Course Hero Logo

Pride and Prejudice | Study Guide

Jane Austen

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Pride and Prejudice Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 5 Dec. 2022. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, August 10). Pride and Prejudice Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Pride and Prejudice Study Guide." August 10, 2016. Accessed December 5, 2022.


Course Hero, "Pride and Prejudice Study Guide," August 10, 2016, accessed December 5, 2022,

Chapter 46

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University provides in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 46 of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 46 (Volume 3, Chapter 4) | Summary



When she returns to the inn where she is staying, Elizabeth finds two letters from Jane. They are filled with upsetting information. Lydia has run away from Brighton with Wickham, and they are both missing. Elizabeth is dumbfounded. She has never noticed any affection or interest between Lydia and Wickham. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are desperate to make sure that the two get married. If they do not, Lydia's reputation will be destroyed, along with the family's. Mr. Bennet is on his way to London, as Lydia and Wickham were reportedly last seen heading in that direction.

Dismayed, Elizabeth rushes off to find her aunt and uncle and asks Mr. Gardiner to help Mr. Bennet search for Lydia and Wickham. She runs into Darcy and shares the terrible news. He is extremely upset, compounded by his feeling that he might have been able to prevent this episode if he had been more forthcoming about Wickham. Elizabeth, too, feels responsible for not telling all that she knows. Now that she is warming to Darcy, she also wonders if the potential disgrace looming over her family has destroyed any interest he might still have in her.


Darcy's reaction to this news is very telling. Elizabeth could have expected him to be judgmental about Lydia's reckless action. However, he reacts with grace and concern.

The reaction of both characters reveals their shared values. Both feel guilt over failing to reveal Wickham's true character. Both are also willing to admit their own failings. Like Jane and Bingley, they are emotional equals—and so, in Austen's hands, they are destined for a happy marriage.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Pride and Prejudice? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!