View Full Version : What of Lionel Croy?

08-09-2010, 07:46 AM
What is the significance of Kate's dysfunctional family and, in particular, Lionel Croy, who only appears at the start and end of the novel?

Kate's father has a strange and, perhaps, terrible personality and history. Kate's sister, Mrs. Condrip, is decidedly unimpressive.

But what has all this to do with Kate, her psyche and behaviour, and her ultimately strained relationship with Merton Densher? What does Milly finally make of her, and is Milly as clear-sighted here as she becomes regarding Densher?

01-28-2011, 06:25 AM
Milly is angelic and acts for the best, and is vindicated stupendously! And Aunt Maud is right that Merton ultimately can do nothing to upset her plans for Kate. Perhaps this is best for him: not at all good but best in the circumstances.

Kate, like her father Lionel, is clever, urbane, attractive and seductive beyond belief but rather short on honour. In the ends she virtually kills the more honourable Merton Densher by her duplicity. He forfeits Milly's money and Kate's hand in marriage. He is left with love for a dead woman and a guilty conscience. Even so, isn't Merton is better off having escaped Kate's orbit?

Milly the dove, is indeed wonderful for, in the end everybody, including Lionel and Marion Croy, gets what they seek! A black ending indeed.

Listening this month to the downloaded mp3 "The Wings Of The Dove - Henry James - BBC Classic Serial" was an eye opener.