Monday, April 23, 2012

I think it was also perfectly natural that I should damn him for grinning


First up, Mr Fairlie has a narrative and it is glorious. "It is the grand misfortune of my life that nobody will let me alone." That's how he opens his narrative! He is so put upon. Why can't everyone just leave him alone to treat his servants like furniture and damn them for grinning? Fanny, Laura's servant at Blackwater, comes with a message from Marian and Mr. Fairlie is so concerned her shoes will creak because there is a limit to his endurance. (Don't worry, her shoes do not creak. PHEW!)

What we learn from Mr. Fairlie is that he's as ridiculous and self-absorbed as ever and I'm so glad we got to listen to his ridiculousness. He is so annoyed that his brother "inconsiderately marries," dies, and has the nerve to leave his daughter to Mr. Fairlie. ALSO the Count showed up and managed to annoy him less than, well, everyone else on the planet. He also tells him he should let Laura hang out at Limmeridge but Marian is sick so don't wait up for her!

Oh yeah, Marian is seriously ill. All her ninja-ing in the rain before has caused problems. Oh noo. Now she's at the mercy of Fosco and Sir Percival AND Fosco found her diary so he knows what she knows and shit. They bring in a doctor (Mr Dawson) and the Countess gets a nurse (Mrs. Rubelle) but Marian is not getting better. Probably because she used up all her awesome powers in the last section. She's a mere mortal now. A mere mortal with typhus. Fosco and Mr Dawson do not get a long, which means you know Mr Dawson is clearly a good guy.

So while Marian is in bed trying not to die, there is no one to watch over the rest of the house to see what Fosco and Percy are up to and THEY ARE UP TO THINGS. Sir Percival fires just everyone at the house and says he's leaving. Then they do a bit of a bait and switch on poor Laura. They tell her Marian suddenly got better! but no one bothered to tell Laura but she actually decided to head out and is hanging out in London with Fosco and the Countess before continuing onto Limmeridge, and Laura should totally just go there too. She tries to make arrangements to stay with other people in London but that doesn't work and she ends up with Fosco and the Countess. But oh hey, guess what?? Marian is actually still at Blackwater in one of the rooms that Laura didn't check because Laura is not thorough.

Then Laura gets sick and weak in London and she tragically dies of some sort of heart failure. You know, like that heart problem Anne told Laura she had. The same Anne that looks just like Laura. I'm sure that's all just coincidental. Except obviously not. So when Walter is visiting "Laura's" grave a figure comes towards him and GASP, it's Laura.

When Marian got better she went back to being her velociraptor self and figured out the little switcheroo Fosco and co. did with Anne and Laura. She found Laura who had been in an asylum telling everyone she wasn't actually Anne Catherick, and obviously no one believed her. She breaks her out of the asylum because OF COURSE she does. When they meet up with Walter at the graveyard they all go into hiding in London. Marian keeps house, Walter makes money and Laura sits around. I know she was in the crazy house and the crazy houses then were not a fun place so she's been through some difficult times but Marian and especially Walter need to give her some credit because right now their arrangement reminds me of Lisa Simpsons meeting her rival's family. Especially when they tell Laura she can help earn her keep by selling her sketches except Walter's really buying them.
I have a ball. Perhaps you'd like to bounce it?
Marian and Walter are still trying to figure out how to punish Fosco and Sir Percival for what they've done but to do this they must learn Sir Percival's Secret. Walter talks to Gilmore's colleague who's taken over his work and Anne's mother to try to find the secret, but Sir Percival has people following him so it's not easy. He eventually does discover The Secret and it's.....sort of anti-climactic. Maybe not back then when it was monocle-popping shocking but learning that Sir Percival's parents weren't married is kind of eh. I know, it means he loses the Sir and people won't like him and all but still. I was expecting dead bodies in that lake. Anyway, Walter tries to get proof of this and almost does except Sir Percival sort of beats him to it! And sets the proof on fire! And also sets the vestry and himself on fire so things didn't really go as planned for Percy. So what now? Do we go after Fosco? Was that really Sir Percival in there and now a charred skeleton?

Look at everything that happened! I forgot so much of it until I started writing this thing, and then I ended up spending the whole post re-capping what happened. But seriously, there was so much. And there's still so much to happen. Plus I'm keeping my fingers crossed for bodies by the boathouse.

Title quote from page 231, location 5172

Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White. Amazon Books, 2006. Kindle edition. Originally published 1860