Middlemarch

Middlemarch

by

George Eliot

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Mary Garth is the eldest daughter of Caleb and Mrs. Garth. She is plain-looking but intelligent, pragmatic, honest, and honorable. She cares for Featherstone while he is dying. Although she is continually frustrated by Fred’s bad behavior (particularly after he loses her family’s savings), she remains devoted to him. They eventually get married and have three children. Mary publishes a successful children’s book but gives the author’s credit to Fred.
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Mary Garth Character Timeline in Middlemarch

The timeline below shows where the character Mary Garth appears in Middlemarch. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 11
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...weren’t the daughter of a manufacturer and the granddaughter of an innkeeper. Rosamond mentions that Mary Garth has probably taken a liking to Lydgate, but Fred replies unhappily that he doesn’t... (full context)
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...with her uncle, a younger Mr. Featherstone, who would have been very generous with her. Mary Garth is living with him now and will surely benefit immensely from it. Rosamond replies... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 12
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...family. Mrs. Waule, who is Mr. Featherstone’s sister, came to visit him that morning while Mary Garth was giving him medicine. Mrs. Waule gossips about the Vincys, saying that Fred is... (full context)
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...and says that he’s heard Mr. Bulstrode criticize Mrs. Vincy’s habit of spoiling her children. Mary mentions that she doesn’t like hearing about “scandal.” Mrs. Waule says it upsets her to... (full context)
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...health. Featherstone accuses them of only wanting money and bids her goodbye. He then dismisses Mary and Rosamond, saying that he wants to speak with Fred. The two young women are... (full context)
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...asks Fred to read him the names of the books on his shelves, asking why Mary needs those books when reading the newspaper should be enough for her. Meanwhile, Rosamond and... (full context)
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Mary is 22 years old and rather plain, but very honest. She exclaims that she looks... (full context)
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...Fred is “horrid,” adding that he is lazy, disobedient, and makes Mr. Vincy angry. When Mary says she thought he was going to be a clergyman, Rosamond replies that this will... (full context)
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...Rosamond replies that Mrs. Waule called him “unsteady,” but that’s it. Fred then mentions that Mary is “the best girl I know,” while Rosamond replies that it’s strange that Fred is... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
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...letter about it. He refuses to confirm what he actually believes, and soon calls for Mary. When she enters he snaps at her; it looks like she has been crying. Featherstone... (full context)
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On his way out, Fred speaks with Mary. She mentions that John Waule was there yesterday, and Fred teases that John is probably... (full context)
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...continue flirting, and eventually Fred exclaims hat he will never be “good for anything” unless Mary loves him and marries him when they are ready. Mary warns him against laziness and... (full context)
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...debt may have something to do with the fact that he borrowed the money from Mary’s father, Caleb Garth. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 17
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...that having a good wife could actually help his work, and asks if Lydgate knows Mary Garth, who is one of his favorite young women. Lydgate admits that he has barely... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 24
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...violent kicking fit and lames himself. Fred is despondent. He decides to confess everything to Mary, and worries that this means he should probably confess to Mrs. Garth, too. Mrs. Garth... (full context)
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...to pay for their son, Alfred, to be trained as an apprentice. She adds that Mary surely has £20 saved. (full context)
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...says he needs to stop being so generous, and that he must go and ask Mary how much money she has saved. Mr. Garth is annoyed that this episode is interrupting... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 25
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Fred goes to Mr. Featherstone’s house, Stone Court, and dramatically announces to Mary that from now on she will only have the worst opinion of him. He explains... (full context)
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Mary observes that selfish people always prioritize their own feelings over the harm they’ve caused others,... (full context)
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Later Mr. Garth comes to Stone Court. Alone with Mary, Mr. Garth says he has bad news, but Mary replies that she already knows it.... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 32
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...his deathbed, countless relatives arrive at his house. He won’t see any of them, so Mary carries their messages to him. Some of the guests, such as Featherstone’s brother Jonah, simply... (full context)
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...the family at all. In reality Trumbull  doesn’t know anything about Featherstone’s will. He discusses Mary’s books with her, claiming to be “a great bookman myself.” The relatives mutter about Mary,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 33
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Mary often likes to sit in Mr. Featherstone’s room after midnight, keeping watch over him and... (full context)
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When Mary continues to refuse to help, Featherstone begins to cry. He then asks her to call... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 35
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...links this phrase to Rigg’s ugly face, he struggles to suppress a laugh. Seeing this, Mary asks to swap seats with him so Fred is out of the others’ sight.   (full context)
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...Fred laments that he will have to train as a clergyman after all, and asks Mary what she shall do. She replies that she will get another job, and leaves.   (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 40
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Mary is now back home with her family, waiting to begin another job. She is sewing... (full context)
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...Garth. They discuss Fred and whether he should indeed enter the clergy, or whether, as Mary suggests, this would degrade the whole profession. Mr. Garth says he feels that Fred probably... (full context)
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With Mary gone, Mr. Garth tells the story of how Farebrother asked her to burn one of... (full context)
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Farebrother leaves and walks to Lowick, speculating that Fred and Mary have feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Mr. Garth tells his wife that he is considering... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 52
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...nothing else he can do. He also confesses that he has been in love with Mary Garth since childhood, who in the past has been opposed to his entering the church.... (full context)
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Farebrother says he thinks he will be able to relieve Mary’s guilt, and then explains to her that burning one will would have made the other... (full context)
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Mary confesses that she isn’t sure if she will marry Fred at all, but that she... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 56
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...his horse. He is stressed: Mr. Vincy is adamant that he become a clergyman, whereas Mary is adamant that they will never marry if he does so. He has decided not... (full context)
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...Caleb’s “business.” Caleb says Fred would be able to learn, and then Fred brings up Mary, saying he would “do anything for her.” He explains that he got Farebrother to speak... (full context)
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Later, Caleb tells Mrs. Garth that Mary and Fred like each other and that he intends to take Fred on and “make... (full context)
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...and son shake hands. Meanwhile, when Fred tells his mother that he intends to marry Mary, she is equally miserable. She still thinks that Fred is the best young man in... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 57
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...of Fred. Fred says that he is stopping en route to Lowick Parsonage to see Mary, and some of the Garth children beg to come too. However, Mrs. Garth says they... (full context)
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...that she must think badly of him. Mrs. Garth admits that she was “surprised” by Mary’s interest in Fred and tells Fred it was wrong and thoughtless of him to convey... (full context)
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Once Fred gets to Lowick Parsonage, he, Mary, Mrs. Farebrother, Miss Winifred, and Miss Noble discuss clergymen. Mary admits that she doesn’t like... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 63
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...a party at the Vincys’. All the Vincy children are there, along with Lydgate and Mary Garth. Mrs. Farebrother comments that Lydgate spends a lot of time away from Rosamond, and... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 66
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...not been betting. Farebrother then mentions their romantic rivalry. Fred says he remains committed to Mary; Farebrother comments that Mary seems to feel the same about Fred, but that her feelings... (full context)
Book 8, Chapter 86
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At the Garths’, Caleb goes outside to see Mary, who is playing with Letty. He asks Mary to walk with him, telling her that... (full context)
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Mary embraces Caleb, saying he is “the best man in the world.” Fred arrives at the... (full context)
Finale
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...They note the frequency with which marriages can become disappointments after wonderful beginnings. Fred and Mary’s marriage is not a disappointment. Fred impresses the community by becoming a “theoretic and practical... (full context)
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Fred and Mary have three sons. They are never wealthy, but they are able to buy the furniture... (full context)