Pride and Prejudice: Novel Summary: Chapters 41-44

Chapter 41: When the regiment leaves Meryton Kitty and Lydia reproach Jane and Elizabeth for still being able to eat, drink, and continue things as usual.  Lydia, Kitty and Mrs. Bennet continue to try to get Mr. Bennet to agree to a trip to Brighton to be near the regiment, but when Mrs. Forster, (wife of Colonel Forster and friend to Lydia), invites Lydia to come and stay with them there, the thought of them all going is forgotten.  Lydia is in rapture over the invitation, and Kitty is unreasonably peevish.  Elizabeth speaks to her father about her belief that Lydia is not in control of herself enough to go to Brighton, and he states that it will be good for Lydia to go so that she can see how insignificant she is to the regiment when compared to the women in Brighton.  The officers, including Wickham, come to Longbourn on their last day in Meryton, and Elizabeth, being little disposed to part from Wickham in good humor, tells him that she has gained a new appreciation for Darcy and his disposition.  Lydia leaves home with Mrs. Forster, as they are to leave the next morning for Brighton.
Chapter 42: Now that the regiment has left, there is little to do for Mrs. Bennet and Kitty, and their complaints make Elizabeth wish that her trip with the Gardiners would soon arrive; however, Mrs. Gardiner writes that it will have to be put off another two weeks, and that instead of going to the Lakes as planned, they will have to shorten their trip and travel to Derbyshire.  At the mention of Derbyshire, Elizabeth thinks of Darcy, and his estate there, Pemberley.  When the Gardiners do finally arrive they leave their children in the care of Jane, and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth leave for their trip.  Mrs. Gardiner expresses a wish to see Pemberley again, and thinks that Jane will want to see the place she has heard so much about.  Elizabeth is distressed that she might meet Darcy while walking the grounds until she learns from the hotel chambermaid that the family is not there for the summer.
Chapter 43: When Elizabeth first sees Pemberley Woods, “her spirits [are] in a high flutter.” She admires the woods and buildings, and thinks with admiration “that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!” The party meets the housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds, and she has nothing but pleasant things to say about Darcy, to the surprise of Elizabeth.  After getting a tour of the house, the party walks on the grounds again, and Elizabeth is surprised to see Darcy.  At the site of each other Darcy and Elizabeth both start and blush, but he moves towards her and speaks to her with perfect civility.  He takes his leave of Elizabeth, and she and the Gardiners continue walking around the grounds.  Soon Darcy again approaches them, and again Elizabeth is surprised by his civility.  Darcy even asks Elizabeth to introduce him to her friends, and Elizabeth is glad to be able to show him part of her family that she does not have to be ashamed of.  Darcy again surprises Elizabeth by telling her that he would like to introduce her to his sister, who will be arriving the next day.  When the Gardiners and Elizabeth leave Pemberley to return to their hotel, Elizabeth can think of nothing but Darcy and wonder at his civility and how he wants her to meet his sister.
Chapter 44: Elizabeth believes that Darcy will bring his sister to meet her the day after Miss Darcy arrives home, but in fact they show up the day she returns.  Elizabeth finds Miss Darcy shy, but not excessively proud.  Bingley also joins the party, as he and his sisters are also visiting Pemberley.  Elizabeth hopes to find out about his feelings for Jane, as she sees that neither he nor Miss Darcy (who Miss Bingley hopes will marry) show much affection for each other.  Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner are surprised by Darcy bringing his sister to meet Elizabeth, and after seeing him with her, are convinced of his admiration for her.  Elizabeth is again surprised by Darcys interaction with her family and others, as she sees him trying to please them all.  As they are leaving, the Darcys invite Elizabeth and the Gardiners to Pemberley for dinner, and they accept.  The next day it is decided that Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth should pay a visit to Miss Darcy, and Mr. Gardiner joins some other gentlemen to go fishing on the Pemberley grounds, as Darcy had invited him to do.