Study Guide

Middlemarch Book 3, Chapter 29

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Book 3, Chapter 29

  • The chapter opens with a reminder by the narrator that Mr. Casaubon has his own inner life – his own plans and hopes and insecurities – that Dorothea knows nothing about.
  • Mr. Casaubon opens a letter from Will Ladislaw, and finds an enclosed note to Dorothea.
  • He hands her the sealed note, and isn't very happy about it.
  • Dorothea's completely innocent. She thinks of Will only as a relative of her husband's who has been kind to her – she has no idea that Casaubon is jealous of Will.
  • In his note to Mr. Casaubon, Will has suggested that he swing by for a visit when he returns to England.
  • Mr. Casaubon repeats this to Dorothea, and tells her not to get her hopes up – he's too busy to entertain visitors.
  • Dorothea's annoyed that Casaubon should assume that she would want to see Will if he doesn't. After all, he's his cousin, not hers.
  • After this minor tiff, Casaubon leaves the room and promptly has what appears to be a minor heart attack.
  • Dorothea catches him and takes him the couch, just as Celia, Sir James, and Mr. Brooke arrive for a visit.
  • Sir James immediately sends his servant for Lydgate (just as we saw at the end of Chapter 27).

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