57 pages 1 hour read

Sarah Waters


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2002

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Part 2, Chapters 11-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2, Chapter 11 Summary

Before Maud leaves Briar to marry Mr. Rivers, she decides she must do one last deed. She sneaks into her uncle’s room and steals the key to his library and his sharpest razor to destroy the first of the pornographic books from which he had her read. Before going to the library, she looms over him with the razor but decides “this is not that kind of story. Not yet” (269). The two, along with Sue, make their escape by the river, and Maud recounts the journey and the hasty marriage in one short paragraph. Maud’s behavior, listless and quiet, refusing to eat, disturbs Mr. Rivers, though it works to their advantage in convincing the doctors that Maud is, in fact, the maid, while Sue is the delusional mistress.

The doctors readily believe it, and Mr. Rivers makes the story even more salacious by bringing up the alleged seduction of Maud by Sue. Maud plays her part, though she is brokenhearted about betraying Sue. After Sue is taken away, she and Mr. Rivers make the journey to London by train. Maud is overwhelmed by the bustle and chaos of the city and is soon shocked by where Mr. Rivers takes her—not to his house, where he had promised, but to Mrs.