In class-conscious England near the close of the 18th century, the five Bennet sisters--Elizabeth, or Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Mary, and Kitty--have been raised well aware of their mother's fixation on finding them husbands and securing set futures. The spirited and intelligent Elizabeth, however, strives to live her life with a broader perspective, as encouraged by her doting father. When wealthy bachelor Mr. Bingley takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. Amongst the man's sophisticated circle of London friends and the influx of young militia officers, surely there will be no shortage of suitors for the Bennet sisters. Eldest daughter Jane, serene and beautiful, seems poised to win Mr. Bingley's heart. For her part, Lizzie meets with the handsome and--it would seem--snobbish Mr. Darcy, and the battle of the sexes is joined. Their encounters are frequent and spirited yet far from encouraging. Lizzie finds herself even less inclined to accept a marriage proposal from a distant cousin, Mr. Collins, and--supported by her father--stuns her mother and Mr. Collins by declining. When the heretofore good-natured Mr. Bingley abruptly departs for London, devastating Jane, Lizzie holds Mr. Darcy culpable for contributing to the heartbreak. But a crisis involving youngest sister Lydia soon opens Lizzie's eyes to the true nature of her relationship with Mr. Darcy.