What is the summary for Chapter 29 of The Blithedale Romance?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this final chapter, Miles Coverdale looks back on his time at Blithedale from the vantage point of middle age.  He had left the farm "within the week after Zenobia's death", and has not had the heart to return.  He remembers the idealism of the group, the "beautiful scheme of a noble and unselfish life", and how it looked at first that "it might endure for generations, and be perfected...into the system of a people, and a world".  Although the experiment failed, a victim of their "infidelity to its own higher spirit", Coverdale still believes that, in theory, their concept was good, that they "had struck upon what ought to be a truth (which) posterity may dig...up, and profit by".

In the years since Blithedale, Coverdale, who has remained a bachelor, has lived "very much at (his) ease".  He has traveled to Europe twice, but given up poetry; he recognizes that his life "lack(s) a purpose", and that he no longer has the inclination to pursue his once deeply heartfelt beliefs.  He sardonically indicates his state of lethargy in saying that if, in "this whole chaos of human struggle", if there were a cause worth dying for he would not be afraid to give up his life, if it were not too much trouble. 

Coverdale reveals that there is a reason that he lost his passion and now lives an aimless life.  He has a secret which he has long concealed - that he, himself, had also been in love - with Priscilla! (Chapter 29).