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Middlemarch

Middlemarch

  

by George Eliot

Middlemarch Book 1, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Celia finally sets Dorothea straight: Sir James is intending to propose to "the eldest Miss Brooke."
  • Dorothea is very irritated by the news – she'll have to give up discussing her cottage plans with him.
  • Mr. Brooke comes home and asks to speak with Dorothea in his library.
  • He says that he'd had lunch with Mr. Casaubon on his way home, and that Mr. Casaubon had asked his permission to propose to Dorothea.
  • (Remember, Mr. Brooke is Dorothea's uncle and legal guardian, so it was traditional for the man to get the permission of the woman's parents before even proposing to the woman in question.)
  • Dorothea tells her uncle that, when and if Mr. Casaubon proposes to her, she'll accept him.
  • Mr. Brooke is totally blown away by the news, and rambles on about how maybe Mr. Casaubon will suit her better than a younger man, after all, since she's so interested in books and ideas and stuff. (He's not a very articulate speaker.)
  • Dorothea leaves Mr. Brooke bewildered about women. He really doesn't get Dorothea at all.

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