Even in the depths of her despair, when she learns that her handsome squire won’t marry her, her focus is as much on the loss of finery – or the dream of it – as of the loss of the lover.

‘The shattering of her little dream-world, the crushing blow on her new-born passion, afflicted her pleasure-craving nature with an overpowering pain that annihilated all impulse to resistance, and suspended her anger.’

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 379

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