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A Laodicean

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A Laodicean (1881) is a novel by Thomas Hardy. Paula Power inherits a medieval castle from her industrialist father who bought it from the aristocratic De Stancy family. She employs two architects, a local, and a newly qualified from London: George Somerset, who represents modernity. Captain De Stancy, an impoverished scion of the family represents a dream of medieval nobility. Paula is attracted to both men. Somerset leaves believing Paula and the Captain have been married. Paula finds him and they marry. The castle burns down and Somerset proposes to build a modern house instead. Paula proves to be "a Laodicean" (indifferent or half-hearted): "I wish my castle wasn't burnt; and I wish you were a De Stancy!" The usage of "Laodicean" comes from a reference in the Bible: "I know your life; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. If only you were either cold or hot! But now, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth."—?Revelation 3:14–16

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