We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by George Eliot

Middlemarch Book 4, Chapter 35 Summary

  • All of Featherstone's relatives are gathered to hear the lawyer read Featherstone's will.
  • They're all nervously chattering about how they hope that they (or their children) were "remembered" by old Featherstone in his will.
  • The lawyer, Mr. Standish, arrives to read the will, and announces that there are actually two wills.
  • He reads the earlier will (even though it's not valid anymore).
  • The earlier will leaves small sums of money to all the relatives, but the bulk of the money and all the land goes to Joshua Rigg, a man no one has heard of, on condition that he change his name to Featherstone.
  • Everyone is shocked, but there's a second will.
  • The second will still leaves the bulk of the money and the land to Mr. Rigg, but takes away the gifts to the relatives!
  • Everyone is disappointed (except Mr. Rigg, who, it is observed, looks like a frog).
  • Fred Vincy is particularly disappointed, since Featherstone had all but promised the estate to him.
  • Mary feels sorry for him, but figures Fred is better off without the money – maybe it'll make him work for a living.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...