Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 1, Chapter 12

By George Eliot

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Book 1, Chapter 12

Mr. and Mrs. Glegg at Home

  • Mr. and Mrs. Glegg live in the nearby town of St. Ogg’s.
  • The narrator breaks in to tell us the legend of St. Ogg, who ferried a poor woman across the river Floss one night. Turns out the poor woman was really the Virgin Mary and she blessed St. Ogg for his kindness. After this, Ogg was able to go out safely in his boat, no matter the weather, and he often rescued poor people during storms.
  • In the present, St. Ogg’s is a quiet little town with farms and mills and little shops and markets. The town doesn’t think too much about its lengthy history; church-going is more a matter of habit and custom than anything else.
  • We now arrive at the Glegg house, which has lots of windows, all the better for Mrs. Glegg to spy on her neighbors.
  • Mr. Glegg is in the wool business and he spends his days thinking about wool, natural history, how he doesn’t understand women (especially his wife), and how he can save money.
  • Mr. Glegg is really good natured and finds his wife’s moods confusing. He is not happy about her latest dispute with Mr. Tulliver.
  • At breakfast, Mrs. Glegg attacks Mr. Glegg, who is totally confused. Mrs. Glegg thinks that Mr. Glegg isn’t standing up for her and let Mr. Tulliver insult her.
  • Mr. Glegg tells Mrs. Glegg to chill out and he insists that she really shouldn’t call in Mr. Tulliver’s debt and make him pay back his money to her now.
  • The two get into an argument and Mrs. Glegg storms upstairs to sulk.
  • The Gleggs take some time to cool off and, by that evening, they are getting along once more. They discuss the Tullivers again and Mrs. Glegg agrees to not make Mr. Tulliver pay back her money right now.

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