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The Moonstone

The Moonstone

by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 1 Summary

The Loss of the Diamond (1848), the events related by Gabriel Betteredge, House-Steward in the service of Julia, Lady Verinder

  • Gabriel Betteredge is reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, his favorite book in the world, when Franklin Blake comes in to ask him a favor.
  • He wants Betteredge to write down everything he remembers about how the Moonstone was lost.
  • Betteredge must only include the events that he witnessed personally – other people will take up the story and tell it from their points of view, as well, after the events that Betteredge knows about have been described.
  • Betteredge agrees to try.
  • He's over seventy years old, and has been a servant in Lady Verinder's house since he was a boy, so he feels a lot of loyalty to the family.
  • He also likes to use Robinson Crusoe as a way of telling the future – whenever he's in doubt about something, he opens the book at random, and reads the page looking for advice.

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