Study Guide

The Luminaries Part 3, Chapter 4

By Eleanor Catton

Part 3, Chapter 4

 Venus in Pisces (20 March 1866)

  • Now we're back in the Wayfarer, with Lydia interrupting Devlin and Anna.
  • Anna goes to get the tea, and Devlin asks Lydia if Anna can read. She says she doesn't think so.
  • Their chitchat gets a bit pointed and heated from there, and Devlin implies that Lydia isn't really being all that good toward Anna.
  • Lydia, in response, gets Anna to admit in front of Devlin that she had sex with Lydia's husband—and that the child she had been carrying was Crosbie's. That is why Lydia had sent her away. She then prompts Anna to tell Devlin how sorry Lydia was about her behavior.
  • After that, Lydia asks for the true reason for Devlin's visit (he had said they were having a theological discussion, but she knew that was hooey).
  • Anna tells Lydia about the document Devlin brought. She refuses to produce it for Lydia to look at.
  • Then, Lydia asks for the full truth about the document, and Devlin refuses to provide it—but he does let drop that it has something to do with the blackmailing of Lauderback, which makes Lydia turn pretty pale …
  • Then Devlin offers to escort Anna to the courthouse to get legal counsel about her document.

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