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Chapter 51

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University provides in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 51 of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 51 (Volume 3, Chapter 9) | Summary

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Summary

Lydia and Wickham arrive at Longbourn. Elizabeth is rather disgusted by their behavior. Lydia brags about her new marital status and marvels that she, the youngest, is the first of the sisters to marry. They act oblivious to the problems they have caused. Elizabeth also notices that Lydia seems more in love with Wickham than he is with her. In the course of their chatter, Lydia happens to mention to Jane and Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy was in London around the time of their marriage. Elizabeth says nothing about this to her father, but she hastily writes a letter to her aunt, Mrs. Gardiner, to see if she can shed light on this curious piece of information.

Analysis

Wickham's perfect ease during the visit underscores his duplicitous nature; he, more than Lydia, is surely aware of the pain he has caused the family.

Darcy's presence in London while Mr. Gardiner settled things with Wickham raises a flag for Elizabeth and adds suspense to the plot.

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