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The Moonstone, Part Two: The Eminently Quotable Miss Clack

Wilkie, please always use irritable relations of the main characters as narrators.

You've all forgotten Mr Betteredge already, haven't you? *glares accusingly* HOW COULD YOU FORGET HIM WHEN THIS HAPPENED:

She turned to me, and gave me her hand. I kissed it in silence.

I had a mini freak out when I read that. Because I love them. And their sekrit love that is communicated through her giving him orders to do things like make sure the horses are ready by six o'clock and him being like "It shall be done, my lady," which is Betteredge code for "As you wish" which is Princess Bride code for I LOVE YOU NOW ROLL DOWN A HILLSIDE WITH ME AND BATTLE SWAMP-RATS. I would so read that book. The Romantic Adventures of Lady Verinder & Betteredge.


Betteredge is in his 70s, right? And Rachel's like 20? So WHAT OF LADY VERINDER AND MISS CLACK? I'm SO confused. Because I thought L.V. and Betteredge were similar ages, but apparently NOT, and Miss Clack is like 40 in my head, but Rachel's her cousin so maybe not but maybe yes? Because sometimes siblings are older and stuff or get married late and then there're weird cousinly age disparities. And wait, if Ablewhite's Rachel's cousin is he Miss Clack's cousin? I guess not. I'm totally not keeping up with their family tree, but it seems so far like everyone is cousins with everyone else. Except Cuff. And maybe Betteredge.

And ok. I finally grant that Franklin is REALLY probably Franklin, although apparently he's been a not-so-good Franklin, but I'm obviously shipping him with Rachel now that it seems he for realsies is in love with her and she's in love with him. Her confession scene about him to Godfrey is summed up for me with this gif:

Meanwhile, she decides to keep saying shit like, "It will be known that I involved myself in the keeping of a miserable secret—" WHAT WHAT SECRET OMG TELL US FINALLY. I cannot TAKE this much longer. I mean, ok, they've given up some stuff, and I feel like I'm playing a weird Victorian novel version of Clue and I've just checked off Mr. Franklin, Mr. Ablewhite and Rachel from my detective sheet, but STILL.

And then Wilkie KILLED LADY VERINDER. Where's my deathbed confessional about having always loved Gabriel Betteredge, Wilkie? WHERE IS IT?

What else...let's not forget Betteredge's grabbing of Cuff's collar and pinning him against the wall because he was frustrated about Rachel. That was a shining moment. Also, the gentleman who's accompanying the Indians? HOW IS THAT NOT FOSCO? You know it is. Who else would do that? (nobody, that's who) Oh, Fosco. We miss you so much it hurts.

"I am full of dormant good qualities."

"a Patmos amid the howling ocean of popery that surrounds us"

"Its title was, 'A Word With You on Your Cap-Ribbons.'"

The one thing — ONE THING — that I have to say slightly against Wilkie is this: it's all very fine to make fun of Miss Clack. Because she is Miss Clack. But when you have an example of a ridiculous Christian woman, something Dickens IMO did better is to show how Christianity can best be demonstrated. So in Bleak House he does indeed have Mrs Pardiggle hounding the illiterate slumdwellers with her tracts, but he also has Esther and Ada going into the same home and helping with the baby and actually caring about the inhabitants. So there's that.

"The moral balance is restored; the spiritual atmosphere feels clear once more. Dear friends, we may go on again."


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