The day after they return home, Elizabeth confides in Jane and tells her about Mr Darcy’s marriage proposal and subsequent letter. However, she does not share the part about Darcy influencing Bingley not to marry Jane. When Jane hears about Wickham, she is shocked. The sisters decide not to reveal the truth about Wickham in the community because he is leaving soon. Elizabeth also notices that Jane is still suffering because of Mr Bingley.
Kitty and Lydia start pressuring their father to take them to Brighton. Soon, Lydia is invited to Brighton by Mrs Forster, the colonel’s young wife. Mr Bennet agrees despite Elizabeth warning him that Lydia will become even more frivolous and a danger to her own reputation and the reputation of her sisters. Mr Bennet does not care for such trivial matters and besides thinks that Lydia is too poor for the soldiers to be interested in her.
In the meantime, Elizabeth still meets Wickham occasionally before the officers leave. He tries to charm her again, but she is bothered by his attitude. At a party before the officers leave, Elizabeth finally suggests to Wickham that she knows the truth of his past, and he begins to avoid her. The next morning, the regiment leaves for Brighton, along with Lydia and the Forsters.
We learn that Mr Bennet was initially attracted by Mrs Bennet’s beauty when he chose to marry her. However, as he discovered her poor intellect, the husband started losing interest in his wife. Reflecting on her parents’ marriage, Elizabeth realises their relationship has influenced their daughters negatively. She also finds her father responsible for not using his education to teach his daughters to be more respectable.
During the next weeks, Kitty and Mrs Bennet whine about wanting to go to Brighton as well. Elizabeth takes comfort in her upcoming trip with her uncle and aunt. However, when the time comes, Mrs Gardiner announces a change in the plan, as Mr Gardiner does not have enough time to go to the Lake District as originally planned, and their tour will be restricted to Derbyshire instead.
On the way, Elizabeth and the Gardiners stop in a village near Darcy’s estate, Pemberley. Elizabeth is worried about meeting Darcy but learns that he is not at home. ...