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The Real Mr Darcy

The relationship portrayed in Pride and Prejudice between Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy is one of the most famous and loved romantic relationships in English literature. What is a little less well-known, however, is the real life people who are thought to have inspired these characters.

Aloof and Excitable

Mr Darcy comes across as aloof and unconcerned with social graces, which other characters in the novel see as proud. Part of this pride comes from the fact that he is extremely wealthy, with an income of £10,000 per year (perhaps $300,000 in today's money). Mr Darcy is the Pride referenced in the book's title.

Elizabeth on the other hand is the complete opposite. She is witty and quick to judge, and in a much lower class than Mr Darcy as her father only earns £2,000 per year (approx. $65,000 today). Elizabeth is the Prejudice in the book's title.

The two only finally come together when they each overcome their pride and their prejudice.