While fashions change and technology evolves, there are just some things about being human that transcend time. And the persistence of those human experiences is why anyone can find themselves in the timeless, romantic, and funny novels of Jane Austen.
The Jane Austen Podcast with Alison Larkin brings a fresh voice to these classic stories. Hosted by writer and comedian Alison Larkin, each season will present an Austen novel with her award-winning narration and feature chats with actors, writers, and other fascinating people who have one thing in common: a passionate love for Jane Austen. Whether you’re a die-hard Austen fan or you have yet to be introduced, you’ll find something delightful – and relatable – at every turn.
We are currently airing Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet is not interested in marrying only for money, to the distress of her poor mother’s nerves, and Mr. Darcy is a man in possession of a good fortune and certain opinions about what constitutes an accomplished woman. Though seemingly at odds due to their (you guessed it) pride and prejudice, the complicated and slow burn romance of one of Jane Austen’s most recognized novels is not to be missed.
Stay tuned for Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion!
“Alison Larkin is a comic writer and performer and she approaches Austen as a satirist…she has genuine theatrical skill…sustained comic creations. The voice reveals all.” – The New Yorker
“Listeners will be captivated from the first sentence” – AudioFile Magazine
Heard The Jane Austen Podcast with Alison Larkin on Realm yet? Join me: https://realmfm.page.link/JofeEjav8Bs7DuGY7
Welcome to The Jane Austen Podcast with Alison Larkin
Let us whisk you away to Jane Austen’s England.
Introducing Pride and Prejudice
We’re starting the show with none other than Jane Austen’s most famous novel, and perhaps the most famous love story ever told apart from Romeo and Juliet. This is Pride and Prejudice.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 1-4
We meet Charles Bingley, Mrs. Bennet sees this as an opportunity for one of her 5 daughters to marry well and insists Mr. Bennet arrange a meeting. He dismisses them, but secretly meets with Bingley and the women are ecstatic. Mr Bingley visits, and the Bennets invite him to dinner. He is called away to London, returns to Netherfield Park with his sisters, brother-in-law and friend, Darcy. They attend a ball in Meryton, where Jane dances with Bingley. Darcy offends Jane's sister, Elizabeth, when he is overheard saying she is "tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me."
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 5-7
The Bennets meet with neighbors. Charlotte, the eldest daughter, is Elizabeth's closest friend. Everyone agrees Darcy is unlikable. Bingley's sisters come to visit the Bennets. Jane hides her feelings for Bingley. We find out that Mr. Bennett's property can only be inherited by a man. The youngest daughters Catherine and Lydia Visit their Aunt, Mrs. Phillips in Meryton. Jane is invited to visit the Bingley's, and Mrs. Bennet sends her on horseback knowing that it is going to rain and she will have to spend the night. Jane falls ill and has to stay in Netherfield, and Elizabeth is invited to stay as Jane's condition worsens. Darcy begins to like Elizabeth.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 8-9
Elizabeth spends the evening with the Bingleys and Darcy. The Bingley sisters make quiet comments on Elizabeth's muddied dress from the walk and on her family's lack of money, all of which make her an undesirable match. After dinner, the others play cards while Elizabeth opts to read. Caroline Bingley praises Darcy on the beauty of his library at Pemberley and the accomplishments of his sister. The group discusses what defines an accomplished woman and Elizabeth, after hearing the long list, is surprised that any woman should meet the status. The next morning, Mrs. Bennett and Lydia call to check on Jane. While Mrs. Bennett knows Jane's illness is not dire, she insists she stay at Netherfield with the Bingleys. Lydia reminds Mr. Bingley that he promised to throw a ball - which he will, when Jane recovers.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 10-11
Elizabeth spends another evening with the Bingleys and Darcy. Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves in another stimulating quarrel only to be stopped by Mr. Bingley. Darcy's attraction to Elizabeth grows to the point where he admits if it weren't for her class status, he would be in trouble of actually marrying her. Caroline notices this attraction and pushes harder to dissuade him from Elizabeth. She encourages Darcy to imagine him married to a Bennett, only to poke fun at how ridiculous their lineage would look intertwined. Thanks to Mrs. Bennett's visit the other day, this is not hard for Darcy to agree with. That evening, Jane, finally well, joins the group for dinner but their after dinner activities are lackluster. Caroline tries to gain the attention of Darcy, only to fall victim yet again to his playful tete-a-tete with Elizabeth.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 12-14
Much to Mrs. Bennet's dismay, Jane and Elizabeth leave Netherfield. Elizabeth and Darcy are delighted to part, as Elizabeth is to finally return home and Darcy hopes to relieve some of his attraction to Lizzie. Upon arriving home, Mr. Bennett announces that the family will be receiving a relative for dinner: a Mr. Collins. Collins is set to inherit the estate upon Mr. Bennett's passing and would have the right to evict Mrs. Bennett and her daughters. This causes much distress for Mrs. Bennet but Collins ensures her he is there to make peace with the family. Collins is a clergyman, set up at a parish by a wealthy Lady Catherine de Bourgh. After dinner, Collins winces at the idea of reading a novel. Instead, he opts to read sermons to the girls only to be interrupted, thus ending his evening with a game of backgammon with Mr. Bennett.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 15-16
Mr. Collins admits to Mrs. Bennett that he plans to marry one of the girls, thus bringing peace over the inheritance drama. He had his sights set on Jane, but Mrs. Bennett, who is overjoyed at the prospect of her daughters getting engaged, guides Collins towards Elizabeth. Collins accompanies the girls into town where they meet Lydia's officer friend Mr. Denny and a charming new recruit: Mr. Wickham. The next night, the girls attend a dinner put on by their aunt, Mrs. Phillips, and convince her to invite Mr. Wickham. Elizabeth is charmed by Wickham. As they talk, she learns Wickham was the god son of Mr. Darcy's father and knows him well. When Mr. Darcy's father died, Wickham was to inherit some money but Darcy saw to it that he never received anything at all. Wickham claims Darcy and his sister are too proud - clearly showing a distaste for them both. Elizabeth also finds out that Lady Catherine is Mr. Darcy's aunt and Darcy is set to marry her invalid daughter.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 17-18
When Elizabeth tells Jane of Mr. Wickham's claims, Jane is surprised to hear them and cannot believe Darcy would be so cruel - he is, afterall, good friends with Bingley. The girls receive an invitation to a ball at Netherfield. Elizabeth looks forward to dancing with Wickham but is disappointed to hear he will not attend the ball - she blames this on Darcy. Collins takes Elizabeth for the first two dances before she finds herself dancing with Darcy. They have an awkward conversation before they part. Caroline Bingley then approaches Elizabeth about Wickham - claiming Wickham is the one with horrible manners, not Darcy. Elizabeth cannot believe this! But Jane corroborates Caroline's story, saying Bingley believe's Darcy's side. Elizabeth is not convinced as Bingley does not know Wickham personally and is only hearing one side of the story. Mrs. Bennett speaks of Jane and Bingley's courtship as if they are already engaged. Her confidence in the manner embarrasses Elizabeth which is worsened when her sister Mary plays awful piano.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 19-20
Mr. Collins proposes marriage to Elizabeth - though, not out of love but out of necessity and recommendation of his benefactor, Lady Catherine. Elizabeth refuses his offer. Mr. Collins believes this to be incorrect - as she won't get a better offer - and ensures he'll ask again. But Elizabeth holds strong, stating neither of them will be happy or suitable for one another. Mrs. Bennett is furious at Elizabeth's rejection of Collins. She asks Mr. Bennett to help convince Elizabeth on this being the best option for her. But Mr. Bennett denies his wife by telling Lizzie while her mother may not see her again if she were not to marry Collins, he would be the one not to see again her if she does. It's useless for after everything, Collins retracts his offer upon learning of Elizabeth's headstrongness.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 21-23
Mr. Collins and Charlotte become engaged. Charlotte is happy with Collins, as the marriage will offer her a comfortable life. Elizabeth is less happy for her friend, who thinks she is missing out on the happiness of love. Elizabeth sees Wickham again and introduces him to her parents. Jane receives a letter from Caroline Bingley informing her that their party has returned to town and will not be returning to Netherfield. The letter also implies that Bingley will soon be courting Darcy's sister, Georgina. Elizabeth tries to reassure her sister that she shouldn't give up on Bingley. But after not hearing from Bingley for some time, Elizabeth does begin to worry Jane may lose Bingley's love due to the society he keeps: Darcy, his sisters, and the city.
Bonus Episode: Regency Week
Join Alison as she interviews several Austen fans, a costumier, Gill Hornby, and Sam Keele in honor of Jane Austen Regency Week.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 24-25
Jane vows her heartbreak will mend in time - trying to believe that if Bingley’s departure was so easy for him, he must have never been in love at all. Elizabeth can’t stand hearing her sister say such things - she’s too good a person. Elizabeth is still dissatisfied with her friend Charlotte's decision to marry Collins. In the matter of the love - or lack thereof - around her, she is becoming dissatisfied with the idea of marriage overall. Mr. Bennett still feels confident his daughter could live a happy life - perhaps with Wickham? Though, Elizabeth fears he is too good for her. Mrs. Bennett’s brother, Mr. Gardiner, and his wife visit the family for Christmas. They recognize how unhappy Jane is and invite her to stay with them in London. Though it seems unlikely Bingley will call upon Jane, Elizabeth secretly hopes they will find each other again.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 26-27
Mrs. Gardiner has noticed a connection between Elizabeth and Wickham. She warns Elizabeth that he won’t be a good match due to his lack of money. Elizabeth ensures this won’t become an issue, as there is not enough love between the two yet. Charlotte and Collins wed. With Charlotte moving away, Elizabeth promises she will visit her in time. After some time in London without hearing from Caroline, Jane calls upon her. Caroline insists she had no idea Jane was in London. It takes over a month for Caroline to return the visit, and is cold when she meets with Jane. Jane writes to Elizabeth that she feels she has been deceived and there never was a friendship between them. Meanwhile, Wickham has turned his sights to another woman, a Miss King, after she inherits 10,000 pounds. Elizabeth decides she was in never love with Wickham. Charlotte’s father, Sir William Lucas, and Charlotte’s youngest sister, Mariah, travel with Elizabeth to visit Charlotte. They make a stop in London to call upon Jane. While there, Mrs. Gardiner invites Elizabeth to travel with them over the summer.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 28-29
Elizabeth and Charlotte’s family arrive at the Collins’ home. The next day, Elizabeth and Mariah spot Lady de Bourgh’s daughter, Anne, from a window. They observe how thin, sickly, and plain she looks - the idea that Darcy would have such an unattractive wife pleases Elizabeth. The group is invited to dinner at Lady de Bourgh’s manor. While at dinner, Lady Catherine dominates the conversation - pushing her own ideas about class and how a home should be run. It’s made clear that she has a strong hand in Mr. Collin’s life and home, thus she’ll also have one in Charlotte’s. Lady Catherine then turns attention to Elizabeth and criticizes the Bennetts for how they brought up their daughters. She is shocked to hear Elizabeth does not practice music or art, but rather reads. Elizabeth shows no fear in responding to Lady Catherine with her own opinions and pride in how she was raised.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 30-32
Sir William Lucas departs, but Elizabeth and Mariah remain guests of Charlotte. Darcy and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, call upon Lady de Bourgh and suddenly Elizabeth finds herself spending more time with Darcy. But it’s Fitzwilliam who takes a liking to Elizabeth as the two talk about books and music. Lady Catherine inserts herself into their conversation - constantly critiquing how women should practice music and criticizing Elizabeth and Charlotte for not playing music enough. One dinner, Fitzwilliam asks Elizabeth to play the piano. Lady Catherine disrespects Elizabeth by holding a conversation with Darcy while she plays. Darcy gets up from the conversation to join Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam at the piano. Elizabeth believes Darcy is intimidating her and retaliates by describing Darcy’s lack of manners to Fitzwilliam. Later during his visit, Darcy calls upon the Collins home while everyone is out save for Elizabeth. Much to her surprise, Darcy stays and the two engage in an awkward conversation. Elizabeth inquires about his leaving Netherfield so abruptly and Darcy confirms he doesn’t think Bingley will return. After this odd visit, Charlotte states Darcy must be in love with Elizabeth! But as the women spend more time with the men, Charlotte begins to believe it is Fitzwilliam who is falling in love with Elizabeth.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 33-34
Elizabeth continues on her walks in the countryside, but is constantly surprised by Darcy. He insists on spending time with her, even though their talks are not very stimulating. Elizabeth predicts he is measuring her as a potential match for Fitzwilliam. One day, Fitzwilliam surprises Elizabeth on her walk instead. Fitzwilliam brings up the topic of marriage - stating because he is a younger son, he must consider a woman’s wealth - much like Wickham. He also tells Elizabeth of Darcy’s recent excursion in Netherfield, where he influenced Bingley to leave in order to avoid an “imprudent marriage,” unbeknownst to him that he was speaking of Elizabeth’s sister. Thus, Fitzwilliam confirms Elizabeth’s fear that it was Bingley’s friends who forced him away and caused such sadness in Jane. Darcy admits his love for Elizabeth and extends an offer of marriage. Elizabeth rejects the proposal and their conversation becomes heated. Darcy, hurt by the rejection, and Elizabeth angered that Darcy broke up Bingley and Elizabeth - which Darcy now confirms himself. Darcy continues to tell her that he loves her, despite all her shortcomings - but this upsets Elizabeth more. After he leaves, Elizabeth can’t help but to cry and feel a tinge of regret, if only Darcy weren’t so prideful.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 35-36
Darcy hands Elizabeth a letter. Within the letter is Darcy’s explanation for everything. He again admits that he withdrew Bingley from Jane. But, he did so because he was worried for his friend - a lovesick Romeo in this case - and didn’t think Jane’s affection was as strong as Bingley’s and that she may be taking advantage of the situation. Darcy also doesn’t approve of the Bennett family as a suitable match for Bingley to marry into. As for Wickham, Darcy states that he did give Wickham a sum of money when his father passed - money that was meant to be spent on law school. But Wickham used up the funds and demanded more. When Darcy refused, Wickham charmed Darcy’s young sister, Georgina, in hopes of claiming the fortune - as Darcy sees it. He was almost successful at it too - Georgina was ready to elope with Wickham before Darcy intervened. Upon first reading the letter, Elizabeth was shocked and in disbelief - how dare Darcy double down on his statements. But after rereading and rereading the letter, Elizabeth began to recount all her interactions with Wickham. She surmised Wickham was not the virtuous man that she believed him to be and that Darcy’s letter must be true. She became ashamed of herself and her prejudice.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 37-39
Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam leave Rosings. After they’re gone, the group goes to dinner again at Lady Catherine’s, but Elizabeth is distracted - constantly thinking of the letter. She decides she respects Darcy. Elizabeth and Mariah ready themselves to depart as well. Lady Catherine asks them to stay another two weeks, but Elizabeth insists she must go home to Longbourn. Before she leaves, Elizabeth has a conversation with Mr. Collins in which he rejoices at the perfectly happy marriage he has with Charlotte. Elizabeth knows there is no true love nor true happiness between the couple, but she does concede the thought that her friend is content. The women stop by London to pick up Jane on their way home. They are met by Kitty and Lydia. Lydia goes on about the soldiers and how they will soon leave for Brighton. She hopes she can convince the family to summer there. Lydia also mentions news of Wickham: Miss King has left town, making Wickham now available.
Pride and Prejudice: Chapters 40-42
Elizabeth tells Jane of Darcy’s proposal and letter - leaving out the bits on Bingley and focusing on Wickham’s true character. She asks Jane if she should expose Wickham to their mutuals, but ultimately they decide against it, as Darcy didn’t expose the matter to anyone himself. Colonel Foster’s wife extends an invitation to Lydia to spend the summer with them in Brighton. Elizabeth asks Mr. Bennett to not allow Lydia to go, worried Lydia’s flirtatious nature will embarrass the family. But Mr. Bennett believes there is nothing to be done about her nature - it's either her at home or in Brighton, and in Brighton perhaps she will mature. Thus, Lydia departs for Brighton, leaving behind a jealous Kitty. Elizabeth sees Wickham before he leaves. She makes mention of having seen Darcy and met Colonel Fitzwilliam. Wickham comes to understand, through Elizabeth’s discreet hints, that she knows the truth of his past. They depart. Elizabeth reflects on her parent’s marriage: she’s disappointed that her father has married a ridiculous woman, yet also disappointed in her father as he has not been a respectable spouse. In July, the Gardiners take Elizabeth on a tour of the country, as promised. Mrs. Gardiner suggests they visit Pemberley. Elizabeth agrees when they discover Darcy will not be home.