When Sir Michael states that he is deeply in love with Lucy Graham, he goes on to state that he never loved his two previous wives. He states that his marriage with Alicia’s mother was dull. Also, that his first marriage was “too dull to be extinguished, too feeble to burn” (Braddon 12). He goes on to claim that his feelings for Lucy are different.
This passage could mean two different things. It could be to show the reader that Sir Michael is truly in love and is able to feel so weakly about his past marriages because he feels so strongly about Lucy. However, I feel this passage is to show the reader that Sir Michael has never truly been in love before, does not know what love is, and is foreshadowing that Lucy will simply become another wife that Sir Michael will lose interest in once he finds another person that gives him the spark of love.
What I really think this passage is about is to give the reader more insight into Sir Michael’s past marriages and allow the reader to make a prediction on how his new marriage may play out. The way Sir Michael describes both his previous marriages as dull shows that rather than the marriages themselves not working out, it may simply be that Sir Michael loses interest in a marriage once he finds a new person who brings a sense of excitement or, what he calls the spark of love, into his life.