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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:26:43 -0800
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Friends of the Dickens Forum,

Susan Jhirad <[log in to unmask]> looks at two kinds of 
inheritance:  (pjm)
> On the topic of wills, let us not forget the true villain of *Oliver Twist*, Oliver’s half brother Edward Leeford (Monks). It is he who plots to have Oliver snatched by Fagin, because of a clause in their family will that would make Oliver (the natural inheritor) disinherited “if he commits a crime.” The issue of wills in Dickens is, I believe, closely related to who is the legitimate and who is the illegitimate child. Also, who is the worthy inheritor and who the unworthy. Not always the same. Once Oliver actually inherits, he offers to share his inheritance with Monks, who, however, reverts to type and remains a criminal.
> In *Great Expectations*, there is not exactly a will, but there is the central issue of an inheritance, and a question over who has given it. As we see, getting this “inheritance” is actually a kind of curse on Pip’s life- money, as Dickens often suggests, being “the root of all evil.”
> Fascinating topic.
> Susan Jhirad