As legal heir to their estate, the Bennets are forced to entertain their blundering cousin, Mr Collins. The rector of a parsonage under the patronage of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr Collins is both odious and pompous.
Lizzie soon becomes the object of Mr Collins' affections and is subjected to his dire efforts at courtship.
On a walk into Meryton, the girls are introduced to a dashing officer called George Wickham.
At Mrs Phillips' party, Lizzie's surprised to discover Wickham grew up with Darcy. Wickham explains Darcy's father provided for him like he was his own son. He then makes a shocking revelation; Darcy refused point blank to certify the living that Wickham had been promised in old Mr Darcy's will. This scandal fuels Lizzie's hatred for Darcy further.
That night, Lizzie confides to Jane that she's fallen for Wickham's 'natural merriment and energy'.
At the Netherfield Ball, Lizzie's disappointed to learn that Wickham's been called away on urgent business. Meanwhile, Miss Bingley warns Lizzie not to give credit to all of Wickham's assertions and that 'Wickham treated Darcy in an infamous manner'.
Later, Lizzie's subjected to dancing with Mr Collins and Darcy. To add insult to injury, Lizzie and Jane are further humiliated by the wild and reckless behaviour of their family.
The next day, Lizzie's horrified when Mr Collins proposes. She declines the offer, much to Mrs Bennet's anger.
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