Study Guide

The Woman in White Part 1, Section 3, Chapter 1

By Wilkie Collins

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Part 1, Section 3, Chapter 1

The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe, in Extracts from Her Diary

  • The gist of Marian's diary entries go something like this: "Dear Diary, my sister Laura can't make a decision to save her life and is marrying this punk Sir Percival for no apparent reason, even though she's in love with Walter. This is causing me way too much emotional trauma. P.S. Victorian society sucks for women. Hugs, Marian."
  • Right. So we jump back in time a bit and get some of the events Mr. Gilmore detailed from Marian's point of view.
  • Marian is concerned for Laura, who acts like she's helpless.
  • Laura's solution is to confess her love for Walter to Sir Percival and let him end the engagement if he wants, since Laura herself can't say no because she promised her dying daddy.
  • Uh, what?
  • Marian thinks this is the worst idea of all time, but Laura insists.
  • So Laura confesses to Sir Percival that she has the hots for another man (leaving out Walter's name).
  • Sir Percival acts like he's cool with everything and says he'll marry her anyway.
  • Whoa. Laura is totally bewildered, and Marian realizes (even more) that PercyPants is up to no good.
  • Marian is all sorts of upset but can't do anything.
  • Uncle Fairlie is cool with things. Sir Percival keeps behaving reasonably, which makes it hard for Marian to blame him or hate him.
  • He even agrees to let Laura set the wedding date.
  • Marian then gets a letter from Walter saying he's heading to South America for over a year.
  • Marian is upset and doesn't mention any of it to Laura.
  • The two sisters go out of town to visit some friends… because what else are you going to do?

The Woman in White Part 1, Section 3, Chapter 1 Study Group

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