George’s father volunteers their rooms when Lucy and Charlotte are unhappy with theirs.
George accepts Charlotte’s chilly “thanks” in lieu of his father.
Upon moving into George’s recently vacant room, Charlotte finds a giant question mark posted on the wall – this disturbs her, and makes us curious about the young Mr. Emerson.
In Santa Croce, Lucy observes a certain tenderness in George’s face. She mentally compares him to a figure in a Michelangelo painting.
George witnesses the murder in the Piazza Signoria, then rushes over to help Lucy, who faints. She sends him to pick up the postcards she dropped; he throws them into the river surreptitiously, then admits that he didn’t know what to do with them, since they were bloody. Lucy (and her readers) feel a twinge of sympathy towards him.
At this stage, we only see George from Lucy’s point of view. He’s an enigma to us (and perhaps to himself). We just know that he wants to really live in a way that the other characters don’t.
On the fateful day of the drive in the hills, Lucy literally stumbles upon George in a field of violets. Swept up by emotion, he kisses her.
George rushes off and leaves the rest of the party, choosing to walk back to the city.
When he finally returns, Charlotte has a word with him, and presumably tells him to stay away from Lucy.
Back in England, George is a railway clerk in London. He’s hardworking and unhappy.
Freddy befriends George when the Emersons move to Cissie Villa. We see a new kind of youth and excitement emerge in him, especially in the swimming scene at the Sacred Lake.
Upon seeing Lucy, George greets her exuberantly. He’s obviously changed since Italy – and perhaps since that morning. Lucy and her mother, uncertain, bow back.
Lucy and George have another run-in at the Rectory. Nothing happens… yet.
Freddy invites George to play tennis at Windy Corner. George accepts moodily.
George turns out to be good at tennis, and very competitive; he wins the game.
After an awkward conversation in which Cecil reads the kiss scene from Miss Lavish’s novel, George kisses Lucy a second time, then disappears. We learn that he loves her passionately.
George makes overtures of love, which Lucy rejects as Charlotte looks on. He points out everything that’s wrong with Cecil, which Lucy finally understands.
The Emersons announce that they will leave Cissie Villa and move back to the city.
Mr. Emerson tells Lucy that George has “gone under” since her rejection of him.
In the last chapter, we finally see inside George’s mind. He turns out to be quite friendly and charming. He acknowledges that Lucy and Mr. Emerson did all the hard work in bringing the marriage together, even if he laid the groundwork with his earlier actions.
George suggests that Charlotte knew that Mr. Emerson was at the Rectory the night of his fateful conversation with Lucy, giving us hope that Charlotte might be redeemable after all.
George’s happiness is complete – he loves Lucy wholly, and is undisturbed by the couple’s separation from society.