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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 85

Summary

Bulstrode has retreated into solitude and withdrawn from all public life. He is arranging his business affairs prior to leaving the town. The hardest thing for him to bear is that he who wanted to be a better person than his neighbor is found by them to be much worse. He is haunted by the fear of losing his wife’s sympathy and cannot bear to confide in her all the facts about his past and Raffle’s death. But he is anxious to reduce her suffering. Hence he tells her he has transferred all his land around the town to her name and asks what she would like to do with it. Her wish to help Lydgate cannot be fulfilled as Lydgate has refused all his earlier help and repaid his loan. Instead, he suggests reviving the old arrangement with Garth and Fred for Stone Court. Garth may be willing to deal with her personally, and it would help Fred to settle down.


Notes

Bulstrode can have no happy ending, but his actions are an attempt to expiate his guilt. Thus Fred and Mary are rewarded for their constancy and for persistent hard work.

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