© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
by George Eliot
Dorothea Brooke Timeline and Summary
Dorothea lives at Tipton Grange with her uncle, Mr. Brooke, and her sister, Celia. Dorothea longs for greater knowledge and for a chance to do good work in the world. She marries Mr. Casaubon, thinking that helping him with his research is the grand and noble task she was after. It isn't. She's unhappy on her honeymoon, and meets Will Ladislaw in Rome. He seems to understand her better than anyone. Mr. Casaubon doesn't like seeing his wife with his young cousin and forbids Will from visiting them back in England: Dorothea is sad about this. Dorothea becomes a widow when her husband dies. She discovers that her husband has added a codicil in his will saying that if Dorothea remarries to Will Ladislaw, she'll forfeit all of her inheritance. She tries to decide what to do with her life and decides to fund the hospital where Lydgate works. She offers to help him out of his personal financial problems, too. She even offers him marital advice. But when she goes to visit Mrs. Lydgate, she sees Will Ladislaw there, and assumes he's having an affair with Mrs. Lydgate. Dorothea's angry and heartbroken – she realizes for the first time that she was in love with Will. After Rosamond Lydgate sets things straight, Dorothea and Will get together, smooch, marry, and live happily ever after.