Pride and Predjudice, 1995 mini series review! ✏️

Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from Jane Austen’s 1813 novel. Main stars Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy the two main characters in the show. The series was a BBC production airing on BBC1.

Here is a run down of the 6 episode series as found on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org) , it is reliable 99% of the time trust me, so here’s what the show entails and then I’ll leave my own opinion at the bottom! 😀

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Episode 1Part One: Mr. Charles Bingley, a rich man from the north of England, settles down at Netherfield estate near Meryton village in Hertfordshire for the autumn. Mrs Bennet, unlike her husband, is excited at the prospect of marrying off one of her five daughters (Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia) to the newcomer. Bingley takes an immediate liking to Jane at a local country-dance, while his best friend Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, rumoured to be twice as rich, refuses to dance with anyone including Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s poor impression of his character is confirmed at a later gathering at Lucas Lodge, and she and Darcy verbally clash on the two nights she spends at Netherfield caring for the sick Jane.

Episode 2Part Two: A sycophantic clergyman named Mr. William Collins visits his cousins, the Bennets. He is the entitled heir of their home and estate, Longbourn, and intends to marry one of Mr. Bennet’s daughters. This is meant, on his part, as an act of benign goodwill towards the Bennets, because Mrs. Bennet and her unwed daughters will be rendered homeless once Mr. Bennet dies and Mr. Collins inherits the estate. He therefore invites himself for a two-week visit, to get to know the Bennets better and select a wife from among the daughters of the family. However, the Bennet girls judge Mr. Collins to be a rather ridiculous man, an “oddity” with many peculiarities of speech and deportment. They are nevertheless civil to him, and take him to balls and social events in Meryton. One day, while on a walk around Meryton village, they meet members of a newly arrived militia, including a Mr George Wickham. At a social event, Wickham befriends Elizabeth and tells her that Darcy, who is the son of Wickham’s late father’s employer, has denied Wickham a living (a curacy) which had been assured to him by Mr. Darcy’s father. At another social event, Darcy surprises Elizabeth with a dance offer at a ball at Netherfield, which she grudgingly but politely accepts. Mr Collins proposes to Elizabeth the next day, but she resoundingly rejects him. While Mrs Bennet disagrees about Elizabeth’s decision, her close friend Charlotte Lucas invites Mr Collins to stay at Lucas Lodge.

Episode 3Part Three: Elizabeth is stunned and appalled when she learns that Charlotte Lucas has accepted a proposal from Mr Collins. When the Netherfield party departs for London in autumn, Jane stays with her modest London relatives, the Gardiners, but she soon notices that the Bingleys ignore her. After befriending Mr Wickham, Elizabeth departs for the Collinses’ home in Kent in the spring. They live near Rosings, the estate of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and as Lady Catherine is Darcy’s aunt, Elizabeth meets Darcy several times. Shortly after Elizabeth learns of Darcy’s direct responsibility for Jane and Bingley’s separation, Darcy unexpectedly proposes to her, expressing his ardent admiration and love despite Elizabeth’s inferior family connections. Elizabeth flatly rejects him, noting his arrogant, disagreeable, and proud character, and his involvement in her sister’s failed romance and Mr Wickham’s misfortune.

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Episode 4Part Four: Darcy justifies his previous actions in a long letter to Elizabeth: he misjudged Jane’s affection for Bingley and exposes Wickham as a gambler who once attempted to elope with his young sister, Georgiana, to obtain her inheritance. Back at Longbourn, Mr Bennet allows Lydia to accompany the militia to Brighton as a personal friend of the militia colonel’s wife. Elizabeth joins the Gardiners on a sightseeing trip to Derbyshire and visits Penberly, Darcy’s estate, during his absence. Greatly impressed by the immense scale and richness of the estate, Elizabeth listens to the housekeeper’s earnest tales of her master’s lifelong goodness, while Darcy refreshes from his unannounced journey home by taking a swim in a lake. After an unexpected and awkward encounter with Elizabeth, a damp Darcy is able to prevent the party’s premature departure with an unusual degree of friendliness and politeness.

Episode 5Part Five: Elizabeth and the Gardiners receive an invitation to Pemberley, where Darcy and Elizabeth share significant glances. The next morning, Elizabeth receives two letters from Jane, discussing Lydia’s elopement with Wickham. As Elizabeth is about to return to Longbourn, Darcy walks in and offers his help, but, upon digesting the bad news, gradually appears more remote, and soon takes his leave. Elizabeth supposes she will never see him again. Mr and Mrs Bennet try to deal with the possible scandal until they receive a letter from Mr Gardiner, saying that Lydia and Wickham have been found and are not married, but will be soon under the Gardiners’ care. After Mr Bennet states his surprise at how easily the issue has been resolved, Elizabeth informs Jane about her last meeting with Darcy, including her ambivalent feelings for him.

Episode 6Part Six: After Lydia carelessly mentions Darcy’s involvement in her wedding, Mrs Gardiner enlightens Elizabeth how Darcy found the errant couple and paid for all the expenses. When Bingley and Darcy return to Netherfield in the autumn, Darcy apologises to Bingley for intervening in his relationship with Jane and gives his blessing for the couple to wed. Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who has heard rumours of an engagement between Darcy and Elizabeth but wants him to marry her sickly daughter Anne, pays Elizabeth an unannounced visit. She insists that Elizabeth renounce Darcy, but Elizabeth does not rule out a future engagement. When Elizabeth thanks Darcy for his role in Lydia’s marriage, Lady Catherine’s story encourages Darcy to reconfirm his feelings for Elizabeth. Elizabeth admits the complete transformation of her feelings and agrees to an engagement, which takes her family by surprise. The series ends with a double wedding in the winter months: Jane with Bingley, and Elizabeth to Fitzwilliam Darcy.

So, reading through what Wikipedia said about the episodes really did round the show up as a whole. It was exactly what I had watched which is why I included it. But, this series in particular was not my favourite thing to watch. I has heard such hype about it from some people and in all honestly? I just found it very dry. I thought I would really enjoy it, and felt a little let down, it dragged and DID seem to go on? But I love Colin Firth, so I wanted to watch it. But! Don’t just take my full opinion, watch it for yourself and cast your own judgement. it isn’t awful! I just wouldn’t voluntarily watch it again.

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With love, Charlotte x

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