What a book, and what a read-along. I hardly know what to say... so let's just work through my highlights.
(1) Mrs Catherick continues to be a cold hard slice of awesome. "My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody." Daaaaaamn. Hartright, like the annoying ninny he is, is "so disgusted... that I was on the point of tearing the letter" -- of course.
(2) Anyone else catch this?
For her sake, I wished to conceal it -- for her sake, still, I tell this story under feigned names.Hm, tricky detail there Wilks! So the "hero" renames his lady love "Fairlie"? And calls himself "Hartright"? He would.
(3) The Count being a spy and the traitor of a secretive continental brotherhood (those crazy foreigners) was crazier than the gaslighting plot with Laura, and yet it was almost a little underwhelming. What I mean to say is, by this point in the book I guess I was willing to accept that there would be a soooper sekrit society involved, but it seemed a little sad to have the Count's fate handed off, by accident, into third party hands.
The opera-glass in the Count's hand, his careful reading of the bill, and his direction to the cabman, all suggested that he proposed making one of the audience.SUCH POWERS OF DEDUCTION!
(5) I think the Count writing his confession was possibly one of the most entertaining scenes of the book.
"Done, Mr. Hartright!" he announced with a self-renovating thump of his fist on his broad breast. "Done, to my own profound satisfaction—to YOUR profound astonishment, when you read what I have written. The subject is exhausted: the man—Fosco—is not. I proceed to the arrangement of my slips—to the revision of my slips—to the reading of my slips—addressed emphatically to your private ear. Four o'clock has just struck. Good! Arrangement, revision, reading, from four to five. Short snooze of restoration for myself from five to six. Final preparations from six to seven. Affair of agent and sealed letter from seven to eight. At eight, en route. Behold the programme!"
Really, the Count was in good form throughout this section. So fat, so evil.
(6) I thought Marian's being grossed out at the Count's slavish admiration of her was very well done. What an interesting dynamic -- of course he admires her and of course he'd make a big deal of it; and meanwhile, GROSS.
(7) I suppose there's some reason we're supposed to be surprised that little Walter (oy) has inherited Limmeridge? Although that is seriously no excuse for big Walter to be so shocked.
Oh my friends. What a wonderful read-along journey we've had. What an insane book we've discovered.