Then I saw this request.
Daniel Deronda (1876) was George Eliot's last, and perhaps most ambitious, novel. The ficathon request that I received was: what does Gwendolen, one of the two main characters, do post-canon? To make a long (~900 pages) story very short — spoilers! — Gwendolen's own personal tale (among all those in the novel!) is that of a splendidly self-centered young woman who chooses what turns out to be an obscene marriage as an escape from sudden poverty. Her bitter experiences crack her complacency, and leave her terrified that she will choose to kill her husband. Many would not blame her! But she would blame herself. She was never actually wicked, this infuriating, irresistible "princess in exile." Her one confidant is the titular Deronda (who has quite an astonishing tale of his own! nothing else like it in Victorian literature, for sure).
My attempt to satisfy the fest request involves a London townhouse, a dinner party, a seance, and several friendships.
My sincere thanks to those who chimed in on my various brainstorms! And thanks most of all to batdina for beta-reading! (She re-read this monster Victorian novel just for me and my recipient. Much appreciated.)
|On the AO3:||"Between within and without"|
|Characters:||Gwendolen Harleth Grandcourt, Catherine Arrowpoint Klesmer, Julius Klesmer, Mrs. Arrowpoint, Lady Pentreath, original characters|
|Summary:||Five years later, Gwendolen steps up to help a dear friend and ends up confronting an old terror.|
|Quotation:||"That she was beautiful had never been in doubt, as far as Gwendolen knew, but that she could meet her own gaze with neither revulsion nor complacency required tenacious confirmation. To live, she must bear her demons and her angels together. She meant to live."|
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