The Golden Bowl - Volume One, Book Third, Chapters 9-11 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Golden Bowl.
This section contains 494 words
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In chapter nine the Prince mulls the relationship between Lady Castledean and Mr. Blint, two others who have lingered at the Matchum party. When Charlotte joins him on the veranda, a comment is made about the day being like a cup they need to drain together. This comment reminds the two of the golden bowl in the Bloomsbury shop. The Prince remembers the bowl as being treacherous and cracked and hopes their day will not turn out in the same way. The two decide to not stay for lunch, but to leave right away. They decide to go to Gloucester is explore the old cathedrals there.

In chapter ten Fanny asserts to her husband that she has decided for sure there is nothing going on between Charlotte and the Prince. She feels that Charlotte is only reacting to the way Maggie takes over Charlotte's own home and husband. In fact, Fanny tells her husband her respect for Charlotte has grown instead of dwindling. Although she lets her husband know that she knows Charlotte and the Prince are staying over at the Matchams, she swears she does not ever want to know what they did while they stayed there.

In chapter eleven Fanny tells her husband that she believes Maggie is beginning to doubt her husband's fidelity for the first time. Fanny tells her husband that Maggie is taking over the situation because for the first time she realizes that she misses her husband. Fanny believes Maggie will have to wake up and take control of the situation to keep her father from finding out what has been happening all along between Charlotte and the Prince.


It is just at the point that Charlotte and the Prince are poised to be unfaithful to their spouses that Fanny at last makes her decision that neither of them are doing anything wrong. She describes to her husband a meeting she has with Maggie in which she realizes that Maggie knows what is going on between the two. Fanny believes Maggie will take the situation in hand in order to keep her father from finding out what has been going on.

Notice how James uses the characters of Fanny and Bob Assingham to interweave information about Maggie, the Prince and Charlotte into the story. Their conversations answer many questions about the mechanics of the relationships between these characters. Although Bob seems slow to understand Fanny's views of the situation, it is this slowness that allows situations and relations to be explained clearly to him as well as the reader.

The image of the cracked golden bowl resurfaces in chapter ten. Although the Prince and Charlotte hope their day together will not be cracked and therefore ruined, like the bowl, they do not realize their actions are causing a crack in both of their marriages. It is perhaps these marriages that are represented by the bowl, beautiful, but cracked and damaged.

This section contains 494 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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