The Woman in White

by Wilkie Collins
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Who was Laura's mother?

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Laura's mother actually isn't given a name in the novel. She is simply identified by her relationship to Philip Fairlie: that is, as Mrs. Fairlie. As the founder of the Limmeridge School, one of the most important elements Mrs. Fairlie contributes to the plot is in her fond treatment of...

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Laura's mother actually isn't given a name in the novel. She is simply identified by her relationship to Philip Fairlie: that is, as Mrs. Fairlie. As the founder of the Limmeridge School, one of the most important elements Mrs. Fairlie contributes to the plot is in her fond treatment of Anne Catherick, the woman in white herself. Mrs. Fairlie is completely unaware that Anne is actually the product of an affair between her own husband, Philip, and Jane Catherick before his marriage. As such, she admires the young girl and is the one who first suggests she should be dressed in white—setting the tone, of course, for the rest of the story. Other than that she has a passion for education and a motherly attitude towards children, we don't learn a lot about Mrs. Fairlie in the novel.

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