Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

  • Grandcourt has set his mind on marrying Gwendolen.  He'll do whatever he needs to in order to make it happen.
  • Grandcourt sees Gwendolen every day for the next two weeks, and he gets his house set up for a large party so that he can invite Gwendolen and Mrs. Davilow over.
  • Every day, Grandcourt is like, "OK, today's the day I ask Gwendolen to marry me." And then he doesn't.
  • He invites Gwendolen and Mrs. Davilow to come over for lunch one day.
  • They go for a horseback ride – Grandcourt lets Gwendolen ride one of his horses. Mrs. Davilow rides behind them. She feels uneasy and hopes that Gwendolen will accept if Grandcourt proposes. She doesn't know if he'll make Gwendolen happy, but she figures Gwendolen can be as happy with him as she might be with anyone else.
  • Gwendolen doesn't feel as at ease with Grandcourt as she did with Rex when she went riding with him. She wants Grandcourt to understand that she plans to do exactly what she wants.
  • Gwendolen talks about how she wishes she could do some jumps with Criterion, the horse she's riding, but it will make her mom too nervous. Grandcourt is like, "your mom knows I'd take care of you if you got hurt."
  • Then he says, "I should like to have the right always to take care of you" (13.17). Whoa.
  • Gwendolen sort of nervously brushes off his comment, saying that she'd prefer to take care of herself.
  • Grandcourt thinks, "Damn her!" (13.20). This clearly says bad things about the current state and future prospects of their relationship.
  • There are other people at Diplow, and Lady Flora Hollis suggests that after lunch they should go out on a little exploration.
  • This turn of events affords Grandcourt a whole bunch of opportunities to try to propose to Gwendolen, but he doesn't do anything.
  • Finally, Grandcourt decides to make his move. In order to get Gwendolen alone, he tells her that he's bored and that they should go for a walk. They walk in silence.
  • Grandcourt asks Gwendolen about what she thinks of Offendene. She says that she guesses they'll stay there for a while, since Mrs. Davilow likes being near her sister. Grandcourt is like, well, you might get married some day.
  • After a little bit of banter about Gwendolen's personality and views on marriage, Gwendolen once again changes the subject – she lost her whip.
  • Gwendolen isn't sure how she feels about potentially marrying Grandcourt. She weighs the pros and cons.
  • Gwendolen notices that when she's around Grandcourt, she's neither as daring nor as playful as she usually is with other people. She's pretty sure that she wants to marry him, but something seems to hold her back.
  • When Gwendolen meets up with her mom again, Mrs. Davilow notices that something seems to be bothering her.  Gwendolen tells her that she doesn't know whether or not she should accept Grandcourt when he proposes to her.
  • When they get home, Gwendolen doesn't eat dinner; she goes to rest instead. Mrs. Davilow tells Mr. Gascoigne a simplified version of what happened between Gwendolen and Grandcourt. Mr. Gascoigne feels like it's his job to interfere, but Mrs. Davilow suggests that it's best for him not to say anything.
  • When Gwendolen comes downstairs again, Mr. Gascoigne asks to talk to her.
  • When Mr. Gascoigne broaches the topic of Grandcourt's anticipated proposal, Gwendolen is like, "Well, I'm not sure that's going to happen anymore." She tells him that she changed the subject when he was likely going to propose to her. When Mr. Gascoigne asks her why she did such a thing, she's like, "Uhhh…not really sure."
  • Mr. Gascoigne tells Gwendolen that this is a serious matter and asks if she has any real grounds for rejecting Grandcourt. She says she doesn't really have any.
  • Mr. Gascoigne tells Gwendolen that she holds her fortune in her own hands, and that most girls in Gwendolen's shoes don't have an opportunity like this one.
  • Then Mr. Gascoigne basically tells her that, if she's messed things up with Grandcourt, it's her own fault and he will look upon her with severe disapproval. Gwendolen is silent and loses all the color in her face. She tells him that she'll accept Grandcourt's proposal if it actually happens.
  • Mr. Gascoigne is a little taken aback by Gwendolen's sudden apparent change of heart. He feels kind of bad about it – he just wants what's best for her. Then he tells her that marriage is the "only true and satisfactory sphere of a woman" (13.102), which makes us cringe.
  • Then the narrator tells us that the potential marriage of Gwendolen and Grandcourt has motivated someone else to take drastic action – Lush, of course. We find out that he is at the Wanchester train station where he meets a lady with her two children and a maid. The lady looks like she's about 37 years old.
  • Mr. Lush talks to the lady for about an hour. As the chapter ends, he says that he predicts that no marriage between Gwendolen and Grandcourt will ever happen.

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