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by George Eliot
Will Ladislaw Timeline and Summary
Will's father and mother die, leaving him on his own in the world. Will accepts financial help from his cousin, Mr. Casaubon, to get a university education. He meets Mr. Casaubon's bride-to-be at Lowick, and is disgusted that any young woman would marry an old bookworm like his cousin. Will runs into the Casaubons in Italy and finds himself more interested in Mrs. Casaubon. They become friends, but Mr. Casaubon gets jealous. Will decides to see her in England, too, but Mr. Casaubon forbids him from visiting the house. Will realizes that he's in love with Mrs. Casaubon, but never thinks that they'd be able to marry, even if Mr. Casaubon died. When Mr. Casaubon does die, Will learns about a codicil in his will that forbids Mrs. Casaubon from remarrying to Will Ladislaw. Will is angry – he thinks that Mr. Casaubon was a suspicious jerk to think that he'd have tried to marry Mrs. Casaubon when everyone would assume that he was just after her wealth. He decides to leave Middlemarch forever, but can't bring himself to leave the neighborhood. Rosamond Lydgate decides that she's in love with Will, and he's on the point of telling her to back off when Mrs. Casaubon walks in. Will is miserable because Mrs. Casaubon will think he's having a fling with Rosamond. After Rosamond sets things right, he's able to tell Mrs. Casaubon how he feels. She decides to give up her inheritance so that they can marry right away.