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The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss


by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss Book 6, Chapter 1 Summary

A Duet in Paradise

  • It’s a brand new character! We meet Stephen Guest – rich, young, attractive, and currently flirting with Lucy Deane.
  • The two banter for a while and discuss Lucy’s dog, Minny.
  • Stephen steals Lucy’s scissors.
  • Turns out they are both friends with Philip Wakem. It’s a small world after all.
  • Lucy tells Stephen some big news: her cousin (Maggie) is coming to stay with her.
  • We learn that two years have elapsed since Mr. Tulliver died, and Maggie has been working elsewhere as a governess.
  • Lucy gives Stephen the Reader’s Digest version of the Tulliver’s dispute with the Wakems.
  • We also learn that Mrs. Deane has died and that Mrs. Tulliver now lives with Lucy and manages the house for her.
  • Having seen Mrs. Tulliver, Stephen assumes that Maggie will look and act just like her.
  • Lucy finds this hilarious and lets Stephen think the completely wrong thing about Maggie. She plans to introduce him to Maggie and shock him.
  • The two then play and sing a duet together on the piano. Good times.
  • They flirt some more and Stephen agrees to come by in a few days to meet Maggie.
  • After Stephen leaves, Lucy paces around excitedly – she’s falling for Stephen and she’s excited that the Tullivers will soon be reunited.
  • We learn that Stephen likes Lucy for rather superficial reasons and the idea that the two of them will get married isn’t really surprising.

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