to be of use.”
Mr. Bennet, after hearing of the engagements of Jane and
any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at
… I admire all my three sons-in-law highly … Wickham, perhaps, is my
favourite.” This is indeed the
wit of a Congreve, a Wilde, an Orton: Jane Austen has the same sort of
genius. It is not always so
pronounced in her books – perhaps never, after Pride and
allowed such free rein.
The novel may also tell us something about her
views on a few issues, for there is a good deal of old-fashioned,
preaching in it. Some examples:
“Happiness in marriage is entirely a
“Do any thing rather than marry
“How little of permanent happiness
could belong to a
couple who were only brought together because their passions were
“Nothing is more deceitful … than the
humility. It is often only
carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”
“It is very often nothing but our own
“Think only of the past as its
remembrance gives you
And there is the irrepressible Mary Bennet’s
lecture on female virtue; “loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable
false step involves her in endless ruin … her reputation is no less
than it is beautiful … she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour
the undeserving of the other sex.”
These pronouncements are quite sensible.
Elizabeth, however, remarks at the end of the novel: “We all
instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.”
Some things cannot be taught; some things cannot be learned.
It would make an appropriate epigraph for a novel which laughs
nature without any real hope of changing it … an appropriate mixture of
comedy and pessimism that run in parallel streams throughout the book.
Like Byron, Jane Austen laughs so as not to weep.
The melancholy of Thackeray, another comic genius, is made of
stuff. You laugh because people are
ridiculous; you cry because they
will never change; and again you laugh because you know it is useless
unproductive to try to change what is both unchangeable and amusing.
the titles, chronology, and offer of publication of Pride
Prejudice, see B.C. Southam, Jane Austen’s Literary
Manuscripts: A Study of the Novelist’s
Development through the Surviving Papers
1964), p. 60; Douglas Bush, Jane Austen (New York,
1975), p. 90;
A. Walton Litz, Jane Austen: A Study of
Development (New York, 1965), p. 101 ;R.W. Chapman, Jane
Facts and Problems (Oxford, 1948), p. 43; and
Introductory Note and Appendices to The Novels of
Austen, ed. R.W. Chapman, 5 vols. (London, 1923; repr. 1926, 1933;
eds., 1943, 1946, 1948, 1954, 1959, 1965); The Works of
Austen, ed. R.W. Chapman, Vol. VI: Minor Works
(London, 1954; repr. 1958; rev. eds., 1963, 1965). See Vol. II,
xi and 406-09.
elements of literary parody in Pride and Prejudice,
see Q.D. Leavis, “A Critical Theory of Jane Austen’s Writings,” in Scrutiny,
10 (June 1941), 61-87 (the passage quoted appears on 71); Marilyn
Austen and the War of Ideas
1975), p. 199; and Southam, pp. 59-62, passim.
connections between Chevening Park and its parsonage with Rosings and
in Pride and Prejudice, as well as those
Catherine de Bourgh and the Stanhopes, were examined systematically for
first time by Sir David Smithers in Jane Austen in
(Westerham, 1981), on which my discussion is chiefly based (see
Chapter 3). I am grateful to Sir
David for talking to me about these probable connections, taking me
ground itself, and making available to me the typescript of his book
press. My conclusions are drawn
primarily from his. Sir David’s
views are also published in abbreviated form in “Where Was Jane
Austen’s Rosings?: The Case for Chevening,”
Country Life, 158, No. 4341 (30 October 1980), 1568-71.
the position of women writers in the 1790s see Joan Rees, Jane Austen:
Woman and Writer (London and New York, 1976), p. 49.
Much of what
is said in this paragraph is indebted to Rees’s commentary.
quotations from Pride and Prejudice are taken
Chapman’s edition of The Novels of Jane Austen
(see above, n. 1), Vol. II.
Mudrick, Jane Austen: Irony as Defense
Discovery (Princeton, NJ, 1952; Berkeley, Los Angeles, and
Mr. Bennet’s role and meaning in Pride and Prejudice,
Butler, p. 210; Mudrick, p. 113; Litz, p. 105; Donald Greene, “Jane
Monsters,” in John Halperin (ed.), Jane Austen: Bicentenary
Essays (Cambridge, London and New York, 1975), pp. 269-70; Susan
the Meantime: Character and Perception
Jane Austen’s Fiction (Chicago and London, 1980), pp.
102; Alistair M. Duckworth, The Improvement of the
A Study of Jane Austen’s Novels
(Baltimore and London, 1971), p. 128; and Julia Prewitt Brown, Jane
Novels: Social Change and Literary Form
(Cambridge, MA, and London, 1979), p. 75.