Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice Chapter 46

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Chapter 46

  • If you're thinking, "Boy, these characters spend a lot of time talking and walking and not much time running away for some illicit underage sex," then this chapter is for you: Lizzy gets two letters from Jane saying that Lydia has run off with Wickham.

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  • The first letter says that they've gone to Scotland, where it was a lot easier to get married without, you know, permission.
  • And that's bad enough, but the second letter is worse: they haven't gone to Scotland but to London, i.e. Wickham isn't planning to marry her at all.
  • The idea is that he's convinced her to have sex with him by promising that they'll be married, and eventually he'll abandon her. She'll never be able to marry a respectable man, and her sisters might not, either.
  • Lizzy's just freaking out when Mr. Darcy comes in. She knows he'll understand, so she blurts out the whole story in tears.
  • This is majorly bad news for the Bennet family, who are going to be shamed for having a daughter run off like that.
  • It's also bad news for Lizzy, since Darcy is never going to be okay with marrying into a family like hers.
  • Elizabeth and the Gardiners head home immediately.

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