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Pride & Prejudice Pilgrimage: Gracechurch Street

Pride & Prejudice Pilgrimage: Gracechurch Street
Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Background:

Elizabeth Bennet having a conversation with her visiting aunt Mrs. Gardiner about Elizabeth's sister Jane, heart-broken by her breakup with Mr. Bingley, who has moved back to London from Longbourn after a brief courtship. The chief cause of Mr. Bingley's breakup with Jane has been Mr. Darcy, a close friend of Mr. Bingley, as well as Mr. Bingley's own sisters; they have been persuading Mr. Bingley to forget about Jane, for the Bennets' low status in society did not deserve his attention.

Presently Mrs. Gardiner, who lives in Cheapside of London, proposes that she should ask Jane to return to London with her for a short while, for a change of scene to cure her depression. Elizabeth was pleased with the plan. Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner continue to discuss whether Mr. Bingley and Jane might meet again in London during her visit.

Quotation from Vol. 2, Ch. 2:

Elizabeth Bennet: "And that [Jane meeting Mr. Bingley in London] is quite impossible; for he [Mr. Bingley] is now in the custody of his friend, and Mr. Darcy would no more suffer him to call on Jane in such a part of London! My dear aunt, how could you think of it? Mr. Darcy may perhaps have heard of such a place as Gracechurch Street, but he would hardly think a month's ablution enough to cleanse him from its impurities, were he to enter it."

And such were the conditon and reputation of Gracechurch Street in London's Cheapside in 1800. Fastforward 207 years and Cheapside is now full of high-end private clubs and international banks!

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