A beautiful, bright image. Mary is one of the finest characters in Middlemarch, with a sure touch and a strong inner light that outshines her outward lack of beauty. She gains and retains the love of a man who needs her steadying strength to right himself. Here he finds her doing something as lovely as her character.
‘He found Mary in the garden gathering roses and sprinkling the petals on a sheet.’
Source: George Eliot, Middlemarch (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), p. 551
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