Study Guide

The Woman in White Part 3, Section 1, Chapter 7

By Wilkie Collins

Part 3, Section 1, Chapter 7

  • Walter starts asking Mrs. Clements for details about Anne's upbringing, and he gets an earful.
  • In a nutshell, Mrs. Clements and her husband lived in a town called Welmingham.
  • The Cathericks lived there too, and a serious scandal broke out when Sir Percival Glyde started nosing around town and visiting Mrs. Catherick.
  • Mr. Catherick suspected an affair, as did most others in the town.
  • To make matters worse, there was serious doubt as to whether or not Mrs. Catherick's baby was even her husband's.
  • Mr. Catherick couldn't deal with the scandal, and he skipped town.
  • Mrs. Clements becomes Anne's nurse and loves the little girl.
  • She has it in for Mrs. Catherick, who was a lousy mother on top of all her other faults—namely, being a promiscuous girl (remember: this is Victorian England. Everyone is uptight).
  • Walter keeps plugging away with the questions and asks if Sir Percival knew Mrs. Catherick before her marriage.
  • Mrs. Clements says she's not sure, and Sir Percival didn't seem to be friends with Mrs. Catherick's former employer, a Major Donthorne.
  • Walter feels bad for Mrs. Clements and finally reveals that Anne is dead.
  • Mrs. Clements is super-upset.
  • But she gives him Mrs. Catherick's address, even though she can't figure out why he wants to deal with that woman.