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Archived Group Reads 2019 > Our Mutual Friend: Week 6: Chapters I-VIII (Book 3)

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message 1: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1200 comments Mod
This week, we saw many developments, and while not as exciting as last week, there some interesting revelations all the same.

Fledgeby continues with his scheme of purchasing queer bills, all of it through Mr Riah, of course, and it would seem that he has acquired some power over the Lammles in this process. Mr Lammle, meanwhile, has discovered that their game is up as far as Georgiana Podsnapp is concerned, but luckily not who was responsible. Their schemes seem now turned towards Bella (who is certainly much better able to look after herself), and Mrs Lammle has no qualms making her the target.

Meanwhile, we also learn that it was indeed Mr Riah who helped Lizzie make her escape as her brother is an ungrateful wretch (to say the least), one suitor obsessive, and the other socially unsuitable (besides not really knowing what he wants to do). Fledgeby too seems interested in Lizzie’s whereabouts. I wonder whether that is going to lead somewhere.

Bella heads home to her parents’ anniversary and tries her hand at cooking, with little success. While she confesses to her father (and to Mrs Lammle) that she still is determined to marry money, she is beginning to get disturbed by the changes that are taking place in Mr Boffin’s personality—the sudden interest in the lives of misers, the increasing gleam in his eye when money is talked of, and the sudden strictness with Mr Rokesmith—what does all this mean? And while he is continuing his ‘lessons’ with Silas Wegg, he is also dropping some hints, and is also upto something mysterious. But, even if Mr Boffin is beginning to get obsessed with money, the hints about hidden wills and such sound to me like a trap for Wegg and Venus. I wonder how that will play out!

Lizzie has made sure her father’s name is cleared at Miss Potterson’s, Mr Riah and Jenny Wren acting on her behalf in this regard. And while there are there, Rogue Riderhood is brought in, seeming destined to suffer the same fate as Gaffer Hexam. But he manages to escape, grateful to no one who helped him, leaving them probably wondering why they bothered in the first place. Poor Pleasant, however, has to deal with him nonetheless. But we do get a surprise about her. It is she that Mr Venus loves. But does she like him or does his work really put her off entirely?

Betty Higden in her determination to escape the workhouse is unfortunately living the life of a hounded criminal, having to run all the time, even when her health doesn’t permit it, and being taken advantage of by the unscrupulous like the Lockkeeper. But she does succeed in keeping them away, and at the end has the luck to have kind-hearted Lizzie Hexam beside her (who reminds her of Bella), who is a comfort and who will certainly let the Boffins know what befell her. I was glad she got her wish but then the suffering she had to go through for it made me question whether that was worth it at all? Even if she didn’t wish to accept charity, surely she could have considered some employment with the Boffins where she’d have been better looked after? All the same, her reaction and the lengths to which she went to avoid it speak volumes about the condition of workhouses and the treatment that their inhabitants could expect to receive.

(An article about workhouses: https://www.historyextra.com/period/v...)

Betty’s position and suffering did have an impact on the actual workhouse system: Read about that here: http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illus...
What did you think of this week’s chapters?


message 2: by Piyangie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Piyangie | 828 comments Mod
I'm really surprised by the change in Mr. Boffin. It is hard to believe such a goodhearted man can change so drastically with the influence of money. But it is really sad. I liked him.


message 3: by Piyangie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Piyangie | 828 comments Mod
There seems to be a conflict of thought in Bella. Although she still cares for money and the comfort and greatness it brings, she is rather alarmed by its effect on Mr. Boffin's person.


message 4: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1200 comments Mod
Piyangie wrote: "I'm really surprised by the change in Mr. Boffin. It is hard to believe such a goodhearted man can change so drastically with the influence of money. But it is really sad. I liked him."
It happens to the best of people- money and power, both can corrupt.


message 5: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1200 comments Mod
Piyangie wrote: "There seems to be a conflict of thought in Bella. Although she still cares for money and the comfort and greatness it brings, she is rather alarmed by its effect on Mr. Boffin's person."

Beginning to see sense perhaps.


Jenny | 13 comments Piyangie wrote: "I'm really surprised by the change in Mr. Boffin. "
I was surprised too and hope that his wife can pull him back from the brink. It's funny that he's reading books on misers and totally focusing on how they got and kept their money and missing the point of the stories...the terrible life they lived only to die like everyone else.


message 7: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1200 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "Piyangie wrote: "I'm really surprised by the change in Mr. Boffin. "
I was surprised too and hope that his wife can pull him back from the brink. It's funny that he's reading books on misers and to..."


True- als perhaps, people trying to take advantage and cadge money from him or make money however they can (like Wegg and the Lammles and many others-I think there were letters mentioned at some point) would probably make him more wary


Nina Clare | 135 comments Piyangie wrote: "I'm really surprised by the change in Mr. Boffin. It is hard to believe such a goodhearted man can change so drastically with the influence of money. But it is really sad. I liked him."
I'm surprised and disappointed too. I hope events turn him back before its too late.


message 9: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (last edited Apr 21, 2019 02:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1200 comments Mod
Nina wrote: "Piyangie wrote: "I'm really surprised by the change in Mr. Boffin. It is hard to believe such a goodhearted man can change so drastically with the influence of money. But it is really sad. I liked ..."

Too much of aything can do that... sadly


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