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Pride & Prejudice: Differences between the Novel and the BBC Movie Production

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  • Darcy and Bingley come to see Netherfield on horseback and express their differing opinions about the region. In the book, Mrs. Bennet simply hears news of Bingley's arrival from Mrs. Long
  • Elizabeth sees them both on horseback. In the book, she sees them for the first time at the assembly
  • Elizabeth returns home to find Lydia and Kitty quarreling. She smiles at her father. Mrs. Bennet calls out for Jane and Elizabeth. Though characteristic of each family member, this exact scene is not described in the book
  • The family is returning after Church when Mrs. Bennet informs the family about Bingley. Kitty and Lydia say excitedly that Bingley might marry them. Lydia giggles when Mr. Bennet teases Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth chides her. Mrs. Bennet complains about Mr. Bennet to Hill. Mr. Bennet jokes about men who have married foolish women, meaning himself. The book does not specify when or where Mrs. Bennet informs her husband, or whether the girls were present then. It doesn’t give details of the girls discussing Bingley
  • Mrs. Bennet wishes she had had sons, in front of the girls. In the book, she never says so
  • Mary philosophizes on life’s trials, Lydia declares she is hungry. Jane and Elizabeth talk about their hopes and prospects of marriage. Jane wishes her family goodnight before going to bed. Mr. Bennet is going over the accounts. All of this, though characteristic of the family members, is not in the book
  • Kitty and Lydia break the news about the arrival of Bingley’s party in Hertfordshire to the family. In the book, how exactly the news reaches the family is not described
  • Caroline comments to Darcy on the crowd at the Meryton ball before she enters the building. Caroline and her sister look haughty and displeased, but are not shown saying anything in the book
  • Sir Lucas greets the newcomers. In the book, Bingley and his party are present at the first ball. When they arrive, who receives them is not specified
  • Charlotte gives her friends information about the newcomers. The source of the information is not clear in the book, though the entire neighborhood is aware of everything about Bingley
  • Mrs. Bennet calls Jane and Elizabeth excitedly and tells them about Darcy. To Mrs. Bennet’s comment on Darcy’s good looks, Elizabeth says Darcy wouldn’t be quite so handsome if he hadn’t been quite so rich. Sir Lucas brings Bingley to Mrs. Bennet, who introduces him to Jane and Elizabeth. Mrs. Bennet initiates a conversation with Darcy who walks away abruptly. She abuses him in his hearing. Carriage drivers are shown reveling outside the building. Mary comments on the dance to Elizabeth. Back home, Kitty and Lydia laugh at Mary for not dancing at all. The book does not mention any of this
  • Mr. Bennet is surprised that Darcy slighted Elizabeth, she says she doesn’t care. To Mrs. Bennet’s suggestion that she never dance with him even if he asks her to later, she says she can safely promise never to dance with him. In the book, on returning to Longbourn after the ball, Mrs. Bennet describes Darcy’s insult to Mr. Bennet, neither his reaction nor Elizabeth’s is mentioned.
  • Caroline asks Darcy for his opinion of the Hertfordshire ladies. They joke about Mrs. Bennet and her younger daughters. Bingley and Darcy wonder at each other’s attitudes. Mr. Hurst suddenly wakes up and has his own comment on the evening. The book mentions that Bingley and Darcy discuss the ball. Though characteristic of Bingley’s sisters, the book does not describe them making fun of the Bennet ladies
  • Sir Lucas offers to introduce Bingley’s sisters in court, they are offended. They laugh at him behind his back, and sympathize with Darcy. There is no mention of this in the book
  • Elizabeth asks Col. Forster why they have come to Hertfordshire, if it is to subdue the discontent or defend against the French. The details of the conversation are not reported in the book
  • Kitty, Lydia and Mrs. Bennet criticize Mary for playing slow music at a ball. In the book, Kitty and Lydia request Mary to play something for them to dance to
  • Elizabeth moves towards Lydia with the intention of disciplining her at a ball, when Sir Lucas tries to get Darcy to dance with Elizabeth. In the book, Elizabeth is walking past Darcy and Sir Lucas, we don’t know for what reason
  • Jane is shocked at her mother’s plan of sending her on horseback. Jane’s reaction is not described in the book, her mother commands, and Jane is seen obeying
  • Bingley’s sisters are interrogating Jane about her family when she faints. In the book, Jane’s note saying she is unwell reaches the Bennets, what happened after Jane reached Netherfield is not described
  • Mrs. Bennet suggests Elizabeth go with Kitty and Lydia to Meryton to meet the officers. In the book, Mrs. Bennet tells Elizabeth she will be unfit to be seen if she walks in the dirt, but offers no other suggestion
  • Kitty and Lydia get excited about meeting the officers , Mr. Bennet calls them silly. The book gives no particulars of Mr. Bennet’s reaction
  • Darcy is walking in the grounds when Elizabeth arrives at Netherfield to nurse Jane. In the book, Elizabeth is shown into the breakfast parlour where everyone except Jane is present
  • Elizabeth sets out in search of Bingley and meets Darcy playing billiards. In the book, Elizabeth doesn’t run into Darcy alone unexpectedly
  • Mrs. Bennet enters Netherfield asking Kitty and Lydia if it isn’t a fair prospect. The book doesn’t mention Mrs. Bennet’s remarks on entering the place
  • Caroline complains about Mrs. Bennet’s visit. Caroline was clearly unhappy, but there is no mention in the book of any remark of hers
  • Darcy has a bath and watches Elizabeth from the window, she plays with a dog. This doesn’t appear in the book
  • Darcy looks at the carriage that takes Jane and Elizabeth away to Longbourn, Caroline teases him about Elizabeth. The book mentions that Caroline teases Darcy a lot, this particular scene is not described, however
  • Elizabeth confesses to Jane that she is happy to leave Netherfield. Elizabeth says no such thing in the book, though she is happy to leave the place


  • Lydia giggles when Mr. Bennet reads out Collins’ letter. Jane, Elizabeth and Lydia are shown giggling and scorning Collins over dinner. In the book, it is clearly implied that the girls find him ridiculous, but they don’t laugh at him openly
  • Collins asks Elizabeth if he can accompany her to Meryton. In the books, the Bennet parents encourage him to go along with the girls
  • Jane chides Lydia for calling out to Denny from across the street, at Meryton. In the book, Jane doesnt
  • Mary and Collins look disapprovingly when Lydia invites Wickham to Mrs. Phillips’. The book doesn’t record this
  • Collins asks Elizabeth for permission before going to play cards. He doesn’t, in the book
  • Wickham is alone with Elizabeth, whereas in the book, he is playing cards sitting between Elizabeth and Lydia, when he starts talking about Darcy
  • Wickham jokes about Elizabeth feeling sorry for him since he hasn’t danced recently, to Lydia. The book doesn’t report this dialogue
  • Jane asks Elizabeth if she likes Wickham, and she admits she does. Jane never openly asks Elizabeth this question in the book
  • Collins, Elizabeth and Wickham walk together at Longbourn, Jane conveniently calls Collins away, leaving Wickham with Elizabeth. He continues his conversation about Darcy. This is included in his previous conversation at Mrs. Phillips’, in the book.
  • Before the Netherfield ball, Mrs. Bennet compliments Elizabeth on her appearance, asks her to pay attention to Collins. Lydia goes to Elizabeth’s room half dressed, runs into Collins on the way. This is not in the book
  • Darcy and Elizabeth look at each other even before Elizabeth enters Netherfield for the ball. Darcy smiles at Collins’ mistakes while dancing. Dogs bark outside, when Mary Is singing at Netherfield. This not in the book
  • At the ball, Mrs. Bennet tells Lady Lucas that Collins first favored Jane, but has settled for Elizabeth. In the book, Mrs. Bennet doesn’t make this announcement
  • After Elizabeth rejects Collins, Charlotte asks Kitty and Lydia if she should invite him home, they agree. Collins goes to Lucas Lodge with Charlotte. In the book, Charlotte doesn’t invite Collins specially. She comes to Longbourn to spend the day there, and on another day, all the Bennets dine with the Lucases. That is when Charlotte secures Collins


  • Elizabeth learns about Charlotte’s engagement from Kitty and Lydia. Elizabeth goes to Charlotte’s house, where Charlotte explains her decision. In the book, Charlotte calls on Elizabeth and informs her
  • Collins is present in Hertfordshire when Elizabeth learns about the engagement. Collins holds Charlotte’s hand and talks to Elizabeth about his happiness. In the book, Collins leaves for Hunsford, then Charlotte breaks the news
  • Jane is justifying Charlotte’s behavior, and she and Elizabeth are teasing each other about their partiality for Bingley and Wickham respectively, when Caroline’s letter announcing their departure arrives. The book does not have this dialogue
  • In the book, Caroline’s letter arrives after Elizabeth brings Wickham to Longbourn. Then Charlotte’s engagement is announced. In the movie, Charlotte gets engaged, Caroline’s letter arrives, and then Wickham comes to Longbourn
  • Wickham brings up the topic of Collins’ proposal with Elizabeth. He doesn’t mention it in the book
  • Mr. Bennet says Wickham is telling tales, and Darcy might turn out to be fine, the family discuses the matter. This scene is not in the book, though all the ladies in the family believe Wickham’s version
  • Elizabeth suggests that Jane go to London with the Gardiners, in the book Mrs. Gardiner suggests it
  • Mrs. Bennet walks away angrily when Elizabeth comes to introduce Wickham to Mrs. Gardiner. Elizabeth jokes about wanting to visit Rosings Park, when Charlotte invites her to Hunsford. Maria Lucas is happy that Elizabeth will go with her to Hunsford. This is not in the book
  • In Mrs.Gardiner’s presence, Maria asks Charlotte who Mary King is. In the book, Wickham turns to King after Mrs. Gardiner leaves for London, and Elizabeth writes about it to her aunt
  • Elizabeth congratulates Wickham on his forthcoming engagement to King, he apologetically explains his position, she laughs it off. This is not in the book
  • Mr. Bennet tells Elizabeth he would hear no words of sense spoken in the house till she or Jane return. This is not in the book
  • During the journey, Sir Lucas is happy and proud of Lady Catherine’s wealth and Charlotte’s match. The book doesn’t describe him talking about his feelings openly
  • Charlotte, Elizabeth and Maria are out walking when Collins runs upto them, asking them to return to the parsonage to welcome Darcy. In the book, Charlotte sees her husband return from Rosings Park with Darcy and informs Elizabeth and Maria
  • The details of Elizabeth’s conversation with Col. Fitzwilliam at their first meeting at Hunsford are not specified in the book
  • Lady Catherine invites Elizabeth to play the piano at Mrs. Jenkinson’s room in Darcy’s presence. In the book, she invites her at the first meeting


  • After the Hunsford proposal, Col. Fitzwilliam meets Darcy, who refuses to meet Lady Catherine. All that is stated in the book is Darcy went back to Rosings Park and wrote the letter
  • Some of the visuals that appear when Darcy writes his letter to Elizabeth are not given in the book, eg., Darcy and Wickham fishing as boys, Darcy seeing Wickham with a girl while in college, Wickham meeting Georgiana after receiving 3000 pounds from Darcy, Mrs.Younge being present with Wickham and Georgiana when Darcy arrives in time to prevent the elopement, Darcy hugging Georgiana afterwards, Darcy seeing Jane during her visit to London
  • On Collins’ enquiries, Elizabeth agrees that she will miss Lady Catherine. This is not in the book
  • Jane is missing from the party back to Longbourn. In the book, Elizabeth and Maria stop at London and pick her up on the way back home
  • Jane expresses her feelings about Bingley to Elizabeth. This is not in the book
  • Mrs. Bennet’s is very excited about Lydia’s trip to Brighton, and discusses clothes and parties. This is not in the book
  • Elizabeth says she will not wish Wickham back again, after they bid goodbye to each other. The book doesn’t have that line, though they both part with a mutual desire of never meeting again
  • Lydia offers to send word if she finds suitable men for Jane and Elizabeth at Brighton. She trips and almost falls while climbing the carriage to Brighton. Mr. Bennet teases Kitty who cries when Lydia leaves for Brighton. This is not in the book
  • Darcy practices fencing, says ‘I shall conquer this, I shall’ to himself. This is not in the book
  • Elizabeth climbs a mountain, Mrs. Gardiner tells her she cannot face Mr. Bennet if she were to have a fall while sightseeing. This is not in the book
  • On approaching Pemberley, the Gardiners wonder who will marry Darcy, decide to ask the housekeeper to show them the house. This is not in the book
  • Darcy arrives on horseback at Pemberley and dives into a lake. Darcy arrives, but how he comes is not mentioned, nor is there a mention of his diving
  • Elizabeth insists on leaving immediately after she runs into Darcy. In the book, she and the Gardiners go ahead with their trip around the grounds
  • Mrs. Gardiner asks very pointedly if Elizabeth knows what has caused the change in Darcy, suggesting she has already guessed the truth. This is not in the book


  • Elizabeth is coming back to the inn to find Darcy waiting for her. In the book, they are at the inn to receive Darcy
  • The details of the conversation between Elizabeth and Georgiana are not described in the book
  • Darcy asks for permission to invite Bingley to the inn, in the book, he arrives on his own later
  • The Gardiners are absent at this meeting at the inn, in the book they are present
  • Elizabeth accepts the dinner invitation, in the book she turns away and Mrs. Gardiner accepts it
  • Elizabeth and Georgiana play the piano at Pemberley. This is not in the book
  • Caroline specifically mentions Wickham’s name while taunting Elizabeth. In the book, she generally mentions the militia at Meryton
  • Darcy walks at night and looks at the piano fondly, remembering Elizabeth. This is not in the book
  • Caroline teases Darcy about Elizabeth, he walks away in a huff. This is not in the book
  • Jane says the elopement is her fault. Elizabeth and Jane now see their chances of marriage are slimmer. They agree that Bingley, Darcy and men like them will want nothing to do with the family. This is not in the book
  • Collins comes to Longbourn after Lydia’s elopement, in the book, he writes a letter
  • Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Bennet agree that they already knew Wickham was bad. This is not in the book
  • Details of scenes that show Darcy searching for the couple, and Lydia and Wickham talking are not in the book, but implied
  • Jane occasionally interrupts while Elizabeth reads Mr. Gardiner’s letter, with some comment
  • Elizabeth expresses her confused feelings about Darcy to Jane. In the book, she thinks about them


  • Mrs. Bennet wants Lydia to be married from Longbourn, Elizabeth explains it cannot be. This is not in the book
  • Mr. Bennet talks to Elizabeth about his feelings and opinion of himself. In the book he feels, but doesn’t express anything
  • The entire family comes out to welcome Wickham and Lydia, in the book they assemble in the breakfast room
  • Wickham is riding a horse when Lydia lets slip about Darcy’s role, in the book she is sitting with Jane and Elizabeth in the house
  • Mrs. Bennet accuses Mr. Bennet of cruelty because he has refused to take the family to the North where Lydia is to go, Mary says she doesn’t want to go there anyway, Mrs. Bennet scolds her. This is not in the book
  • Wickham’s exact words at parting are not mentioned in the book
  • Mrs. Bennet asks Jane to dress up, sit straight, to receive Bingley. This is not in the book
  • The exact words Darcy uses to confess his ruse to Bingley are not mentioned in the book
  • Bingley asks Darcy if he has his blessings. This is not in the book
  • Kitty asks Mary if she has seen the locket Lydia brought from London. This is not in the book
  • Mrs. Bennet’s winking and scheming to leave Bingley alone with Jane result in his proposing to her, in the book he proposes the next day
  • Mr. Bennet tells Bingley he may be one of the few people he can tolerate. This is not in the book
  • Lady Catherine interrupts Mrs. Bennet and gets up to walk in the lawn with Elizabeth. Though typical of her, this is not mentioned in the book

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