57 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2018
    1. stand up


    2. stupid

      dull, tiresome

    3. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again

      Jane Austen clearly presents a generally unfavorable impression of Darcy. However, unlike other characters, Darcy's first appearance is not described by the author's own voice but rather through the eyes of the community. This suggests how fickle people can be when it comes to first impressions.

    4. His character was decided

      the general opinion of him was accepted.

    5. Derbyshire

      a county in the northern half of England

    6. gave a disgust

      produced a distaste or dislike

    7. gentlemen

      gentleman often meant someone who is wealthy enough to not work or be in a profession that is considered genteel, such as a military officer or clergyman.

    8. ten thousand a year

      this amount makes Mr. Darcy among one or two hundred of the richest men in England. Since he also has a lavish house and property, he may have at least three times the wealth of Mr. Bingley.

    9. fashion

      high social standing or the expected elegance and demeanor of upper class society.

    10. fine

      elegant, refined

    11. a report soon followed that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies, but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing, that instead of twelve he brought only six with him from London—his five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted of only five altogether—Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man.

      This passage shows the inaccuracy of the rumors about Mr. Bingley's party gives the first glimpse of the unreliability of local gossip, something that will occur frequently in the novel. It serves as an example of...

    12. Hertfordshire

      is the county in England where the Bennets live. It has not been mentioned until now because it is unimportant to the story. Jane Austen does not put as much emphasis on setting as other authors. Her main consideration seems to how its geographic position, particularly its closeness to other locations, moves the plot. In this case, Hertfordshire, which is north of London, allows characters such as Bingley to travel easily to and from the capital.

    13. town


    14. housekeeping

      this does not refer to Mrs. Bennet doing actual housekeeping such as cooking or cleaning (which would be done by servants) but to her planning of it and supervising the servants.

    15. rode a black horse.

      Owning a horse was a sign of wealth and those men who used them did so for local transport. Carriages were more effective for longer distances.

    16. blue coat

      blue was fashionable. It was during this period that darker colors were becoming preferable for men.

    17. an upper window

      The women may be upstairs to remain away from the visitor, who shouldn't see them if not introduced. But they may also prefer staying upstairs because they can observe him more discreetly.

    18. he saw only the father

      As a man, Mr. Bingley would call upon the father of the family; it would then be up to the father to decide whether to introduce the visitor to the others at this time. Custom ruled that introductory visits be fifteen minutes long. This is the second meeting of the two men and thus, it could be longer but Mr. Bennet's dislike of conversation has kept it to a minimum.

    19. library

      Libraries were often a standard feature of wealthy families' homes during the eighteenth century. They often functioned as sitting rooms as well as places for reading.

    20. stoutly

      with courage or determination.

    21. conjecturing

      form an opinion on the basis of incomplete information; speculate.

    22. ideas


    23. make extracts

      copy out passages from books. This was a common practice, especially among female readers. Passages of poetry were frequently copied; in Emma one character complies an album of verse riddles.

    24. office

      duty, service to another.

    25. stand their chance

      take their chances, accept what happens

    26. To-morrow fortnight

      two weeks from tommorrow

    27. “When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?”

      The speaker is probably Mr. Bennet. Such a question seems too calm to come from the irritated Mrs. Bennet and, unlike her husband, she would probably know when the next ball is since she enjoys balls.

      Jane Austen often omits explicit identification of the speaker at other points of the novel. She commented on this practice in a letter about Pride and Prejudice: "a 'said he' or a 'said she' would sometimes make the Dialogue more immensely clear - but I do not write for such dull Elves'" (Jan. 29, 1813). Her quotation alludes to a concluding passage from Sir Walter Scott's poem Marmion: "I do not rhyme to that dull elf, / who cannot image to himself, . . ."

    28. serving you

      helping or being useful

    29. discretion

      trying to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.

    30. I have no opinion of her

      I have no good opinion of her. Mrs. Bennet is afraid Mrs. Long will not introduce them to Mr. Bingley in order to save him for her nieces.

    31. deigned

      to do something that is beneath one's dignity.

    32. assemblies

      During the 18th century, assemblies were popular social gatherings with dancing and other amusements. They were generally public, open to whoever could afford to buy tickets or subscriptions.

      It should be noted that because assemblies are public, Mrs. Bennet and her daughters can attend without Mr. Bennet.

    33. trimming a hat

      decorating a hat, typically by adding feathers, ribbons, or some other embellishment. This was a common practice among women during the time.

    34. waited on

      called upon

  2. Oct 2018
    1. mean understanding

      inferior intellect, judgment

    2. “Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all.”

      This indifference is a sign of Mr. Bennet's humor but also a foreshadowing of what is to come. Mr. Bennet is an irresponsible father. Mrs. Bennet's might have an obsession with finding wealthy husbands for her daughters but she has good reason to. There are unfortunate consequences for women who fail to find husbands (preferably those of good wealth) as it is revealed later, the Bennet daughters will inherit almost nothing.

    3. Michaelmas

      Michaelmas is a Christian feast day of the Archangels – especially St. Michael the Archangel and is celebrated on September 29. St. Michael is seen as the greatest of the archangels and a mighty defender of the church against Satan. The mention of Michaelmas gives us a good idea of when the story is taking place – the very last days of summer. In addition, people were usually hired on a yearly term from Michaelmas to Michaelmas. At the end of the year, farm workers, servants, and laborers would go to the hiring fairs holding a symbol of their profession. It can be assumed that Mr. Bingley has come to the country on Michaelmas because it would be much simpler to hire extra servants for his new household on that day.

    4. Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters

      Lizzy's prominence in the novel is set here. She is the first to be mentioned and later in the story, the first to speak. This sentence also reveals the favoritism her husband has for Lizzy, whose "quickness" makes her preferable to their other daughters.

    5. nervous

      suffering from nervous disorders

    6. news

      gossip of the neighborhood, not national news

    7. develop

      discover or understand

    8. mind

      Mental and emotional character. The word had less of a purely intellectual implication than it does today.

    9. parts


    10. poor nerves

      Many diseases or illnesses at the time were believed to be associated with nervous disorders or nervousness hence "my poor nerves" became a popular self-diagnosis for people like Mrs. Bennet who complained about their health.

    11. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not

      In this society, there are strict customs for visiting someone you do not know. Since Mr. Bingley is male, Mrs. Bennet suggests that Mr. Bennet should meet him first (so that she can introduce him to her daughters).

    12. give over

      give up; abandon

    13. establishment


    14. Sir William and Lady Lucas

      William Lucas was knighted so he is called "Sir" and his wife, "Lady." Knighthood, unlike many other titles, cannot be inherited.

    15. four or five thousand a year

      "Four or five thousand a year" is Mr. Bingley's annual income in pounds. A pound in Jane Austen's lifetime would be forty pounds today. So Bingley's income must be around £150,000 to £200,000 a year in pounds or around $250,000 - $300,000 a year in U.S. dollars. However, the average income in this period, even when adjusted for inflation, was much lesser than in our time. So Bingley's income was a sharper deviation from the norm of his time than of today's equivalent.

      In addition, the Bennets earn a respectable income of two thousand pounds a year. This stands in contrast to Bingley's income which makes him a very desirable man for marriage.

      How do they know such supposedly confidential information? Local gossip played a huge role in this society, assisted by servants in the household who often revealed this information to other servants or townsfolk.

    16. some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.”

      Servants often had to prepare a house before their master arrives.

    17. chaise and four

      A "chaise" is a enclosed, four-wheeled carriage that carries up to three people and is pulled by "four" horses. A driver would be mounted on one of these horses.

      A chaise was a popular vehicle used for traveling long-distance and was typically pulled by only two horses. But Mrs. Bennet cares to mention that the man's chaise was pulled by four horses, which indicates that he is a very rich man.

    18. Netherfield Park

      Netherfield Park is the name of a fictional estate three miles from the Bennets’ home and located in Hertfordshire, England. It was not uncommon for large estates to be given a name such as “park” to indicate their attractiveness and luxury.

    19. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

      One of the most famous opening lines in literature achieves two main purposes. One, it indicates the novel’s core subject of marriage and the financial deliberations that come along with it. Two, it sets the novel’s tone of irony as it is the single women in society who are truly in want or need of a wealthy man.

      The sentence could also be an reference to David Hume’s Of Liberty and Necessity (section VIII, part I):

      "It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations"