Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 48

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Chapter 48

  • Back to Gwendolen and Grandcourt. The narrator tells us that Grandcourt is important and powerful mainly in terms of all of the property he owns. Otherwise he's not really a man of influence socially or politically.
  • Grandcourt has definitely noticed the way that Gwendolen is drawn to Daniel. He isn't jealous in a romantic sense, but he wants to show her who's in charge.
  • Grandcourt goes into town to check on the whole business of his will and his inheritance of all of Sir Hugo's property.
  • Gwendolen asks Grandcourt if she can have singing lessons from Mirah.
  • Grandcourt tells her isn't attractive for women to make spectacles of themselves by singing for other people. Gwendolen says that Mirah would be the one teaching her, and he seemed to like her just fine when they were at the Mallingers' party.
  • She also mentions that Daniel Deronda likes Mirah's singing. By saying this, Gwendolen tries to make Grandcourt wince. But instead, Grandcourt is just like, "Uh, duh, he's totally into her." This is definitely not what Gwendolen wants to hear.
  • Grandcourt is like, "Well I bet you think that guy's a saint." Gwendolen says that's not true – she just thinks that Daniel is less of a monster than Grandcourt is. Then she leaves the room.
  • Gwendolen feels a little bit haunted by Daniel.
  • Gwendolen wants to talk to Mirah to figure out if there's something going on between her and Daniel and also to see if anything bad that Grandcourt says about Daniel could be remotely true.  She goes to visit her under the pretense of wanting to ask her to sing for a party.
  • While she's there, Gwendolen realizes that Daniel is in the next room.
  • Then Gwendolen asks Mirah if she knows anything bad about Daniel, because she wants to be sure that the bad things that people say about him are false. Mirah spills the whole story about how she almost drowned herself, as casually as if she were saying, "Oh, you know, we met at a bowling alley."
  • Gwendolen doesn't noticed how ticked off Mirah is with her.
  • When Gwendolen gets home, Grandcourt asks her where she's been. When she says that she went to ask Mirah to sing at their party, Grandcourt's like, "Oh, I bet you were really trying to figure out her relationship with Deronda." Gwendolen's like, "Yeah, so?"
  • Grandcourt makes her promise not to go visit them ever again.  He says that she has to do what he says because he's her husband. The narrator compares Gwendolen's reaction to a patient who has been told that she has a fatal disease.
  • Grandcourt knows that there's something up between Gwendolen and Daniel, but he's not exactly sure what it is.
  • We also find out that Grandcourt is determined that Gwendolen not find out that he's been working on his will. He doesn't want her to know any of the details it contains, mostly because it involves leaving something to Lydia Glasher and the kids.
  • Grandcourt has thought in the past of letting Gwendolen know about Lydia by letter, but he doesn't like to write.
  • Grandcourt also (mistakenly) thinks that Gwendolen hates Lush because she knows that he was the one who arranged for her to meet Lydia.
  • Basically, Grandcourt likes to view things in a way that suits him best.
  • One morning, Grandcourt approaches Gwendolen and tells her that he's invited Lush over to explain some of the details of their property to her because he "knows all about these things" (48.56).  Of course, Gwendolen gets mad.
  • We find out that Grandcourt had asked Lush not to annoy Gwendolen. Lush is fine with everything because, as we also learn, Grandcourt is leaving money to him as well.
  • Gwendolen prepares herself for meeting Lush; she's determined not to show even a teensy bit of emotion.
  • Lush gives Gwendolen a document that spells out all of the details of the will. He also tells her – wait for it – that Grandcourt knows that she knows about Lydia. Now Gwendolen knows that he knows that she knows. And we know it too.
  • OK, so here are the details of Grandcourt's will: Grandcourt has made Henleigh his heir, and Gwendolen gets Gadsmere and a couple thousand pounds a year (though, keep in mind, in the 1860s this was a ton of money).
  • Gwendolen tells Lush that he can tell Grandcourt that it's fine. It's better than fine – it's exactly what she wanted. So there.
  • Gwendolen acts completely indifferent to Grandcourt when she sees him. She's neither nice nor mean. She thinks about leaving him, but then again she doesn't want to worry her family or create a scandal around herself.
  • Gwendolen keeps thinking about Daniel and worrying about what he would have to say if he knew everything.
  • One day when Gwendolen and Grandcourt are riding horses, they pass Lydia and two of the kids on the road. Grandcourt ignores them. Gwendolen almost scolds Grandcourt but she can't get the words out. (By the way, we found out that Lydia showed up at that moment on purpose because she knew they'd be coming and wanted to make Gwendolen feel awful.)
  • Gwendolen sees a long, miserable life stretching before her and Grandcourt.
  • A couple days after Gwendolen and Grandcourt see Lydia, Klesmer has a party at his house. Gwendolen sees Daniel and asks him to come see her the next day between five and six.
  • Daniel accepts her invitation, but later tries to think of an excuse not to go. Finally he decides to go because he doesn't want to hurt Gwendolen on purpose.
  • The next day, Gwendolen makes a last-minute excuse not to go riding with Grandcourt; she says she's not feeling well, but really she wants to make sure that Grandcourt is out of the house when Daniel comes to visit.
  • Daniel shows up. Gwendolen tells him that she thinks about his advice all the time, but she realizes that she can't change. She's afraid of becoming wicked, and she wants Daniel to help her make sure that doesn't happen.
  • Daniel doesn't know what to say, though he has the sudden urge to instruct her to tell Grandcourt everything.
  • At that moment, Grandcourt walks in.  He was suspicious the whole time that Gwendolen wasn't actually sick.  Gwendolen and Daniel both look awful, but Grandcourt is totally calm and just sits down.
  • Daniel leaves.
  • The next morning, Grandcourt tells Gwendolen that he plans to go yachting in the Mediterranean and that he expects her to come with him.

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