SPOILERS OF COURSE
“Lydgate’s hair never became white. He died when he was only fifty, leaving his wife and children provided for by a heavy insurance on his life . . . He had not done what he once meant to do.”
But, he did save his marriage to the fair Rosamond.
Rosamond “continued to be mild in her temper, inflexible in her judgment, disposed to admonish her husband, and able to frustrate him by stratagems. As the years went on he opposed her less and less, whence Rosamond concluded that he had learned the value of her opinion.”
After Lydgate’s death, Rosamond marries again.
She knows contentment, if not happiness.
As for Dorothea, she marries the love of her life, Will Ladislaw. Rosamond wanted him, and nearly wrecked her marriage for him, but Dorothea came along and, well . . .
Self would just like to say, the closing pages of Middlemarch had her in such a state of high tension that she kept biting her bottom lip at every page, saying “No!” or “Yes!” or “You go, Will!” or “Dorothea, you are a saint!”
That scene in Lydgate’s drawing room, where Dorothea stumbles in on Will holding Rosamond’s hands — !!! Dorothea, grievously wounded (She’s been in love with Will Ladislaw all this time!), spends the entire night weeping. Meanwhile, the minute Dorothea is gone, Rosamond puts a hand on Will’s arm, and Will turns to Rosamond and snarls, “Don’t touch me!” Those three words telling Rosamond, more than anything Will might have said, that he returns Dorothea’s love.
That is a scene worthy of the finest Katniss/Peeta angst-y fan fiction. Self knows this is heresy, putting Middlemarch on the same level as Hunger Games fan fiction, but those have been her twin obsessions, for months and months.
It is sweetness itself to learn that, at the death of Dorothea’s uncle Mr. Brooke, Middlemarch passes to Dorothea and Will’s son.
So here’s 2015 in Books:
Self began the year by discovering The Infernal Devices Trilogy. She went to London looking for Shadowhunter sites. She began The Act of Love, by Howard Jacobson, and discovered that she and the characters shared a familiarity with Great Russell Street and the British Museum. She ended the year absolutely in love with the novel Middlemarch. How in love? Her personal copy has so many dog-eared pages, self can’t even. She took this 800-page behemoth with her to Florence and even there she never lost the thread of the narrative, never.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.