Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 50

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Chapter 50

  • We read the letter that Daniel's birth mother sent him via Sir Hugo. She insists that he come meet her in Genoa, informing him that she's very sick and needs to speak with him before she dies. She signs the letter as "Your Unknown Mother, Leonora Halm-Eberstein" (50.2).
  • Daniel doesn't tell anyone why he's going – he just says he has to go because Sir Hugo asked him to.
  • Daniel relates to Mirah more than ever because he can tell from the letter that his own family story must contain some painful secrets. 
  • Daniel realizes that he feels sort of neutral towards his mother. Meanwhile, he says a tender goodbye to Sir Hugo.
  • It turns out Daniel still has a little bit of waiting to do – when he arrives in Genoa, he gets a letter saying that his mom will be there in a week or two.  Daniel tries to keep himself amused, and he finds himself thinking about Mirah and Mordecai a lot.
  • Finding a lot of time on his hands, Daniel starts inventing possible stories of his family history. He can't help but sort of hope that he's secretly Jewish, just as Mordecai had predicted.
  • Daniel also feels a little bit anxious about what's going to happen with Gwendolen.  We learn that he's not in love with her, but he feels something for her that can't really be called friendship, either.
  • Finally, during Daniel's third week in Genoa, he gets word that his mom has arrived and she wants to see him the next day.

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