Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#Eliotalong Week 4 - Chapters 43-56

Ssh, let's just ignore that I'm late. Which is quite funny, because this is the first week I've had all the chapters read well in advance of Monday, thanks to the 24in48 readathon. I took part completely on the DL, with no online presence whatsoever, mostly because I didn't expect to read much- I was working two night shifts and spend most of Sunday with my girlfriend- but I actually managed a very respectable 592 pages in just short of seven hours. It was nice to just sit down and read a massive chunk of Middlemarch- I'll have to try it again with this week's reading!

Ding dong, the witch is dead! I don't think any of us were sad to see Casaubon go. But the condition of his will is just gross on so many levels that I don't think I even appreciated the first time I read this. It's not just essentially forbidding her to marry Will (because Dorothea doesn't see him that way... well, yet anyway...;) ) but the fact that it's motivated by his ridiculous jealousy that has the result of making her the talk of the town when absolutely nothing was going on between them. Ugh. Even dead, Casaubon continues to ruin everything. 

Lots of stuff about the hospital and Lydgate's medical methods in this section. I actually found it pretty interesting! It's really not something I think one would expect going into this book. Eliot's like, I'll give you small town gossip and relationships between people BUT ALSO historical context and politics, and I'm liking this approach a lot. 

But oh, that furniture bill he couldn't pay. I can't watch, this is just too much. Especially now Rosamond's pregnant too!

Well, that took an interesting turn this week. It would appear even more people in this town are related than we first thought! Things seem to be going pretty badly for Bulstrode. I'm wondering what effect this will have on the town, and of course on Will as well.

On the contrast, things seem to be looking up slightly for these two! I think Fred's learned his lesson and is prepared to do what needs to be done to grow up and marry Mary. I hope it works out for him, I really do.

We also had the first (I think.. first major, anyway) reference to the railways, which is one of the things I remember most about this book. It seems ridiculous to us now of course, but I can kind of understand how mad people though they were back in the day. Cutting up the countryside to send people whizzing about the place in boxes on metal rails? So weird. 

Like some of you have said, it's pretty startling the way Eliot skips over seemingly major events like pregnancies/Bulstrode's purchase of Stone Court, but I quite like it. She directs our attention where it needs to be, and this book is long enough as it is (just kidding- honestly, I wouldn't mind an extra few hundred pages at this point!)

So that's this week in the bag! Things are definitely developing as we enter the final third of the book. I can't wait for more :)

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