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by George Eliot

Middlemarch Book 8, Chapter 84 Summary

  • The Chettams and the Cadwalladers are talking politics – the Reform Bill has been shot down by the House of Lords.
  • Historical Note: this places the story in May of 1832. The Reform Bill ends up passing by June of the same year.
  • Back to the story: the conversation is interrupted when Mr. Brooke arrives.
  • He has bad news, he says: Dorothea is engaged to Will Ladislaw.
  • Sir James is furious, and Mr. Cadwallader tries to calm him down.
  • Sir James swears that he'll never see her again.
  • After everyone else has left, Celia goes to visit Dorothea.
  • Celia tries to dissuade Dorothea from marrying Will, but Dorothea, of course, won't be dissuaded.
  • She says they'll live in London, and that she hopes that Sir James will forgive her someday so that Celia will be able to come and visit.
  • Finally Celia gives up trying to persuade Dorothea to give it up, and asks to hear the whole story.
  • But Dorothea knows that Celia would never understand.

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