The Egoist cover

The Egoist

George Meredith (1828-1909)

1. 00 – Prelude
2. 01 – Chapter I
3. 02 – Chapter II
4. 03 – Chapter III
5. 04 – Chapter IV
6. 05 – Chapter V
7. 06 – Chapter VI
8. 07 – Chapter VII
9. 08 – Chapter VIII
10. 09 – Chapter IX
11. 10 – Chapter X
12. 11 – Chapter XI
13. 12 – Chapter XII
14. 13 – Chapter XIII
15. 14 – Chapter XIV
16. 15 – Chapter XV
17. 16 – Chapter XVI
18. 17 – Chapter XVII
19. 18 – Chapter XVIII
20. 19 – Chapter XIX
21. 20 – Chapter XX
22. 21 – Chapter XXI
23. 22 – Chapter XXII
24. 23 – Chapter XXIII
25. 24 – Chapter XXIV
26. 25 – Chapter XXV
27. 26 – Chapter XXVI
28. 27 – Chapter XXVII
29. 28 – Chapter XXVIII
30. 29 – Chapter XXIX
31. 30 – Chapter XXX
32. 31 – Chapter XXXI
33. 32 – Chapter XXXII
34. 33 – Chapter XXXIII
35. 34 – Chapter XXXIV
36. 35 – Chapter XXXV
37. 36 – Chapter XXXVI
38. 37 – Chapter XXXVII
39. 38 – Chapter XXXVIII
40. 39 – Chapter XXXIX
41. 40 – Chapter XL
42. 41 – Chapter XLI
43. 42 – Chapter XLII
44. 43 – Chapter XLIII
45. 44 – Chapter XLIV
46. 45 – Chapter XLV
47. 46 – Chapter XLVI
48. 47 – Chapter XLVII
49. 48 – Chapter XLVIII
50. 49 – Chapter XLIX
51. 50 – Chapter L

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Summary

The Egoist is a tragicomical novel by George Meredith published in 1879. The novel recounts the story of self-absorbed Sir Willoughby Patterne and his attempts at marriage; jilted by his first bride-to-be, he vacillates between the sentimental Laetitia Dale and the strong-willed Clara Middleton. More importantly, the novel follows Clara’s attempts to escape from her engagement to Sir Willoughby, who desires women to serve as a mirror for him and consequently cannot understand why she would not want to marry him. Thus, The Egoist dramatizes the difficulty contingent upon being a woman in Victorian society, when women’s bodies and minds are trafficked between fathers and husbands to cement male bonds.