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by George Eliot
Mr. Casaubon Timeline and Summary
Mr. Casaubon spends his youth and middle age working on the research for a book called "The Key to All Mythologies." Because his aunt was cut out of the family will after her marriage to a poor Polish artist, Casaubon feels guilty and helps to support her grandson, Will Ladislaw. He decides he should get married at some point, and meets Dorothea. Dorothea is smart enough to double as a secretary! Awesome! Mr. Casaubon marries Dorothea and takes her to Rome for their honeymoon. The trip to Rome can double as a research trip! While in Rome, they run into his cousin, Will Ladislaw. Casaubon watches jealously as his young wife strikes up a friendship with his cousin. Back in England, Casaubon drums up an excuse to keep Will from visiting them at Lowick. Mr. Casaubon has a minor heart attack and fears that another will come along and keep him from finishing the "Key to All Mythologies." Casaubon continues to feel jealous of Dorothea and Will, and is suspicious that Will wants to make Dorothea dislike him. He adds a codicil to his will that says that if Dorothea remarries to Will Ladislaw, she will forfeit all her inheritance. Mr. Casaubon wants to make Dorothea promise to live out her widowhood in a way that he would approve, but Dorothea hesitates. The next day he dies.