Study Guide

Middlemarch Book 3, Chapter 32

By George Eliot

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Book 3, Chapter 32

  • Mr. Featherstone's health has taken a turn for the worse, and now all his relatives are hanging around the house, waiting for him to die so that they can see where he left his money and land.
  • His brothers and sisters think that they and their children have a better right to the inheritance than Mr. Featherstone's dead wives' nieces and nephews (i.e., the Vincys and the Garths).
  • Poor Mary Garth is in charge of running Mr. Featherstone's household for him, so she has to put up with all these vulture-like relatives hanging around all the time.
  • When Featherstone finds out that all these relatives are in his house, he flies into a rage, and tells them that he's already made his will.
  • Fred is a welcome visitor, though, and that makes the other relatives even more furious and jealous.
  • One person they didn't anticipate, though, is Mr. Trumbull – he's an auctioneer, and has worked with Mr. Featherstone on various business matters in the past.
  • Trumbull has a private conversation with Mr. Featherstone, and Featherstone's brothers and sisters wonder what it was about.
  • Trumbull doesn't tell them, though, and loiters in the kitchen for a snack to torment them by not telling them what he knows about Featherstone's will.

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