Adam Bede is talking with the woman he loves about the woman he will one day love.  First he didn’t like the cap she wore as a Methodist preacher, but then he saw her again and found it suited her face perfectly.  He didn’t yet know that he would eventually fall in love with that face, cap and all.  An author’s prolepsis?

‘Then I thought the cap seemed to fit her face somehow as th’ acorn-cup fits th’acorn.’

For another charming reference to acorn cups, see Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal.

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 269

Photo credit: ulleo at


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