The Golden Bowl Book 6, Chapters 1-3 Summary

Henry James

Book 6, Chapters 1-3 Summary

Charlotte and Mr. Verver leave Fawns, leaving Maggie and Amerigo to live there alone. Maggie tells Amerigo that she is willing to go anywhere he wants, even abroad to visit some of the places he has loved so well. Instead, he insists on staying in England, but he wanders around, clearly bored. Fanny Assingham asks Maggie if she is worried that Charlotte will still be able to “get at” him if he is still there. Maggie replies that Charlotte will be able to get at him no matter where he is. Fanny asks what she plans to do with her evenings. Maggie says they will begin to have visitors again once it is known that they are alone.

Maggie feels that she and her father who are lost, since Charlotte and Amerigo got what they wanted. Fanny asks if Mr. Verver knows how far Charlotte and Amerigo had gone, but Maggie says that even she has no idea how far they went. She is sure that Charlotte does not know how much Mr. Verver knows, which is what holds her to her husband. Maggie does not know what is holding Amerigo to her.

A telegram arrives from Charlotte, asking if the four of them could get together for luncheon. Maggie shows it to Amerigo, and both see it as one last time together before the Ververs leave for America. Amerigo does not understand why Charlotte does not want to have a formal dinner, but Maggie says they are being brushed off as surely as the Assinghams already have been. It may be that Mr. Verver will want to go off for a last father/daughter dinner, leaving Charlotte with Amerigo. Amerigo wishes that Charlotte had understood Maggie better, but Maggie states that she is the one who deceived her step-mother by holding her at a distance. Amerigo tells her that Charlotte is stupid because she does not know that Maggie knows about her relationship with Amerigo. He asks Maggie to do one last thing, but he refuses to tell her what it is until after Charlotte and Mr. Verver leave for America.

When Mr. Verver and Charlotte arrive, the atmosphere is strained. Mr. Verver and Maggie talk privately, but there is too much that must be left unsaid for them to say much. When the Ververs leave, Amerigo takes the Principino upstairs while Maggie prepares herself for what will happen when he returns. When he returns, Maggie realizes that Charlotte has completely left their lives. Amerigo assures Maggie that he sees only her.