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Middlemarch
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Archived 2012 Group Reads > Middlemarch 06: Chapters 26-32

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message 1: by Loretta (new) - added it

Loretta (lorettalucia) Please discuss below!


Juliette So much going on!!!
The gossip about Lydgate and Rosamond leads to an engagement!

Casaubon has a heart attack and goofy Mr.Brooke invites Ladislaw to his place!

Mr. Featherstone's life is circling the drain as the vultures circle his home!

Where do we begin?

I LOVED reading this section and came very close to just continuing and finishing the book. I love the little bit of gossip on how Lydgate is Bulstrode's illegitimate son, and Mrs. Bulstrode's needling both Rosamund and Lydgate which in a round about way led to thier engagement. What would have happened without her interference?

Am I the only one feeling a little relief for Dorothea when Casaubon has his heart attack? Am I a bad person for thinking she might escape the marriage with a bit of her youth still intact? Am I the only one laughing at Mr. Brooke's rambling thought process?

Then there's poor Mr. Featherstone. I was so lucky to so far avoid being in that kind of mess. But I've seen plenty of backlash from families fighting over wills. Reading about the vultures circling, while sad, is highly entertaining. I always wonder what exactly makes distant relatives, those who never visit, feel that they deserve part of a person's estate. And will Trumbull give Fred competition with Mary?

So much! So much!!!

And I didn't even talk about Lydgate treating Fred or Celia's engagement to Sir James.


Glynis Jane (missgmad) | 0 comments Hehe it certainly is a great section to read, and what a great post to open the discussion! Was it definitely a heart attack that caused Casaubon to collapse? I did actually feel a slight relief for Dorothea. I feel trapped with her in this loveless marriage. It gets me that whilst Casaubon has no love to give and should have remained a bachelor, he is still jealous of Will. Does he have feelings for Dorothea or is it an ego thing? He sees Dorothea as his chattel? Anyway, his sudden illness suggests he may not last the length of the book and Dorothea could be free before the story's end.

I want to know who Peter Featherstone will leave his possessions to, who will be disappointed etc. So many people banking on being remembered in his will.

George Eliot, what a brilliant writer she was!


Sera Yes, Eliot is brilliant.

I think that Casaubon is repressed and to some extent, so is Dorothea, but I think that Dorothea would open if Casaubon would meet her half-way. Their relationship is so depressing, because it is lifeless.

Mary, again, shows her common sense here by refusing to get involved what will likely be an ugly event over who gets what from Featherstone.


Everyman | 885 comments Juliette wrote: "Am I the only one laughing at Mr. Brooke's rambling thought process?"

Not at all. He's a delight!

But he also fills a serious role in the novel both by bringing some direct humor to it (as opposed to the wonderful indirect humor that Eliot makes in so many sly asides), and in providing a counterfoil to the over-seriousness of Dorothea, Casaubon, and other characters. Without him, there would be little relief from the basic somber grey of most of the other characters.


Everyman | 885 comments It's interesting to watch Lydgate, who up to now we have seen only as a very serious medical man, flirting so lightly with Rosamond. For example, after Lydgate has dismissed Plymdale's book:

"How rash you are!" said Rosamond, inwardly delighted. " Do you see that you have given offence?"

"What! is it Mr. Plymdale's book? I am sorry. I didn't think about it."

"I shall begin to admit what you said of yourself when you first came here -- that you are a bear, and want teaching by the birds."

"Well, there is a bird who can teach me what she will. Don't I listen to her willingly?"


It's fun. But ... has Eliot really presented Lydgate as a man who can engage in this light verbal sparring?


Everyman | 885 comments Juliette wrote: "Then there's poor Mr. Featherstone."

Don't you think he's secretly enjoying all the hovering?


Juliette Everyman wrote: "Juliette wrote: "Then there's poor Mr. Featherstone."

Don't you think he's secretly enjoying all the hovering?"


I didn't until now. I must mull over it.


Becky Mr. Brooks- the comic relief. I love him. Also I’m very happy to see Kitty marrying so well. I really think that they will be much happier together than he would have been with Dodo (which, I think, is a great example of how poorly people knew one another then before deciding to be married).

I think Featherstone enjoyed torturing those that he felt were despicable vultures. Honestly. The way they hovered and prostated themselves before him. I could have

As for Rosamund, though I generally don't like her, I did find her somewhat sympathetic here. Lydgate and Rosamund are both completely in their own little worlds. There is no way that the importance of marriage to a young woman such as Rosamund could have escaped Lydgate, he simply didn’t see himself as being involved in it, and as such, couldn’t recognize the effect his affections/actions were having on her. I found Rosamund somewhat sympathetic in this chapter. I remember being in high school and really liking someone, only to have them ignore you, and how much that hurt, and I wasn’t expecting them to be my husband or my source of happiness like Rosamund is. The sudden absence of Lydgate would surely have hurt her. I don’t think that Rosamund will get what she wants out of this marriage though. Lydgate is poor, and won’t be able to keep her in extravagance, no matter WHAT relatives she THINKS he has.

Not too mention all that postulating about his relations. Its maddening, because you just know he doesn't have anything.

As for insinuating that he is Bulstrodes illegitimate son, I think that there might be something there. Not that they are related, but I think that Eliot is foreshadowing something about Bulstrode. Not to be offensive, but I never trust pious people (especially in literature). The ones that cling the hardest to faith AND profess the loudest, are always the ones that are hiding something. There is something shady about Bulstrode, I just don't know what it is.


Bookworm Adventure Girl (bookwormadventuregirl) Glynis wrote: "Hehe it certainly is a great section to read, and what a great post to open the discussion! Was it definitely a heart attack that caused Casaubon to collapse? I did actually feel a slight relief fo..."

I really liked this section too. I didn't think that Casaubon had a heart attack. I thought it was more like a panic/anxiety attack. I felt so bad for Dodo in this because I think it will only cause her more pain in that she won't want to cause him any stress... yet I think it's self inflicted.

The situation with Lydgate and Rosamond cracked me up. I never saw it coming or would have put the two of them together.

Looking forward to reading further and seeing how everything unfolds.


Everyman | 885 comments Jolene wrote: "The situation with Lydgate and Rosamond cracked me up. I never saw it coming or would have put the two of them together. "


And in real life, how many couples do you know where you wonder "how on earth did the two of them decide to get married?"


Bookworm Adventure Girl (bookwormadventuregirl) Everyman wrote: "Jolene wrote: "The situation with Lydgate and Rosamond cracked me up. I never saw it coming or would have put the two of them together. "


And in real life, how many couples do you know where you ..."


LOL so true!! Thanks for that thought.


Glynis Jane (missgmad) | 0 comments Yeah I didn't think it was as serious as a heart attack, but maybe it is foreshadowing one for later in the book? Hmmm.


message 14: by Juliette (last edited Mar 01, 2012 07:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Juliette Glynis wrote: "Yeah I didn't think it was as serious as a heart attack."

Possibly a spoiler, not sure
(view spoiler)


Bookworm Adventure Girl (bookwormadventuregirl) Juliette wrote: "Glynis wrote: "Yeah I didn't think it was as serious as a heart attack."

Possibly a spoiler, not sure
[spoilers removed]"


Very interesting... Thanks for sharing that.


Glynis Jane (missgmad) | 0 comments Sorry, Juliette, I thought maybe I'd missed something that said he'd suffered a heart attack. I have to admit some of the book does go over my head! Lol.


Andrea I haven't posted yet for this section but I just happened to click on the link and was reading some of the comments. I was also unsure what happeed with Casaubon. I was thinking a mild heart attack or stroke. I was trying to keep in mind the time period and medical resources.

Gyynis, I agree with you, sometimes this book just goes right over my head too! I just keep reading and eventually it makes sense or maybe I miss something ;)


message 18: by Sera (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sera None of you are alone - lots of text, which is probably why it's a popular re-read:)


Everyman | 885 comments Sera wrote: "None of you are alone - lots of text, which is probably why it's a popular re-read:)"

And one sees so much more in it on a re-reading, where there doesn't need to be so much focus on plot and characters and one can look deeper into the text. It very, very much rewards rereading!


Glynis Jane (missgmad) | 0 comments I agree with you about re-reading books. I was surprised at how much more you get from a second, third reading. I read To Kill a Mockingbird 5 years ago and read it again a couple of months ago. It moved me so much 2nd time around, I was in floods of tears most of the time!!

But anyway, I digress. Back to Middlemarch (which I am enjoying so much with you all).


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments I took it to be a heart attack as well, and also felt horrible for thinking it might be an escape for Dorothea. I the feeling she will escape him by the end, but I think she has some tribulations to go through first (otherwise, no book plot!)

I don't know what to think of Bulstrode. He's interesting, for sure.

And I agree, I think Mr. Featherstone is getting a sadistic pleasure out of all of this morbid attention.


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