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Our Mutual Friend
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Archived Group Reads 2019 > Our Mutual Friend: Week 9: Chapter V-XII (Book 4)

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

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Our second-last instalment, with things coming together for the finale, and what an exciting segment!

Mrs Wilfer (grudgingly) and Lavinia (surprisingly, more willingly than expected) have accepted Bella’s marriage, and invite the couple to tea. Lavinia is exciting to show off Mr Sampson off course, in a better position than the ‘mendicant’ Rokesmith, but she indicates she would have willingly attended the wedding had Bella chosen to confide in her. The Rokesmiths settle down to a happy and simple life, with plenty of work but also love, and always room for Rumty.

Meanwhile, it would seem Eugene didn’t give enough thought to Bradley Headstone in his excitement to meet Lizzie, and while she confesses her love, she knows what their social differences mean for them and wishes him to stop pursuing her. One is not sure if he will accept, but before we see what he has decided (he seems sure he can’t marry her or leave her), he is brutally attacked by Bradley Headstone, and left for dead. But Lizzie is close by and rescues him. Bradley divests himself of his disguise of Rogue Riderhood, but Riderhood has followed him and recovered the evidence.

The first of our villains, Fledgeby gets what he deserves when Alfred Lammle gives him a good thrashing before he leaves England with his wife for good. Jenny Wren’s appearance on the scene to keep her appointment with him, clears up a few things for her, and it seems to dawn on her finally that it is Fledgeby who is Pubsey and Co (after some confusion). She adds to the Lammles efforts, and Fledgeby certainly deserves that too. Mr Riah is restored in her eyes, is no longer the wolf but once again the godmother. Not only that, he has in true storybook style, finished his service with Fledgeby and is finally free. But all isn’t well for the Doll’s dressmaker as her ‘bad child’ Mr Dolls dies, having been a trial to her many years. And before she is recovered from that, news of Eugene being on his deathbed comes in.

Lizzie, Lightwood, and Jenny nurse Eugene but there is little hope of a recovery. This has however helped him make up his mind that he will make Lizzie his wife before he goes and so he does. Revd Milvey is to perform the ceremony while Bella is to attend. Rokesmith once again manages to avoid meeting Lightwood. And news of the wedding reaches Headstone’s ears and he gets a fit--even if he falls down dead with it, it will be a lighter punishment than he deserves but since Eugene doesn’t want to pursue the legal course, perhaps this is the better one. Of course, we have one instalment left and Riderhood has evidence so perhaps, Headstone won’t escape quite so lightly!

Charlie Hexam once again shows his true colours, accusing Headstone of selfishness for not thinking of ‘him’ as he does his sister Lizzie, but little noticing how he thinks only of himself and his position rather than anyone else’s feelings or happiness. Why has no one given him a good whipping yet? Now he plans to marry Miss Peecher, poor Lady.

Rokesmith may have escaped Mortimer once but he can’t avoid him forever and prepares Bella for this. But when he does encounter him and the Inspector is back on the scene, having identified him as Julius Hanford, Bella’s trial is not much for the truth is revealed even if not to her yet, and Bella and Rokesmith with their new baby are back at the Boffins where they are welcomed with open arms. So the Boffins knew after all, and were present at the wedding! What will Bella say when she finds out?

So our ‘villains’ are beginning to get their just desserts and our ‘heroes’ and ‘heroines’ their due, Fledgeby certainly got what he deserved though Headstone and Wegg are yet to; Lizzie is married to Eugene; Bella and Rokesmith are happy; secrets are being revealed. Just one more instalment left!

How did you like this week’s segment? A typical Dickens end, with everyone’s fate being neatly wrapped up.


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

Piyangie | 779 comments Mod
So Bradley Headstone turned out to be one of the meanest villains of a Dickens work. I wasn't surprised. I felt he would turn out to be so. I was cursing Eugene's negligence. I'm happy that Lizzie and Eugene were united - only it would have been under better circumstances. At least the incident cleared Eugene's wandering mind as to what he really wants. I really hope he will live.


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

Piyangie | 779 comments Mod
I'm really happy about the flogging Fledgeby received from Mr. Lammle. This sounds mean but he deserves it. And I'm equally happy that Riah was cleared and reinstated in Jenny's good books. Riah, to me, was the most wronged in the whole story.


Jenny | 13 comments So much was resolved in this section. So far I'm very satisfied with how things are turning out. I think that Fledgeby is more of a traditional Dicken's villain than Headstone. Headstone is a nightmare, a monster.


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

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Piyangie wrote: "So Bradley Headstone turned out to be one of the meanest villains of a Dickens work. I wasn't surprised. I felt he would turn out to be so. I was cursing Eugene's negligence. I'm happy that Lizzie ..."

As do I. I can't really blame him for being undecided really, I mean in his social circumstances could he really marry her? He wasn't earning anything from what I can see and his father would in all likelihood cut them off, as would much of society... so from a practical point of view, he would have really had to think it through.


message 6: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Piyangie wrote: "I'm really happy about the flogging Fledgeby received from Mr. Lammle. This sounds mean but he deserves it. And I'm equally happy that Riah was cleared and reinstated in Jenny's good books. Riah, t..."

He is indeed. He made a rather relevant statement about how society treats his people, which I think can as well apply to other situations and places as well.


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

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "So much was resolved in this section. So far I'm very satisfied with how things are turning out. I think that Fledgeby is more of a traditional Dicken's villain than Headstone. Headstone is a night..."

I hope he gets the end he deserves.


message 8: by Piyangie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Piyangie | 779 comments Mod
Lady Clementina wrote: "Piyangie wrote: "So Bradley Headstone turned out to be one of the meanest villains of a Dickens work. I wasn't surprised. I felt he would turn out to be so. I was cursing Eugene's negligence. I'm h..."

Of course, Mallika. One cannot blame Eugene for being undecided about Lizzie. She is from a class so beneath of his, and his family would never approve. Indeed his father wants for him to marry a beautiful heiress. So the dilemma of Eugene is understandable.


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