74 pages 2 hours read

George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1876

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Book 3, Chapters 19-27Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Book 3: “Maidens Choosing”

Book 3, Chapter 19 Summary

Daniel Deronda thinks about Mirah’s hopes of finding her long-lost family members. He worries that the meeting between them might be a disaster. Deronda’s concern stems from his “desire to know his own mother” and his concurrent fears of what he might find (172), should he go looking for answers about his parents’ identities. He thinks about Mirah’s Jewishness and, conditioned by Victorian prejudices against Jewish people, he worries that he might discover something similar in his own family history. Had Mirah been Christian, the narrator speculates, Deronda might think differently about looking into his family’s history. Nevertheless, he feels sympathetic toward Mirah and decides to help her search for her mother and her brother.

Book 3, Chapter 20 Summary

Mrs. Meyrick sits down for a conversation with Mirah while her daughters go out to run errands. Mirah talks about her past. Lapidoth, her father, took her to the United States when she was seven years old. They left the rest of the family behind in England. One day, Mirah tried to write to her mother. Her father was enraged. He tore up the letter and told her that the rest of her family was dead. In the United States, Mirah and her father shared a home with an Italian musician known only as Signora.