"A novel 'with a double plot interest. The heroine, Dorothea Brooke, longs to devote herself to some great cause and, for a time, expects to find it in her marriage to Rev. Mr. Casaubon, an aging scholar. Mr. Casaubon lives only eighteen months after their marriage, a sufficient period to disillusion her completely. He leaves her his estate, with the ill-intentioned proviso that she will forfeit if she marries his young cousin Will Ladislaw, whom she had seen frequently in Rome. Endeavoring to find happiness without Ladislaw, whom she has come to care for deeply, Dorothea throws herself into the struggle for medical reforms advocated by the young Dr. Lydgate. Finally, however, she decides to give up her property and marry Ladislaw. The second plot deals with the efforts and failure of Dr. Lydgate to live up to his early ideals.'" Reader's Ency. 4th ed. *** "The lives of three people in a nineteenth-century provincial community become entwined as crusader Dorothea Brooke is prevented from being with the man she loves, the idealistic Dr. Lydgate succumbs to materialism, and religioius hypocrite Bulstrode tries to hide his past crimes."
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