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Barron's Booknotes-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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CHAPTER SIXTY-ONE

The novel ends with a glimpse of the characters' later lives. Regretfully, the happy marriages of Jane and Elizabeth do not make Mrs. Bennet any more sensible. She remains hopelessly silly and subject to her imagined attacks of nerves. Mr. Bennet, missing Elizabeth, is a frequent visitor to Pemberley.

Bingley and Jane soon find Netherfield too near to Longbourn, and Bingley purchases an estate within thirty miles of Pemberley. Kitty spends much time visiting her sisters, and getting away from home proves good for her. Mary remains mostly at home, her mother's chief companion.



Lydia writes to Elizabeth, wishing her joy and hoping for financial help from Darcy. Elizabeth puts an end to that hope, but she and Jane do send the pair money out of their allowances. Lydia and Wickham move frequently and need help each time to pay accumulated debts from the previous residence. As anticipated, their affection for each other soon wanes, and their characters do not improve. Darcy does not receive Wickham at Pemberley, but he continues to help him privately, for Elizabeth's sake.

Caroline Bingley puts aside her disappointment at Darcy's marriage and becomes civil to Elizabeth, for the sake of still being welcome at Pemberley. Lady Catherine was so insulting to Elizabeth that Darcy broke off his relationship with his aunt, but Elizabeth persuades him to attempt a reconciliation. Her ladyship eventually condescends to visit Pemberley, out of curiosity, she says, to see how Elizabeth conducts herself.

Except for Jane and Bingley, the Gardiners remain the favorite relatives of both Darcy and Elizabeth, loved for themselves and also as the ones who made possible their happy ending.

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Barron's Booknotes-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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