Study Guide

Middlemarch Book 8, Chapter 74

By George Eliot

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Book 8, Chapter 74

  • Most women in Middlemarch feel sorriest for the wives of Mr. Bulstrode and Lydgate, since they have to bear the brunt of their husbands' humiliation.
  • They feel sorrier for Mrs. Bulstrode than they do for her niece, Rosamond, though, because Mrs. Bulstrode has always been a cheerful, friendly woman, while Rosamond is kind of snooty.
  • Meanwhile, Mrs. Bulstrode has no idea what's going on – her husband is sick, and no one will tell her what happened.
  • Finally, she goes to her brother, Mr. Vincy, and he gives her the scoop on her husband.
  • When she gets home, she locks herself in her room for a while, to get used to the idea of living in humiliation for the rest of her life.
  • But she's not about to abandon her husband, now that he's publicly shamed; she's too loyal for that.
  • Once she's calmer, she puts on a mourning dress (she used to dress in bright and fashionable clothes), and goes to her husband.
  • They have a good cry together, and make an unspoken agreement to stick it out as a team.

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