Thanks for this, fantasyfan - it really makes sense of what seemed to be a slightly disjointed move from Dorothea going off on her honeymoon to a completely different group of people, using Dr Lydgate as the link.
This is my first book with the LBC, as I have been meaning to read "Middlemarch" for some time, and this is a great way to do it. At this stage I am only about one-quarter of the way through it.
I love the way George Eliot humanises everyone, even that dry stick Casaubon, with his rows of notebooks and his endless research. Who among us who has had to write a thesis or even a major essay, has not shied away from putting pen to paper (metaphorically these days) and felt the need to do yet more research. I did have some fellow-feeling for him over that!
I was struck by the comment about Miss Winifred Farebrother, the parson's sister, living with her brother, mother and aunt, "... nipped and subdued as single women are apt to be who spend their lives in uninterrupted subjection to their elders." She sums up the whole situation of such women in half a sentence.
What a wonderful book it is. I'm not sure how long I shall take to finish it, but I shall certainly do so. And I shall enjoy seeing what others have to say on the way through.